Author Terry Kay, other free events coming as part of Writers Conference

Terry Kay will deliver the keynote address for the Writer's Conference on Saturday Sept. 29 at 9 a.m. (Source:
Terry Kay will deliver the keynote address for the Writer's Conference on Saturday Sept. 29 at 9 a.m. (Source:

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A trio of special free events will be presented September 27 through 29 as a part of the Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference.

Author Terry Kay, poets Irene Latham and M. Ayodele Heath, and a double feature of films adapted from the work of Carson McCullers will all be featured in these programs that are open to the public. All events will be held in the auditorium of the Columbus Public Library, 3000 Macon Road.

Those interested in attending the additional classes offered by the Writers Conference, including workshops by the featured presenters, should register in advance at Additional information about the conference, including a complete list of workshops, can be found there.

These special events are presented by the Chattahoochee Valley Writers Conference and the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, and are sponsored by the Muscogee County Friends of Libraries.

Author Terry Kay to speak Saturday morning

Terry Kay, Lifetime Achievement Award winner from the Georgia Writers Association, will deliver the keynote address for the Writer's Conference on Saturday Sept. 29 at 9 a.m.

Kay was recently named a 2012 Author of the Year by the Association in ceremonies conducted at Kennesaw State University on Saturday night, June 16.

Kay's The Greats of Cuttercane was selected in the Short Story category. It is the fourth time Kay has been honored by the Georgia Writers Association. Previous titles selected for recognition, all in the Novel category, were: After Eli (1982), The Valley of Light (2004) and The Book of Marie (2008).

A celebrated Georgia writer, Kay was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2006. He has also received the Townsend Award, the Lindberg Award, the Appalachian Heritage Award, and in 2009 was selected for the Governor's Award in the Humanities. Three of his novels - To Dance with the White DogThe Runaway and The Valley of Light - have been produced as Hallmark Hall of Fame movies.

Poets to present works

Poetry faculty for the Writers Conference Irene Latham and M. Ayodele Heath will give a joint presentation of their work on Friday Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.

Irene Latham is a Birmingham poet and novelist who writes heart-touching tales of unexpected adventure. Her debut historical novel Leaving Gee's Bend (Putnam/Penguin, 2010) is set in Alabama during the Great Depression and was awarded Alabama Library Association's 2011 Children's Book Award. Her latest novel Don't Feed The Boy (Roaring Brook/Macmillan, 2012) is about a boy who wants to escape his life at the zoo.

Poetry editor for Birmingham Arts Journal, Irene has also authored two award-winning poetry collections What Came Before (Negative Capability Press, 2007) andThe Color of Lost Rooms (Blue Rooster Press, 2010).

M. Ayodele Heath is author of Otherness (Brick Road Poetry Press). Creative Loafing describes this native Atlantan performance poet as "a lanky African-American man with arms that stretch and reach as his stories unfold."

Ayodele has been featured at such venues as the National Black Arts Festival, the Nuyorican Poets Café, the Turner Trumpet Awards, and Turner South's My South Speaks television campaign.

McCullers double feature kicks off conference

This year's Writers Conference kicks off with a double feature of films adapted from the works of Columbus native Carson McCullers. The screening commences at 6 p.m. on Thursday Sept. 27.

The two films are "The Member of the Wedding," released in 1952, and "The Ballad of Sad Café," released in 1991.

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