Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones

FLORENCE, S.C. — Writer Tayari Jones, author of the critically acclaimed “An American Marriage,” will be the headliner at the 14th annual Pee Dee Fiction and Poetry Festival at Francis Marion University.

The annual two-day festival will be held on campus Nov. 7-8. It features panel discussions, book talks and book signings by the authors. It is free and open to the public.

Jones’s byline is known throughout well-read circles, having published works in Tin House, The New York Times, and Callaloo. “An American Marriage” was a 2018 Oprah’s Book Club Selection and a title on President Barack Obama’s summer reading list.

Jones was awarded the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Her other works — “Leaving Atlanta,” “The Untelling” and “Silver Sparrow” — have all garnished recognition from throughout the literary world. Sparrow was named No. 1 “Indie Next” by the American Booksellers Association.

Other authors appearing at the festival include Wiley Cash, Justin Phillip Reed, and Maggie Smith.

Cash is The New York Times bestselling author of the novels “The Last Ballad,” “A Land More Kind than Home” and “This Dark Road to Mercy.” He is the founder of the Open Canon Book Club and co-founder of the Land More Kind Appalachian Artists Residency.

South Carolina-native Justin Phillip Reed is a poet best known for his full-length collection “Indecency,” which took home a National Book Award for Poetry along with the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry.

Maggie Smith is an acclaimed freelance writer, editor and poet. She has been lauded for her most recent works, “Good Bones,” “The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison” and “Lamp of the Body,” plus three poetry collections.

This year’s festival begins with a panel discussion featuring two of the aforementioned authors, followed by two full days of readings, colloquiums, book signings and interactive activities.

The festival also plays an integral role in the fall academic year at FMU. Works by the participating authors are taught in select classes, and students in those classes, and others, have an opportunity to meet with the authors in special workshops and discussion groups.

For more information on the festival, visit peedeefiction.org.

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