Chattanooga, TN: The Southern Lit Alliance will host the 2015 Celebration of Southern Literature in collaboration with the Fellowship of Southern Writers from April 16-18, with some events extending into April 19, 2015. This year’s Celebration of Southern Literature features a diverse array of events from workshops and discussions, readings and book signings, to exciting new social occasions.
Tickets cost $50 for the full 3-day conference at the Tivoli Theater venue, reduced from the former price of $100. At an even greater discount, full-time students may purchase a 3-day pass for $25. Participants may customize their Celebration of Southern Literature experience by adding on workshops and social events for additional costs. For tickets, reservations, and to view a full schedule please visit: www.SouthernLitAlliance.org/Celebration-of-Southern-LiteratureWorkshops of note on Thursday, April 16 include “So You Want to Write a Play or a Musical?” with Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright Marsha Norman. Poets Andrew Hudgins and Maurice Manning, and fiction writers Jill McCorkle and Roy Blount, Jr. will conduct a workshop on “Writing Humorous Prose & Poetry” on Thursday morning. Under So Lit’s new South Bound program series, the weekend will close on Sunday, April 19th with a printmaking workshop entitled “WHY BOOKS?” with renowned print and bookmaker Steve Miller and The Open Press, Chattanooga’s letterpress and printmaking cooperative. Reservations are required for all workshops.
Attendees may also look forward to thought-provoking panels such as “Books to Film: Their Role in the Southern Experience,” on Friday, April 17, featuring National Book Award winner, Charles Frazier, acclaimed novelist, Ron Rash, and Guggenheim Fellow, Allan Gurganus. Chris Dortch, director of the Chattanooga Film Festival, has been invited to moderate the panel.
Also on the schedule for Friday, April 17 is the panel discussion “Women of the Southern Wild: Enduring Female Characters in Southern Literature & Drama,” featuring Ron Rash, Atlanta native, Tayari Jones, Dos Passos Prize-winner, Jill McCorkle, and New York Times bestselling author, Lee Smith. National Book Award finalist, Jayne Ann Phillips, will moderate the panel.
Readings by new members of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and the Fellowship Award Winners are scheduled throughout the weekend festivities. New Fellows include novelists Tayari Jones, George Singleton, and Steve Yarbrough and poets Kate Daniels, Brooks Haxton, and C.D. Wright. Award-winners include poets Kevin Young, Terrance Hayes, and JesseGraves; fiction writers, Jennine Capó Crucet, Steve Yarbrough, and Megan Mayhew Bergman; nonfiction winners, James C. Cobb and Robert Benson; and playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. To close the weekend, local spoken word poet, Christian Collier will perform in collaboration with Shane Morrow of Jazzanooga on Sunday, April 19.Attendees may customize their Celebration of Southern Literature experience by attending a variety of formal and informal social events with the participating writers. On Thursday, April 16 the Southern Lit Alliance will host an Opening Reception in the Fellowship of Southern Writers Archives on the top floor of the newly constructed UTC Library. On Friday, April 17, guests may enjoy cocktails and conversation with the Fellowship of Southern Writers award winners at the Flying Squirrel Bar on Johnson Street. Saturday, April 18 features two special events: The Heritage Dinner with John T. Edge at Easy Bistro is a small and intimate gathering with special guest John T. Edge of the Southern Foodways Alliance. The evening will feature drinks, snacks, and a 4-course seasonal dinner prepared by Chef Erik Niel.
The South Bound social event of the spring is Moonshine Serenade with The Oxford American at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center from 7-9 PM. The evening will feature music by Clyde Edgerton & Friends, a discussion of “Southern Identity” with Lookout Mountain writer Jamie Quatro and The Oxford American editor Roger D. Hodge, and cocktails with our special guests from the nationally-acclaimed “Southern magazine of good writing.” The cocktail bar will be stocked with locally sourced spirits—moonshine whiskey, craft brew, and wine—from Chattanooga Whiskey and Chattanooga Brewing Company.
Please note that only those ages 21+ may purchase alcohol at these social events. All occasions, with the exception of cocktails at the Flying Squirrel Bar, require a separate ticket.
For tickets, reservations, and to view a full schedule please visit: www.SouthernLitAlliance.org/Celebration-of-Southern-Literature