A sponsored post from Columbus State University’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, host of the Carson McCullers Literary Festival February 17-18.
The Carson McCullers Literary Festival is coming to Columbus, Georgia, February 17 and 18! This hometown birthday celebration of world-famous novelist Carson McCullers will feature a reading and master class by graphic memoirist Thi Bui and a screening and Q&A with screenwriters/filmmakers Natalia Temesgen, Anna Salinas and Edgar Momplaisir, as well as a poetry slam and the awards ceremony for the annual Carson McCullers Literary Awards. All events are on the main stage of the Riverside Theatre Complex, Corner of West 10th Street and Bay Avenue in Uptown Columbus, and are free and open to the public.
Columbus State University’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians is partnering with the Columbus Public Library to host the festival. Thi Bui’s graphic memoir The Best That We Could Do, about her family’s escape from Vietnam in the 1970s, is a National Endowment for the Arts Big Read, selection and copies will be available free for patrons of the library who attend preliminary events. Additional copies will be available to buy and have signed by the author at the reading on Friday, February 17.
The festival schedule includes the following:
Friday, February 17
7 p.m. – Reception
7:30 p.m. – Thi Bui Reading and Book Signing
9 p.m. – Poetry Slam
Saturday, February 18
8:30 a.m. – Reception
9 a.m. – Thi Bui Master Class
10 a.m. – TV Episode Screening and Q&A with Screenwriters/Filmmakers
11 a.m. – Awards Ceremony, Carson McCullers Literary Awards
About the participants:
Thi Bui was born in Vietnam and came to the United States in 1978 as part of the “boat people” wave of refugees fleeing Southeast Asia at the end of the Vietnam War. Her debut graphic memoir The Best We Could Do has been selected for an American Book Award, a Common Book for UCLA and other colleges and universities, an all-city read by Seattle and San Francisco public libraries, a National Book Critics Circle finalist in autobiography, and an Eisner Award finalist in reality-based comics. It made over 30 best of 2017 book lists, including Bill Gates’ top five picks. She illustrated the picture book A Different Pond, written by the poet Bao Phi, for which she won a Caldecott Honor. With her son, Hien, she co-illustrated the children’s book, Chicken of the Sea, written by Pulitzer winner Viet Thanh Nguyen and his son, Ellison.
Natalia Temesgen (pictured at top) is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her plays have been produced in Atlanta, Boston, Columbus (GA), New York, Philadelphia and Princeton. She has written TV episodes for “Dear White People” Season 4 (Netflix), the series “Julia” (HBO Max) and the upcoming series “Reasonable Doubt” (Hulu). She currently serves as a co-producer for Season 2 of “Julia” (HBO Max).
Temesgen was a 2021 Artist in Residence and recipient of the Film Focus Fellowship at Serenbe Institute. She received the American Playwriting Foundation’s 2019 “Relentless Award” Honorable Mention for “Lawnpeople,” a political drama dealing with immigration, identity and motherhood. Her play “Ace: The Eugene Bullard Story” is an epic bio-play about the first African-American fighter pilot. In 2022, her play “Look Forward: The Ruby Bridges Story” will debut at the Springer Opera House.
She is an assistant professor of Creative Writing at Columbus State University and has regularly contributed to American Theatre Magazine, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer and the Columbusite.
Edgar Momplaisir is a comedian, writer and performer born in New York City, partially raised in McAllen,Texas, and now based in Los Angeles. He has written for “Black-ish,” “Dear White People,” the Fox show “What Just Happened with Fred Savage” and the 71st Primetime Emmys.
Anna Salinas is a Cuban/Puerto Rican-Swedish TV writer, comedian, filmmaker and artist based in Los Angeles. She is also the creator of the viral webcomic “Bad Comix By Anna,” which chronicles her struggles with anxiety, depression and cheese. Salinas has written on various shows including “Flatbush Misdemeanors,” “Loot,” “Guru Nation” and Netflix’s “Big Mouth” spin-off “Human Resources.” Her half-hour spy comedy “Inside Cunt” was named to the Blacklist Latinx TV list and earned her a blind script deal with Hulu. She also developed a live-action short-form series with Disney called “Genesis Queen of the Sea.“
For more information: