Ga. Festival Celebrates The ‘Lost’ Southern Authors

Ralph McGill, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, shown on March 30, 1959. (AP Photo)

Associated Press

Georgia State University assistant professor of English Andy Rogers wants people to remember more than Faulkner, O’Connor or Williams when they think of Southern writers. So he organized Revival: Lost Southern Voices Festival, which aims to do just that.

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On this edition of “Writer to Reader,” novelist Joshilyn Jackson looks at what’s in store for the festival.

Jackson is looking forward to several of the scheduled speakers, including Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Tretheway, who will discuss poet Claudia Emerson and writer Margaret Walker.

Also on her list is Georgia writer Terry Kay, who will talk about the works of anti-segregation journalist Ralph McGill as well as the controversial Georgian, Erskine Caldwell.

Of note to Jackson is that Anna Schachner will be speaking at the festival.

“Anna’s inclusion as a presenter is interesting to me, because she has yet to have a book-length work published. Her first novel, ‘You and I and Someone Else’ has been purchased, it’s under contract, but it isn’t going to drop until later this spring.”

Schachner will be focusing on Ellen Gilchrist’s 1981 story collection “In the Land of Dreamy Dream.” And that, Jackson believes, is what brings the festival full circle. A voice of Southern literature just getting started, discussing the 36-year-old work of another Southern writer that shaped her.

Revival: Lost Southern Voices Festival is on Friday, March 31 and Saturday, April 1 at Georgia State University’s Dunwoody Campus.