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06/09/2014

Mark Twain Circle of America Welcomes Winthrop Professor as President

Quick Facts

 The Mark Twain Circle is the most important academic association of Twain scholars and enthusiasts with more than 200 members internationally.
 Bird’s first book on Twain, "Mark Twain and Metaphor," published in 2007.

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John Bird
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — Winthrop University Professor of English John Bird is considered one of the nation’s top Mark Twain experts. Bird’s interest in Twain’s work has prompted him to write several articles and publish a book about the American author.

Now, Bird can add even more Twain to his life: he’s been elected to a two-year term as president of the national Mark Twain Circle of America.

“I just finished a two-year term as vice president, and it is a very big honor to me to become the president,” he said. “I am very proud to bring this national leadership position to Winthrop.”

The Mark Twain Circle is the most important academic association of Twain scholars and enthusiasts with more than 200 members internationally. As part of his duties as president Bird hopes to increase the circle’s membership. His other duties will include organizing sessions on Mark Twain at academic conferences, writing a column for the circle’s newsletter and serving as a spokesperson for Mark Twain to the national press and general public.

Bird, who is also director of Winthrop’s Teaching and Learning Center and faculty representative to Winthrop’s Board of Trustees, was the founding editor of The Mark Twain Annual, the group’s academic journal. The journal is now published by Penn State University Press.

Bird’s first book on Twain, "Mark Twain and Metaphor," published in 2007. The book explores Twain’s use of figurative language and the core of his language. Reviews note that the book demonstrates a model of shrewd scholarship on Bird’s part and goes beyond typical past analysis of Twain’s work.

Bird currently is working on a biography of the author, focusing on a single year of Twain’s life.

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