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April 5, 2004   Columns Articles | Inside UGA | Symposium will celebrate the state’s contemporary…

Symposium will celebrate the state’s contemporary authors

John McLeod

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By John McLeod | April 5, 2004
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The Creative Writing Program will host a symposium modeled on the anthology After O'Connor: Stories from Contemporary Georgia, edited by Hugh Ruppersburg. The symposium will be held in the Chapel April 8.

Numerous authors included in the collection will read from their work throughout the course of the day, and Ruppersburg will moderate a panel discussion on multiculturalism in the new literary landscape of the state.

Published to strong acclaim by the UGA Press in September 2003, After O'Connor showcases Georgia's thriving literary scene after the period defined by such major figures as Carson McCullers, Erskine Caldwell and, most notably, Flannery O'Connor. It includes 30 short stories written in the past 15 years by authors who were born in Georgia or spent a significant part of their lives and careers in the state.

"Flannery O'Connor is gone," says writer Harry Crews, a native of Georgia, "but the legend of her work is burned on the hearts of writers everywhere. The pages in After O'Connor are powerful and do honor to the fierce vision that inspired them."

The symposium is co-sponsored by the Creative Writing Program of the English department, the University of Georgia Press and the Center for Humanities and Arts. This program is supported in part by the President's Venture Fund through the gifts of the University of Georgia Partners.

The symposium will begin at 1 p.m. with an introduction by Judith Ortiz Cofer, a member of the English department at UGA and one of the writers in the anthology. In a session lasting until 2:30, readings will be given by Jim Grimsley, Melanie Sumner, Mary Hood and Philip Lee Williams. A book signing will follow their readings.

From 3 to 4:30 p.m., Ruppersburg will moderate a panel discussion on "Literature in a Multicultural Georgia: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow." UGA faculty members Hubert McAlexander, David Payne, Tim Powell and Barbara McCaskill will form the panel. Readings by Tina McElroy Ansa, Tony Grooms, and Judson Mitcham will take place in the third session, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a book signing.

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