Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Center for Southern Literary Arts Announces Pilot Year Programs + Festival

The Center for Southern Literary Arts has announced several inaugural programs for their pilot season.

The Center for Southern Literary Arts seeks to cultivate the rich and diverse stories of the Memphis region and encourages and supports innovations in the literary arts. Through community programs, education initiatives, artist residencies, and creative economic development, the CSLA expands beyond the traditional boundaries of the literary arts to capture and reclaim stories as a pathway to repair, equity, and justice in the city, the South, and the nation.

Center for Southern Literary Arts

Upcoming programs include:

  • Friday, November 10, 2017 – Dinner at the Hibiscus Salon – 7pm – $65
    • Poet Derrick A. Harriell, chef Phillip Dewayne, and other artists TBA present an interdisciplinary dinner on the arts and justice in Memphis and beyond.
  • Friday, December 1, 2017 – Morgan Parker & Marcus Wicker: Tiny Temple Conversation Series – 7pm – Free
    • Poets Marcus Wicker (Silencer, University of Memphis) and Morgan Parker (There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce) present a reading and conversation. Free & open to the public, books for sale from Novel.
  • Tuesday, February 27, 2018 – Lyceum Mainstage Series presents: Tayari Jones – 7pm – $15
    • Tayari Jones, acclaimed author of Silver Sparrow, joins us for a reading and conversation on her newest book An American Marriage, with a signing to follow. Co-presented with Novel, Memphis’s newest independent bookstore.
  • Tuesday, March 20 – Lyceum Mainstage Series presents: Nikole Hannah-Jones with Wendi C. Thomas – 7pm – $15
    • New York Times’ investigative reporter & founder of the Ida B. Wells Society Nikole Hannah-Jones joins us for a special evening with MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, 50 years after Martin Luther King, Jr..’s murder in downtown Memphis. Hannah-Jones will present on her groundbreaking work and be in conversation with Memphis’s own Wendi C. Thomas.

More events TBA:

  • Speak On It: Young Memphis Writers’ Workshop – Dates TBA
    • A writing workshop for Memphis high school students. More to be announced.
  • The Memphis Literary Arts Festival – June 2018 – Free
    • Co-Presented by CSLA & Literacy Midsouth
    • A one-day all Memphis everything literary festival, with readings by local authors, presentations from visiting writers, a book & street fair, and more to be announced.
Center for Southern Literary Arts

Photo: Center for Southern Literary Arts

About Center for Southern Literary Arts:

Founded by Jamey Hatley, Molly Rose Quinn, and Zandria F. Robinson, PhD., the CSLA was born out of shared and divergent experiences in Memphis.

Searching for a better kind of life as Memphians and Memphis artists, we each moved through careers, cities, and family changes, carrying that longing for better institutions for reading and writing, and better advancement for those voices most marginalized — in our case, this included, in part, our Southernness. The Center for Southern Literary Arts emerged from our friendship, our reckoning with a life on the racial, gender, sexuality, and regional margins, and our determination to make a beautiful life, one with a little more ease, for the little bear writers coming up in Memphis and beyond.

CSLA goals include:

  1. Providing infrastructure for local writers and literary projects.
  2. Return Memphis to the literary map by hosting nationally-recognized authors and publishing professionals and actively promoting regional literary talent.
  3. Contribute to neighborhood revitalization and the creation of an arts-based civic and creative commons through the literary arts and arts entrepreneurship.
  4. Connect students broadly to training and diversity in professional writing and ethics in storytelling.
  5. Support existing arts and social justice organizations to broaden the accessibility of the literary arts to racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQIA groups, and disabled persons.

Ways to support CSLA:

Follow the Center for Southern Literary Arts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates.