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Southern Festival of Books

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Beaird Glover

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Unconscious Knowledge

grew up on a farm in rural Tennessee. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from Evergreen State College. He is the author of Secret Ciphers of the 1876 Presidential Election. His poems have appeared in the New York Quarterly. His chapbook of poetry was selected by the Austin Chronicle as one of the Ten Best of 1994. He lives in New Orleans with his wife, Kim.

Kelly Gilfillan

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Kelly is CEO and Executive Editor of Home Page Media Group, where her team publishes four daily online news sites providing news to Brentwood, Franklin, Spring Hill, and Nolensville. Kelly sits on the national board of Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION), the Davis House Child Advocacy Center Board, and is involved with the Brentwood United Methodist Church. She is deeply involved with Civil War battlefield presentation. She is married with three daughters.

Donna Gephart

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Lily and Dunkin

's award-winning novels are packed with humor and heart. They include Death by Toilet Paper; Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen; How to Survive Middle-School; and As if Being 12-3/4 Isn’t Bad Enough, My Mother Is Running for President! Donna is a popular speaker at schools, conferences, and book festivals.

Volney P. Gay

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Volney P.
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On the Pleasures of Owning Persons: The Hidden Face of American Slavery

is a professor of religious studies, psychiatry, and anthropology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Gay is the author of nine books. He lives with his family in Nashville.

Hank Klibanoff

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The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle,and the Awakening of a Nation

teaches nonfiction writing, history and ethics at Emory University in Atlanta, a position he took after a 36 year run as a newspaper reporter and editor in Mississippi, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta. He is co-author, with Gene Roberts, of The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation, which won the Pulitzer Prize in history in 2007.

Adam Haslett

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Imagine Me Gone

is the author of the short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here, Pulitzer Prize winner and National Book Award finalist, and the novel Union Atlantic, winner of the Lambda Literary Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize. His books have been translated into eighteen languages. He has received the Berlin Prize from the American Academy in Berlin, the PEN/Malamud Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations. He lives in New York City.

Allison Adele Hedge Coke

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Allison Adele
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Hedge Coke
Streaming: Poems

is the 2016 Witter Bynner Fellow, Library of Congress, and a Distinguished Professor of Creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.

Tom Henderson

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Yesterdays: A Nashville Kid Remembers the Best of Times

is the nostalgic columnist for the throwback Nashville newspaper, The Retrospect, and was a contributor and on-screen personality forthe WNPT television series "Nashville,the 20th Century in Photographs." He has been married since 1967, and has three sons and five grandchildren.

Jerry Henderson

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Here and Now, There and Then: A Collection of Stories

completed a PhD at Louisiana State University. Henderson spent his entire career acting, directing, and teaching. He is a retired Professor of Theater from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, and now lives in historic Franklin, Tennessee.

Randall Horton

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Hook: A Memoir

is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Literature. He serves on the board of directors for Pen America's Pen Prison Writing Program and teaches at the University of New Haven. He lives in Harlem, New York.

Ross Howell

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earned an MFA in the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, and then pursued a career in marketing and publishing. His fiction has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly ReviewSewanee ReviewGettysburg Review, and other publications. He has also taught essay writing, fiction writing, and literature at Harvard University, Simmons College, the University of Iowa, the University of Virginia, and Elon University.

Milinda Jay

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Annie Laura's Triumph: A Novel

 is an eighth-generation Florida native. She likes to reimagine the family secrets that helped forge a unique culture out of the hot, mosquito-ridden Panhandle. Jay teaches Creative Writing at Florida State University in Panama City.

Ibram X. Kendi

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Ibram X.
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Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

is an assistant professor of African American history at the University of Florida. He authored the award-winning book, The Black Campus Movement: Black Students and the Racial Reconstitution of Higher Education, 1965-1972. He has received research fellowships, grants, and visiting appointments from a variety of universities, foundations, professional associations, and libraries. Before entering academia, he worked as a journalist.

CANCELED:Helga Kidder

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Blackberry Winter

is a native of Germany's Black Forest region and lives in the Tennessee hills with her husband, Everett, and her dog, Tyler. She was awarded an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. She is co-founder of the Chattanooga Writers Guild and leads their poetry group. Her poetry most recently was featured in Southern LightTwelve Contemporary Southern Poets and The Southern Poetry Anthology: Tennessee. She has participated in workshops in San Francisco and in Auvillar, France. 

CANCELED Wallace King

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is the author of two previous novels, The True Life Story of Isobel Roundtree and Maybelleen. After moving from New York to Los Angeles, she became a screenwriter; Edenland marks her return to fiction.