Tony Hays, author of The Arthurian Mysteries sequence, will launch the Department of Literature and Languages’ literary series at A&M-Commerce with a reading of his fiction in room 203 of the Hall of Languages on Monday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. A Q-and-A session will follow the reading. The event is free and open to the public.
Hays received a master’s degree in English from A&M-Commerce in 1991. In 2001, he returned to the university as an alumni ambassador for the department. While in the graduate program, Hays edited the department’s literary journal and is responsible for the journal’s change in moniker from “Forthcoming” to “The Mayo Review,” which remains as the title of the publication.
As a visiting instructor, Hays has also returned to the university to teach creative writing classes and to give readings. Since his last visit in 2009, he has published three novels. “The Stolen Bride,” Hays’ most recent novel available from Tor/Forge, is the fourth installment in his mystery series based on medieval folklore.
“With this series, Tony has carved his own area in an increasingly-competitive market by reimagining not only ‘Dark Age’ Britain, but by providing an alternative narrative sequence to the Arthurian legends,” said Dr. Hunter Hayes, associate professor and head of the Department of Literature and Languages. “By doing so, he has reached an international audience that appreciates his unique and well-crafted vision.”
While Publishers Weekly has regarded his Arthurian fiction among “the best in the medieval field,” Hays also works as a journalist, covering a variety of topics, including the war on terror and narcotics trafficking. His reporting on the latter garnered a Tennessee Press Association award for Public Service. Hays’ work has appeared in The Washington Times, The Progressive Review and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
“Tony’s success and his passion for writing and teaching, drawing upon his experiences as a novelist and journalist, exemplify the dedication and enthusiasm for literature that our students and faculty share,” said Hayes. “It is a tremendous pleasure for us to be able to bring Tony Hays back home to A&M-Commerce.”