Who is Tim Gilmore?

Tim Gilmore writes about the haunted South, the “spirit of place” (or psychogeography), the South as center of America’s cultural rifts. Gilmore sees the South’s particular patterns of crime, its fundamentalism, its racial irresolution at the heart of America’s divisions and its stories, and therefore, as illustrative and necessary.

Gilmore is the author of 21 books, including Murder Capital: 8 Stories, 1890s-1980s, Channeling Anna Fletcher, Repossessions: Mass Shooting in Baymeadows, Goat Island Hermit: The State of Florida vs. Rollians Christopher, The Book of Isaiah: A Vision of the Founder of a City, illustrated by Shep Shepard, The Devil in the Baptist Church: Bob Gray’s Unholy Trinity, In Search of Eartha White: Storehouse for the People, The Mad Atlas of Virginia King, and Stalking Ottis Toole: A Southern Gothic.

Gilmore has also written several works for the stage. In the spring of 2017, Gilmore adapted Stalking Ottis Toole: A Southern Gothic as a play, which FSCJ (Florida State College at Jacksonville) DramaWorks’ Ken McCulough directed at the school’s Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts. In April 2019, DramaWorks produced Gilmore’s Repossessions: Mass Shooting in Baymeadows, about the 1990 GMAC Mass Shooting in Jacksonville. In March 2021, Gilmore’s “Covid Monologues” were enacted on stage as part of FSCJ’s A World Distanced, an original live performance of songs, monologues and dance. In the spring of 2022, Gilmore adapted The Mad Atlas of Virginia King for the stage as Ken McCulough’s directorial swan song before retirement.

Gilmore is the founder of JaxbyJax, a literary arts festival built on the theme of “Jacksonville Writers Writing Jacksonville.” He’s the writer and creator of www.jaxpsychogeo.com, a project that explores the centrality of the South in 650 nonfiction narratives from his hometown, Jacksonville, Florida. Better than probably any other news piece, Anne Schindler’s “Pretty Dark” tells the story of JaxPsychoGeo for First Coast News.

Gilmore’s work has appeared in numerous national and Jacksonville area publications including Mark Ari’s EAT PoemsAndrei Condrescu’s Exquisite CorpseFiction FixPerversion Magazine and Jacksonville’s Folio Weekly. His first stories for Folio and for Jacksonville Magazine appeared in the mid-1990s. In late 2018, his essay “The Stories That Roam Jacksonville’s Streets” appeared in Bridge Eight Press’s anthology 15 Views of JacksonvilleHe is a regular contributor to Florida Public Radio’s Florida Frontiers, presented by the Florida Historical Society.

Tim Gilmore has presented at numerous events and venues, including the Jacksonville Historical Society (where he’s spoken on the history of murder in Jacksonville, Eartha White, Virginia King and Rollians Christopher), Leadership Jax, the Florida Historical Society, ASALH (the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History), various Popular Culture Association and Modern Language Association conferences, the Douglas Anderson Writers’ Festival, Sleeping Giant Film Festival, and JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival. When his book In Search of Eartha White, Storehouse for the People appeared in 2014, he gave the keynote address at the Pearls and Cuff Links Fundraiser Gala for the Clara White Mission. In February 2019, Gilmore was the keynote speaker at the University of Florida’s English Graduate Organization symposium.

drawing of Tim Gilmore left behind after a talk given at the Jacksonville Historical Society

Gilmore teaches Literature and Writing at Florida State College at Jacksonville, where he was awarded a 2018 Distinguished Faculty Award. The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville named Gilmore the 2018 Literary Artist of the Year. Also in 2018, Gilmore served on the Jacksonville City Council’s Civil Rights History Task Force and was presented a City of Jacksonville Melody Starr Anne Bishop Community Service Award.

Gilmore holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida.