2016 Bombeck workshop keynoter
Roy Blount Jr.
Roy Blount Jr. has been called “a humorist and social critic in the tradition of Mark Twain, Will Rogers, H.L. Mencken and W.C. Fields.”
A master storyteller and prolific writer, he has written two dozen books, including Save Room for Pie: Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations, to be released in March 2016. He is a familiar voice on NPR’s Wait, Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me! and his writing regularly appears in national magazines.
When Roy received the 2009 Thomas Wolfe Prize, poet James Seay described his writing as “the words of a humorist with poetry in him, one who understands the deepest registers of language.”
His wide-ranging books cover subjects from the first woman president of the United States to what barnyard animals are thinking. They include Alphabetter Juice; Alphabet Juice; Feet on the Street: Rambles Around New Orleans; Roy Blount’s Book of Southern Humor; Robert E. Lee; Be Sweet: A Conditional Love Story; and Long Time Leaving: Dispatches From Up South, which won the 2007 nonfiction award from the New England Independent Booksellers Association. AudioFile chose the audio version as one of the year’s top five books read by their authors.
Roy’s first book about hanging out with the Pittsburgh Steelers, About Three Bricks Shy…And the Load Filled Up, was named one of the 10 best sports books ever by The Washington Post and by The New Yorker, “the best of all books about pro football.”
His prolific writing has appeared in more than 170 periodicals, including The New Yorker, Oxford American, Garden & Gun, Antaeus, The New York Times, The Southern Review, Gourmet and Sports Illustrated.
He wrote the screenplay of Larger Than Life starring Bill Murray, the lyrics of a song Andie MacDowell sings in Michael, and an HBO fairy tale, The Frog Princess. He performed a one-man show at the American Place Theatre, has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, CBS Morning Show, Tonight Show, David Letterman, Good Morning America, Today Show, Larry King, Politically Incorrect and in a series of TV spots for the NBA starring Bill Murray, which he helped Murray create.
For Sports Illustrated, where he was a staff writer and associate editor from 1968-1975 and is now a senior special contributor, he has rafted the Amazon (attacked by piranha), played baseball with the 1969 Chicago Cubs (hit a ball 350 feet), become all but athletically a virtual member of the dynasty-years Pittsburgh Steelers, and hung out with Wilt Chamberlain, Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson and the world’s oldest then-living lifeguard. (Though not all at once.)
Roy is the ex-president of the Authors Guild; a member of PEN and the Fellowship of Southern Authors; a New York Public Library Literary Lion; a Boston Public Library Literary Light; a usage consultant to the American Heritage Dictionary; and an original member of the Rock Bottom Remainders, a rock band composed entirely of writers.