An Evening with Susan Beckham Zurenda, author of The Girl from the Red Rose Motel
February Open Mic Night, Featuring Lola Campbell, Author of Writings on the Wall
March Forth Conversation with De'Shawn Charles Winslow, Author of Decent People
As part of the 7th annual March Forth, the nonprofit Pat Conroy Literary Center was honored to welcome back to Beaufort New York Times bestselling novelist De’Shawn Charles Winslow, who also participated in our Pat Conroy Literary Festival last fall, in support of his debut novel, In West Mills, which was awarded the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. His newly published second novel, Decent People, returns to West Mills with a social justice-themed murder mystery which has already been recognized on the recommended reading lists of USA Today, Good Housekeeping, the American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next, and Apple Books.
At NeverMore Books, De’Shawn was be interviewed by our Conroy Center’s executive director Jonathan Haupt. Jonathan is the coeditor of Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy. In his role as a frequent guest book reviewer for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Charleston Post and Courier, Jonathan wrote this about Decent People:
“By the fifth page in De’Shawn Charles Winslow’s stellar sophomore novel, a trio of Black siblings have been shot to death and their segregated and seemingly sleepy hamlet of West Mills, North Carolina, is hemorrhaging secrets. Serving as both a first-rate literary mystery and a highly anticipated sequel to Winslow’s debut, Decent People is a brilliantly threaded character-driven novel of fractured lives seeking a healing of the human spirit…. Decent People also further advances Winslow’s well-deserved reputation as a rising star in American literature with a novel that masterfully balances its themes of empathy and social justice with its structure as a page-turner of a small-town mystery. The narrative serves as an inviting point of entrance for new readers and a welcome return for Winslow’s dedicated following into the fully realized world of West Mills, where love—be it romantic, familial, or platonic—can still alight a path home, even in the darkest of times.”
March Forth Conversation with John Lane, Author of Coming into Animal Presence
As part of the Pat Conroy Literary Center's 7th annual March Forth at Penn Center, we were honored to host a conversation with John Lane.
John participated in our virtual March Forth in 2021. He returned to make his first in-person March Forth appearance this year in support of his two newest books: Coming into Animal Presence and Still Upright and Paddling Downstream. A poet, novelist, memoirist, and essayist, John is also emeritus professor at Wofford College, where he taught creative writing, environmental studies, and directed the Goodall Environmental Studies Center. There he helped imagine and direct the Thinking Like a River Initiative. In the past decade John has been named one of seven regional Culture Pioneers by Blue Ridge Outdoors and he has been honored with the Water Conservationist Award from the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, the Clean Water Champion by South Carolina's Upstate Forever, and inducted in 2014 into the South Carolina Academy of Authors. One of the founders of the Hub City Writers Project, John lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
John was interviewed by Margaret Evans, the award-winning publisher and columnist of Lowcountry Weekly. Margaret also served as Pat Conroy’s assistant for his novel Beach Music, and later when Conroy served as editor at large for the Story River Books fiction imprint we created together at USC Press. Margaret and John are both contributing essayists to State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love and Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy.
March Forth Conversation with Megan Miranda, Author of The Last to Vanish
As part of the Pat Conroy Literary Center's 7th annual March Forth at Penn Center, we’re honored to welcome the New York Times bestselling novelist Megan Miranda, in her first appearance for March Forth and her first-ever visit to our beloved lowcountry. The author of both adult and young adult novels, Megan has been called “the queen of the psychological thriller.” Her previous bestselling books include The Last House Guest, a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick; as well as All the Missing Girls, The Perfect Stranger, The Girl from Widow Hills, and Such a Quiet Place. Her most recent novel, The Last to Vanish, is making its paperback debut here at March Forth. In its hardcover release, The Last to Vanish was named one of the most anticipated books of last year by the New York Post, Book Riot, and CrimeReads. In a starred review, Booklist praised the novel as, “an eerie thriller… [which] can stand next to Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Stephen King’s The Shining.” In another starred review, Publishers Weekly said, “A superb thriller... Miranda is writing at the top of her game.” Her forthcoming novel The Only Survivors, in now only a month away, to be published in early April. Megan grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and now lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children.
Megan was interviewed by our Conroy Center’s executive director Jonathan Haupt. Jonathan is the former director of the University of South Carolina Press and the co-editor of Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy, the winner of 17 book awards. In 2020, Jonathan was honored with the Doug Marlette Literacy Leadership Award, a lifetime achievement award, given by the Pulpwood Queens, the largest book club in the U.S.
March Forth 2023 Poetry Reading by Marcus Amaker
As part of the Pat Conroy Literary Center's 7th annual March Forth at Penn Center, we hosted a reading by Marcus Amaker, who also participated in our Conroy Center’s very first author event, Poets Respond to Race, in February of 2017. Marcus served as the first City Poet Laureate of Charleston from 2016 to 2022. His poetry has been recognized by The Washington Post, The Kennedy Center, American Poets Magazine, The Washington National Opera, NPR, The Chicago Tribune, PBS Newshour, SC Public Radio, Charleston Magazine, the Post and Courier, and other publications. He’s also a prolific performer, the award-winning graphic designer of a national music journal, a musician, an opera librettist, the creator of a poetry festival, a teaching artist, and an advocate for youth poets.
In 2019, Marcus won a Governor’s Arts Award in South Carolina, and was named the artist-in-residence of the Gaillard Center, a world-renowned performance and education venue. His ten books include The Birth of All Things and his forthcoming collection, Hold What Makes You Whole. He is also the editor of Colors Wash Over Me, a collection of Charleston high school poetry resulting from one of his youth advocacy programs during his tenure as Poet Laureate.
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 email@example.com
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