News, Events, and Information

USA. New-york city. US writer Carson McCULLERS. 1946. (c) Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos

The NEA BIG READ returns to celebrate the 100th birthday of Carson McCullers

There’s nothing that makes you so aware of the improvisation of human existence as a song unfinished. Or an old address book. Carson McCullers

Wunderkind. Respected. Venerated. Scandalous. Misunderstood. With her debut novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Columbus-born and bred Carson McCullers burst onto the scene at the ripe old age of 23 and helped change the course of Southern (and American) literature forever. Living a life as large and complex as that of her many characters, McCullers helped create the Southern Gothic genre and brought the voice of the “outsider” to the forefront of American letters.

Heart CoverNow, on the occasion of her 100th birthday, the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians and the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries, in partnership with the cultural organizations of Columbus, GA, join forces to celebrate the artistic legacy of one of its most famous denizens.

We hope that you will be able to participate in many of our keynote events, lectures, exhibits and book discussions during the celebration.

McCullers  Biography and Bibliography

McCullers Timeline

For a printable version of the events list click here.

KEYNOTE EVENTS

Hilton Als (c) Brigitte Lacombe

NEA Big Read Kick-off: An Evening with Hilton Als – EVENT RESCHEDULED TO: Friday March 3, 7:00pm – Columbus Public Library Auditorium

 An iconoclastic critic takes on an iconoclastic author in this not-to-be-missed presentation! We kick off our NEA Big Read celebration of Carson McCullers and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter with this lecture by one of our nation’s leading literary and artistic critics, The New Yorker’s HILTON ALS. Mr. Als, who writes extensively about art and culture in contemporary America, will discuss his view of McCullers as one of the writers who helped invent the prototype “outsider” view of American society at the time of World War Two.

You can read Mr. Als’ famous essay on Ms. McCullers, “Unhappy Endings: The Collected Carson McCullers” at http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2001/12/03/unhappy-endings.

More about Hilton Als.

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Karen Allen

Carson McCullers 100th Birthday Celebration – Sunday February 19, 4pm – RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, 900 Broadway; Admission Free.

A bit of music, a bit of Hollywood, a bit of fame. Just what Carson McCullers might have wanted on her birthday.

Legendary film actress KAREN ALLEN (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Perfect Storm) and a host of performers and musicians will come together with the community to celebrate the 100th Birthday of Carson McCullers in this once-in-a-lifetime event. The presentation will include:

  • The world premiere of the short film A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud., based on the McCullers short story and produced and directed by Ms. Allen.
  • “Carson’s Favorite Music,” curated and conducted by Dr. Paul Hostetter (the Ethel Foley Distinguished Chair in Orchestral Activities, Schwob School of Music) and performed by the CSU Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Dramatic Excerpts and monologues set to the music, drawn from Ms. McCullers work by playwright and poet Scott Wilkerson and directed by Dr. Larry Dooley

For more information about the film A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud. please visit the film’s website.

More about Karen Allen.

A scene from “A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud.”

Meet the Director – Hollywood Legend Karen Allen Discusses A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud. – Monday February 20, 12noon – University Hall, Columbus State University Main Campus; Admission Free.

KAREN ALLEN, whose new short film A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud. will premiere February 19th at the RiverCenter, comes to the Columbus State University Main Campus to discuss her career, her approach to directing this story and her affection for its author Carson McCullers. She will take questions from the audience in this forum that is open to the public.

See Karen Allen discuss A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud. in this interview with WGBY 57’s Connecting Point.

LECTURES

Biographical information about our lecturers can be found here.

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Dr. Nick Norwood

Carson and Columbus: It’s Complicated – Tuesday February 7, 12noon – The Columbus Museum, 1251 Wynnton Road. Admission Free.

Join Dr. Nick Norwood, director of the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians at Columbus State University, as he delves into the tangled relationship Carson McCullers had with the people of her hometown, Columbus Georgia. Part of the Columbus Museum’s “Lunch and Lecture” Series – please bring your lunch or contact the Museum’s Education Department at edu@columbusmuseum.com  by Friday February 3 if you would like to reserve a $10 lunch.

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Dr. Virginia Causey

Carson’s Columbus – Thursday February 9, 7pm – Columbus Public Library Auditorium, 3000 Macon Road; Admission Free.

Dr. Virginia Causey, retired Professor of History at Columbus State University and author of the book Red Clay, White Water, and Blues: The History of Columbus, Georgia discusses the world of Columbus in the 1920s-1940s, a world in which Carson McCullers was born and grew.

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Dr. Courtney George

Carson McCullers and the Southern Gothic – Thursday February 16, 7pm – Columbus Public Library Auditorium, 3000 Macon Road; Admission Free.

What is Carson McCullers’ contribution to Southern Gothic Literature? Why does she remain so influential to so many? Southern Literature expert Dr. Courtney George (Associate Professor of English at Columbus State University and former director of the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians) will place her in the context of her contemporaries, the great Southern writers of the twentieth century. Dr. George will also talk about many modern writers who can trace their creative lineage back to McCullers.

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Dr. Casey Kayser

The Illness Experience in Carson McCullers’ Life and Work – Tuesday February 21, 7pm – Columbus Public Library Auditorium, 3000 Macon Road; Admission Free.

Dr. Casey Kayser (University of Arkansas), president of the Carson McCullers Society and co-editor of the upcoming Carson McCullers in the Twenty-First Century will use her expertise in both the literary and medical humanities fields to provide a wholly forward-looking interpretation on the importance of Ms. McCullers to future readers.

Beyond the Books: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter – Thursday February 23, 11:30am-1pm – MCofE HQ Donovan Research Library, Building 70, Ft. Benning. Admission Free. Please see this important information about visitor access to Ft. Benning.

Ft. Benning history expert JEAN HARRON will lead this lively book discussion of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and other McCullers titles (such as Reflections in a Golden Eye) with a particular focus on the influence of the base in her work. Please bring your lunch; the library will provide drinks. For more information call 706.545.6411 x8591 or visit www.benning.army.mil/library.

EXHIBITS

Passport

McCullers Passport. From the Columbus State University Archives.

The We of Me: The Chosen Families of Carson McCullers – From January 31, 2017 – Columbus Museum, 1251 Wynnton Road; Admission Free.

Using original documents and artifacts from the collections of the Columbus Museum, the Columbus State University Archives, and the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, The We of Me examines McCullers’ childhood in Columbus, her circle of friends in New York, and the influence of these two different worlds in her writing. Much of the material will be on public display for the first time. For more information about the exhibit and museum hours please visit the exhibit website.

Carson’s Columbus: Race, Class, and Gender in 20th Century Columbus – From January 31, 2017 – Schwob Memorial Library, Columbus State University Main Campus, 4225 University Avenue; Admission Free.

Drawn from the Columbus State University’s extensive collection of Carson McCullers material, this exhibit analyzes the social milieu in which the author grew up in Columbus. Please visit library.columbusstate.edu for a complete list of Schwob Memorial Library hours.

Carson – January 17, 2017 through February 25, 2017 – Bay Gallery, Corn Center for the Visual Arts, Columbus State University Riverpark Campus; Admission Free.

 The Columbus State University Department of Art is honored to be part of the celebration of Carson McCuller’s 100th Birthday. The art exhibition “Carson” which will showcase works by contemporary artists reflecting on the identity and memories of Carson McCullers. Works by Bo Bartlett, Sarah Hobbs, John Morton, Carl Van Vecthen among others will be featured in this exhibition. Hours of operation of the Bay Gallery are: M-Fri: 12 – 4 pm and Sat: 11 – 4 pm, or make an appointment with Hannah Israel at israel_hannah@columbusstate.edu. Parking: 920 Front Ave or street parking in front if available.

MOVIES – McCullers Saturday Matinee

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968) – Saturday January 28, 1:30pm – Columbus Public Library Auditorium, 3000 Macon Road; Admission Free. The acclaimed film adaptation of McCullers’ first novel starring Alan Arkin, Sondra Locke and Chuck McCann earned rave reviews upon its debut. Rated G.

The Member of the Wedding (1952) – Saturday February 4, 1:30pm – Columbus Public Library Auditorium, 3000 Macon Road; Admission Free. This masterpiece, directed by Fred Zinneman and memorably starring Julie Harris, Ethel Waters and Brandon de Wilde, tells the story of young tomboy Frankie’s coming-of-age, set against the wedding of her older brother. Not rated.

Sound and Fury (2000) and Sound and Fury: Six Years Later (2006) – Saturday February 11, 1:30pm – Columbus Public Library Auditorium, 3000 Macon Road; Admission Free. This searing documentary, nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar, follows an extended American family with deafness extending three generations who must make the decision regarding the giving their youngest children cochlear implants. A short-film sequel takes up the story of the families six years after their first fateful decisions.

