Southern Voices 2023

February 21-25

An Evening With Elin Hilderbrand

Friday, Feb. 24 at 7pm $40 per person / The Library Theatre
Reserved seating • Reception included

Elin Hilderbrand
Elin Hilderbrand Photo
Elin Hilderbrand is the author of 28 novels, including her latest The Hotel Nantucket. She is a proud 1991 graduate of Johns Hopkins University where she majored in Writing Seminars. In her senior year at Hopkins, Elin had her first short story, "Misdirection," accepted for publication in Seventeen Magazine. After a short stint working in publishing and teaching in New York City, she moved to Nantucket permanently in 1994. She attended the University of Iowa writers workshop and earned her MFA in 1998, and published her first novel, The Beach Club, in the summer of 2000. Her 2019 novel, Summer of '69 was her first novel to debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. She is the mother of three children and loves riding the Peloton, cooking, and going to the beach. She will retire with her summer of 2024 book and plans on becoming a book influencer.
The Hotel Nantucket - Book Jacket

Authors Conference

Saturday, Feb. 25 - 9:00 am - 4:00 pm / $45 per person /  The Library Theatre Book sales and signings will follow the afternoon session. - Lunch on your own - Schedule

Will Leitch
Will Leitch is a contributing editor at New York Magazine and the founder of the late sports website Deadspin. He is the author of six books, including How Lucky and the upcoming The Time Has Come, released by Harper Books in May 2023. He lives in Athens, Georgia, with his wife and two sons.
The Time Has Come - Book Jacket
Robin Peguero
Robin Peguero spent seven years storytelling to juries for a living, most recently as a homicide prosecutor in Miami. An Afro-Latino and the son of immigrants, he graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has written for the Miami Herald, the Harvard Crimson, and the Harvard Law Review, and he served as a press spokesman in the U.S. House and as a speechwriter in the U.S. Senate before becoming a lawyer. He is currently a U.S. House investigative counsel working on domestic terrorism.
With Prejudice - Book Jacket
Sarah Penner

Sarah Penner is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary which will be translated into forty languages worldwide and is set to be turned into a drama series by Fox. With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.

Sarah’s second book, The London Séance Society, is forthcoming in early 2023 and is a spellbinding gothic whodunit in two enigmatic women who set out to solve a most unusual mystery. Written with alluring suspense and sultry prose, it is an entrancing tale that explores the blurred lines between truth and illusion and reveals the grave risks women will take to avenge the ones they love.

A graduate of the University of Kansas, Sarah spent thirteen years in corporate finance and now writes full-time. She and her husband live in Florida.

The Londo Seance Society - Book Jacket
Ben Raines
Ben Raines is an environmental journalist and filmmaker. In 2018, he discovered the wreck of the Clotilda, the last ship carrying enslaved Africans to arrive in the United States. His new book, The Last Slave Ship – The True Story of How Clotilda Was Found, Her Descendants, and an Extraordinary Reckoning, published Jan. 25, 2022. Raines has won dozens of awards for his coverage of environmental issues and has coauthored several peer-reviewed papers published in scientific journals. He wrote and directed The Underwater Forest, an award-winning film about the exploration of a 70,000-year-old cypress forest found off the Alabama coast. Raines also wrote and produced the documentary America’s Amazon, which has aired on PBS stations around the country and been distributed to public schools across Alabama. His underwater film work has appeared in documentaries on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic TV. Raines also wrote the award-winning nature book, Saving America’s Amazon, and co-authored the book Heart of a Patriot with U.S. Sen. Max Cleland, which chronicled Cleland’s journey from triple amputee after a grenade accident in Vietnam to the U.S. Senate. Ben is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in filmmaking, and is a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain, giving tours of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and Alabama’s barrier islands. He lives with his wife in Fairhope, Alabama, and aboard the Suzanne, an 82 year old river boat moored on the Tensaw River.
The Last Slave Ship - Book Jacket
Vanessa Riley
Vanessa Riley is an award-winning author of historical romance, mystery, and fiction novels featuring realistic multicultural communities and powerful persons of color. To fuel her interest in the Regency and early-Victorian eras, she made time for attending renaissance fairs and consuming period novels and films while obtaining her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and a master’s in industrial engineering and engineering management from Stanford University, as well as a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Penn State University. A frequent speaker at literary, women's, and STEM events, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her military husband and teenage kid.
Murder in Westminster
Ashley Winstead
Ashley Winstead is an academic turned novelist with a PhD in contemporary American literature. She writes thrillers, romantic comedies, and upmarket fiction centering strong women. She lives in Houston with her husband, two cats, and beloved wine fridge.
The Last Housewife - Book Jacket
Alka Joshi
Born in India, Alka Joshi came to the U.S. at the age of nine. She has a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from California College of Arts. At age 62, Joshi published her debut novel, The Henna Artist, which immediately became a New York Times bestseller, a Reese Witherspoon Bookclub pick, and was Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. It’s been translated into 26 languages and is currently in development at Netflix. The sequel, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, released June 2021, is also being translated into multiple languages and will be followed by The Perfumist of Paris, the third book in the trilogy on March 28, 2023, now available for preorder.
The Perfumist of Paris - Book Jacket

