Literature and Writing
The Sewanee Review
The Sewanee Writers' Conference
The Sewanee Young Writers' Conference
Tennessee Williams Fellow
Visiting Instructor Elyzabeth Wilder, Playwriting
The Alma Mater of Quentin Compson's father in The Sound and the Fury, overlooking Lost Cove where the saving remnant gathers in Walker Percy's Lost in the Cosmos, the University of the South has been closely connected with writers and literature from the advent of the Sewanee Review in 1892 (America’s oldest literary quarterly still published under the same name) through the creation of the Sewanee Writers' Conference in 1990 which attracts a faculty whose distinctions include Nobel and Pulitzer prizes. Notable writers who have lived or taught in Sewanee include Andrew Lytle, Allen Tate, Peter Taylor, Richard Tillinghast, and Wyatt Prunty. Lytle, Tate, and Taylor are buried in the University cemetery.
William Alexander Percy, a student from 1900--1904 who later taught English at the University, nostalgically described Sewanee as a pastoral paradise in Lanterns on the Levee (1941). Walker Percy and his friend Shelby Foote often visited the Percy family house at Sewanee. James Agee, who studied with Father Flye at nearby St. Andrew's School from 1919-1923 (now St. Andrews-Sewanee), described a crucial religious encounter at St. Andrews in The Morning Watch (1950). Other writers including Caroline Gordon, George Garrett, Donald Justice, Gail Godwin, and Richard Tillinghast have used Sewanee as a setting.
A bequest from Conrad Aiken's younger brother created the Aiken-Taylor Award given by the Sewanee Review to poets including Howard Nemerov, Richard Wilbur, and Anthony Hecht. In addition to the Sewanee Writer's Conference, the estate of Tennessee Williams subsidizes the Sewanee Writers’ Series, a book publishing project in conjunction with Overlook Press, the Tennessee Williams Fellowship for visiting writers, and the Young Writers’ Conference. The Tennessee Williams Performing Arts Center was constructed in 1998.
The School of Theology publishes the Sewanee Theological Review. College student publications include a literary magazine that features student work, the Mountain Goat, and a student newspaper, The Sewanee Purple. The Sewanee Writers' Conference provides special scholarships for undergraduates. The Sewanee Review supports student internships.