The Southern Lit Alliance Announces Dates For 2017 SouthWord Literary Feast

  • Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Southern Lit Alliance announces their presentation of the SouthWord Literary Feast in partnership with the the Fellowship of Southern Writers. The two-day event will take place Nov. 3-4, with Friday events at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga University Center and Saturday events taking place at both Lindsay Street Hall and the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. 

Formerly known as the Celebration of Southern Literature, SouthWord Literary Feast is hosted by the Southern Lit Alliance, a nonprofit organization located in Chattanooga that "inspires lives through the uplifting power of the literary arts," the Fellowship of Southern Writers, an honorary society that "works to recognize excellence in Southern Literature," and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

The event will consist of readings, discussions, and panels with published members of the Fellowship of Southern Writers as well as seven authors receiving Fellowship-sponsored awards at the event. 

This biennial event brings 40 members of the Fellowship of Southern Writers to Chattanooga for the two-day event.  SouthWords’ keynote address will be delivered by Wendell Berry, an American novelist, poet, environmental activist, cultural critic and farmer. A prolific author, he has written many novels, short stories, poems, and essays. In addition to being an elected member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, Mr. Berry is a recipient of The National Humanities Medal and the Jefferson Lecturer for 2012. He is also a 2013 Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Berry was named the recipient of the 2013 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, and he has also been inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.

Other authors in attendance will include poet T.J. Jarrett, author of Ain’t No Grave; short story and novel writer Jill McCorkle, whose works includes The Cheer Leader and July 7th; Lee Smith the author of New York Times bestseller The Last Girls; Charles Frazier, the author of the 1997 National Book Award for Fiction winner Cold Mountain; fiction writer and environmental activist Silas House, the author of more than 100 published short stories and poems; and bestselling novelist, poet and short story writer Ron Rash.

The Fellowship of Southern Writers will also be recognizing writers for their outstanding work in literature, poetry and drama.  These include Wayne Flynt (Woodward Franklin Award) T.R. Hummer (Donal Justice Award), T.J. Jarrett (George Garrett Award), Terry Roberts (James Still Award), Rion Amilcar Scott (Hillsdale Award), Liza Wieland (Robert Penn Warren Award), C. Dale Young (Hanes Prize for Poetry) and Jireh Holder (Bryan Family Drama).

Lynda LeVan, the director of Southern Lit Alliance states: “SouthWord is one of the most unique literary festivals in the South. We are excited to have the Fellowship of Southern Writers again visit with local high school students, lead instructional workshops, and participate in panel discussions at UTC and the various local halls. We are also excited to be planning new events and opportunities within the community that will offer attendees an even more personal, engaging experience.” 

In addition to the panel discussions and readings, the event will feature book signings, a luncheon on Friday recognizing the award winners and new inductees into the Fellowship of Southern Writers and a BBQ luncheon featuring writers John Shelton Reed and Roy Blount Jr.  In addition, authors Jill McCorkell and Lee Smith will be sharing their musical talent, along with musician and friend Matraca Berg.  They will be playing in the Lindsey St. Hall Saturday afternoon.

Tickets for the SouthWord Literary Feast are available on line at SouthernLitAlliance.org or by calling 267-1218.


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