Richard Kent Evans

Dr. Richard Kent Evans, incoming Executive Director of the Alabama Writers’ Forum

The Alabama Writers’ Forum is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Richard Kent Evans as its incoming Executive Director.

Only the second director of the long-running statewide literary arts nonprofit, a partnership of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Evans brings “a wealth of experience and enthusiasm,” says AWF board chair Julie Friedman.

“With 30 years under its belt, the Forum has a strong foundation,” adds Friedman, who serves on the Council and is a founding member of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame, “and Richard’s knowledge and skills will lead us into the future. We are delighted to have someone of his caliber at the helm.”

A native of Alabama, Evans returned to the state this spring after having spent more than a decade in Texas and Pennsylvania. He most recently served on the faculty at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. An experienced writer and communicator, Evans also served as the project coordinator for the Political Theology Network, an international organization interested in the publicly engaged and interdisciplinary study of religion and politics. He graduated with a degree in history and political science from Auburn University and holds a Ph.D. from Temple University. Evans is the author of MOVE: An American Religion, published in 2020 by Oxford University Press.

Evans will take up the AWF reins in September.

“I am excited to be back in Alabama and to have the opportunity to play a part in supporting our state’s rich literary culture,” Evans says. “I will be a tireless advocate for the Forum and for Alabama writers.”

Evans follows long-serving founding executive director Jeanie Thompson, who will retire at the end of September after 30 years with AWF.

“The Forum has been my passion and mission for three decades,” says Thompson. “To see it go forward with strong leadership means everything. The Forum’s board and staff remain committed to nurturing writers and writing across the state. It is gratifying to know that Alabama’s support of literary arts can be counted on, as it supports all the arts in our richly talented state.”