Byrd, who teaches writing and humanities at SPC, spent time as a Fulbright Fellow in Albania in 2011, teaching creative writing. His story, Dita e Verës, is a tale of unimaginable grief juxtaposed with a festive setting at the annual Albanian celebration of spring by the same name.
“While I was there, my mother sent news that my cousin had been murdered in rural Nevada, her body buried in a shallow grave,” Byrd said. “About that time, we attended the Summer Day festival and it seemed ironic in a sort of T.S. Eliot way, that there would be a celebration of life while I was thinking of my cousin’s murder.”
Byrd has been nominated for a prestigious Pushcart Prize, and his poetry and prose have appeared widely, recently in Apalachee Review and forthcoming in Saw Palm. He is currently working on two World War I novels: Where Shadow Meets Water, about a pilot from Florida, and Long Train Home to Scarborough, about a reporter and a nurse. His poetry chapbook, The Name of the God Who Speaks, won the Robert Phillips Prize from Texas Review Press.