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The Southern Literary Trail is supported by the Georgia Humanities Council.


Click on a town below for Trailfest event information in that area.

Milledgeville     Columbus     Savannah     Clayton     Moreland     Blairsville     Atlanta




Beginning Sunday, February 3, 2013 at Andalusia Farm

"A Literary Guide to Flannery O'Connor's Georgia" by Sarah Gordon, Marcelina Martin and Craig AmasonIn "A Literary Guide to Flannery O'Connor's Georgia" by Sarah Gordon, Marcelina Martin and Craig Amason, one of Georgia's Directors for the Southern Literary Trail, it is observed: "O'Connor's work is strongly indebted to her sense of place; the South becomes a microcosm of the macrocosm, wherein the battle between good and evil, sin and redemption, is played out."

Though indebted to the South for her literary visions, Flannery O'Connor was no conventional Southern writer. According to "Literary Guide," O' Connor's cousin Katie Semmes was so appalled after reading "Wise Blood" with its roguish cast of characters that she surrendered to her bed for a week.

Beginning a month of lectures for Trailfest 2013 at Andalusia Farm, Dr. Bruce Gentry, Editor of the Flannery O'Connor Review at Georgia College, will speak on February 3, 2013, about two other unconventional Trail writers from Georgia and how they influenced O'Connor. His lecture will be entitled "The Influence of Carson McCullers and Erskine Caldwell on Flannery O'Connor." Dr. Gentry is an Academic Advisor from Georgia for the Southern Literary Trail.

On February 10, 2013, Dr. William Mallard, Professor Emeritus of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, will address "Flannery O'Connor and Comedy." O'Connor's deep faith never interfered with her comedic sensibilities and mischievous wit. In fact, according to the O'Connor scholars within "Literary Guide," O'Connor regarded her Catholicism as liberating to her as a writer.

Flannery O' Connor said, "I feel that if I were not a Catholic, I would have no reason to write, no reason to see, no reason ever to feel horrified or even to enjoy anything." On February 17 at Andalusia, Patrick Samway, S.J., Professor Emeritus of English at St. Joseph's University, delivers a talk entitled "Granted that Flannery O'Connor was a Roman Catholic, Does that Automatically Mean that Her Fiction Should be So Considered?"

Andalusia Farm Lecture Series Speakers: Dr. Bruce Gentry, Dr. William Mallard, Father Patrick Samway & Dr. Tony MartinThe initiatives today at Flannery O'Connor's Farm include environmental studies. On February 24, Dr. Tony Martin from the Environmental Studies Department at Emory University will talk about his new book "Life Traces of the Georgia Coast" including a discussion of the tracks and traces of the birds beloved by O'Connor: peafowl, chicken, ducks and geese.

Lecture Series Speakers, Dates and Times:

 February 3, 2013: Dr. Bruce Gentry
 February 10, 2013: Dr. William Mallard
 February 17, 2013: Father Patrick Samway
 February 24, 2013: Dr. Tony Martin

Place: Andalusia Farm
Time: All lectures begin at 3 p.m. on Sundays in February
Admission: Free
Info: Call Andalusia Farm at 478.454.4029

Andalusia Farm in Milledgeville, Georgia, is opened on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The suggested donation for admission is $5.00 per person. Call 478.454.4029 for visitor's information.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Father Patrick Samway, Professor Emeritus of English at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, has recently finished a book about Flannery O'Connor and her editor Robert Giroux of Farrar, Straus & Giroux that will reveal insights about the writer who chose the simple life on a farm in Milledgeville. His address at Georgia College will be a keynote event in Milledgeville for Trailfest 2013. Among many books and publications, Father Samway wrote "Walker Percy: A Life" (1997) selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the notable books of 1997.

