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In memory of writer and teacher Charles Rose

Writer and teacher Charles Rose died this past week in Auburn, Alabama. He taught literature at Auburn University for thirty-four years, and was the author of numerous short stories, screenplays, and the memoir In the Midst of Life: A Hospice Volunteer’s Story. His collection of short stories, A Ford in the River, is forthcoming from NewSouth Books.

The Alabama State Council on the Arts awarded Rose a fellowship in 2004; in 1999, Rose served as a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writer’s Conference. He is also a past Hospice Volunteer of the Year.

The Southern Humanities Review wrote that in In the Midst of Life, Rose “masterfully blends poetic prose with journalistic detail. He writes about death — the inevitable, the equalizer — but does so in a way that he demystifies its power to destroy and emphasizes instead its ability to forge the least likely connections among people, reminding us in the process to celebrate the magic surrounding even the most ordinary lives.”

Long-time friend and colleague Jay Lamar, director of Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities at Auburn University, attended the memorial service for Rose. “What impressed me,” Lamar said, “was how beautifully Charlie’s sense of humor, brilliant mind, and genuine human kindness were conveyed. Family, students, colleagues, and his many friends shared as many laughs as tears, and Charlie would not have had it any other way.”

Our condolences to Charles Rose’s family and friends on his loss. Contributions can be made in Rose’s honor to the American Cancer Society.