Jerry W. Ward, Jr. is the author of THE KATRINA PAPERS: A Journal of Trauma and Recovery (UNO Press, 2008) and The China Lectures (CCNU Press, 2014). A Richard Wright scholar, poet, and literary critic, Ward was born in Washington, D.C. but spent most of his adult life in Mississippi and Louisiana. He earned his undergraduate degree in mathematics (Tougaloo College 1964) and doctorate in English (University of Virginia 1978). He is editor with Maryemma Graham of The Cambridge History of African American Literature (Cambridge UP, 2011) and with Robert Butler of The Richard Wright Encyclopedia (Greenwood Press, 2008). His work-in-progress includes Words and Being (an extended essay on culture and common sense), Reading Race Reading America (social and literary essays), and Richard Wright: One Reader's Responses.