Amanda Cockrell

Selected Works

Young Adult Novel
Saints and soldiers and the Untied Church of Dog
The Hollywood blacklist and a delayed funeral
Historical novel of a Roman legion in Britain
The Horse Catchers trilogy
Mythological novel of the coming of the horse to the American Southwest
Volume 2 in The Horse Catchers trilogy
Volume 3 in The Horse Catchers trilogy
The Deer Dancers trilogy
Mythological novel of the beginning of art
Volume 2 in The Deer Dancers trilogy
Volume 3 in The Deer Dancers trilogy
Children's books
By my mother, Marian Cockrell, the story of an enchanted castle on the edge of Fairyland

What We Keep

Turning the Sun Around

December 30, 2013

Tags: Hollins, children's books

Among the pleasures of the holidays, we found candy and poems on our doors in the Hollins English department, just before the students left, offerings from someone unknown who nevertheless knows that a poem and a chocolate bar are just what you need to grade those last three exams.

We are making every effort to turn the sun around, lighting up trees and houses, but as soon as the lights come down I will start dreaming of spring, and especially of summer, when the grad students come back. Summerís pleasures are many and sometimes surprising. Last summer the video for the annual student conference featured a cameo by Neil Gaiman, which an enterprising crew of grad students talked him into by lurking at the end of the book signing line at the Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. That conference rolls around again in March and we are already packing our bags for this yearís event as there are always a score or so of Hollins students and faculty in attendance.

Come summer we will have our writer in residence, the wonderful National Book Award-winning Han Nolan (and in 2015 Terri Windling!) who will read student manuscripts and give individual sage advice. Accompanied by our scholar in residence, the learned but compassionate Lisa Rowe Fraustino, who will read studentsí scholarly work and give advice on turning that term paper into a conference submission or that conference paper into a journal submission. And for the artists and art-lovers, Judy Schachner, creator of Skippyjon Jones, will lecture and give a workshop.

Outside of academics, we look forward to the wild things: families of rabbits romping on Front Quad and the ducks who sometimes nest outside the faculty lounge in Turner. The great blue heron who fishes in the creek. And if you hang about on the bridge between campus and the student apartments you might see Ratty in the water. So far we havenít spotted a boat or a picnic basket, but we are sure they are there.


  1. December 30, 2013 12:44 PM EST
    David Almond (last year's writer in residence) told me he wanted to see, "A muskrat, a beaver, and a snake." I told him he had to get up EARLY for the muskrat (which I thought was a beaver!), and gave him the best snake-hangouts on the Quad. I can't wait to come back and walk, not 7 miles like I did last summer, but 5, easily. So I can see muskrats and the herons and George, the library groundhog, who I caught coming out of his den several times.
    - candice
  2. December 30, 2013 1:52 PM EST
    I'll help turn the sun and am looking forward to another great summer session.
    - ashley wolff
  3. December 30, 2013 2:21 PM EST
    Your life is so exciting, Amanda. Because I know what a great teacher you are, your students a fortunate to have you. And, the Hollins environment ain't bad either. Need to get together before the holidays end. Love and joy to you, Tony, and Felix.
    - Frederick Fuller, Official Cupbearer to cats Millicent and Cody.

Chocolate novios for Day of the Dead

Noon Whistle at the Lizard Works

Back yard bottle tree

The last hurrah

Delia Sherman and Ruth Sanderson, summer Children's Lit faculty

Children's Lit faculty Brian Attebery and Ellen Kushner at the end-of-term party