Books All Georgians Should Read

Authors of the Month: July

About Contact

:Georgia Literary Festival:

The 2007 Festival

Nearly 3,000 people enjoyed the sun-splashed ninth annual Georgia Literary Festival in Blue Ridge September 28-30, 2007. More than two dozen authors, storytellers and performers presented programs at the festival, the first held in the North Georgia Mountains. The festival celebrated the life and work of the late Georgia poet and novelist Byron Herbert Reece (1917-1958) and featured author lectures, book signings, children’s activities, films, dramatic presentations and book vendors from the Southeast.

The 2008 Georgia Literary Festival will be held in Bainbridge in Southwest Georgia on the weekend of October 25.

Scenes from the 2007 festival:

Taking part in the festival were (L-R) Jamil Zainaldin, president of Georgia Humanities Council; Hirsch Bressler, co-chairman of the Blue Ridge planning committee; Bettie Sellers, former Poet Laureate of Georgia; Cathy Cox, president of major sponsor Young Harris College; and Keith Jones,co-chairman of the planning committee.

Festival-goers flocked around the book/information tent throughout the weekend

Members of the Blue Ridge Dulcimer Group provided music for festival-goers

Book lovers found a wide selection of books by authors speaking at the festival

Introduction

The Georgia Literary Festival is a "moveable feast" that celebrates the rich literary heritage of the state in a location each year. We are pleased to announce that the ninth annual Georgia Literary Festival will be hosted in 2007 by the town of Blue Ridge in Fannin County in the beautiful North Georgia mountains. The festival observance will Friday September 28 - Sunday September 30.

The honored writer at this year's festival will be the late Appalachian poet and novelist Byron Herbert Reece, whose 90th birthday falls in the month of the literary festival. More information on Reece, his life and his work is available from the Byron Herbert Reece Society

Among the featured Georgia authors at the 2007 festival are:

  • Bettie Sellers, former Poet Laureate of Georgia
  • Philip Lee Williams, prize-winning author of A Distant Flame and Blue Crystal
  • Amy Blackmarr, award-winning author of Going to Ground and Above the Fall Line
  • Joe Dabney, author of Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread and Scuppernong Wine
  • Dr. Helen Lewis, Appalachian scholar, author and activist
  • Dana Wildsmith, prize-winning poet and author of One Good Hand
  • Doris Davenport, poet, author of Madness Like Morning Glories
  • Dr. Jonathan Sarris, historian, author of A Separate Civil War: Communities in Conflict in the Mountain South
  • Paula Nelson, Native American musician and author
  • Ethelene Jones, poet, newspaper columnist and author of Facets of Fannin: A History of Fannin County
  • Cathy Cox, former Georgia Secretary of State, now President of Young Harris College.
  • Ludlow Porch, popular radio commentator and author of Can I Just Do It Till I Need Glasses? and The Fat Guy's Cookbook.

The Presenting Sponsor for the 2007 festival is Young Harris College. Funding support also is provided by the Georgia Humanities Council. through the Georgia Center for the Book. And, the Mountain Regional Library is also a sponsor of this event.

Blue Ridge is 90 minutes north of Atlanta via I-75, I-575 and Hwys. 5, 515 and 76. The complete program for the 2007 festival follows. All events are free unless otherwise noted. Most venues are within easy walking distance.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28

5:30 p.m. - The Grace Harrison Allen Welcome Event (invitation only)

7:30 p.m. – Poetry and Storytelling (Jury Room, Fannin Courthouse)

Readings by Bettie Sellers, Keith Jones, Dana Wildsmith, Robert Kimsey, Ethelene Jones; Appalachian storytelling by Fred Craddock; Traditional music by David Brose Band

7:30 p.m. – "Mark Twain" Blue Ridge Community Theater ($15 per ticket)

Actor Kurt Sutton presents one-man show sharing the wit and wisdom of Samuel L. Clemens. (Call 706-632-9223 for tickets)

7:30 p.m. – Blue Ridge Mountain Art Association Exhibit (Historic Courthouse)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 (listed by venue)

All Day – Book Sale (Courthouse lobby)

10 a.m. – Keynote Address, Cathy Cox (Blue Ridge Mtn. Art Assoc. Main Gallery

Lecture on "Byron Herbert Reece's Intellectual Home: Young Harris College"

11 a.m. – Philip Lee Williams (Blue Ridge Mtn. Art Assoc Main Gallery)

Lecture on "Remembering A Man I Never Met"

1 p.m. – Bettie Sellers (Blue Ridge Mtn. Art Assoc. Main Gallery)

Lecture on "A Meeting of Two Remarkable Men: Byron Herbert Reece and Rev. Jack Waldrip"

2 p.m. – Dana Wildsmith (Blue Ridge Mtn. Art Assoc. Main Gallery)

A Reading from One Good Hand to Another

3 p.m. – Reece in Song and Verse (Blue Ridge Mtn. Art Assoc. Main Gallery)

3:45 p.m. – James Lorence & George Brosi (Blue Ridge Mtn. Art Assoc. Main Gallery

Discussion of friendship between Reece and Don West

11 a.m. – Amy Blackmarr (Fannin County Courthouse, 3rd floor)

Lecture on "Nature as Mirror and Mentor"

1 p.m. – Dr. Jonathan Sarris (Fannin County Courthouse, 3rd floor)

Lecture on the Civil War in the mountains

2 p.m. – Ethelene Jones & Dale Dyer (Fannin County Courthouse, 3rd floor)

Collecting, Writing and Publishing Local History

3 p.m. – Dana Wildsmith (Fannin County Courthouse, 3rd floor)

For Teens Only – Text Messaging as Poetry

9 a.m. – Helen Lewis (Blue Ridge Methodist Church Sanctuary)

Lecture on "North Georgia: Is It Southern, Appalachian or Hilbilly Chic?"

