Poetry, music at Literary Festival

March 14, 2014

UNION — The morning of Saturday, March 22 will be a time of poetry and music at USC Union during the Upcountry Literary Festival.

The Fourth Annual Upcountry Literary Festival will held in the USC Union auditorium on Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22. The two day event will showcase a number of nationally and regionally renowned authors, poets, and musical artists as part of a free public event.

This year’s theme is centered around Southern culture and cooking. Daily events will include cooking presentations, poetry, music, and presentations from authors.

Friday, March 21, will consist of a poetry block with returning poets and music. Dan O’Shields and Duna Miller will take the stage as new voices in poetry and prose.

The Literary Festival’s poetry block will be kicked off with poet Ray McManus on Friday at 9 a.m. in the auditorium. McManus grew up in South Carolina in a working class, Irish-American family that taught him, “the value of keeping things real by looking at them slant.” Years later, he received his MFA in poetry and Ph. D. in Composition and Rhetoric at the University of South Carolina. His book, “Red Dirt Jesus,” was selected as the winner of the Marick Press Poetry Prize in 2010. Marick Press is a literary publisher that awards the best work by poets around the world. He has also won the South Carolina Academy of Authors Fellowship, South Carolina Academy of Authors, James Dickey Writing Award in Poetry and many more. His other book, “Driving Through The Country Before You Are Born,” was published by USC Press in 2007.

Lisa Hammond and Terry Kennedy will also take the stage during the poetry block at the festival. Lisa is a Professor of English at USC Lancaster. She won the 2006 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize and was published by Texas Review Press in 2007 with her chapbook of poetry, “Moving House.” Her poems have appeared in The South Carolina Review, Southern Poetry Review, English Journal and many more.

Terry Kennedy is the author of the chapbook, “Until the Clouds Shatter the Light That Plates Our Lives” and has been published in literary journals and magazines. He teaches at UNC Greensboro where he is also the Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing and editor of the online journal, storySouth.

Poet and fiction writer Debra Daniels will entertain the crowd on Friday with her music and poetry. Retired from a career teaching elementary school, she now sings and plays mandolin and percussion in an eclectic acoustic band. She is the author of poetry chapbooks, “The Downward Turn of August” and “As Is.”

Jim Clark will perform as a writer and an interpreter of his own poetry and stories. He has published two books of poems, written a play, and served as an editor in various literary journals. Clark began combining his talents as a singer and musician while performing on the guitar, banjo, or mountain dulcimer. He has released two CD’s that feature poems and traditional folk music.

In addition to the poets, The Upcountry Literary Festival is also featuring an assortment of authors, musicians, and historians. The event is free to everyone and will be held in the auditorium at USC Union.

A full schedule and participant list can be found on USC Union’s website: http://uscunion.sc.edu/

For more information, please call Randy Ivey or John Crocker at (864) 429-USCU.

You can also follow the festival on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/upcountryliteraryfestival