Letters Archive
Fall 99, Vol. 8, No. 1 (requires Adobe Acrobat)
  • Deconstructing Nature
  • John K. Roth Named Consultant to the 1999/2000 Holocaust Program
  • Kathleen Hall Jamieson to Present the 1999 Harry C. Howard Jr. Lecture
  • Inventing Work Conference
  • 2000/20001 Fellows Program
  • 1999/2000 Fellows
  • Second Annual Robert Penn Warren Lecture on Southern Letters: Reynolds Price

  • Second Annual Robert Penn Warren Lecture on Southern Letters: Reynolds Price

    The second annual Robert Penn Warren Lecture on Southern Letters will be delivered this year during the Tennessee Humanities Council's Southern Festival of Books by the renowned novelist, poet, and essayist Reynolds Price. Price's talk will take place on Friday, October 8 following a dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Downtown Nashville, 623 Union Street (formerly the Crowne Plaza Hotel).
    In the words of Michael Kreyling, Professor of English at Vanderbilt and a respected critic of Southern literature, "We have, in the history of Southern literature, only a few twentieth-century figures whose accomplishments in several fields of literary creativity have amounted to excellence. The range and quality of Reynolds Price's achievements so far admit him to this company." Kreyling singles out Price's novel The Surface of the Earth (1975) for particular praise, calling it "one of the more significant American novels of the twentieth century."
    Price was born in Macon, North Carolina, in 1933. Educated in the public schools of his native state, he earned an A.B. summa cum laude from Duke University. In 1955 he traveled as a Rhodes Scholar to Merton College, Oxford University to study English literature. After three years and a B.Litt. degree, he returned to Duke, where he continues teaching as James B. Duke Professor of English.
    With his novel A Long and Happy Life, in 1962, he began a career which has produced numerous volumes of fiction, poetry, plays, essays, and memoir. A Long and Happy Life won the William Faulkner Award; Kate Vaiden won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction; and his poems have won the Levinson, Blumenthal, and Tietjens awards. Other novels include Love and Work, The Source of Light, The Tongues of Angels, and most recently, Roxanna Slade. His complete poems have also been recently published.
    In addition to his fiction and poetry, Price has written movingly about religious issues and their relationship to literature. In 1978, he published A Palpable God, a volume which includes translations of stories from the Bible and an essay on the origins of narrative. Earlier this year, he brought forth Letters to a Man in the Fire, a meditation on religious faith and the problem of suffering.
    Price is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and his books have appeared in sixteen languages.
    The Robert Penn Warren Lecture on Southern Letters began in 1998. It is jointly sponsored by the Warren Center with the Tennessee Humanities Council. Last year's inaugural lecture was delivered by Elizabeth Spencer, the distinguished Mississippi novelist.
    The October 8 event will begin with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. Following the lecture, Price will sign books in the hotel ballroom. Tickets for the event are $50.00 if purchased by September 25. After September 25, tickets may be purchased only on October 8 at the Festival headquarters booth for $60.00. For tickets or further information regarding the lecture, please contact the Tennessee Humanities Council at (615) 320-7001 or www.tn-humanities.org.

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    For more information, contact the Center's executive director, Mona C. Frederick.

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