Hi! My name is Hardy Jones, and I am an English professor, writer, and traveller. Fortunately, these three passions work together, uniting my professional and private lives. After earning my MFA in English, I taught in South Korea from 2001-2002. I worked with Korean English teachers, helping them create writing assignments for their classes as well as improving their academic writing. While in South Korea, I travelled to Japan and Thailand, and became enamored with the latter country: Thai food, hospitality, even the tropical weather. Subsequently, I have written several essays about Thailand, and I spend each summer there in a country house that my wife and I built in her hometown.
Since 2008 I have been the Director of Creative Writing at Cameron University, where I created the student art and literary journal The Gold Mine, am a Faculty Advisor for the online literary journal The Oklahoma Review, oversee the Visiting Writers Series, and organize the annual Leigh Holmes Creative Nonfiction Contest. I am currently an Associate Professor of English, published a novel Every Bitter Thing (Black Lawrence Press, 2010), a memoir People of the Good God (Mongrel Empire Press, 2015), am a two-time Pushcart nominee in fiction and nofiction, and am at work with my wife Natthinee Khot-asa Jones on a memoir, Wal-Mart Girl, detailing her experiences in America working at the retail store while I was a Doctoral student in Lafayette, Louisiana. In addition, she and I are compiling travel essays and photographs from our trips around Thailand and Cambodia, and we plan to add more countries to the compilation as we travel around Southeast Asia.
As an undergraduate at Louisiana State University, I studied fiction writing with the short story writer and novelist Moira Crone. After graduating in 1998, I entered the MFA program at the University of Memphis, where I specialized in Creative Nonfiction. The fiction and nonfiction writer Randall Kenan directed my thesis People of the Good God, which is an ethnographic memoir exploring the search to understand my Cajun identity and the evolution of the culture into the 21st century. The thesis' title comes from the Cajun French term for God, le bon Dieu, and in 2001 I was awarded a grant for the memoir manuscript. In 2007, I received my Ph, D. from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a specialty in Fiction Writing and Modern American Literature. My sub-specialties are in Early American Literature, Modern British Literature, and Modern Latin American Fiction.
In 2006, I was awarded a Research Grant from the State of Louisiana Division of the Arts for their “New Populations Project.” For this grant, I interviewed members of Lanexang Village, a Laotian community in southwest Louisiana created in the 1980s by political refugees, about their traditional New Year’s celebration Songkran. My field work resulted in an essay, “Laotian New Year and Its Traditions,” which was published in December 2007 in Louisiana’s Living Traditions. I have had over thirty pieces of fiction and nonfiction published in journals, and four stories anthologized. My story "Snow" appeared in the 2009 Dogzplot Flash Fiction Anthology, my story “Bunk Beds But No Chairs” was in The Best of Clapboard House Literary Journal Anthology (January 2013). My stories "A New Bike for Little Mike" and "Visitn' Cormierville" were in the Southern Gothic: New Tales from the South anthology (New Lit Salon Press, October 2013). I am the co-founder and Executive Editor of the online literary journal Cybersoleil (www.cybersoleiljournal.com). I am on the Peer Review Board of the Louisiana Folklife Journal, and I am the Flash Fiction editor for Sugar Mule online literary journal.