Marjorie Hudson was born in a small town in Illinois, grew up in Washington, D.C., and now lives on her husband’s family farm in Chatham County, North Carolina. Hudson’s stories, essays, and poems explore themes of attachment to the land and a yearning for community deeply threaded through American history and contemporary life.
Her story collection, Accidental Birds of the Carolinas, is a PEN/Hemingway Honorable Mention for Distinguished First Fiction, a Novello Literary Award Finalist, and Perpetual Folly Best Story Collection of the Year, as well as a nominee for the Southern Indie Booksellers Alliance Southern Book Prize. Called “A field guide to the human species in transition” (Doris Betts), Hudson’s collection has evoked reviewer comparisons to Thomas Hardy, Isabelle Allende, and Alice Munro.
Hudson’s creative nonfiction book, Searching for Virginia Dare, is a North Carolina Arts Council Notable Book, and was reviewed and recommended by Our State magazine, North Carolina Literary Review, NC Library Journal, and the The Junior Tar Heel Historian. It has been a featured selection of the Reading on the Road book club at Bookwomen Center for Feminist Reading/Minnesota Women’s Press, and has been used in creative writing programs from East Carolina University’s Masters to the MFA program at University of Alaska – Anchorage. A new edition from Press 53 includes a 33-page essay documenting new research and travels to Rome, London, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Hudson’s poetry, fiction, and essays have been published in many journals and magazines, including Story, Storytelling Magazine, Garden & Gun, Yankee, West Branch, National Parks, American Land Forum, and North Carolina Literary Review. Hudson writes lyrically on topics ranging from pond fishing to Sufi dancing, extraordinary dogs to English explorers, the artist’s life to the life of the monarch butterfly. Her work has been collected in five anthologies.
Hudson’s work has also garnered a NC Arts Council Fellowship, a Blumenthal Readers and Writers Award, two North Carolina Arts Council Emerging Artist Grants, and Fellowships from the Hemingway Foundation, Ucross Foundation, Hedgebrook Retreat for Women Writers, and Headlands Center for the Arts. Since 1993 she has been a frequent writer in residence at Weymouth Center for the Arts. Her stories “The Clearing” and “Self-Portrait in Camouflage” were Pushcart Special Mentions.
She is founder of the Kitchen Table Writers, featuring rigorous, supportive craft study and manuscript critique in weekly workshops since 2009.
Community Work and Collaborations
Listed in the NC Arts Council Artists Directory, Hudson has served as a board member of her local arts council and a leader of environmental and literary organizations, notably the George Moses Horton Project and Jubilee, a celebration of the life and work of George Moses Horton, slave poet of Chatham County. Other projects include a series of inventive, collaborative Community Reads featuring Khaled Hosseini and Sue Monk Kidd. Hudson was a founding leader for three other community programs, the Haw River Festival, the Chatham Artists Studio Tour, and the Central Carolina Community College Creative Writing Certificate Program. She is a graduate of American University and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College.
Selected Essays and Reviews
A Journey Among Strangers, review of Scott Huler’s A Delicious Country