MMI to host literary festival

The MMI Dean's Office is proud to announce a new tradition: hosting a literary festival. The public is invited to join us for OPEN BOOK Thurs. Feb. 12 & Sun. Feb. 15.

The Black Belt of Alabama is a land rich in culture and tradition.  From historical buildings dating back to the early 1800’s to legendary writers like Harper Lee and our own local favorite, Mary Ward Brown, this is a place, like resurrection moss, that continues to spring back to life with the occasional drops of inspiration.  But imagine if we had a down pouring of ideas—in literature perhaps?  New growth might blossom from those budding ideas just below the surface and lead us into a new chapter of development.

To bring the waters of ideas and inspiration to the people of the Black Belt, Marion Military Institute is proud to announce “Open Book: The 2015 Marion Military Institute Literary Festival.”  This festival, being held in mid-February, looks to show the diversity the literary world has to offer.  Each author presenting during the festival will bring a cornucopia of stories, writing styles and wisdom the table.  From a novelist, to a preservationist, to a historian, these three authors promise to enlighten us with ideas and encourage us to act upon those inspirations. 

First to test the waters, will be Scott Morris, a novelist, born in Jacksonville, Florida. Morris is an upcoming writer with a style that has been “compared to John Kennedy Toole and, ahem, Mark Twain” (Kevin Canfield, Booklist.) His southern characters are as bizarre as they are unforgettable.  After an education at the University of Chicago as well as in Oxford, England, Morris returned to his southern roots and set up shop as a teacher and writer in Oxford, Mississippi for many years.  Morris’ literary festival topic is titled, “Art, Ideas and Perseverance” and he will no doubt inspire all three.  A dynamic and courageous speaker, Morris is sure to spark the creative juices of our audience, especially those young and eager minds (Teens are encouraged to attend!)

Keeping true to the idea of life-giving inspiration, our second author to speak has an expertise that lies in historical preservation and the intelligent reuse of historic buildings and sites.  Elizabeth “Betsy” Crosby, is a native of Philadelphia but has Southern roots that run deep...(Roseland Estate insert.)  Published frequently in magazines such as Veranda, Alabama Heritage Magazine and Preservation Magazine, Crosby is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to making new of the old and truly resurrecting projects that seem like time forgot.  Her discussion topic is titled “The Changing Narrative of Historic Preservation.”

A light reception will be held in the meeting room adjacent to the Marion Military Institute Chapel on Thursday, February 12th, followed by Morris’ discussion in the Chapel and a secondary reception with a book signing to follow.

A place that has long been the breeding ground for great minds and writers, looking to be the lifegiving literary rain on the resurrection moss of intellectuals both young and old.