Place: The Pat Peterson Museum Education Room at Georgia College
Time: 7 p.m.
Admission: Free
Info: Call Andalusia Farm at 478.454.4029

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Carson McCullers (watercolor by Sharon Watts)THE CARSON MCCULLERS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

A pioneer member of the Southern Literary Trail, the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians will recognize its tenth anniversary in 2013. On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, the Center opens its doors at the Smith McCullers House, 1519 Stark Avenue, where the writer grew up to celebrate the 96th birthday of the famed novelist ("The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" and "Reflections in a Golden Eye"). The Center maintains an ever-growing archive of materials related to the life and work of McCullers, the subject of new exhibits to be presented during a birthday cake reception on February 19.

Place: The Carson McCullers Center, 1519 Stark Avenue
Time: 5 p.m.
Admission: Free
Info: Call the Center at 706.565.4021

Friday, February 22, 2013
Smith-McCullers House, childhood home of Carson McCullersREADINGS FROM "THE WEDDING OF ANNA F." BY MYLENE DRESSLER

During its ten years, the Carson McCullers Center has offered numerous fellowships for writers and composers who lived in the Smith-McCullers home for a period of time. One of those writers, Mylene Dressler, will return to the Center to read from the novella she worked on during her time in the house: "The Wedding of Anna F." Born in The Hague, Netherlands, Dressler is the current Visiting Writer at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Her books include "The Deadwood Beetle" and "The Medusa Tree."

Place: The Carson McCullers Center, 1519 Stark Avenue
Time: 7 p.m.
Admission: Free
Info: Call the Center at 706.565.4021

February through April 2013

Carson McCullers, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1959The Carson McCullers Center will present a series of Faculty/Student Readings in collaboration with Columbus State University and continue its popular Afternoons with the Poets during Trailfest 2013. Poets who will appear at the Center include Jacqueline Osherow and Nikki Giovanni. Osherow's work has been anthologized twice in "Best American Poetry." Giovanni is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech, and her poetry includes a "Poem for Lincoln's Bi-Centennial Celebration."

 Thursday, February 14, at 7:30 p.m.: Faculty/Student Series with Dr. Patrick Jackson and
Molly McVey
 Thursday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m.: Faculty/Student Series with Prof. Scott Wilkerson and
Ben Kaplan
 Friday, April 12: An Afternoon with Poet Jacqueline Osherow (Talk at 4 p.m.; Reading at
7:30 p.m.)
 Thursday, April 18, at 4 p.m.: Q&A with Nikki Giovanni, followed by a 7 p.m. lecture at the
Columbus Public Library on Macon Road (part of the "Building Common Ground" Series)

Place: The Carson McCullers Center, 1519 Stark Avenue
Admission: Free
Info: Call the McCullers Center at 706.565.4021

Thursday, March 28, through Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chattahoochee RiverfrontCarson McCullers at her typewriterAs the hometown of famed Southern novelist Carson McCullers, Columbus is a proper setting for the Southern Literary Festival being presented by Columbus State University, the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, and the Columbus Public Library. Writing workshops are offered to students, faculty members and members of the general public with instruction by renowned writers who also provide readings from their works.

The writers who will appear at the Festival include Tim O'Brien, a Purple Heart recipient whose Viet Nam novel "Going after Cacciato" won the National Book Award for Fiction, and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Natasha Trethewey. Other writers at the Festival include Kevin Wilson ("Tunneling to the Center of the Earth"), poet Dan Albergotti ("The Boatloads") and Madge McKeithen ("Blue Peninsula"). O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" has been selected as Columbus's Big Read book for 2013.

Events will take place throughout Columbus from Thursday, March 28, 2013, through Saturday, March 30. Registration and schedule information are detailed at

For further info: Call the Carson McCullers Center at 706.565.4021. View poster.

