January Open Mic Night, Featuring James Davis May, Author of Unusually Grand Ideas
Our monthly virtual Open Mic Night is presented in partnership between the Pat Conroy Literary Center and the South Carolina Writers Association. Our featured writer for January is James Davis May, author of the forthcoming poetry collection Unusually Grand Ideas.
About Our Featured Writer
James Davis May is the author of Unusually Grand Ideas, forthcoming from Louisiana State University Press in February 2023. His previous collection. Unquiet Things, was published by Louisiana State University Press in 2016 and named runner-up for the Georgia Author of the Year Award in poetry. His poems have appeared in Five Points, Guernica, The Missouri Review, New England Review, The New Republic, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. He has received scholarships and fellowships from The Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Inprint, and the Krakow Poetry Seminar. In 2016, his poem “Ed Smith” won the Poetry Society of America’s Cecil Hemley Award. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Mercer University, where he directs the creative writing program, and a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in Poetry. https://jamesdavismay.com
Interested in reading as part of Open Mic? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
An Evening of Poetry with Libby Bernardin and Jane Zenger
An Evening with Karen Spears Zacharias, Author of The Murder Gene
NeverMore Books, in partnership with the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center, will host an evening with award-winning writer and Gold-Star Daughter Karen Spears Zacharias, author of The Murder Gene at NeverMore Books (910 Port Republic Street) with books available for sale and signing.
About The Murder Gene:
"Written with compassion and insight, The Murder Gene comes off as a cross between Forensic Files and In Cold Blood. I love this book."—George Singleton, author of You Want More
"In a world of dime-a-dozen crime stories, Zacharias unearths one like no other I've read. This exhaustively researched book is deep in its linking of two murders to nature as well as nurture, wide in its piecing together thousands of pieces to create a single puzzle, and chilling in its reminder that evil, unfortunately, abides. The result is a book that will make you reconsider the insidiousness of murder in an all-new way."—Bob Welch, author of Boy in the Mirror
"A skillfully written, well-informed account of startling real-life crimes by family members."—Kirkus Review
As the soft-spoken, highly intelligent son of missionaries in Morganton, North Carolina, Luke Chang gave no indication of the killer he would become. But after hacking into a teacher’s computer at his
school, a stint in the Marines was his only option. As a young recruit, Luke was taunted for being a virgin who didn’t cuss, drink, or smoke pot. That all changed when Luke met Casey Byrams, a fun-loving musician and fellow Marine from Cullman, Alabama. Their friendship set off a series of events that would eventually lead Luke to Pendleton, Oregon, where he brutally murdered nineteen-year-old Amyjane Brandhagen in August 2012. When Luke attempted to kill another woman almost a year later, Pendleton Police knew they had a serial-killer wannabe on their hands.
Some forty years prior to Amyjane’s murder, Luke’s maternal grandfather, Gene Dale Lincoln, murdered a young Michigan woman and attempted to abduct a twelve-year-old girl. The similarities between the violent actions of grandfather and grandson compels the question: Is there such a
thing as a murder gene?
About Karen Spears Zacharias:
Karen Spears Zacharias is an award-winning author of numerous books,
both fiction and nonfiction. A former crime beat reporter, she has taught
journalism at Central Washington University, and her work has been featured on NPR, CNN, and Good Morning America. Her op-eds have appeared in the Washington Post and the New York Times. A Gold-Star daughter, Karen and her husband Tim make their home in Deschutes County, Oregon. www.karenzach.com
An Evening with Jamie Ford, author of The Many Daughters of Afong Moy
In partnership with Buxton Books of Charleston, the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center will host a virtual visit with bestselling novelist Jamie Ford, author The Many Daughters of Afong Moy, a newly named selection of the Today Show's Read with Jenna Book Club. This special event will be presented on Zoom and live-streamed on the Conroy Center's Facebook page. Signed (bookplated) copies of The Many Daughters of Afong Moy will be available through Buxton Books.
About The Many Daughters of Afong Moy
"Fans of The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet rejoice: Jamie Ford has done it again. The Many Daughters of Afong Moy is a searing and vibrant epic of generational love, trauma, and healing. In his trademark poignant prose, Ford breathes Afong Moy and her descendants to life with dimension and power. This is a book that will stay with readers and reshape how they engage with their own lives and legacies. To read it is to be transformed--and to transcend."—Qian Julie Wang, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Country
"Lyrical and profound, poignant and original, this sweeping saga explores the love that binds one family across generations. For Jamie Ford fans both old and new, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy is an unmitigated pleasure."—Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train and The Exiles
New York Times bestselling author Jamie Ford is back with an impressive multigenerational, multicultural, and utterly unique story. Spanning three continents and more than 250 years, Jamie brings us back and forth across the ocean from China to Baltimore, from San Francisco to England, and finally a future Seattle, illuminating key moments of forgotten history, seen through an Asian American lens. In the vein of such beloved authors as Lisa See, Matt Haig and Min Jin Lee, The Many Daughters of Afong Moy tells the story of seven generations of women who find themselves affected by the trauma and love woven throughout their family’s DNA. An epigenetic love story built around the fictional descendants of a very real person, Afong Moy, the first Chinese woman to set foot in America in 1832, the premise of The Many Daughters of Afong Moy is captivatingly historical with a speculative spin.
About Jamie Ford
Jamie Ford is the great-grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated from Hoiping, China to San Francisco in 1865, where he adopted the western name Ford. His debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. His work has been translated into thirty-five languages. Having grown up in Seattle, he now lives in Montana with his wife and a one-eyed pug. https://jamieford.com/
Learn more about the Pat Conroy Literary Center: www.patconroyliterarycenter.org
Learn more about Buxton Books: www.buxtonbooks.com
October Open Mic Night, featuring Angelo Geter
Our monthly virtual Open Mic Night is presented on Zoom in partnership between the Pat Conroy Literary Center and the South Carolina Writers Association. Our featured writer for October is Angelo Geter, Poet Laureate of Rock Hill (SC) and author of More God Than Dead. Join us live on the Conroy Center's Facebook page for readings by a pantheon of participating writers from in and beyond our South Carolina lowcountry.
About Our Featured Writer
Angelo Geter is an award-winning poet, educator, author and performance artist based in Rock Hill, SC. He currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Rock Hill, SC, and is a 2020 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow. Geter is a 2018 National Poetry Slam champion, Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam finalist, Southern Fried Regional Poetry Slam finalist and the Founder/Director of One Word Poetry Festival. His work has appeared on All Def Poetry, Charleston Currents, Gratefulness.com, and the Academy of American Poets “Poem a Day” series. His debut collection More God Than Dead was released in June 2022.
November Open Mic Night, featuring Monic Lee Weatherly
Our monthly virtual Open Mic Night is presented on Zoom in partnership between the Pat Conroy Literary Center and the South Carolina Writers Association. Our featured writer for November is Monica Lee Weatherly, winner of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Poetry. Join us live on the Conroy Center's Facebook page for readings by a pantheon of participating writers from in and beyond our South Carolina lowcountry.
About Our Featured Writer
Monica Lee Weatherly is a poet, writer, and Professor of English at Georgia State University’s, Perimeter College. She is the 2021 winner of the Willie Morris Prize for Southern Poetry. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Tulane Review, Plainsongs Magazine, Nzuri Journal, and Auburn Avenue, a biannual publication showcasing the intellectual and creative voices of people of color. She is a member of the Georgia Writers Association and is listed in the Georgia Writers Registry. Weatherly’s writing often focuses on the culture and experiences of women of color in the American South.
An Evening with Carla Damron, Author of The Orchid Tattoo
Our nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center will host an evening with award-winning novelist Carla Damron, author of The Orchid Tattoo, in conversation with Conroy Center executive director Jonathan Haupt on Tuesday, November 29 at the Conroy Center (601 Bladen St.).
ABOUT THE ORCHID TATTOO
"The pages of Carla Damron’s The Orchid Tattoo whiz by so fast, so easily, I have to say it is one of the best nail-biters I’ve read in a while. Not only that, this well-crafted thriller features a smart, likeable hospital social worker—Georgia Thayer—as protagonist. She is pitted against a human trafficking ring. In short, The Orchid Tattoo is a great read with a social message."--Southern Literary Review
Crime fiction that makes a difference: in The Orchid Tattoo, award-winning author Carla Damron delves into the disturbing world of human trafficking. Social worker Georgia Thayer can balance her own mental illness with the demands of an impossible job. Mostly. But when her sister vanishes in the dead of night, her desperate quest to find Peyton takes her into the tentacles of a human trafficking network-where she encounters a young victim called "Kitten."
