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Trailfest 2015: Georgia Events

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




Author Programs at the Atlanta History Center & Margaret Mitchell House through May 2015

Dates: Various until May 5, 2015
Author Program at Atlanta History Center's McElreath HallPlaces: The Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, or The Margaret Mitchell House, 990 Peachtree St. NE

Coinciding with Trailfest 2015 and continuing through May 2015, the Atlanta History Center and the Margaret Mitchell House will present a full series of Author Programs that feature book discussions by a distinguished slate of award-winning and best-selling writers of contemporary fiction and nonfiction. Authors and audiences interact and share enlightening insights into subjects that will include Frederick Douglass, the new voices of fiction, Winston Churchill, Latin American Music, a Margaret Mitchell House at nightForbidden City nightclub (in Lisa See's novel "China Dolls"), the American Revolution, the last speech of Abraham Lincoln, and the scandalous life of George Sand (in Elizabeth Berg's "The Dream Lover").

Author appearances in the series this winter and spring, alternating between the History Center and Mitchell House, also include Frye Galliard ("Journey Into the Wilderness"), Kate Alcott ("A Touch of Stardust"), and Jamie Kornegay ("Soil"). Admission for all lectures is $5 members, $10 nonmembers, and free to AHC insiders. Reservations are required for each lecture by calling 404.814.4150 or reserving tickets online at Note that times and locations vary. Link here for the winter series brochure.

Program Dates and Times during Trailfest 2015, February 15 to May 31, 2015, at the Atlanta History Center (AHC) or the Margaret Mitchell House (MMH):

  • "The Dream Lover" by Elizabeth Berg"China Dolls" by Lisa SeeWednesday, February 18, 8 p.m., AHC: Tom Chaffin, "Giant's Causeway: Frederick Douglass's Irish Odyssey and the Making of an American Visionary"
  • Tuesday, February 24, 7 p.m., MMH: Kate Alcott, "A Touch of Stardust"
  • Monday, March 16, 7 p.m., MMH: Jamie Kornegay, "Soil"
  • Thursday, March 19, 8 p.m., AHC: Frye Galliard, "Journey Into the Wilderness"
  • Sunday, March 22, 4 p.m., MMH: Lisa See, "China Dolls"
  • Thursday, April 9, 8 p.m, AHC: Louis Masur, "Lincoln's Last Speech: Wartime Reconstruction and the Crisis of Reunion"
  • Tuesday, April 14, 8 p.m., AHC: Jonathan Schneer, "Ministers at War: Winston Churchill and his War Cabinet"
  • Monday, May 4, 8 p.m., AHC: John Ferling, "Whirlwind: A History of the American Revolution"
  • Tuesday, May 5, 7 p.m., MMH: Elizabeth Berg, "The Dream Lover"

For additional information: Call 404.814.4150

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Margaret Mitchell at the typewriter on which she wrote GWTWMargaret Mitchell House Tours

Daily in Atlanta, Georgia
990 Peachtree Street NE

Margaret Mitchell wrote the definitive Civil War epic "Gone With The Wind" in a Tudor Revival house, built in 1899, on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. Her apartment with husband John Marsh is the only interior space of the house that has been preserved with its original architectural features. One of them includes the famous leaded glass window from which Mitchell gazed on Atlanta passers-by as she wrote her beloved book. Tours are available daily during Trailfest 2015 and year-round.

Place: The Margaret Mitchell House
Time: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 12 noon to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday
Info and Admissions: Call 404.249.7015 or visit

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Tours of The Wren's Nest

Daily, Tuesday through Saturday
Atlanta, Georgia

The Wren's NestOne of the South's most treasured authors, Joel Chandler Harris gained national prominence for his numerous volumes of Uncle Remus folktales. Winning new appreciation in recent decades, Harris influences society today from his long-standing legacies as a "New South" journalist, folklorist, fiction writer, and author of children's books. He is honored by the Southern Literary Trail in which his home, The Wren's Nest, was a founding partner.

Tours of The Wren's Nest are available year-round and throughout Trailfest 2015 from February through May. The enchanting house serves as a theatre for storytellers every Saturday at 1 p.m.

Place: The Wren's Nest, 1050 Ralph Abernathy Blvd. SW, Atlanta
Days and Times: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Eastern)
Admission: Prices vary depending upon walk-in or group tours, check
Info: Call 404.753.7735

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Storytelling at The Wren's Nest

Storytelling at The Wren's NestEvery Saturday during Trailfest 2015
Atlanta, Georgia

Among its many missions, The Wren's Nest preserves the legacy of Trail writer Joel Chandler Harris and the influence of African-American folklore through storytelling. On every Saturday at 1 p.m. during Trailfest 2015 (and otherwise), the Wren's Nest Ramblers will enchant audiences at Harris's home in Atlanta with the yarns they spin for children of all ages. The Ramblers cast of acclaimed storytellers has included Akhar Imhotep, Curtis Richardson, Josie Bailey, and Mama Koku.

Place: The Wren's Nest, 1050 Ralph Abernathy Blvd. SW, Atlanta
Day and Time: Every Saturday at 1 p.m.
Admission costs and Info: Call The Wren's Nest at 404.753.7735 or visit its website at

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Andalusia Farm Tours

Thursday to Sunday during Trailfest and Year-Round
Milledgeville, Georgia

Andalusia Farm hosts 2013 Georgia RambleVisitors to the home of writer Flannery O'Connor are welcomed into her main house, dining room, kitchen and sitting room. The back parlor features installations and exhibits, and the shop in the main house offers unique souvenirs for purchase along with books by and about O'Connor. Strolls are encouraged around the farm complex with its dairy workers' house, barns, water tower, old pump house, milk processing shed and outbuildings. The Farm's Lower Tobler Creek Trail is part of the Dr. Bernard Cline Outdoor Learning Center at Andalusia.

Place: Andalusia Farm, Milledgeville, Georgia
Days and Times: Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: Suggested donation of $5.00
Info: Call 478.454.4029 or visit

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The Caroline Miller House

March 2015 - Tours by Reservation
Baxley, Georgia

The Caroline Miller HouseThe author of "Lamb in His Bosom," Caroline Miller settled in Baxley with her high school English teacher, William D. Miller, whom she married. Miller wrote short stories in the couple's Baxley home to supplement the family's income. The publication of "Lamb" in 1933 catapulted Miller into sudden fame, and the attention strained her marriage. In 1936, the Millers divorced and shortly thereafter, Caroline moved to North Carolina with her second husband, Clyde H. Ray Jr. Though Miller continued to write after her move away from Baxley, she will always be associated with Georgia's "Wiregrass" region so famously depicted in "Lamb in His Bosom." Visit the writer's home in Baxley by appointment during March 2015.

Place: Baxley, Georgia
Reservations & Info: Call Baxley-Appling County Chamber of Commerce at 912.367.7731.

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Celebrating Caroline Miller, Georgia's First Pulitzer Prize Winner for Fiction

Saturday, March 28, 2015
Baxley, Georgia

Caroline MillerThe Southern Literary Trail welcomes Baxley, hometown of novelist Caroline Miller (1903-1992), to its Trailfest 2015 celebration. After the publication of her debut novel "Lamb in His Bosom" (1933), Miller became the first Georgian to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The thirty-year-old housewife and author produced one of the most critically acclaimed novels of the Southern Renaissance period. "Lamb" also earned France's Prix Femina in 1934 and became an immediate best-seller.

Described by literary critics as a work of regional historical realism, "Lamb in His Bosom" depicts the struggles of nineteenth-century Pioneers on the south Georgia frontier, an area known as the "Wiregrass" region. With characters named after Miller's own family members, "Lamb in His Bosom" combined the writer's interest in genealogy with her research of the Wiregrass and its folklore. On Saturday, March 28, Baxley will host a day of readings and character re-enactments from "Lamb" plus Caroline Miller portrayals. Petting farms of animals typical to the Wiregrass will be staged for children.

Place: Baxley, Georgia
Time: To be announced
Info & Admission: Call Baxley-Appling County Chamber of Commerce at 912.367.7731.

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A young Flannery O'Connor with her bookThe Flannery O'Connor Book Trail

Current and Continuing
Savannah to Milledgeville, Georgia

Just in time for Trailfest 2015 and continuing into the future, partners including the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home in Savannah and the writer's Andalusia Farm in Milledgeville have established The Flannery O'Connor Book Trail extending between the two Georgia towns so important in the life of the Southern Literary Trail author. Ground was broken on Saturday, December 20, 2014, for the first of many "Little Free Libraries" that will dot the pathways between the towns with a goal to increase access by all people for free books in memory of O'Connor. The "Little Free Libraries" program enables participants to build small roadside shelters that allow readers to share by "taking a book and leaving a book" for others. For more on the program, visit

Place: The Flannery O'Connor Book Trail, Savannah to Milledgeville
Info: Call the Childhood Home at 912.233.6014 or Andalusia Farm at 478.454.4029

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The Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home

Current and Continuing
Savannah, Georgia

O'Connor Childhood Home (left)The Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home in Savannah, one of the country's most atmospheric and unforgettable cities, is dedicated to the work and life of the acclaimed novelist and short story writer, now widely considered to be among the most important writers of the 20th Century. Tours are available year-round inclusive of this year's Trailfest season from February through May, 2015. One highlight will be a visit by the Jane Austen Society of Australia to the Museum on April 8, 2015, as a launch to the Society's complete tour of the Southern Literary Trail.

Place: 207 East Charlton Street, Savannah, Georgia
Days and Times: 1 to 4 p.m., Friday through Wednesday
Admission: Adults, $6.00, with discounts for students and active military
Info: Call 912.233.6014 or visit for event and admission updates

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The Flannery O'Connor Parade and Block Party

Sunday, March 29, 2015
Savannah, Georgia

A Past Parade (Photo: Bill Dawers)Since 2012, the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home (207 East Charlton Street), the Trail's partner in Savannah, has hosted an annual block party and parade near Lafayette Square where the "Wise Blood" writer played as a child. The event expands its popularity every year, and everyone participates with costumes, music and artwork including stencils of quotes from O'Connor's stories and letters. The afternoon celebration enlivens a block of Savannah overlooked by both the Home and the massive St. John's Cathedral where O'Connor and her family attended Mass. The only admission required is a willingness to participate and to have fun.

Place: The Flannery O' Connor Childhood Home and surroundings
Time: Approximately 1-4 p.m. (Eastern)
Info: Call the Childhood Home at 912.233.6014 or visit

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Flannery O'ConnorA Call for Papers, Flannery O'Connor and Other Southern Women Writers

March 31, 2015
Georgia College, Milledgeville

For the forthcoming conference, Flannery O'Connor and Other Southern Women Writers, September 17 to 19, 2015, a call for twenty-minute academic papers or creative presentations is being issued during Trailfest 2015. Proposals are due to Bruce Gentry, an Academic Advisor to the Southern Literary Trail, on or before March 31, 2015. The proposals may be submitted via email to or mailed to Bruce Gentry, English and Rhetoric, Campus Box 44, Georgia College, Milledgeville, Ga. 31061. Decisions will be announced by April 21, 2015. Those wishing to propose an academic paper must send a 300-word abstract or a completed paper, plus a bio statement up to 100 words. Academic papers may address any topic relating to O'Connor or to another southern woman writer.

Those wishing to propose a reading or other creative presentation should send a writing sample up to ten pages of poetry or prose and a bio statement up to 100 words. Creative presenters should have been born or grown up in the South; currently live in the South; or write about the South.

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Alice WalkerZora Neale HurstonZora Neale Hurston & Alice Walker: A Literary Kinship

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
The Balzar Theater at Herren's, Atlanta

Writer, biographer and educator Valerie Boyd tells the stories of Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker with an exploration into the linked legacies of these two inimitable writers. Boyd is one of the original Academic Advisors and Board Members for the Southern Literary Trail from Georgia. The Center for Collaborative and International Arts of Georgia State University stages the Southern Writers Onstage Literary Series in partnership with Theatrical Outfit of Atlanta. This presentation is part of the Series.

