Announcing the 2018 Sand Hills Writers Series

This year’s Sand Hills Writers Series will take place on Monday, October 15, at 2 PM in the Coffeehouse of the Jaguar Student Activities Center, located on Augusta University’s Summerville Campus. Featured authors this year include poet Vievee Francis and writer Holly Goddard Jones. A book signing and reception will follow the authors’ reading. The Book Tavern will have copies of each authors’ books available for purchase. This event is free and open to the public.

Vievee Francis was born in West Texas. She earned an MFA from the University of Michigan in 2009, and she received a Rona Jaffe Award the same year. She is the author of Forest Primeval (TriQuarterly Books, 2015), winner of the 2017 Kingsley Tufts Award; Horse in the Dark (Northwestern University Press, 2012), winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize; and Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University Press, 2006). The recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and the Kresge Foundation, Francis currently serves as an editor for Callaloo and teaches English and creative writing at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Holly Goddard Jones is the author of The Next Time You See Me and Girl Trouble(stories). Her work has appeared in The Best American Mystery StoriesNew Stories from the SouthTin House magazine, and elsewhere. She was a recipient of The Fellowship of Southern Writers’ Hillsdale Prize for Excellence in Fiction and of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She earned her M.F.A. from Ohio State University and her B.A. from the University of Kentucky. She teaches creative writing at UNC Greensboro and lives in Greensboro with her husband, Brandon, and their children.

Writers Weekend to feature author Rebecca Skloot, actress Karyn Parsons

The Creative Writing Program at Augusta University will celebrate African American stories and writers during its 2018 Writers Weekend conference in February.

Now in its sixth consecutive year, Writers Weekend features award-winning authors and teachers who discuss elements of craft and share their original creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry.

This year’s keynote speaker is New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Skloot (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks). Featured presenters include actress Karyn Parsons, and poets and writers George Ella Lyon, Tony Grooms, Sean Hill, and Ashley M. Jones. Local authors Tonya Marie Agerton, Tom Robertson, and Bob Young will also speak at the event.

The keynote event takes place at Augusta University’s Lee Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, and features a moderated conversation and Q & A session, followed by a reception and book signing.

The next day, local schools will host Karyn Parsons, actress and founder of Sweet Blackberry, whose mission is to share stories of African American achievement with children.

The remaining events—a series of craft talks, readings, and book signings—will take place on Saturday, Feb. 10, in University Hall on Augusta University’s Summerville Campus.

This year’s conference honors the late Dr. Marya DuBose Free. A Professor of English and an Associate Chair of the former Department of Languages, Literature, and Communications at Augusta University, she was a champion for children’s literature.

These events are being organized by Anna Harris-Parker, an assistant professor in the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Augusta University. For more information regarding these events, visit literaryaugusta.com or contact Harris-Parker at 706-729-2508 or aharrisparker@augusta.edu.

The Cinema Series at Augusta University to Honor the Life and Legacy of Henrietta Lacks 

The Cinema Series at Augusta University will honor the life and legacy of Henrietta Lacks with two special screenings in January.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, an Emmy-nominated film starring Oprah Winfrey and based on the award-winning book by Rebecca Skloot, will be screened on Wednesday, Jan. 17.  The screenings are free and scheduled for 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre.

Arguably one of the most important women in medical history, Lacks changed medical research in 1951 when her cells were taken from her cervical cancer biopsy without her knowledge or approval. These cells, known as “HeLa” cells, were the first to be medically reproduced and are still widely used in medical research today.

In February, Augusta University, in collaboration with Paine College and the Columbia County Library, will host Skloot and members of the Lacks Family for several events around the CSRA.

The first event takes place at the Columbia County Library at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, featuring a moderated conversation and Q & A session, followed by a reception and book signing.

The next day, Paine College will host the Lacks family for a meet and greet at Candler Library at 11 a.m., with lunch being served on a “first come, first served” basis.

The final event will take place at 7 p.m. on Feb. 8 in the Lee Auditorium on the AU Health Sciences Campus, featuring a moderated conversation and Q & A session, followed by a reception and book signing.

These events are being organized by Jim Minick and Anna Harris-Parker, both assistant professors in the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Augusta University.

For more information regarding these events, Jim Minick can be reached at (706) 737-1500 or jminick@augusta.edu, or contact the Columbia County Library at (706) 863-1946.

# # #

Augusta University, Paine College and the Columbia County Library to host events in honor of Henrietta Lacks 

Augusta University, Paine College and the Columbia County Library will host three events to honor the legacy of Henrietta Lacks.

Arguably one of the most important women in medical history, Lacks changed medical research in 1951 when her cells were taken from her cervical cancer biopsy without her knowledge or approval. These cells, known as “HeLa” cells, were the first to be medically reproduced and are still widely used in medical research today.

Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, along with members of the Lacks family, will be attending events in the CSRA during Black History Month. The first event will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, at the Columbia County Library. There will be a keynote speech and Q & A session, followed by a reception and book signing.

The second event will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, with a meet and greet with the Lacks family in the Candler Library on the Paine College campus. Lunch will be served on a “first come, first served” basis.

The last event will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018, in the Lee Auditorium at the Augusta University Health Sciences campus. There will be a moderated conversation and Q & A session, followed by a reception and book signing.

These events are being organized by Jim Minick and Anna Harris-Parker, assistant professors in the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Augusta University.

For more information, please contact Jim Minick at 706-737-1500 or jminick@augusta.edu, or the Columbia County Library at 706-863-1946.