Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) in Rainsville, Alabama, held its annual Arts and Humanities Speakers Forum on April 13, 2017, featuring award-winning author Mark Powell. Powell addressed a group of over 300 in the college’s Tom Bevill Lyceum and followed his presentation with a book signing. That afternoon Dr. Don Nobel, host of Alabama Public Television’s award-winning series, Bookmark, filmed his show which featured an interview with Mr. Powell. Powell returned that evening and spoke to an audience of 40 in the college’s library, which was also followed with a book signing and reception. Special guests attending the evening session included Calhoun instructors, Dr. Sheila Byrd and Dr. Leigh Ann Rhea, who brought students representing their chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta.
Powell was born in Mountain Rest, South Carolina, in 1976, and was educated at The Citadel, The University of South Carolina, and Yale Divinity School. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Breadloaf Writers' Conference, Sewanee Writers’ Conferences, the Collegeville Center for Ecumenical Research, and the Vaclav Havel fellowship in playwriting to the Prague Seminar. He has participated in the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival at Lincoln Memorial University, and served as a fiction workshop instructor at the Hindman Settlement School’s Appalachian Writers' Conference.
Powell’s novels include Prodigals (2002), Blood Kin (2006), The Dark Corner (2012), The Sheltering (2014), and his most recent novel set to release early May 2017 is entitled Echolocation. He has received such awards as the Peter Taylor Prize for the Novel and the Chaffin Award for contributions to Appalachian literature. His fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in a number of journals, including Still, Ellipis, Rivendell, The New Delta Review, Appalachian Heritage, American Polymath, The South Carolina Review, and Yemassee. In 2010, he received the Chaffin Award for contributions to Appalachian literature and was the featured artist in the winter 2012 issue of Appalachian Heritage, in which two excerpts from The Dark Corner, as well as a critical appraisal of his previous work appears. Powell presently serves as an assistant professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.
Dr. David Campbell, President of NACC, began the Arts and Humanities Speaker’s Forum in 1994. Since that first year, the Forum has hosted such writers as Tom Franklin, Janisse Ray, Mary Hood, Dori Sanders, Thomas Cook, Ron Rash, Silas House, Pam Duncan, Sena Jeter Naslund, George Singleton, and Darnell Arnoult. This event is offered for the community as well as the students, faculty, and staff at Northeast and is co-sponsored by the college’s English and Fine Arts Division and Sigma Kappa Delta, the English honor society. For more information regarding the Arts and Humanities Speaker’s Forum, contact Joan Reeves, NACC Chair English and Fine Arts, at 256-638-4418 or 256-228-6001, ext. 2231 or email@example.com.
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