Pellissippi State hosts inaugural James Agee Conference for Literature and Arts

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Pellissippi State Community College invites aspiring writers, scholars and fans of Appalachian literature to attend the inaugural James Agee Conference for Literature and Arts, Sept. 9-10.

The free conference will feature dozens of scholarly and creative presentations led by noted Appalachian authors and scholars, including Pellissippi State’s own English assistant professor Charles Dodd White and writer-in-residence Ed Francisco. Leading a master class on creative nonfiction will be Karen McElmurray, the author of “Strange Birds in the Tree of Heaven,” which won the Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing. A poetry master class will be led by Linda Parsons, poet, playwright and editor of “Now & Then” magazine. Finally, novelist Mark Powell will lead a fiction master class. Powell is author of “The Dark Corner” and “Prodigals.”

A keynote presentation and book signing by Crystal Wilkinson, author of “Blackberries, Blackberries,” “Water Street” and “The Birds of Opulence” will complete the two-day schedule. Wilkinson, a Kentucky native, is writer-in-residence at Berea College.

The James Agee Conference for Literature and Arts will be held on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus. To register for the free event, or for more information, visit

Event attendees will have time to network with other writers and creators, meet and mingle with the featured authors and speak to local publishing houses.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or


Download this press release: James Agee Conference