“Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
— Wendell Berry
If you go
What: SouthWord Literary Festival, presented by Southern Lit Alliance and UTC
When: Nov. 3-4
Where: Chattanooga Room, University Center for the 5:30 Keynote speaker, Wendell Berry
Admission: Tickets are sold out.
Free tickets for students
The Chancellor’s Office, Department of English and College of Arts and Sciences have all purchased a limited number of tickets for students.
Contact Joe Wilferth at firstname.lastname@example.org or (423) 425-4621 to snag your free ticket before they’re gone.
Kentucky native Wendell Berry will deliver the keynote address for SouthWord, a two-day literary feast celebrating the region’s writing. Southern literature writers and connoisseurs will converge on campus for the conference’s first day of events, including the keynote address.
“We’re thrilled to have such a terrific lineup of writers coming to campus on Nov. 3. Among them is Wendell Berry—farmer, poet, fiction writer, essayist, novelist, and environmental activist,” says Joe Wilferth, UC Foundation professor of English and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
“Indeed, Berry blends beautifully his writing, his advocacy, and his daily life,” Wilferth says. “He is one of the most influential, recognizable, and widely celebrated champions of environmental issues today. We are very fortunate to have him, along with so many other outstanding writers, on our campus for the SouthWord literary conference.”
SouthWord isn’t stuffy. It might appear academic in nature, but the atmosphere channels a reunion of writers and readers as they talk all things southern literature. Among the events are informal coffees, conversation and book signings at such sessions as Books for Breakfast; stories and songs by Matraca Berg, Lee Smith and Jill McCorckle at Book Signings: The Roots of Literary Music.
Other events include panel discussions on how to start a novel or short story, the crossroads of spirituality and race, and writing across gender to create powerful Southern characters.
Find more details in the schedule of events.
SouthWord Literary Festival is hosted by the Fellowship of Southern Writers and presented by Southern Lit Alliance and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The conference and its partners have roots that extend deep in Chattanooga and the campus soil, including the UTC Library, where the fourth floor is dedicated to the Fellowship of Southern Writers. The Library’s William Berger Collection of Southern Fiction features signed copies, first editions and international editions of works by members of the group. Check out the collection.
“We walked always in beauty, it seemed to me. We walked and looked about, or stood and looked. Sometimes, less often, we would sit down. We did not often speak. The place spoke for us and was a kind of speech. We spoke to each other in the things we saw.”
― Wendell Berry