Master Class with Playwright Tina Howe Highlights Southern Literary Festival at Lipscomb University in March


Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Tina Howe (her Painting Churches was a 1984 finalist for the prize and Pride's Crossing was a Pulitzer finalist in 1997), and Mark Richard, the author of the best-selling House of Prayer No. 2, will be among the special guests at this year's Southern Literary Festival, held March 29-31 on the Lipscomb University campus in Nashville.

The 2012 Southern Literary Festival, held in Nashville for the first time, will "capture the spirit of the modern, urban South," with a focus on the intersection between literature, images and music. Featured guests include poet Mark Jarman of Vanderbilt University, Nashville songwriter Brad Crisler and graphic novelist Eric Powell, creator of The Goon.

Howe, winner of the 2005 William Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theater (named for the acclaimed American playwright who studied at George Peabody College in Nashville and who, reputedly, participated in the city's burgeoning theater scene at the time), will conduct a free master class as well as participate in a talk-back after Lipscomb Theatre's opening night production of her play Pride's Crossing on March 30.

Powell will present artwork in Lipscomb's John C. Hutcheson Gallery, along with other works including one by Roy Lichtenstein, beginning on March 26. 

The Southern Literary Festival was established 75 years ago as a way to celebrate arts in the South and to allow undergraduate writers in the South to have access to the leading writers of our time. The festival will also feature various opportunities for the public to hear these critically acclaimed authors and composers in master classes and workshops.

All festival events take place on the Lipscomb University campus.

Ka-Pow! Comics and Cartoons in Contemporary Culture: Featuring Eric Powell, creator of The Goon Opening reception: Monday, March 26, 6 p.m., at the John C. Hutcheson Gallery, the Hughes Center. Gallery Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free admission, call (615) 966-5813 for details.

The John C. Hutcheson Gallery presents Ka-Pow! Comics and Cartoons in Contemporary Culture, featuring the work of several graphic artists including Eric Powell, creator of "The Goon," Lipscomb alumni Nate Creekmore and Jim Jinkins, Mitch Breitweiser of Marvel Comics, Phillipe Perreno and a work by Roy Lichtenstein. The gallery will be decked out in over-the-top comic book style for this exciting exhibition. The show continues through April 12.

Master class with Brad Crisler: Thursday, March 29, 2 p.m., and Saturday, March 31, 9 a.m.
Both sessions held in the Ezell Center, room 363. Admission is free. Questions? Call (615)966-5150

Crisler came to the country music scene in 1996. He has written songs for many country music stars including, Alabama, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGRaw, Rascal Flatts, Brooks and Dunn, and Aaron Tippin. His song "Whatever Comes First," recorded by Sons of the Desert, set the record for the longest charting single in Epic Records history and won an ASCAP award for most performed country song. Crisler has won many ASCAP Awards including, one for "Sweet Southern Comfort," recorded by Buddy Jewell and most performed song in 2007 for "Hillbilly Deluxe" performed by Brooks and Dunn.

The Landiss Lecture presents Mark Richard: Thursday, March 29, 7:30 p.m. The Ezell Center, Swang Chapel. Free admission; call (615) 966-5837 with questions.

Lipscomb University's Landiss Lecture Series and the Southern Literary Festival present a talk by Mark Richard, critically acclaimed author of House of Prayer No. 2, is also the author of two award-winning short story collections, The Ice at the Bottom of the World and Charity and a bestselling novel Fishboy. He is the recipient of many awards including the New York Foundation of the Arts fellowship award, National Magazine Award for Fiction and the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award.

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.

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