By Anika Mitchell Perkins / Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
COLUMBUS, Miss. — Alabama author Sonny Brewer will be the keynote speaker for the 24th annual Eudora Welty Writers' Symposium at Mississippi University for Women, Oct. 18-20.
Brewer returns to the Symposium after a well-received appearance in 2006 with his first novel "The Poet of Tolstoy Park." He is founder of Over the Transom Bookstore in Fairhope, Ala., where he has also managed the Fairhope Center for the Writing Arts and published stories from the “Blue Moon Café” and edited the collection of essays “Don't Quit Your Day Job: Acclaimed Authors and the Day Jobs They Quit.”
He has also published three more novels, "A Sound Like Thunder," "Cormac: The Tale of a Dog Gone Missing" and "The Widow and the Tree," which was recently awarded the 2012 Alabama Library Association Book award for fiction. Brewer spent some of his early years in Mississippi, attending Stephen D. Lee High School in Columbus. He is currently editor-in-chief of McAdam/Cage Publishing.
Other authors who will participate in this year’s Symposium include Carolyn Haines, Michael Kardos, Josh Russell, Kelly Norman Ellis, Catherine Pierce, Frank X Walker, Olympia Vernon, Jessica Maria Tuccelli, Anthony Abbott, Christopher Lowe and scholars Susan Haltom and Jane Roy Brown, co-authors of "One Writers' Garden: Eudora Welty's Home Place," which has been selected for the Welty Prize.
This year's theme is "River the Color of Blood': Crime and Passion in a Gothic South." Brewer's novel, “The Widow and the Tree,” is "a haunting, dark and moody tale" that "tells the tale of Ghosthead Oak, a 500-year-old live oak tree that has stood guard over the widow's lands since long before she was born," and is a perfect complement to the theme, drawn from Eudora Welty's gothic tale, “The Robber Bridegroom.”
Additional information about the Symposium, which is free and open to the public, can be found at www.muw.edu/welty or by contacting director Dr. Kendall Dunkelberg at (662) 329-7386. The Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium is also on Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter (@WeltySymposium).
The Writers’ Symposium is a part of the signature Welty Series event held annually in October to honor the university’s world-renowned alumna. As a part of the Welty Series, MUW also hosts the Welty Gala.
This year’s gala will feature Byron Pitts, chief national correspondent for CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. in the Mary Ellen Weathersby Pope Banquet Room.
Tickets are sold at different levels and offer opportunities for attendees to enjoy a private reception with the guest speaker along with premium seating during dinner. Proceeds from the Gala benefit the endowment for the Eudora Welty Chair in Humanities. For more information, call the Office of Development at (662) 329-7148.