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Thursday through Sunday, February 14 -17, 2013

For three days, among the historic streets and squares of Savannah, writers and readers alike are invited to lose themselves in books. All genres of books are featured including fiction, history, poetry, biography and cookbooks. The local authors and special guests who will appear include former Vice President Al Gore, Hoda Kotb of the "Today" show, Dave Barry, rock music icon Gregg Allman and Cooking Channel host Bobby Deen ('Not My Mama's Meals"). Most events are free, though some will require a ticket. For complete details, go to

Place: Telfair Square and Trustees Theater
Time: Check website for varying time schedule
Admission: Free for most events
Info: Call 912.598.4040

O'Connor Childhood Home (left)A young Flannery O'Connor with her bookSaturday, March 23, 2013

The Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home museum celebrates the writer's birthday on Saturday, March 23, 2013, with a garden party from 3 to 5 p.m. Located at 207 East Charlton Street in Savannah, the Childhood Home invites visitors on a tour that reveals the quiet domestic life of the young Mary Flannery and her family. Guests in the garden see where a six-year old Flannery famously taught a chicken to walk backwards.

Place: The Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home, 207 East Charlton Street
Time: 3 to 5 p.m.
Info: Call the Home at 912.233.6014

Flannery O'ConnorSunday, April 7, 2013

As part of the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home Gulfstream Spring Lecture Series, Alexa K. Boehringer of the Savannah College of Art and Design will explore how Flannery O'Connor crafts Mary Grace as a violent social transgressor, a revelation-filled woman who can see, and a force for others to see the ultimate truth.

Place: The Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home, 207 E. Charlton Street
Time: 4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Info: Call the Home at 912.233.6014

St. John the Baptist Cathedral, attended by the O'Connor familySunday, April 14, 2013

Savannah State University Professor of English B.J. Love will discuss the collaborative writing process in literature, referencing his own new co-written poetry book: "Yes, I'm Sure This Was a Beautiful Place." The event continues the Gulfstream Spring Lecture Series at the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home.

Place: The Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home, 207 E. Charlton Street
Time: 4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Info: Call the Home at 912.233.6014

Sunday, April 21, 2013
Historical marker for childhood homeTHE CHELSEA HOTEL: AN ORAL HISTORY BY JAMES LOUGH

SCAD Professor of Writing James Lough will share excerpts from his forthcoming book on the Chelsea Hotel and discuss the process of interviewing former residents, followed by his creative work to compile and organize the interviews into a single narrative. The event concludes the Gulfstream Spring Lecture Series at the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home.

Place: The Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home, 207 E. Charlton Street
Time: 4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Info: Call the Home at 912.233.6014

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Lillian Smith House MuseumLillian SmithSaturday, April 20, 2013

A unique Southern voice and writer, Lillian E. Smith wrote in "The Journey": "The artist in us knows, the poet in us knows: it is the mark not of ordeal but of mastered ordeal that gives a face, a life, a great event, or a great work of art its is all there in delicate equilibrium, speaking to us." Actress Brenda Bynum will give life to the literary artistry of Clayton native Lillian E. Smith ("Strange Fruit") with her performance from the writer's work at the Rearden Theatre at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee
"Jordan is so Chilly": An Encounter with Lillian Smith as performed by Brenda Bynum (click to view printable poster)School on Saturday, April 20, 2013.

Bynum has given dramatic readings from the letters of Flannery O'Connor at Emory University, and she portrayed Violet Weston in the Atlanta premiere of the Tony winning "August: Osage County" at the Alliance Theater. Clayton is home to the Lillan E. Smith Center for Creative Arts, a place on Old Screamer Mountain where artists and scholars find the solitude in which to develop and pursue their visions.

Place: The Rearden Theatre at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School, Rabun Gap, Georgia
Time: 2 p.m.
Admission: Call 850.559.1639 or visit

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

As a special presentation for Trailfest 2013, the Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance will host a stage performance based upon the works of the town's native writers Erskine Caldwell and Lewis Grizzard on Saturday, April 20, 2013. Adapted stories by the writers will be performed by actors in the style of an old radio show. Audience members will see and hear the actors live, and they will also experience the creation of sound effects to punctuate the action.

The production is set during the 1950s, a time when Caldwell was the best selling author in the world. Lewis Grizzard was an impressionable young boy growing up in a small, rural Southern town. "Mid-Century Men" captures the spirit of both authors from their distinctly different points of view.

