Clarksville, Tennessee, was a pivotal center of the Southern Renaissance of the 1920s and '30s. Writers of the era living in Clarksville included Robert Penn Warren, Evelyn Scott, Caroline Gordon and Allen Tate. Additional writers, including Cleanth Brooks, Ford Madox Ford, Donald Davidson, Katherine Ann Porter, Robert Lowell, Andrew Lytle, Malcolm Cowley, Frances and Brainard Cheney and others gathered to write and discuss their work at "Benfolly," Tate and Gordon's home overlooking the banks of the Cumberland River. Their Clarksville home became a Mecca for writers of the Southern Renaissance, and from that site poured literature which enriched the American scene. In that great tradition, we offer you the Thirteenth Annual Clarksville Writers Conference.

 



Robert Hicks

Robert Hicks

Named #2 in the most recent listing of the top "100 Reasons to Love Nashville" by Nashville Lifestyles magazine, Robert Hicks was described as Nashville's "Master of Ceremonies." The article went on to say that "being a New York Times best-selling author should be enough — but not for Robert Hicks, award-winning author of THE WIDOW OF THE SOUTH and A SEPARATE COUNTRY. His passion for words is equaled by one for preservation, saving the history-steeped places associated with the Battle of Franklin. Writer, speaker, leader, world-traveler, preservationist — one person really can make a difference."

In December 2005, The Tennessean named Hicks "Tennessean of the Year" for the impact THE WIDOW OF THE SOUTH has had on Tennessee heritage tourism and preservation. His third novel, THE ORPHAN MOTHER was released on September 13, 2016, by Grand Central Publishing.

A lifelong collector, Hicks was the first Tennessean to be listed among Arts & Antiques' "Top 100 Collectors in America," with his collection focusing on Outsider Art and Southern Material Culture, and he served as curator on the exhibition Art of Tennessee at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. Hicks is also founding chairman emeritus of Franklin's Charge: A Vision and Campaign for the Preservation of Historic Open Space in the fight to secure and preserve the historic battlefield in Williamson County.

Born in South Florida, Hicks moved to Williamson County, Tennessee, in 1974 and lives near the Bingham Community at 'Labor in Vain,' his log cabin. Visit Robert Hicks on the web at www.robert-hicks.com.


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Malaga Baldi

Malaga Baldi

Malaga Baldi, owner of the New York-based Baldi Agency, has worked as an independent literary agent for over thirty years. A graduate of Hampshire College, she worked in the Ballantine Books Publicity Department, as an associate at Candida Donadio & Associates and with the Elaine Markson Agency before going out on her own.

Baldi Agency is independent and eclectic, specializing in biography, cultural history, memoir, literary criticism and literary fiction. As much as she enjoys reading fiction and searching for the great American novel, nonfiction is the bread and butter of her list. Creative nonfiction, a combination of intelligent memoir and interdisciplinary studies, fascinates her. The Baldi Agency represents a cadre of revered authors including William J. Mann, Patty Dann, Mary Capello and Ray Coppinger. Visit The Baldi Agency on the web at www.baldibooks.com.


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Michael Carroll

Michael Carroll

Writer, lecturer and artist Michael Carroll has nearly thirty books in print. He is a science journalist, novelist and children's author. His second novel, a cosmic murder mystery called EUROPA'S LOST EXPEDITION, was released at Christmas of 2016 through Springer.

Carroll is recipient of the AAS Department of Planetary Science's Jonathan Eberhart Award for best planetary science article of the year. He is a Fellow and founding member of the International Association for the Astronomical Arts, and recipient of the Lucien Rudaux award for lifetime achievement in the astronomical arts. He was a fellow in the 2016-17 Antarctic Artists and Writers Program of the U.S. National Science Foundation. One of his paintings is on the surface of Mars — in digital form — aboard the Phoenix lander. Visit Michael Carroll on the web at www.stock-space-images.com.


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Rick Gregory

Rick Gregory

Rick Gregory is a Robertson County native and holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in American History from Vanderbilt University. He is co-author of HOME OF THE WORLD'S FINEST: A HISTORY OF ROBERTSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE and several articles on U.S., Tennessee and local history. His doctoral dissertation was entitled "Desperate Farmers: A History of the Dark-Fired Tobacco Planters Protective Association of Kentucky and Tennessee." He is president of Gregory & Associates and lives on a farm in Adams, Tennessee, with his wife Patti, a retired Robertson County school teacher.

