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Southern Voices 2015

Southern Voices Festival 2015

A Celebration of Writing, Music and Art

An Evening With

Wally Lamb

Friday, Feb. 27 • 7 pm
The Library Theatre • $35 • Reception follow

Southern Voices warmly welcomes best-selling novelist Wally Lamb to our conference. After the presentation, we invite you to join Mr. Lamb on the Library Plaza for a book signing and reception. Books will be available for purchase.

Wally Lamb is the critically acclaimed and beloved author of She’s Come Undone, I Know This Much Is True, The Hour I First Believed and most recently, We Are Water. Mr. Lamb’s first two novels were #1 New York Times best sellers and Oprah’s Book Club selections. Lamb’s books are neither short nor simple, but he pulls readers in and doesn’t let go.

His newest book, We Are Water is a disquieting and ultimately uplifting novel about a marriage, a family and human resilience in the face of tragedy. Lamb proves himself a virtuoso storyteller, assembling a variety of voices and an ensemble of characters rich enough to evoke all of humanity.

Lamb contributes his time as a volunteer facilitator at York Correctional Institution, a women’s prison in Niantic, Connecticut. Lamb’s volunteerism culminated in the publication of two collections of writings by his students: Couldn’t Keep It to Myself and I’ll Fly Away. Writing, Lamb had found, was an unexpected and transforming way for these women to recapture their humanity and the hope that many of them had long since lost.

Wally Lamb is a Connecticut native who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in teaching from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College. Lamb was in the ninth year of his 25-year career as a high school English teacher at his alma mater, the Norwich Free Academy, when he began to write fiction in 1981.

Wally Lamb and his wife, Christine live in northeastern Connecticut.


Authors Conference

Saturday, Feb. 28 - Registration: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. - The Library Theatre & The Library Plaza- Book sales and signings will follow the afternoon session. - Lunch on your own

Karen Abbott

Karen Abbott is the nonfiction author of three books, including Sin in the Second City, American Rose and her latest, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy.  A writer for Disunion, The New York Times series about the Civil War, Abbott’s most recent work tells the true stories of four daring female Civil War spies. A native of Philadelphia, Ms. Abbott currently resides in New York City and is working on her next book, the real tale of a Gilded Age con artist.

Amy Greene

Amy Greene has been hailed as one of the freshest new voices in Appalachian fiction. Her debut novel, Bloodroot, was a national best seller, receiving a starred review from Booklist and Kirkus Reviews. Her second novel, Long Man, received similar accolades when published in 2014. Born and raised in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Greene was named as the 2010 Tennessee Writer of the Year by the Tennessee Writer’s Alliance.

James Scott

James Scott is the author of the stunning debut novel, The Kept. Heralded as an Amazon Best Book of the Month and Best Mystery, Thriller and Suspense title, The Kept is set in 1897 and recounts the story of an upstate New York midwife and her 12-year-old son as they seek revenge for the murder of their family. Called a “bright new voice in American fiction” by Ron Rash, Mr. Scott currently resides in western Massachusetts.

Jon Sealy

Jon Sealy’s debut novel, The Whiskey Baron, has been called a “simmering powerhouse of a novel” by Wiley Cash. Set in 1932 South Carolina, one man’s whiskey empire is set on the verge of collapse when another man commits murder outside his business. A native of upstate South Carolina, Mr. Sealy currently lives in Richmond, Virginia.

Thrity Umrigar

Thrity Umrigar is the best-selling author of the novels Bombay Time, The Space Between Us, If Today Be Sweet and The Weight of Heaven. The Space Between Us was a finalist for the PEN/Beyond Margins award. Born in Bombay, India, Umrigar came to the U.S. when she was 21. She worked for many years as an award-winning reporter, columnist and magazine writer before the publication of her first novel. She currently teaches at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Meg Wolitzer

Meg Wolitzer’s novels include The Interestings, The Uncoupling, The Ten-Year Nap, The Position and The Wife. Wolitzer’s short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and has won The Pushcart Prize. Additionally, two films have been based on her work: This Is My Life, scripted and directed by Nora Ephron and the 2006 TV movie Surrender, Dorothy, starring Diane Keaton. A resident of New York City, Ms. Wolitzer currently works as an instructor in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.

Chelsea Cain

Chelsea Cain is the best-selling author of the popular Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell thrillers Heartsick, Sweetheart, and Evil at Heart, among others. Described as “steamy and perverse” by The New York Times, Cain’s novels are included in NPR’s list of the top 100 thrillers ever written. Cain’s newest title, One Kick, features a new character in the spotlight: Kick Lannigan. A native of Iowa City, Iowa, Cain spent her early years in a hippie commune. Today, she lives in Portland, Oregon.

Concert Event

Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors

Since releasing their first album in 2005, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors have established themselves as a formidable indie act. Their hit, “Live Forever,” was used in TNT’s Emmy Award winning 2011 Christmas Day “NBA Forever” spot, which paired the song with a mesmerizing montage of past and present NBA video footage. In January 2013, the song, “What Would I Do Without You,” gained wide acclaim when it was featured on How I Met Your Mother in the episode, “Ring Up!” They have recently released their sixth album, and were a notable act at the prestigious music and arts festival, Bonnaroo, in 2013.

Tickets $25

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8pm
Thursday, Februday 26, 2015 at 8pm

The Art of

Melanie Morris

TUESDAY, FEB. 24 from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Friends Gallery - Theatre Level • Free and open to the public Artwork on display through March

“I have no choice but to paint – it is like breathing for me,” Melanie Morris says. Melanie has painted in oil and watercolor, but prefers the versatility of acrylic. “After a trip to Big Sur, California, I became frustrated when I couldn’t capture the feel of the area with a brush. It was then that I switched to a palette knife and never looked back. I love the interesting textures and looseness that I achieve with a knife.”

Melanie applies layers of exquisite color with a palette knife to create her dreamlike paintings. Her colorful landscapes have been said to “evoke a range of emotion from the viewer, from quiet contemplation to bubbling-over joy.” She was recently named an Emerging Artist by Art Galleries & Artists of the South magazine.

Melanie’s contemporary landscapes and florals are in several corporate collections including Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, The Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau, Energen Corporation, Peace College and Southern States Bank.

Melanie lives in Birmingham, Alabama. Her work has been featured in Cottage Journal magazine and Birmingham Home & Garden magazine. Melanie shows her work at Bennett Galleries in Nashville, Tennessee, at her studio in Homewood, Alabama and online at or