Place: Historic Moreland Mill at 7 Main Street
Time: 7 p.m.
Admission: Free
Info: Call 770.897.1890 or visit

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Blairsville and the Byron Herbert Reece Farm:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center: Poetry IslandByron Herbert ReeceThe newest Georgia member of the Southern Literary Trail - the Byron Herbert Reece Farm - marks its first Trailfest with a special event on Saturday, May 18, 2013, that celebrates the poet and novelist with a variety of arts. Artists of all kinds - literary, musical, theatrical, visual and culinary - will be invited to share their works with the public and one another in the pavilion area of the Reece Farm and Heritage Center. The presentations will honor Reece's immersion in the cultural and literary ethos of the Southern Appalachian region. The highlights of the afternoon will include poetry readings, musical and dramatic readings, visual art and culinary features.

Place: The Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center near Blairsville, Georgia, at 8552 Gainesville Highway
Time: 1 to 4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Info: Email

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Every Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Wren's NestAmong its many missions, The Wren's Nest preserves the legacy of Joel Chandler Harris and the heritage of African-American folklore through storytelling. On every Saturday at 1 p.m. during Trailfest 2013, the Wren's Nest Ramblers will enchant audiences at Harris's home with the yarns they spin for children of all ages. The Ramblers cast includes Akhar Imhotep, Curtis Richardson, Josie Bailey, and Mama Koku.

Place: The Wren's Nest at 1050 Ralph Abernathy Blvd. SW, Atlanta
Time: 1 p.m.
Admission: For Group Tours with storytelling prices are $6 for children; $8 for seniors and students; $9 for adults
Info: Call The Wren's Nest at 404.753.7735 or visit its website at

Monday through Saturday

Margaret Mitchell House at nightMargaret Mitchell wrote the definitive Civil War epic "Gone With The Wind" in a Tudor Revival house, built in 1899, at 990 Peachtree Street. Mitchell's apartment with her husband John Marsh is the only interior space of the house that has been preserved as an apartment and maintains its original architectural features including the famous leaded glass window which Mitchell looked out as she wrote the beloved book. Tours are available daily during Trailfest and year-round.

Place: The Margaret Mitchell House at 990 Peachtree Street NE
Time: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from Noon to 5:30 p.m.
Info: For ticket information, visit or call 404.249.7015

February 6, 2013, and April 30, 2013
Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 for her bestseller GWTWBOOK LECTURES AT THE LITERARY CENTER OF THE MARGARET MITCHELL HOUSE

Book lectures at the Literary Center of the Margaret Mitchell House during the months of Trailfest 2013 feature the biography of Anne Spencer Morrow, an ambassador's daughter and the wife of Charles Lindberg, plus the bittersweet story of residents in a North Carolina retirement home. On February 6, Melanie Benjamin appears at the Center to discuss "The Aviator's Wife" about Morrow. Novelist Jill McCorkle follows on April 30, 2013, to speak of her fictional exploration into life at a retirement center: "Life After Life."

Place: The Literary Center at Margaret Mitchell House, 990 Peachtree Street NE
Time: "The Aviator" and Melanie Benjamin on February 6, 2013 at 7 p.m.; "Life After Life" and Jill McCorkle on April 30, 2013, at 7 p.m.
Admission: Tickets are available on the Margaret Mitchell House website at Click to the Literary Center section for purchases.
Info: Call 404.249.7015

February through April 2013

Atlanta History CenterThroughout the year, the Atlanta History Center brings history to life with living history programs and lectures by award-winning authors. During Trailfest in 2011, the Center featured the Southern Literary Trail's photographic exhibit "Eudora Welty: Exposures and Reflections." Its lectures by authors during the Trailfest 2013 season feature writers Bobby Deen ("From Mama's Table to Mine"), Ryan Gainey ("The Gathered Garden"), Janice Rothschild Blumberg ("Prophet in a Time of Priests"), Tracy Thompson ("The New Mind of the South"), Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman ("Top Dog, The Science of Winning and Losing"), and Andrew Solomon ("Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity").

Times and Dates: Various, visit the Lectures section at
Reservations: Required and available via the AHC website or call 404.814.4150
Admission: $5 for members and $10 for non-members

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