The Ballad of the Sad Café (1991) – Saturday February 25, 1:30pm – Columbus Public Library Auditorium, 3000 Macon Road; Admission Free. The Merchant-Ivory production, based on the Edward Albee stage adaptation of Carson McCuller’s novella, follows the rise and demise of moonshiner Miss Amelia (Vanessa Redgrave) who turns her general store in a small Georgia town into a center for culture and art.

PUBLIC BOOK CLUB DISCUSSIONS

Heart CoverSeveral branches of the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries will host book discussions of the NEA Big Read celebration of Carson McCullers and her debut novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Copies of the novel may be distributed at the January meetings of each club; please contact the branch for more information.

NEA Big Read Reader’s Guide to the novel.

Books and Brews Book Club – Saturday February 4, 2:00pm – Sponsored by the Mildred L. Terry Public Library. CALL 706.243.2782 for this month’s location (the discussion takes place at a new restaurant each month).

Page Turners Book Club – Saturday February 11, 1:00pm – Mildred L. Terry Public Library Alpha Kappa Alpha Room, 640 Veterans Parkway. Please call the branch at 706.243.2782 if you need more information.

NEA Big Read Book Club – Thursday February 23, 5:30pm – Columbus Public Library Synovus/CB&T Meeting Room A, 3000 Macon Road. Please call the reference desk at 706.243.2701 for more information.

One More Chapter Book Club – Thursday February 23, 6:30pm – North Columbus Public Library Small Conference Room, 5689 Armour Road. Please call the branch at 706.748.2855 if you need more information.

Adult and Teen Book ClubDate/Time TBD – Parks Memorial Public Library, Richland, GA. Please call the branch at 229.887.2103 for more information.

LIBRARY PROGRAMS

Family Sign Language – Every Wednesday, 4:00pm – Mildred L. Terry Public Library Alpha Kappa Alpha Room, 640 Veterans Parkway. This fun program for the family teaches basic words and phrases in American Sign Language. Different topics are explored each week so feel free to attend one or more sessions!

NEA Big Read – Six Word Memoirs and Homemade Journals – Wednesday January 25, 4:00pm – South Columbus Public Library, 2034 Lumpkin Road. Especially for teens, find out about writing a six-word memoir of yourself and about the importance of journaling for young adults and writers-to-be.

Memoir and Journal Workshop – Tuesday January 31, 4:00pm – North Columbus Public Library Large Conference Room, 5689 Armour Road. Learn the basics of journal keeping and bullet journaling at this workshop. Using Carson McCullers as our example, we’ll show you how easy it is to start your own memoir. All materials will be provided.

Coffee and Coloring Club – Tuesday February 14, 4:00pm – North Columbus Public Library Large Conference Room, 5689 Armour Road. Our Coffee and Coloring Club provides a relaxing activity to de-stress while creating beautiful artwork! We meet the second Tuesday of every month. Join us in February as we focus on Carson McCullers in our craft. All materials are provided.

CHESS PROGRAMS

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter uses the game of chess as a metaphor for communication, for character and for life. Please visit one of our chess programs to learn about the game and hone your skills!

Chess Club for Adults – Saturday February 4, 4:00pm – Columbus Public Library Synovus/CB&T Meeting Room A, 3000 Macon Road. The protagonists of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter rely on chess as their main form of recreation. Come discover what they knew about this classic game. The Chess Club meets the first Saturday of every month. For more information please call the Columbus Public Library Reference Department at 706.243.2701.

Let’s Play Chess! – Tuesday February 28, 4:00pm – North Columbus Public Library Large Conference Room, 5689 Armour Road. This one-time program for all ages will teach the basics of chess and will provide an opportunity for you to hone your skills.

Unplug from the Computer for Chess’ Sake – Tuesday February 7 and  21, 4:30pm – Mildred L. Terry Public Library, 640 Veterans Parkway. Community Mentors help coach this weekly chess program especially for children. All skill levels are welcome.

Logo Block-Big Read PNG 

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

This project is supported by Georgia Humanities, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, through funding from the Georgia General Assembly.

 

  • Chat and Chew Young Adult Book Club

    When: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    Where: North Columbus Public Library at Large Conference Room

    Come create a special recipe with us while you talk with other teens about each months selected titles! There will be two titles to select from. You can read one, or read both! Don't have time to finish the reads? No problem! Discover awesome new books and recommend books you love to others while learning a new recipe! All materials provided. Ages 12-18. This month's selections are...
    Fantasy: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    Contemporary Fiction: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
    Recipe: Ice Cream Sundaes

  • Studio 3K

    When: Saturday, February 25, 2017 - 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Where: Columbus Public Library at Teen Department

    Join us as we create, explore, and redesign! All you need to bring is your imagination and someone to share this experience with! Ages 12-18.

  • Get Hooked! Crochet Club

    When: Saturday, February 25, 2017 - 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
    Where: Mildred L. Terry Public Library at Walker Room

    New to crochet? Come and learn the basics. Experienced? Come and crochet with us. Attendees are encouraged to bring current projects to each session. Attendees can also work on group projects.

  • Monthly Make It (& Sometimes Take It)

    When: Monday, February 27, 2017 - 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
    Where: Mildred L. Terry Public Library at Alpha Kappa Alpha Room

    It could be jewelry; it could be your own library tote bag from your favorite graphic t-shirt; it could be something using Minecraft or resources from our S.T.E.M closet.) Join us to develop or improve a skill or share your hobby with other “Makers”!

  • Teen Tech Lab!

    When: Monday, February 27, 2017 - 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
    Where: Columbus Public Library at Teen Department

    Come learn how to use our Media Lab equipment to make and edit videos and music! Ages 12-18.

  • I Saw the Sign: ASL Story Time

    When: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Where: North Columbus Public Library at Large Conference Room

    This program offers parents and children the opportunity to learn basic signs through music and stories. Every session we will learn to sign about emotions, state of beings, family, colors, and more. Please contact North Columbus Public Library staff at 706-748-2855 with any questions.

  • Lego Club

    When: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
    Where: Mildred L. Terry Public Library at Alpha Kappa Alpha Room

    library program

  • Family Craft Night

    When: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 6:45 PM - 7:30 PM
    Where: Columbus Public Library at Aflac Storytime Room

    Thursday nights just got better! Bring the family together to craft, create, and play. We will have a different theme each week with crafts appropriate for all ages, as well as corresponding books for families to read together!

  • Rhythm & Rhyme

    When: Friday, February 24, 2017 - 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
    Where: Columbus Public Library at Aflac Storytime Room

    This fun sing-along storytime program will introduce children and caregivers to an assortment of songs, nursery rhymes, rhythmic activities, ear training, and simple instrument playing! Children will have the opportunity to play various music instruments, including: drums, bells, triangles, xylophones, ukuleles, accordions, and egg shakers! Following the program, children may checkout a music instrument to take home for a whole week! Recommended for ages 0-5.

  • Rhythm & Rhyme: Mardi Gras Jazz Celebration

    When: Friday, February 24, 2017 - 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
    Where: Columbus Public Library at Synovus/CB&T combined

    Special edition of Rhythm & Rhyme Storytime.

  • GED Adult Education Classes

    When: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
    Where: South Columbus Public Library at Conference Room

    Need your GED? Columbus Technical College will be hosting FREE Adult Education classes at the South Columbus Public Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30am-2:30pm. Stop by the library during these days/times to register and/or get more information.

  • GED Adult Education Classes @ North Columbus Public Library

    When: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    Where: North Columbus Public Library at Small Conference Room

    Need your GED? Columbus Technical College will be hosting FREE Adult Education classes at the North Columbus Public Library on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1pm-4pm in the Small Conference Room. Stop by the library during these days/times to register and/or get more information.

  • GED Classes @ Mildred L. Terry Public Library

    When: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    Where: Mildred L. Terry Public Library at Friends of the Library Room

    Let Columbus Technical College Staff help you earn your GED in FREE, convenient evening classes! Classes are on Tuesdays from 5:00-8:00 p.m. and Thursday from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Registration is required. 706-243-2782

  • Big Read 2017: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Book Discussion

    When: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    Where: Columbus Public Library at Synovus (side A)

    Have you read Carson McCullers's "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter"? Join us for a discussion about this highly rated book in participation with the Big Read 2017.

  • One More Chapter Book Club

    When: Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    Where: North Columbus Public Library at Small Conference Room

    Join us each month for lively banter about each month's popular new title, chosen from a variety of genres. Completion of the book is not required to join, newcomers welcome!

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