Ray McManus - received his MFA in poetry from the University of South Carolina in 2001, and his Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric in 2006, at the University of South Carolina. Ray is the author of Driving through the country before you are born which won the South Carolina Book Award for poetry sponsored the South Carolina Poetry Initiative and USC Press. His poetry has appeared in Nimrod, Crazyhorse, Jabberwock, Natural Bridge, Los Angeles Review, Cold Mountain Review, and other journals and anthologies throughout the United States and Canada. Ray is the winner of the Academy of American Poets award at USC (1997), the James Dickey award in poetry (2000) at USC, and the Academy of South Carolina Author’s fellowship for his poetry (2002). He teaches composition and creative writing at the University of South Carolina, where he has received numerous awards for his teaching. He has served as Writer in Residence for the Palmetto Center for the Arts at Richland Northeast High School from 2003-2006, and has been the Director of Creative Writing at Tri-DAC since 2002. Since 2000, Ray has taught poetry writing to South Carolinians of all ages through a program he co-founded called Split P Soup. He lives in Columbia with his wife, Lindsay, and his children Sean and Morgan.