Richard Gray is the first specialist in American literature to be elected a Fellow of the British Academy. He is Emeritus Professor of Literature at the University of Essex and a former Distinguished Visiting Professor at a number of universities in the USA, including Georgia and South Carolina. A former editor of the Journal of American Studies, he has published more than twenty books and over fifty articles on American literature. His books include The Literature of Memory: Modern Writers of the American South, Writing the South: Ideas of an American Region (winner of the C. Hugh Holman Award), American Poetry of the Twentieth Century, The Life of William Faulkner: A Critical Biography, Southern Aberrations: Writers of the American South and the Problems of Regionalism, A History of American Literature (first and second editions), A Web of Words: The Great Dialogue of Southern Literature, A Brief History of American Literature and After the Fall: American Literature Since 9/11. He also co-edited A Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American South and co-organised an international colloquium on the American South, held in Vienna and funded by the Austrian and British Academies, the proceedings of which were published as Transatlantic Exchanges: The American South in Europe-Europe in the American South. A regular speaker at international conferences and colloquia, as well as a regular reviewer for various journals and a regular broadcaster for the BBC, his most recent book is A History of American Poetry.