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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee’s creative writing faculty will host the Southern Literature Festival Oct. 2-4 on the UT campus. The festival will honor acclaimed writer Dr. George Garrett.

Dr. George Garrett

Garrett, the Poet Laureate of Virginia, is author of 34 books that span every genre. He is one of the world’s most knowledgeable commentators on Southern literature. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and an honorary degree from the University of the South.

“George has an enormous generosity of spirit so that he shares his skills with younger writers and colleagues,” said Marilyn Kallet, director of the UT Creative Writing Program. “He is invested in everyone’s success and that makes him a great citizen of the writing community.”

The festival will open with a reading of Garrett’s children’s play, “Sir Slob and the Princess,” at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, at the Laurel Theatre.

Pulitzer Poet Henry Taylor will perform the keynote opening address at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, in the University Center Ballroom. A reception will follow the address with music by Po Hannah Trio.

Professionals in the writing industry will lead poetry, short story, publishing, novel and scholarship panels throughout the festival.

The conference is funded by the John C. Hodges Better English Fund, Haines-Morris Foundation, Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville, Tennessee Arts Commission, UT College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Provost Humanities Endowment.

Sponsors for the event include the UT Office of Student Activities, the Fellowship of Southern Writers and Metro Pulse.

The event is free for UT faculty, students and high school teachers. The registration fee is $30. For more information about the conference, see http://web.utk.edu/~english/cw/georgecon.htm.