Calendar of Events

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Pellissippi State: James Agee Online Reading Series

Category: Free event, Lecture, discussion, panel, Literature, reading, writing and Virtual

The annual James Agee Conference for Arts and Literature at Pellissippi State Community College will be held as the James Agee Online Reading Series this fall, after having been canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020.

“By rethinking the conference as an online reading series that will be available on YouTube throughout the academic year, we can reach a wider audience,” said conference founder Charles Dodd White, an author and associate professor of English at Pellissippi State. “We are encouraging instructors to use it in their classrooms, but the entire series is free and open to the public as well.”

White, whose 2020 novel “How Fire Runs” won a 2021 Independent Publishers gold medal for Best Regional Fiction – South, created the James Agee Conference six years ago to give Pellissippi State students an opportunity to attend a scholarly conference while also celebrating the literature, culture and arts of Appalachia.

While the online reading series continues in the spirit of the James Agee Conference, White noted that an online reading series allows Pellissippi State to expand the featured writers beyond Appalachia to the general Southeast. Their readings will be recorded, not live, and will include the authors’ thoughts on writing and publishing in addition to sharing from their books.

The three authors on tap this fall include:

• Crystal Wilkinson, Kentucky’s Poet Laureate and the award-winning author of “Perfect Black,” “The Birds of Opulence,” “Water Street” and “Blackberries, Blackberries.” Her reading will premiere Sept. 30.
• Ravi Howard, author of two books of fiction, “Driving the King” and “Like Trees, Walking,” which won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. His reading will premiere Oct. 30.
• Jim Minick, author of five books, including “The Blueberry Years: A Memoir of Farm and Family,” winner of the SIBA Best Nonfiction Book of the Year Award. His reading will premiere Nov. 30.

For more about each featured author and the link to their readings, please visit www.pstcc.edu/events/ageeconference/.