Dr. Rich Gray
English Department Co-Chair, Professor of English
Dr. Rich Gray, received his Ph.D. from Ohio University and has been at Montreat College since 1975. Dr. Gray’s specialty is literature of the United States, and he teaches courses covering Puritan Ann Bradstreet, Transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, gothic poet and short story writer Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, the novels of Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner, and American Catholic writers Walker Percy and Flannery O’Connor. His recent article titled Walker Percy’s Appeal to Searchers explores priests and dwellings as emblems of spiritual searching in Percy’s six novels. One interesting note is that Percy’s best novel, The Second Coming, mentions Montreat four times.
Dr. Gray also teaches English composition and the survey of English literature. His favorite English author is Jane Austen. He is a leader in the Conference on Christianity and Literature, southeastern region, and he’s hosted the Conference at Montreat College three times. His church home is Swannanoa Valley Presbyterian, where he recently taught classes on the character of Peter and the growth of missionary vision in the Book of Acts.
Dr. Cynthia Howell
Associate Professor of English, English Department Co-Chair
Dr. Cynthia Howell came to Montreat College in 2005 as assistant professor of American literature. She received her B.A. from Baylor University, her M.A. from Vanderbilt University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. She wrote her master’s thesis on C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy. While living in Nashville, Dr. Howell had the opportunity to meet important modernist writers such as Robert Penn Warren, Allen Tate, and Andrew Lytle. Her doctoral dissertation, Rereading Agrarianism: Despoliation and Conservation in the Works of Wendell Berry, Lee Smith, and Bobbie Ann Mason, is a broadly postmodern examination of contemporary Southern agrarian literature in light of its post-bellum and modernist predecessors.
Her literary interests include agrarian and environmental literature, modernist and postmodernist American Literature, the 17th century in English and American literature, and Christian literature in its many forms. She also teaches courses in business, managerial, and nonprofit communication. Related interests include music, environmental concerns, and travel. “I am also blessed with a large network of friends and family, with whom I am always delighted to spend time.”
She spent her early years in southern California, first in Burbank, and then near Los Angeles International Airport. She became a Christian at the age of 16, in part as a result of her participation in a local church youth group. C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, with its witty depiction of temptation and human nature, also influenced her decision for Christ. She loves being at the college: “Montreat College is the perfect place for students wanting to study language and literature from a broadly yet thoroughly Christian perspective. I am so grateful for a community that supports in-depth academic inquiry even as it encourages us to love and serve Christ.”
Dr. Don King
Professor of English
Dr. Don King arrived at Montreat College in 1974 after earning a B.A. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and an M.A. from Southern Illinois University. He completed his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1985. Dr. King has been the editor of the Christian Scholar’s Review since 1999. An active researcher and writer, Dr. King has published numerous books and over 60 articles. He is also a recipient of the distinguished Professor of the Decade award.
Dr. King loves teaching literature courses and enjoys reading, researching, and writing. He teaches courses in British literature with a focus on Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton, Romantic literature, Victorian literature, and 20th century British literature.
Dr. King is also a C.S. Lewis scholar. He has published three books concerning Lewis, including C.S. Lewis, Poet: The Legacy of His Poetic Impulse, Hunting the Unicorn: A Critical Biography of Ruth Pitter, and Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman: He is finishing a fourth Lewis-related book: Yet One More Spring: A Critical Study of the Works of Joy Davidman. He has also contributed articles on C.S. Lewis’s poetry to The C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia and to C.S. Lewis—Life, Works, and Legacy. Twice he has led week-long summer seminars on Lewis at Lewis’s home, the Kilns, for the C.S. Lewis Foundation’s Summer Seminars in Residence Program.
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Dr. Kimberly Angle
Assistant Professor of English, Writing Program Director
Dr. Kimberly Angle (Ph.D. University of South Carolina; M.A. Georgia State University; B.A. Mercer University) came to Montreat College in the fall of 2007 to direct the creative writing program. Dr. Angle’s philosophy of teaching can be expressed in the words of one of her favorite mentor-writers, Brenda Ueland: “I am blessed with a fascinated, inexhaustible interest in all my pupils. This is what I [have] learned: everybody is talented, original and has something important to say.”
Her writing courses at Montreat are designed for students to explore a variety of forms and cultivate individual voice and vision. Varied experiences in writing conferences, workshops, working with editors, and just plain writing over the years have equipped her to help writers accomplish their personal goals.
Dr. Angle’s writing has been published or anthologized in Crossroads: A Southern Culture Annual, The Chattahoochee Review, South Carolina Wildlife, The Flannery O’Connor Bulletin, Weavings: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life, Literary Mama: Readings for the Maternally Inclined, Stories from Where We Live: The South Atlantic Coast and Piedmont, and Skirt, among others. Dr. Angle also recently published a novel titled Hummingbird.