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Literary Friday

Interview & Twitter Chat With Attica Locke

Today, from 1-2 CST, we’ll be chatting with author Attica Locke on Twitter about her new book “The Cutting Season.” One of our Fall/Winter Reading List picks, the book is a mystery set on a Louisiana plantation inspired by the real-life Oak Alley. Read our interview with Locke to find out more about her inspiration for the story, how she went from Hollywood screenwriter to novelist and what she’s working on next.

To join in the chat, just sign into Twitter or use tweetchat.com and the hashtag #southernlit.

Happy Birthday to the Master of Horror!

You might think Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday would be in October, but it’s not. The  master of macabre was born smack dab in the middle of winter on January 19. Last year, the curator of the Poe Museum in Baltimore declared an official end to what had become an annual ritual on the author’s birthday. For more than half a century, a fan known as the “Poe Toaster” would leave three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac on his grave, but after four years of not showing up, it’s believed the toaster may have passed on. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Poe’s birthday on your own by reading from “The Raven” or your favorite story of his and sipping on a toddy.

For inspiration, The Huffington Post has five birthday poems to Poe by writer Laurence Hughes, or just listen to Christopher Walken read “The Raven” in the video below and get on with your weekend.

Literary News & Blogs 

The 9 Biggest Library Donations of All Time list includes the Southeastern Library Network’s $18 million toward rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina and other storms around that time.

In other library news, San Antonio is going digital or going home. The city will launch what will be the nation’s first bookless library system this fall.

And a North Carolina library still has paper books, but robots are the ones getting them for you.

BookRiot reviews a review of “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie,” Oprah’s latest book club pick about one family’s journey from the segregated South through five decades.

Get the Zora! Festival App for Android before attending the annual festival in Eatonville, Florida, later this month.

In Tin House, Maud Newton reflects on Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History” and the art of taking your time to write a book.

She Reads has a guest post from Karen White about the author’s longtime love affair with books. Spoiler: She skipped school once to stay home and read “Gone With the Wind.”

Brain Pickings’ Literary Jukebox pairs up Sherwood Anderson and Charlotte Gainsbourg this week.

The Rumpus’s Literary Puns by illustrator Timothy Leo Taranto includes “Flannery’s Flan,” “Tennissee” and “The Faulconer.”

Deep South friend and Lafayette writer Shome Dasgupta guest posts on Kiki the blog about fashion in fiction. Who can forget Ignatius Reilly’s dapper green hunting cap?

Literary Events

The Pulpwood Queens Book Club’s Girlfriend Weekend is happening right now in Jefferson, Texas. Channeling Zelda Fitzgerald with a “Gilded Age” theme, the weekend will present author panels, a Silent Movie Night Author Dinner, theater presentation and Saturday night ball.

Poet Laureate of the United States Natasha Trethewey will be at Emory University at noon today reading from her work in between songs from Robert Schumann’s “Dichterleibe,” sung by tenor Bradley Howard. Entry is free, and the event will take place in the reception hall of the Michael C. Carlos Museum.

Celebrate Ernest Gaines’ 80th birthday at the Manship Theatre in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, tonight at 6 p.m.

The Poe Museum in Richmond is celebrating the author’s birthday tomorrow with hourly readings and performances, exhibits, music, a lecture on “The Tell-Tale Heart,” guided tours, a midnight champagne toast to Poe and more.

Zora! Festival in author Zora Neale Hurston’s hometown of Eatonville, Florida, runs January 26-February 3. Admission is free for many events, and locations vary. View the full schedule here.

Hear writer-in-residence at the University of South Alabama Frye Gaillard talk about “The Books That Mattered: A Reader’s Memoir” at The Princess Theatre in Decatur, Alabama, February 11 at 7 p.m. Price is $10 and $5 for students and teachers.

Hub City Writers Project in Spartanburg, South Carolina, will hold a feature writing workshop with Lyn Riddle on March 2.

New in Southern Voice 

Like You Were Never Born, a horror story by Baton Rouge English teacher Cesar Rico.


To find out more about Southern authors’ haunts and hangouts, download the Deep South Literary Trail App, now available direct from iTunes and for Android.

Like You Were Never
Toasting Poe on His