Place: The Balzer Theater at Herren's, 84 Luckie Street, Atlanta, Georgia
Time and Admission: 12 noon, Free and open to the public
Info: Call 404.413.5103.

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The Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center

April 2015 and Continuing
Blairsville, Georgia

Byron Herbert ReeceNestled within the scenic beauty of Georgia's Appalachian Mountains, the Byron Herbert Reece Farm preserves the home and inspiration for the work of poet and novelist Reece to welcome contemporary visitors. A member of the Southern Literary Trail, which honors Reece among its Georgia writers, the Farm presents pathways into the simple and hard-working lifestyle of the talented author. It also offers visitors poetry islands and farming exhibits along the way. The Byron Herbert Reece Farm has become a destination near Blairsville for poetry readings, musical recitals, and art exhibitions. During Trailfest 2015, it will open to visitors from April through the summer months.

Place: The Reece Farm and Heritage Center, nine miles south of Blairsville on US Hwy 129 in Union Co., Georgia
Days and Times: Re-opening in April 2015. Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: Free on Thursday and $3.00 on all other days
Info: Call 706.745.2034 or 706.379.3219

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Noah BlausteinAn Afternoon with Poet Noah Blaustein

Tuesday, April 13, 2015
The Carson McCullers Center of Columbus, Georgia

The poems of Noah Blaustein have been published in Zyzzyva, The Massachusetts Review, The Harvard Review, Barrow Street, Poetry Daily, The Fish Anthology, Orion and Pleiades, among other journals. His first book, "Flirt," was selected by the University of New Mexico's Mary Burritt Christiansen Poetry Series. The anthology edited by Blaustein, "Motion: American Sports Poems," was an editor's pick of National Public Radio and The Boston Globe as well as a Librarian's Pick of the New York Public Library. Blaustein lives in Santa Monica.

Place: The McCullers Center, 1519 Stark Avenue in Columbus, Georgia
Time: Talk at 4 p.m. with reading to follow at 7:30 p.m.
Info: Call the Center at 706.565.4021

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Eudora WeltyEudora Welty: A Life In Letters

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
The Balzar Theater at Herren's, Atlanta

Eudora Welty's humor, daring, passion and talent are revealed through a reading of selected letters. She was a prolific letter writer. The event will be created and presented by Welty scholar Pearl McHaney. McHaney served as Special Advisor to the exhibit "Eudora Welty: Exposures and Reflections," a traveling collection of Welty's photographs curated and organized by the Museum of Mobile for the Southern Literary Trail. The Center for Collaborative and International Arts of Georgia State University stages the Southern Writers Onstage Literary Series in partnership with Theatrical Outfit of Atlanta. This presentation is part of the Series.

Place: The Balzar Theater at Herren's, 84 Luckie Street, Atlanta, Georgia
Time and Admission: 12 noon, Free and open to the public
Info: Call 404.413.5103.

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An Evening of Masterful Storytelling: Erskine Caldwell, the Short Story Writer

Thursday, April 23, 2015
Moreland, Georgia

Erskine Caldwell Birthplace and MuseumErskine CaldwellFrom the porch of his birthplace in Moreland, "The Little Manse," the Moreland Cultural Alliance, Inc., will present an evening of exploration into the world of Erskine Caldwell as a master storyteller. Scholars of Caldwell showcase the Southern Literary Trail writer of "Tobacco Road" in the context of today's commentaries about his work. Actors perform porch plays of his short stories at the birthplace. Music of the period opens the evening and light refreshments will be served.

Over the course of a long career, Erskine Caldwell (1903-1987) wrote twelve books of nonfiction, twenty-five novels, and nearly 150 short stories. He depicted life among impoverished blacks and whites in his great novels and short stories of the 1930s. His groundbreaking work also includes "God's Little Acre" and the short-story collection "Kneel to the Rising Sun."