Kitten is determined to escape. She won't be trapped like the others. She won't sell her soul like Lillian, victim-turned-madam, feeding the dark appetites of international business moguls and government leaders. But the Estate won't let her out of its lethal grip, and her attempts at freedom threaten her very life.
Aided by Kitten and, at times, by the voices in her head, Georgia maneuvers to bring down the kingpin of Estate and expose its dark secrets, but her efforts place her-and the few people she allows to get close-in grave danger.
Carla Damron is a social worker, advocate, and author whose last novel, The Stone Necklace (about grief and addiction), won the 2017 Women's Fiction Writers Association Star Award for Best Novel and was selected as the One Community Read for Columbia, South Carolina. Damron is also the author of the Caleb Knowles mystery novels and has published numerous short stories, essays, and op-eds. Damron holds an MSW and an MFA. Her careers as a social worker and writer are intricately intertwined; all of her novels explore social issues like addiction, homelessness, mental illness, and human trafficking. Damron volunteers with the League of Women Voters, Sisters in Crime, Palmetto Chapter (president), and Mutual Aid Midlands. She lives with her husband, Jim Hussey, and their large family of spoiled rescue animals.
December Open Mic Night, Featuring Juan Eugenio Ramirez
Our monthly virtual Open Mic Night is presented on Zoom in partnership between the Pat Conroy Literary Center and the South Carolina Writers Association. Our featured writer for December is Juan Eugenio Ramirez, author of The Man with Wolves for Hands, winner of the Nilsen Prize for First Novel. Join us live on the Conroy Center's Facebook page for readings by a pantheon of participating writers from in and beyond our South Carolina lowcountry.
About Our Featured Writer
Juan Eugenio Ramirez is the author of The Man with Wolves for Hands, winner of the Nilsen Prize for First Novel and published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in September 2022. Though born in Washington state, Ramirez spent most of his formative years in Florida. Having taught both middle school and high school these past fifteen years, he holds an MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA from Florida State University. His work has appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Armchair/Shotgun, and Madcap Review. He currently teaches high school English at St. Francis School, an independent, progressive education school in Louisville, Kentucky.
7th Annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival, Oct 28-30, 2022
Make plans to join us for the 7th annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival on October 28-30. Learn more and register at www.patconroyliteraryfestival.org.
Gamechanger: The Life and Writing of Julia Mood Peterkin, presented by Ann-Chadwell Humphries
Ann-Chadwell Humphries on the life and writing of Julia Mood Peterkin -- hosted by the Beaufort County Library System and sponsored by South Carolina Humanities
Honoring the literary legacy of South Carolina's only Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Gamechanger: The Life and Writing of Julia Mood Peterkin is a free public program presented by poet Ann-Chadwell Humphries on behalf of the South Carolina Humanities Speakers Bureau--presented at the Beaufort branch of the Beaufort County Library in partnership with the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center, on September 22.
Julia Peterkin (October 31, 1880 – August 10, 1961) was a white woman who wrote about Gullah people living on her family’s plantation out of a desire to honor and preserve their culture. She was shunned by white Southerners for “betraying her race” but became accepted by Harlem Renaissance writers, such as Langston Hughes and W.E.B. DuBois. Regardless of criticism, she continued writing, and became one of the earliest women to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1929; to this day she is still South Carolina’s only Pulitzer Prize Winner. This presentation aims to shed a light on Peterkin, a powerful, educated woman who started chasing her dreams of writing at age 40; the audience will learn about what inspired her, what made her so highly debated, and what happens to a woman’s legacy when she is just as rebellious and fiery as the bright red hair growing from her head.
The program is hosted by the Pat Conroy Literary Center and sponsored by South Carolina Humanities, a not-for-profit organization inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture and heritage.
About our presenter:
As a girl in rural Texas, Ann-Chadwell Humphries competed in poetry recitation. After retirement, she took community writing classes, then graduate poetry classes at UofSC, and online classes with the University of Iowa, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Hadley Institute for the Blind. Last year, Muddy Ford Press selected Ann as the second in their Laureate series to publish her first book of poetry, An Eclipse and a Butcher. Winner of poetry contests, awards, and scholarships, Ann regularly has work published everywhere from literary journals to city buses. A rogue gene, retinitis pigmentosa, gradually diminished her peripheral vision to a pinpoint, but Ann sees with more than her eyes—she sees with her whole being. Ann reads and writes using assistive technology. She has been designated a Notable Woman of South Carolina by UofSC’s Special Collections Library, who is currently in the process of archiving her poetry papers.