All News

NACC to Host Annual Arts and Humanities Speakers’ Forum on April 18, 2024

March 14, 2024

Pictured are Katie Simpson Smith, Michael Farris Smith, and Silas House. All three authors will be part of NACC's Annual Arts and Humanities Speakers' Forum on April 18, 2024.

The English and Fine Arts Division is happy to announce that on April 18, 2024, Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) will hold its annual Arts and Humanities Speakers’ Forum.  The event will be held in the Tom Bevill Lyceum from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The event is open to faculty, staff, and students of NACC as well as the public at no cost.

Three authors have been invited to speak on “Strength through Adversity” at this year’s event. In addition to discussing their works, the authors will read excerpts from their works and will be interviewed by Don Noble, host of Bookmark. Noble, a recipient of the 2017 Governor’s Arts Award, has served as the moderator for this event for decades. Dr. Noble taught American literature at the University of Alabama from 1969 until 2001. Through his work with the Alabama Public Television series, Bookmark, Noble has interviewed hundreds of writers.

The authors participating are Katy Simpson Smith (The Story of Land and Sea, Free Men, The Everlasting, and The Weeds), Michael Farris Smith (The Hands of Strangers, Rivers, Desperation Road, The Fighter, Blackwood, Nick, and Salvage This World), and Silas House (A Parchment of Leaves, Clay’s Quilt, The Coal Tattoo, Eli the Good, Same Sun Here, Southernmost, and Lark Ascending).

Award-winning author Katy Simpson Smith was born in Jackson, Mississippi, but now resides in New Orleans. She received her bachelor’s degree in history from Mount Holyoke College, her Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars. Michael Farris Smith, a native of Mississippi, graduated from Mississippi State with a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Louisiana State University.  

Michael Farris Smith, a native of Mississippi, graduated from Mississippi State with a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Louisiana State University.   Farris Smith is known for his gritty, atmospheric fiction which shows his deep appreciation for the Southern landscapes, culture, and history.

American novelist, essayist, poet, and playwright, Silas House is making his third visit to NACC. House earned his BFA in English from Eastern Kentucky University and his MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. He presently serves as Poet Laureate of Kentucky, the NEH Chair of Appalachian Studies at Berea College and on the fiction faculty at Spalding University. As a music journalist, environmental activist, and columnist, House also serves as an executive producer and consultant on films, music videos, and documentaries.  

Ms. Joan Reeves serves as the Division Chair of English and Fine Arts at Northeast and has been organizing the Annual Speakers’ Forum since 1994. “The distinguished writers for this year’s Speakers’ Forum bring a unique voice and perspective to the literary landscape, promising an event that will not only enlighten but also captivate audiences,” said Reeves. “House's poignant storytelling, Simpson Smith's masterful historical narratives, and Farris Smith's compelling characters converge to create a dynamic exchange of ideas and inspiration. The forum provides an opportunity for attendees to immerse themselves in the world of literature and gain insight into the creative processes of these remarkable writers.”

Following the panel discussion, participants will be invited to stay for a book signing at which time they will have the opportunity to talk with the authors. The College’s English honor society, Sigma Kappa Delta, will have copies of books by all three authors for sale.

As an added attraction for the Speakers’ Forum, each author has agreed to conduct a master class to be held in the English Building on April 18, from 2:30-3:45 p.m.  This event will also follow with a book signing and reception.

“Dr. Campbell showed great vision when he created this forum in 1993, and we are very fortunate to have been able to have brought such exemplary writers to NACC over the last thirty years,” added Reeves. “I believe that providing opportunities like this for our students is extremely valuable.”


Alumni & Giving

Support NACC

NACC has been dedicated to serving the community through excellence in education since 1965. As a community college, we are a firm foundation for our students.