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David Bottoms

Georgia Poet Laureate David Bottoms entertained crowds during his lecture at the Georgia Literary Festival in Macon.

Curious George and friends

Curious George was part of the activities for families at the Georgia literary Festival in Macon.

The 2006 Festival

Georgia Poet Laureate David Bottoms entertained crowds during his lecture at the Georgia Literary Festival in Macon.

The eighth annual Georgia Literary Festival, sponsored by the Georgia Center for the Book, was held under sunny skies but chilly temperatures on Saturday, November 4 along High Street in the host city, Macon. An estimated 4,000 people attended activities at the festival, the largest turnout in the event's history.

Two deceased Macon natives were honored at the festival – John Oliver Killens and Sidney Clopton Lanier. Lanier was a poet, novelist, composer and critic whose works "reflect a love of the land and concern over declining values and commercial culture" in his native state and region. His best known work is probably the visionary work of poetry, "The Marshes of Glynn." Killens grew up in Macon and became the founding chairman of the Harlem Writers Guild and was "the spiritual father to the Black Arts movement of the 1960s." He wrote six novels for adults and several other works including essays and biographies.

Dr. Keith Gilyard of Pennsylvania State University delivered a lecture examining Killens' life and work, and Dr. Katey Brown of historic Macon Foundation spoke to the crowds about Lanier's accomplishments.

Among the other 50 writers with ties to Middle Georgia who were featured at the festival were Judson Mitcham, Tina McElroy Ansa, David Bottoms, Gwyn Rubio, Jackie K. Cooper, Michele Ronnick, Bobby Dews and John Jung. Their talks and appearances on panels throughout the day were warmly received by hundreds of listeners.

Dozens of vendors participated in the event, and there were special activities throughout the day for children and family groups. Dr. Katey Brown served as local coordinator for the festival, with key roles in the planning filled by Historic Macon Foundation (Vickie Hertwig, member, board of trustees), Middle Georgia Regional Library (Joan Anderson, director) and a number of local business sponsors and supporters.

See Friday Evening Events  Saturday Programs and Events (PDF)