11 a.m. – Doris Davenport (Blue Ridge Methodist Church Sanctuary)

Lecture on "Affrilachian and Appalachian Desire for Poetry"

1 p.m. – Paula Nelson (Blue Ridge Methodist Church Sanctuary)

"Chant: Cherokee Hopes and New Traditions"

11 a.m. – Carol Crawford (Blue Ridge Methodist Church Fellowship Hall)

Reading from essay on mountain values aired on National Public Radio

11:20 – 12:30 p.m. – Panel Discussion: Ten Values Common to Appalachian People (Blue Ridge Methodist Church, Fellowship Hall)

Dr. Jonathan Sarris, Keith Jones, Helen Lewis, Kathleen Thompson and others

1 p.m. – Joe Dabney (Blue Ridge Methodist Church Fellowship Hall)

Lecture on "Mountain Philosophers and their Humor"

2 p.m. – Steve Harvey (Blue Ridge Methodist Church Fellowship Hall)

"Appalachian Music: A Window into a Culture"

3 p.m. – Kathleen Thompson (Blue Ridge Methodist Church Fellowship Hall)

Lecture on "Appalachian Dialect: Bad Grammar or Fascinating Dialect?"

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. - Meet the Author (Main Tent in front of Fannin County Courthouse)

Opportunities throughout the day to meet authors and but autographed books. Schedule of writer appearances will be posted at the tent and courthouse. Sales by the Book Nook of Blairsville

All Day: Byron Reece Literary Ramble

The Byron Herbert Reece Society will be distributing a booklet giving driving directions to places of interest in Reece's life. Take this self-guided tour on Saturday or Sunday to locations near Blue Ridge.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Appalachian Craft Demonstrations (Blue Ridge Park)

10 a.m. – 5 p.m. – Book, Food Vendor Booths (Blue Ridge Park and the street in front of the Arts Association and Fannin County Courthouse)

visit these vendors to sample tasty foods and enjoy the offerings of authors and publishers from around the Southeast.

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Children's Activities in Blue Ridge Park

Marionette Show "The Most Magnificent Dragon" (at 10, 1 & 2:30)

Curious George from Georgia Public Broadcast

Shrine Clowns, storytellers, traditional musical instruments for children to play, poetry writing (entrants will be recognized and read their poetry Sunday afternoon), hand and stick puppet making, large blow-up play spaces and more.

Saturday - Sunday - The Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad

The BRSR takes visitors on a scenic mountain trip. Storytellers will be on hand when the train stops in Georgia and Tennessee to entertain travelers. The train leaves at 11 a.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Call 800-934-1898 or go to www.brscenic.com for tickets and reservations. Tickets required.

7:30 p.m. – "Mark Twain" Blue Ridge Community Theater ($15 per ticket)

Actor Kurt Sutton presents one-man show sharing the wit and wisdom of Samuel L. Clemens. (Call 706-632-9223 for tickets)

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30

All Day: Byron Reece Literary Ramble

The Byron Herbert Reece Society will be distributing a booklet giving driving directions to places of interest in Reece's life. Take this self-guided tour to locations near Blue Ridge.

Noon – 5 p.m. – Fannin County Public Library Book Sale (Courthouse lobby)

Noon – 5 p.m. – Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association Exhibit (Historic Courthouse)

Noon – 4 p.m. – Food, Book Vendors (Blue Ridge City Park)

Noon – 4 p.m. – Traditional Craft Demonstrations (Blue Ridge City Park)

1 – 4 p.m. – Meet the Author (Main tent in front of Courthouse)

1 p.m. – Children's Poetry (Fannin County Public Library)

Recognition program for children who wrote poetry Saturday followed By "Granny Storytellers" at 1:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m. – Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad (reservations required. Call 800-934-1898 or go to www.brscenic.com)

2 p.m. – Children Activities (Blue Ridge City Park)

Marionette show "The Most Magnificent Dragon: (2 and 3:30 p.m.)

Traditional musical instruments for children to play

Story Express

Large Blow-up Play Spaces

2 p.m. – "Mark Twain" Blue Ridge Community Theater ($15 per person)

Actor Kurt Sutton presents one-man show sharing the wit and wisdom of Samuel L. Clemens. (Call 706-632-9223 for tickets)

3 p.m. - Presentation Ceremony (Fannin County Public Library)

The personal library of the late Georgia author William Diehl (Sharky's Machine, Primal Fear) will be formally presented to the Fannin County Public Library by widow, Virginia Gunn.