Hail, Hail Euphoria!
By Roy Blount Jr.
Roy Blount Jr., a winner of the Faulkner Society's annual ALIHOT Award (A Legend in His/Her Own Time) for Literature, is a frequent member of the Words & Music faculty, and has judged categories of the William Faulkner - William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, most recently Essay, in 2009. He is the author of 22 books, about a wide range of things, from the first woman president of the United States to what barnyard animals are thinking. The most recent, Alphabet Juice (Farrar, Straus), is now out in paperback also available as an audiobook. The next most recent, Long Time Leaving: Dispatches From Up South (Knopf), won the 2007 nonfiction award from the New England Independent Booksellers Association; and AudioFile chose the audio version (HighBridge) as one of the year's top five books read by their authors. The book before that one, Feet on the Street: Rambles Around New Orleans, "delivers the goods," according to the New York Times: "a wild, unpredictable ramble through a wild, unpredictable town." Coming up next are Hail, Hail, Euphoria! -- The Marx Brothers in Duck Soup. (October, 2010, HarperStudio) and Alphabetter Juice, in progress. Roy will be the toastmaster for the Society's annual meeting, Faulkner for All, and will give his own original commentary for a screening of Duck Soup at the gala event. For more on the book, Roy, and Duck Soup, Click Here!
His first book, about hanging out with the Pittsburgh Steelers, About Three Bricks Shy...And the Load Filled Up, now available from the University of Pittsburgh Press, was named one of the ten best sports books ever by Jonathan Yardley of The Washington Post --and just recently called, by Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker, "the best of all books about pro football."
Norman Mailer said of his second book, Crackers, "Page for page, Roy Blount is as funny as anyone I've read in a long time," and Time placed Blount "in the tradition of the great curmudgeons like H.L. Mencken and W.C. Fields." Garrison Keillor said in The Paris Review, "Blount is the best. He can be literate, uncouth and soulful all in one sentence." Playboy said he was "known to the critics as our next Mark Twain." Whether, on the one hand, it is his place to quote these plaudits and whether, on the other hand, he feels that they are adequate, are questions not for him to answer at this time.
Theatre, Films, TV, Radio
Roy Rollin' on the River
A contributing writer of The Oxford American, he writes a regular column for Garden and Gun, and has done so in the past for Esquire, The New York Times, Atlanta Magazine, Inside Sports, The Soho News, Men's Journal, Conde Nast Traveller, The San Francisco Examiner, Spy and The Atlanta Journal. His essays, articles, stories, verses and even drawings have appeared in 166 different periodicals including The New Yorker, Gourmet, Playboy, Vanity Fair, GQ, Life, TV Guide, Vogue, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, Antaeus, Smithsonian and Organic Gardening; and in 174 books, including The Best of Modern Humor, The Oxford Book of American Light Verse, The Norton Book of Light Verse, The Ultimate Baseball Book, Classic Southern Humor, Sudden Fiction, The Elvis Reader, Russell Baker's Book of American Humor, Baseball: A Literary Anthology, The Sophisticated Cat, The F-Word, and Best American Essays l997. This work has taken him to China, Uganda, Iceland and all but two states. He has written introductions to books by Erskine Caldwell, A.J.Liebling, Ernie Bushmiller Jr.and Phil Rizzuto, and to four different books by Mark Twain--in particular extensive foreword and afterword accompanying first book-form publication of Twain's story A Murder, a Mystery and a Marriage (2001).
For Sports Illustrated, where he was a staff writer and editor l968-75, 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.)
He covered the l992 Democratic and Republican conventions and Presidential election night by commenting, live and instantaneously, from a Barcalounger, on Comedy Central. Via various media he has reported on the Civil Rights Movement, the Ku Klux Klan, Saturday Night Live in its prime, Elvis's funeral, an Olympics and several World Series and Super Bowls, and interviewed Martin Luther King, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Satchell Paige, Joe Dimaggio, Willie Mays, Loretta Lynn, Eudora Welty, Billy Carter, Gilda Radner, Casey Stengel, Jonathan Demme, Rep. Dick Armey, Cool Papa Bell and Sally Rand. He has publicly expressed his misgivings about every president since John F. Kennedy, with the exception, for some reason, of Gerald Ford.
He has jumped out of a plane, graduated (conditionally) from race-car driving school, scuba-dived with sharks, sung on stage (as a member of the authors' rock band Rock Bottom Remainders) with Bruce Springsteen and Stephen King, hit a game-winning Texas Leaguer (and had limes thrown at him) in Venezuela, caught catfish with his bare hands in Illinois; and ridden a camel in Kenya, a dolphin in the Florida Keys, an elephant in L.A.
Born l94l to Southern parents in Indianapolis. Grew up in Decatur, GA. He received a Vanderbilt B.A. in 1963, where he was Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude; his Harvard M.A. in 1964. U.S. Army l964-66. Reporter and columnist for Atlanta Journal and part-time English instructor at Georgia State College, l966-68. Free-lance since leaving SI in l975.
but previously his pets have included dogs, cats, a horse, a rooster, a snake, a turtle, a hamster, and a monitor lizard,