William H. Coles

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William H. Coles

William H. Coles, M.D., M.S., FACS, is an American ophthalmic trauma surgeon, and a writer of literary fiction.


Coles was born in Rochester, New York on March 2, 1937, and earned a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1958. He earned his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at Louisiana State University.

Medical career[edit]

During his medical career, Coles specialized in ocular trauma and held academic appointments at Louisiana State University and at Medical University of South Carolina, He then became Professor of Ophthalmology at Emory University (1980–86), and as Professor and Chairman at State University of New York (SUNY) (1986–1997).[1]

During his 27-year surgical career, Coles was a researcher, a regent for the American College of Surgeons, and president of the Association of University Professors in Ophthalmology.[2] He is the author of several ophthalmology textbooks.

Medical texts[edit]

  • Intraocular Injuries: Their Immediate Surgical Management (with Haik, George M. and Elizabeth M. McFetridge) Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1972. 9780812103946 [3]
  • Ophthalmology: A Diagnostic Text Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1989, ISBN 978-0-683-02056-4 [4]


Other activities[edit]

In Charleston, Dr. Coles coordinated the visual arts segment of the Spoleto Festival USA from 1977–1980; was Chairman of the Board for the Carolina Art Association from 1978–1980; served as President and Chairman of the Board for the Gibbes Art Museum for those same years; and earned the Mayor's Honor Award for historic preservation in 1980. From 1987-1995, he reviewed poetry for the American Medical Association.[1] In Buffalo, he wrote scripts and presented on-air for the WBFO radio program on jazz history.[5] In 1995, Coles was the featured poet for the Atlanta Arts Festival, and won the Banff (Canada) Professional and Amateur Award for best musical performance. H

Career as an author[edit]

Coles began writing fiction after retiring from surgery in 1997. He also created the "Story in Literary Fiction" website as an educational resource for writers of fiction, which has more than 5 million page views.[6]

Several of William H. Coles's short stories have been collected into the 2007 self-published volume Facing Grace with Gloria and Other Short Stories. [7] Nine of these stories have earned literary awards or recognition, and the collection was a finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction in 2010. Several of Coles' stories are set in places he has lived throughout the United States: New York, New England, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio and Utah. He has also lived in France, where two of his stories, "The Gift" and "The Miracle of Madame Villard," take place. "The Stonecutter's Son" dwells in the Deep South of the Civil Rights Era, while "Suchin's Escape" reflects the evils of New Orleans prior to its decimation by Hurricane Katrina.

He self-published the book Story in Literary Fiction: A Manual for Writers. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2007 ISBN 978-1-4259-8664-3 [8]

Community Service and the Arts[edit]

  • (1995–1997) Radio commentator in jazz history, editorial opinion and fund-raising session host, WBFO, an NPR affiliate, Buffalo, New York
  • (1995) Banff Professional and Amateur Award for best musical performance
  • (1987–1995) Poetry Reviewer, Journal of the American Medical Association
  • (1980) Mayor's Honor Award, Historic Preservation, Charleston, South Carolina
  • (1978–1980) Chairman of the Board, Carolina Art Association
  • (1978–1980) President and Chairman of the Board, Gibbes Art Gallery, Charleston, South Carolina
  • (1977–1980) Visual Arts Coordinator, Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston, South Carolina


  1. ^ a b "Reading with Two Bills." City Art at the Library
  2. ^ "AUPO Past Presidents."
  3. ^ "WorldCat". WorldCat. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  4. ^ "WorldCat". WorldCat. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  5. ^ "Alumni." WBFO website
  6. ^ "Story in Literary Fiction." website accessed Dec. 10, 2014
  7. ^ "Facing grace with gloria and other stories. (Book, 2010)". [WorldCat.org]. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  8. ^ "WorldCat". WorldCat. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 

External links[edit]