BY MARLA BALLARD
JACKSON COUNTY – The Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) will host a public event on Thursday, April 20, for those interested in creative writing. Joan Reeves, who oversees the English & Fine Arts Division at NACC, has scheduled two authors for the occasion.
A general assembly of reading, interview, Q & A, and book signing will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the Tom Bevill Lyceum and then at 2:00 p.m. two separate Master Classes on writing will be held on campus in the English Department Building. Each class will be hosted by one of the visiting authors. There will be an intermission allowing guests to break away for lunch between the two sessions.
The interview portion will be handled by Dr. Don Noble, an English Professor for 32 years at the University of Alabama, now retired. Dr. Noble is the host of the television program Bookmark which appears on Alabama Public Television. Since 1988 Dr. Noble has interviewed writers on public radio and TV, including; Fannie Flagg, Rick Bragg, Winston Groom, and Sena Jeter Naslund.
The two visiting authors for the April 20th presentation are Taylor Brown and Caleb Johnson. Brown is the author of Fallen Land, Wingwalkers, The River of Kings, Gods of Howl Mountain, Pride of Eden, and In the Season of Blood and Gold. He is the recipient of the Montana Prize in Fiction and a three-time finalist for the Southern Book Prize. His work has been short-listed for Best American Stories, and his short fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Garden & Gun, The Bitter Southerner,
and many others.
Brown, a 2005 graduate of the University of Georgia, is a motorcycle enthusiast and is the editor-in-chief of BikeBound.com. His debut novel (2016) was a stand-alone novel and was set during the Civil War’s final year while a young couple on horseback flee from a dangerous group of marauders that seek a bounty reward. The story is one of loyalty and love in the chaos of war.
Caleb Johnson is the author of the novel Treeborne, which received an honorable mention for the Southern Book Prize. The book is set on the edge of Elberta, Alabama, and shows how the past blends with the future. Southern Living magazine describes the novel as “a story about complicated legacies and the people who bring to life the places we call home.”
Johnson’s nonfiction has been cited in Best American Essays and appears in Southern Living, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. Johnson grew up in Arley, Alabama, studied journalism at The University of Alabama, and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the University of Wyoming. He currently teaches writing at the University of South Alabama.
Dr. David Campbell, President of NACC, created the Arts and Humanities Speakers’ Forum 29 years ago to bring cultural events to the college. During that time the college hosted Daniel Wallace, Silas House, Tom Franklin, Ron Rash, and many others. In the late 90’s Dr. Campbell asked Reeves to coordinate the program. “We typically choose Southern writers for this annual event because our students relate to them so well,” said Reeves.
The public is welcome to attend. Free admittance, for more information call
NACC 256-638-4418 ext. 2231.