Rick is a firm believer in the power of stories and storytelling. This is natural since he comes from a long line of storytellers. He believes that telling your personal stories and hearing other peoples' stories is an excellent way to build relationships and bond people together. Storytelling also makes room for people in the past to live in the present. He is also a member of Community Spirit, Inc., in Adams, TN, which among other things sponsors an afternoon of storytelling in the fall of each year.


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Alanna Nash

Alanna Nash

Critically acclaimed journalist and biographer Alanna Nash is the author of seven books, including the Belmont Award-winning THE COLONEL: THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF COLONEL TOM PARKER AND ELVIS PRESLEY, DOLLY: THE BIOGRAPHY, ELVIS AND THE MEMPHIS MAFIA and GOLDEN GIRL: THE STORY OF JESSICA SAVITCH, which was the basis for the 1996 motion picture Up Close & Personal.

A feature writer for Southern Living and AARP the Magazine, as well as a freelance book editor, Nash was named the Society of Professional Journalists' National Member of the Year in 1994. In 1977, Nash's job with the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, afforded her the opportunity to become one of the journalists to cover the funeral of Elvis Presley.

Nash holds a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is a recipient of the Country Music Association Media Achievement Award, and the only two-time winner of the Charlie Lamb Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism. She is currently working on a screenplay.


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Carol Ponder & Robert Kiefer

Carol Ponder and Robert Kiefer

Carol Ponder and Robert Kiefer have been theatre and music professionals for over 40 years. Taken together, they have acted, sung, danced in and directed hundreds of productions and thousands of performances.

Carol is an award-winning Teaching Artist and consultant in education through the arts, and an award-winning singer, musician and recording artist. Robert is a director who specializes in helping author/actors to create critically acclaimed one-person shows from various sources, historic and personal.

Supported by members of the military, psychologists and a growing audience of new friends and fans, Carol and Robert are performing MY FATHER'S WAR for combat soldiers and their friends and families as a catalyst for healing and reintegration; and for all audiences as a way to foster understanding of what it is that we ask of those who serve. Their performance is uniquely powerful because it is built from one warrior's memoir, a personal look into the concept that wars are waged by nations, but fought by individuals. Visit Carol Ponder and Robert Kiefer on the web at www.carolandrobert.com.


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Tamara Saviano

Tamara Saviano

During the past two decades, Tamara Saviano has established herself as a tireless advocate of American music and its artists. A Grammy-winning producer, publicist, manager, live concert producer, talent booker and former music television producer and music journalist, she has worked with many acclaimed artists including Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark, Radney Foster, Terri Hendrix, Marcus Hummon, Marty Stuart, Gretchen Peters, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Todd Snider and Janis Ian.

Her production credits include Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster, which won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album; The Pilgrim: A Celebration of Kris Kristofferson, a 70th-birthday tribute album; and This One's For Him: A Tribute To Guy Clark, released in 2011 to celebrate Clark's 70th birthday. Saviano also published a memoir, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL: A TRUE STORY OF A DAD, A DAUGHTER AND THE HEALING POWER OF MUSIC in 2014. Her most recent published work, WITHOUT GETTING KILLED OR CAUGHT: THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF GUY CLARK is a no-holds-barred biography of the beloved Americana music icon.

Saviano continually explores the national, regional and local arts scene to encourage unique collaborations between exceptional artists in all genres of music and literature. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Paul Whitfield, and handsome Blade the Bombay cat. Visit Tamara Saviano on the web at www.tamarasaviano.com.


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Ken Sherman

Ken Sherman

Ken Sherman is President of Ken Sherman & Associates, a Los Angeles based literary agency. An agent for more than twenty years, working with book, film and television writers, Ken has accumulated an impressive list of clients with such notable names as David Guterson, Anne Perry, Franz Kafka, Tawni O'Dell, Willa Cather, John Updike, Starhawk, and Julio Cortazar.

In addition to his agency work, Sherman is also a popular and accomplished speaker, having taught and lectured extensively at venues including UCLA, USC, The American Film Institute, The Aspen Institute, The San Francisco Writers Conference, and The Eugene International Film Festival where he recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award. Visit Ken Sherman & Associates on the web at www.kenshermanassociates.com.


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Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith was born in North Alabama and raised in South Jersey. He has a master's degree in English from Auburn University, where he met his future wife, Kate, at the college newspaper. Since 1999, Smith has lived in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he was an editor at The Leaf-Chronicle for 16 years. He is now one of the editors at The Tennessean in Nashville, and he works closely with the editors at the Leaf and at the DNJ in Murfreesboro.

SALAMANDERS OF THE SILK ROAD, released in November 2016 by indie publisher Lanternfish Press, is his debut novel. Visit Christopher Smith on the web at www.salamandersmilk.com.


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