Place: "The Little Manse," Moreland, Georgia
Date and Time: Thursday, April 23, 2015, at 7 p.m. (Eastern)
Admission: Free
Info: Call Moreland Cultural Arts Alliance, Inc., at 678.492.3161

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Ace BoggessA Reading with Poet Ace Boggess

Thursday, April 30, 2015
The Carson McCullers Center of Columbus, Georgia

Ace Boggess is the author of two books of poetry: "The Prisoners" and "The Beautiful Girl Whose Wish Was Not Fulfilled." His writing has appeared in Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, Atlanta Review, RATTLE, River Styx, Southern Humanities Review and many other journals. He currently resides in Charleston, West Virginia, where he won a fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. He has written extensively about the five years he spent in a West Virginia prison.

Place: The McCullers Center, 1519 Stark Avenue in Columbus, Georgia
Time: Reading at 7:30 p.m.
Info: Call the Center at 706.565.4021

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Actress Brenda Bynum performs "Jordan Is So Chilly: An Encounter with Lillian Smith,"

Saturday, May 9, 2015
Brenda BynumDillard, Georgia

Emory University theater professor emeritus Brenda Bynum encores her one-woman show about Lillian Smith for Trailfest 2015. The show will be presented by Piedmont College and its Lillian E. Smith Center in Rabun County, Georgia, in the Dillard Playhouse on Saturday, May 9, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. (Eastern). Bynum composed "Jordan Is So Chilly" from the works of Smith including "Strange Fruit" (1944), the story of an interracial love affair, and "Killers of the Dream" (1949), a book about the destructive effects of racial segregation. Lillian E. Smith (1897-1966) was one of the first prominent Southerners to condemn segregation and Jim Crow laws publicly in the 1930s and 1940s. She is one of the original writers named to the Southern Literary Trail.

Place: The Dillard Playhouse, Dillard, Georgia
Time: 4 p.m. (Eastern)
Info & Admission: Call Piedmont College at 706.894.4204

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A Keynote Address by Grammy Nominee Ted Olson at the Byron Herbert Reece FarmA Keynote Address by Grammy Nominee Ted Olson at the Byron Herbert Reece Farm

Saturday, May 30, 2015
Blairsville, Georgia

As a feature to the annual meeting of the Byron Herbert Reece Society, the keynote address will be delivered by Ted Olson, Professor of Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. Olson has served as Director of the University's Appalachian, Scottish and Irish Studies program as well as editor of the "Journal of Appalachian Studies." A poet and a musician, Dr. Olson writes books, and he has compiled collections of traditional Appalachian music that received three Grammy Award nominations.

Place: The Byron Herbert Reece Farm, Blairsville, Georgia
Date and Time: Saturday, May 30, 2015, at 10 a.m.
Info: Call the Farm at 706.745 2034 or 706.379.3219

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Carnegie Library in Newnan, Ga.Bourbon, Literature and Southern Charm: Southern LitFest 2015

Friday and Saturday, June 5 & 6, 2015
Newnan, Georgia

One of the South's classic small towns, Newnan celebrates the literature of William Faulkner and James Dickey along with an essential inspiration for most Southern writing -- bourbon -- during two days in the early summer of 2015. LitFest guests will be encouraged to enjoy the added elements of good food, cocktails on porches and bluegrass music from fiddlers in the town's historic square. Erskine Caldwell's Birthplace Courthouse in Newnan, Ga.Museum in nearby Moreland, a Trail town, will offer special tours during the Fest.

On Friday night, June 5, "Bourbon on the Porch" honors Faulkner and Dickey in Newnan's historic district with lively book talks and local entertainment. A Saturday morning panel discussion, June 6, entitled "War, Women and Bourbon" features scholars from Lynchburg College and Georgia Southern University who recall Dickey and the dark enigma of his brand of Southern literature. A luncheon and book signing by the author of "Confederados" (Casey Clabough) will be followed by discussion of one of Southern Living's 5 Best Summer Reads "A Southern Girl" (John Warley) and William Faulkner’s Civil Wars (Dr. Jay Watson, Ole Miss) culminating with a Southern dinner and renderings of Georgia's beloved musical legacy on Saturday night.

Place: Newnan locations including the Carnegie Library
Days: Friday and Saturday, June 5 and 6, 2015
Info and Reservations: Visit or call 770.251.5723. Tickets are available on March 1, 2015, and benefit The Newnan Carnegie Library Foundation.

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