Robert W. Hamblin is Emeritus Professor of English at Southeast Missouri State University, where he taught from 1965 until 2013. He is the founding Director of the Center for Faulkner Studies, established in 1989. He retired in 2013 but continues to work part-time as a volunteer consultant.
Hamblin first met Louis Daniel Brodsky in 1978, and over the next several years the two men worked together to produce Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection (5 vols., UP Mississippi, 1982-88) and other books, articles, exhibits, and public lectures based on the materials in the Brodsky Collection.
Hamblin directed Faulkner seminars for both the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Missouri Humanities Council. He was one of the originators of the "Teaching Faulkner" sessions at the annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference and edited Teaching Faulkner, a newsletter devoted to the teaching of Faulkner works in university, college, and high school classes. He is the author of Myself and the World: A Biography of William Faulkner (UP Mississippi, 2016). He has co-edited, with Charles A. Peek, A William Faulkner Encyclopedia (Greenwood, 1999) and A Companion to Faulkner Studies (Greenwood, 2004); with Stephen Hahn, Teaching Faulkner: Approaches and Methods (Greenwood, 2000); with Ann J. Abadie, Faulkner in the Twenty-First Century (UP Mississippi, 2003); with A. Nicholas Fargnoli and Michael Golay, Critical Companion to William Faulkner (Facts on File, 2008); with Melanie Speight, Faulkner and Twain (SE Missouri UP, 2009); and, with Christopher Rieger, Faulkner and Chopin (SE Missouri UP, 2011) and Faulkner and Warren (SE Missouri UP, forthcoming). In 1997 he delivered the keynote address at the Faulkner Centennial Celebration in New Albany, Mississippi, Faulkner's birthplace. He has presented seminars and lectures on Faulkner in England, the Netherlands, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Romania, as well as throughout the United States; and in 2005 he led the online discussion of As I Lay Dying for Oprah Winfrey's "Summer of Faulkner." A native of northeast Mississippi, Hamblin first read Faulkner's works in T. D. Young's Southern Literature class at Delta State University in 1959. Later he earned his master's and doctor's degrees at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Faulkner's hometown, completing both his thesis and dissertation on Faulkner topics under the direction of John Pilkington.
In addition to his Faulkner work, Hamblin has published six volumes of poetry: From the Ground Up; Mind the Gap: Poems by an American in London; Keeping Score: Sports Poems for Every Season; Crossroads: Poems of a Mississippi Childhood; and Dust and Light: Poems, After Pierre Teilhard de Chardin; Dogwood Winter and Other Seasons; two memoirs, Bless You, My Father and This House, This Town; a sports biography, Win or Win: A Season with Ron Shumate; a number of short stories and personal essays; and critical essays on Robert Penn Warren, Isaac Singer, Willie Morris, Pat Conroy, and W. P. Kinsella. He served as associate editor of The Cape Rock, a little magazine of poetry, from 1969 to 2012 and as poetry editor of Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature from 1984 until 2005.