Southern Voices Exhibition and Artist Reception

Sara Garden Armstrong is a visual artist whose decades-long practice embraces a wide range of scales and techniques, such as site-specific sculpture, works on paper and artist books. A recent recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation grant, Armstrong has exhibited nationally and internationally for over 40 years and her work can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, among others. The monograph SARA GARDEN ARMSTRONG: Threads and Layers published in 2020 coincides with a traveling exhibition currently touring the southeastern US that incorporates site-specific art for each location.

Artist Lecture and Reception
Tuesday, Febuary 21, 2023
5:30 – 7:30 pm

Lecture begins at 5:45 pm in The Library Theatre,
with the reception to follow.

Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served.
This event is free and open to the public

Sara's website

HPL Galleries

Airplayer Landscape Print - Artist: Sara Garden Armstrong

Sara Garden Armstrong

Works on Paper: 1970 –1990

February 4 – March 31, 2023
Miko Marks

Miko Marks

Miko Marks made her way to Music City in 2003 playing CMA Fest year after year and fully immersing herself in the country music community. While Marks received well-deserved accolades as “Nashville’s Hottest New Country Star” by People Magazine and “Best New Country Artist” by New Music Weekly, her efforts to be fully embraced by the industry in return proved to be elusive. Back with a new album in 2021, Our Country refuses to be put squarely into one box. Rooted in country, blues, soul and roots, and woven together by her distinctive vocals, Marks’s powerful sound is blazing an unprecedented trail in the music industry.

February 23, 2023 / $30 (Sold Out)
7:30 p.m.

Schedule and Ticket Sales


Meet the Artist: Sara Garden Armstrong

Opening Event: Tue., Feb. 21 • 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm Theatre Level
Free and open to the public - Artist lecture at 6:00 pm.

Music: Miko Marks (SOLD OUT)

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023 - 7:30 pm

An Evening with Elin Hilderbrand

Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 pm / $40 per person
The Library Theatre • Reserved seating • Reception included

Author Conference

Saturday, Feb. 25, 9 am - 4 pm - $45 per person

The Library Theatre (Reserved Seating)
$45 per person
Conference Schedule
Lunch on your own
You may preorder a boxed lunch from East 59 Café by calling 205-518-6264 or by visiting by February 25 at noon.


TICKETS GO ON SALE Thursday, Jan. 12 at 10 am online & phone sales only.

Please purchase your tickets early, as we expect to sell out during this time. If any tickets remain, they will also be available during regular Box Office hours M-F, 10 am - 6 pm

Purchase online... (Links will be provided below when ticket sales open)

An Evening with Elin Hilderbrand

Miko Marks (SOLD OUT)

Author Conference (SOLD OUT)

By phone...

Call the Library Theatre Box Office at (205) 444-7888. Mail orders not accepted.

In person...

At The Library Theatre Box Office. Accepted forms of payment are cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express.
Mail orders are not accepted.


Mayor, City of Hoover: Frank Brocato Hoover City Council: John Lyda - President, Curt Posey - President Pro Tempore, Sam Swiney, Dr. Steve McClinton, Casey Middlebrooks, Derrick Murphy, Mike Shaw / Hoover Public Library Board of Trustees: Mitzi Eaker, Hal Humphrey, Phil Hutcheson, Lori Martin, Dr. Terry Lamar, Michael Krawcheck - Trustee Emeritus, Eloise Martens -Trustee Emeritus
Friends of the Library President: Theresa Reid / Library Director: Amanda Borden

This project has been funded by the City of Hoover and the Friends of the Hoover Public Library.