Community Book Talks Lecture Series

     This extraordinary program began with a generous grant from the Gone Giving Corporation in January 2012 thanks to our dear friend, Mr. Erickson Blakney. Our first lecture was well-known author/poet, Nikki Giovanni.  Since that time, we have been able to feature almost 50 nationally known authors here in Clarksdale through our partnership with the Carnegie Public Library. The Gone Giving Corporation gave us a grant the first three years to help us establish the lecture series. Then we began fundraising on our own in order to continue the series. The community has been very supportive of our efforts over the years, and we are grateful.  Here the list of authors we have hosted thus far by season.

Season 1 -- 2012

  • Nikkie Giovanni on January 27, 2012

  • Curtis Wilkie on February 23, 2012

  • Martha Foose on March 22, 2012

  • Felder Rushing on April 26, 2012

  • Carolyn Haines on August 30, 2012

  • Marshall Chapman on September 27, 2012

  • Caroline Kennedy on October 12, 2012

  • Wright Thompson on November 15, 2012

Season 2 -- 2013

  • Jere Nash and Andy Taggert on January 15, 2013

  • Michael Warr on February 7, 2013

  • Vladimir Alexandrov on March 22, 2013

  • Carolyn Haines on April 25, 2013

  • Tom Franklin on May 23, 2013

  • James Meredith on August 15, 2013

  • Natasha Trethewey on September 26, 2013

Season 3 -- 2014

  • Matthew Guinn on February 27, 2014

  • The Family of Henrietta Lacks on March 20, 2014

  • Juan Williams on August 28, 2014

  • Mary Miller on September 25, 2014

  • Lois Lowry on October 23, 2014

Season 4 -- 2015

  • Sharon Draper on March 6, 2015

  • Ace Atkins on April 23, 2015

  • Curtis Wilkie on August 27, 2015

  • Rick Bragg on September 24, 2015

  • Neil White on October 15, 2015

Season 5 -- 2016

  • Malcolm White on February 4, 2016

  • Dr. K.C. Morrison on March 31, 2016

  • Richard Grant on April 28, 2016

  • Bill Haltom on May 5, 2016

  • Charles Shields on June 9, 2016

  • Sally Palmer Thomason on November 15, 2016

Season 6 -- 2017

  • John Ramsey Miller and Stephen Smith on March 30, 2017

  • Adrienne Berard on April 27, 2017

  • Mary Ann Connell on May 4, 2017

  • Greg Iles on June 22, 2017

  • Curtis Wilkie on August 31, 2017

  • Landon Clay and Maude Schuler Clay on September 21, 2017

  • Beth Ann Fennelly on October 26, 2017

  • John Cofield on November 30, 2017

Season 7 -- 2018

  • Elizabeth Heiskell on January 10, 2018

  • Ann Fisher Wirth and Maude Schuler Clay on September 21, 2018

  • Ellen Meacham on November 8, 2018

  • Hank Burdine on December 6, 2018

Season 8 -- 2019

  • Michael Farris Smith on January 24, 2019

  • Greg Iles on March 8, 2019

  • Wright Thompson on April 5, 2019

Season 9 -- 2020

  • Patricia Hunt Holmes on January 30, 2020

Note: The CBT lecture series was suspended soon after that due to the national pandemic. We hope to pick up where we left off very, very soon. 

Season 10 -- 2021

  • In February, we partnered with the National Book Foundation to do a free book give-a-way in honor of Black History Month. We gave away 25 books of each of the following:  The Tradition by Jericho Brown, a 2019 Poetry Finalist; An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, a 2018 Fiction Longlist; and The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw,  a 2020 Fiction Finalist. Then we had an online conversation hosted by the National Book Foundation on their YouTube page called "Secrets of the South" discussin Southern literature and how Black writers are redefining stereotypes of the South... one poem, one story, and one secret at a time. The event was held on Tuesday, February 16th at 7pm and should still be available online.

 

 

Pictured above is our visionary and sustaining sponsor, Mr. Erickson "EB" Blakney, with our guest author Ms. Caroline Kennedy on October 12, 2012 in Clarksdale at the Cutrer Mansion. In photo to the left, you can see Caroline greeting Mr. James Meredith on the lawn of the Cutrer Mansion on that same evening of her talk. This was the first time they had ever met in person. Her father, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was president when Mr. Meredith intergrated the University of Mississippi in October 1962. 

© 2021 Coahoma County Higher Education Center/ Cutrer Mansion

 

Tel 662-621-9344 or 662-645-3555

109 Clark Street, Clarksdale, Mississippi 38614

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