After undergradute work at the University of Montevallo, Jason spent time in newspaper journalism before pursuing an MFA in nonfiction at Ohio State. After that, he spent another couple of years as an assistant professor at Judson College, a small college in the rural Alabama of his childhood. As native and a student of Alabama's Black Belt region, and of Perry County in particular, he draws his literary material from the unique yet fundamentally American situation of this place. With a racial and economic history that runs through slavery, a relatively recent agricultural collapse, and a fitful role in the Civil Rights Movement, those of its new generation struggle to define themselves as modern Americans within and despite such complicated cultural legacies. At Judson, he directed the Oral History Project, in which students interviewed, recorded, and wrote literary journalism based on local residents and their experiences during the Civil Rights era and its aftermath.
His writing classes often deal with complicated cultural identities rooted in region, race, religion, gender, politics, and socioeconomic class, as well as the myths we so often build for ourselves about who we are as individuals, as families, as communities, as economies, as countries, and as human beings.
Now an expatriate Southern writer in Ithaca, New York, he also teaches writing at Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland. He also serves as assistant editor at Split Oak Press, an independent literary publisher based in the area.
- Composition and Rhetoric
- Creative Nonfiction
- American Literature
- Editing and publishing
- The Ohio State University, MFA, Nonfiction 2008
- University of Montevallo, BA 2003
- "The Least Objectionable Thing," personal essay, The Southeast Review 30.2, Fall 2012.
- "Bottled Spirits," lyric essay, Waccamaw, Fall 2011. Nominated for Pushcart Prize, and for Sundress Publications' Best of the Net anthology. http://www.waccamawjournal.com/pages.html?x=362
- "Another Thing I Learned From Writing Obituaries," personal essay, Cream City Review, Fall 2011
- "Help Them Free Their Words," interview with writer/editor Tom Kerr, As It Ought To Be, March 10, 2011 asitoughttobe.com/2011/03/10/help-them-free-their-words-2/
- "Drowning Catfish," personal essay, River Teeth, Spring 2011
- "When a Blind Child Came to Sit on My Foot," personal essay, Scrimshaw, Spring 2009
- "Kudzu Got Angry, lyric essay, Sweet, Jan. 2009. Nominated for Puschart Prize. Nominated for Dzanc Books' Best of the Web. www.sweetlit.com/1.2/proseTucker.php
- "It's More Than Raining," writing pedagogy essay, AWP Online, March 2007
Honors and Awards
- "Another Thing I Learned from Writing Obituaries," personal essay, OSU's 2007 nomination to the AWP Intro Award
- Trib Publications Best News Feature Award, July 2004
- Honorable Mention, President's Award for Excellence in Writing, University of Montevallo, May 2000
- "Balancing Professional and Creative Writing," panel discussion, AWP Conference, March 2012
- "Balancing Professional Writing with Your Creative Side," panel discussion, AWP Conference, Feb. 2011
- "Creative Nonfiction: The Dangerous Genre," panel discussion, GCACWT Conference, March 2010
- "Dirty Spoons Move History," reading, historical nonfiction, GCACWT Conference, April 2009
Additional Writing, Editing, and Research
- Split Oak Press--Assistant editor, Dec. 2010-present. Split Oak Press is an independent literary publisher based in Ithaca, NY. http://splitoakpress.com
- Judson College Oral History Project--Director, 2009-2010. This project included a number of undergraduate students who documented the experiences of Perry County, AL residents during the Civil Rights Movement. Students conducted research, recorded oral histories, and composed works of literary journalism based on their investigations.
- The Perry County Herald--Weekly columnist, editorial and publication consultant, occasional reporter and photographer, Aug. 2005-May 2011. The Herald was a weekly newspaper based in Perry County, AL.
- Alabama Alive!--Freelance writer and photographer, Aug. 2004-Aug. 2005. This is a lifestyle magazine featuring travel and tourism writing and profiles of local attractions and interesting people.
- Bessemer Magazine--Writer, photographer, graphic designer, Jan. 2005, Feb. 2009. This is an annual niche publication of the Bessemer Area Chamber of Commerce, based in Bessemer, AL, designed to promote and provide analyses of the area's business and industrial climate and culture.