James Maroney (Student)

James Maroney

James Maroney, a graduate student in the English department, has stories to tell.

Maroney worked at about five different careers before facing his calling as a writer, weaving stories about disturbing characters and his chosen home, New Orleans. The Florence, Ala., native moved to New Orleans shortly after 2000, working at a kindergarten and then a television station.

However, after Hurricane Katrina struck the levees in New Orleans, he left to find what else life offered him, which turned out opportunities to develop his writing in the master of arts program at MSU. Writing poetry and fiction often based on his life experiences, Maroney continues to strengthen his stories. He recently was awarded the department's Eugene Butler Creative Writing Scholarship for Fiction.

When Maroney graduates in December, he will return to New Orleans to teach at a community college and focus on his writing where he feels a sense of place.

"You can walk down the street along French colonial style houses, turn the corner and anything can happen," Maroney said. "I think that's important for a writer."