JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

On the Brink Conference Features Southern Writers

Jamie M. Eubanks
JSU News Bureau

JACKSONVILLE -- January 16, 2002 -- "House Parties, Family Reunions and Dinner on the Ground"--these are all well-known southern traditions. But they are also the theme of On the Brink 2002, Jacksonville State University's Eight Annual Conference of Emerging Southern Writers.

On the Brink features great southern writers who have experienced and write about these southern traditions. These writers work in genres ranging from children's literature, personal memoir, history, travel narrative, adventure and romance novel.

Authors who will attend On the Brink and read from their work include:

  • Marlin Barton, of Montgomery, who wrote The Dry Well, a collection of short stories set in fictional Alabama communities. Barton serves as the assistant director of Writing Our Stories. This program allows juvenile offenders to tell their tales.

  • Divining Rod is Michael Knight's first novel. But the explosive beginning proves he is no amateur. He, too, is an Alabama native, but currently serves as assistant professor of English at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Knight has also been published in GQ, Esquire and The New Yorker.

  • Jeanie Thompson, a native of Decatur, Alabama, founded the Black Warrior Review while a student at the University of Alabama. She has taught at the University of New Orleans and the Center for the Creative Arts. Witness, a collection of her poems, received a Benjamin Franklin Award. At On the Brink, she will read from her latest collection of poems, White for Harvest.

  • Trouble No More--Stories by Anthony Grooms won the Lillian Smith Award from the Southern Regional Council. Grooms is an associate professor of creative writing at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. This Atlanta author sheds light on the South and civil rights in this collection of short stories. One of Grooms' characters struggles with the idea of working and raising a family in a white-run society: "God gave white folks everything. Money, cars, good hair."

  • Howard Bahr's, The Year of Jubilo, was named the New York Times' Notable Book. It tells about the year immediately following the end of the Civil War, before reconstruction has really had a chance to settle in. It tells of a time when things weren't as they seemed. Bahr, a Meridian, Mississippi native, is known for his use of the English language.

  • Self-proclaimed "Southernized Yankee," Ellen Edwards Kennedy still writes about the South. Born in Alabama, this writer traveled all across the country. She and her husband currently reside in North Carolina. Her novel, Irregardless of Murder, tells of a teacher who finds herself in an educator's worst nightmare. She discovers a dead student.

  • Shanghi, Alabama native Carroll Dale Short has worn many hats, including teacher, newspaper editor, layout design, radio DJ and corporate communications consultant. He became Redbook's first ever winner of the National Young Writer Award. He is the author of seven books and currently lives in Birmingham, where he is working on a new novel. He will read from The Shining Path.

  • Music of Falling Water by Julie Oliver is the southern tale of mystery, death and life that revolves around a water wheel. Oliver, who lives in Montgomery, wrote Goodbye to the Buttermilk Sky and Seventeen Times as High as the Moon. Two of her stage plays, Strings and Many Winters, Many Moons, have been performed by local theatres.

The conference will be February 9, 2002, on the 11th floor of the Houston Cole Library at JSU. Please pre-register by February 1, 2002. Registration fee is $40.00, $15.00 for full-time students.

You may mail a check to:

Gena Christopher
ATTN: Department of English
Jacksonville State University
700 Pelham Rd. North
Jacksonville, AL 36265-1602

For further information, contact Gena Christopher at 256-782-5856 or genac@jsu.edu


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