Michael Gills grew up in Lonoke County, Arkansas. He has earned degrees from the University of Arkansas, University of North Carolina, and the University of Utah. His fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, Boulevard, New York Stories, Greensboro Review, Salt Hill Journal, Quarterly West, Lynx Eye, Parting Gifts, and New Stories From the South: The Years' Best, 1998. He has been Assistant Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Arkansas Tech University. Dance All Night, his first book, of which "Oratory" is part, won the 1999 Utah Book Prize for Short Fiction. Currently, he lives with his wife and daughter on a mountainside near Salt Lake City, where he teaches at the University of Utah. His second book, Why I'm Here—a novel— takes place in Arkansas.