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Free All Weekend | April 10-11, 2021
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Word of South 2021

Wayne A. Wiegand

Wayne A. Wiegand is F. William Summers Professor of Library and Information Studies Emeritus at Florida State University, and former Director of the Florida Book Awards. As author and editor of many books (including Irrepressible Reformer: A Biography of Melvil Dewey) and over one hundred scholarly articles, he is often referred to as the “Dean […]

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Jim White

Raised in Pensacola, Florida, Jim’s songs reach deep into the underbelly of the South. One time Pentecostal, fashion model, New York taxi driver, prosurfer, photographer, and film-maker, White’s music is the channel for all the stories he collected along the way. His previous albums ‘Wrong-Eyed Jesus’ [1997], ‘No Such Place’ [2001] and ‘Drill a Hole […]

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The Suffers

The Suffers are a 10-piece band from Houston that is redefining the sound of Gulf Coast Soul. The band is known for mixing elements of Classic American Soul with Rock & Roll. Lead singer Kam Franklin’s voice is backed by talented and powerful horn and rhythm sections. Entertainment Weekly lauded the band’s “buttery horn arrangements, funky […]

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Story Pirates

Story Pirates believes that every child has a story to tell. Whether it’s a world where cats can fly or a rock opera about fuzzy alien tickle monsters, this sketch comedy musical is based entirely on stories by elementary schoolers! Watch the Story Pirates celebrate the words and ideas of your very own student authors. […]

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Sye Elaine Spence

Sye Elaine Spence is a singer, songwriter, and artist originally from New York City and now residing in Atlanta, GA. In 2008, she began collaborating with artists and producers in New York City in efforts to begin a career as a professional songwriter. In doing so, her interest in becoming an artist was heightened.  Spence’s […]

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Minton Sparks

A Tennessee native, first-ever Spoken Word Award recipient at the Conference on Southern Literature, and founder of The Nashville Writing and Performance Institute, Minton Sparks has established herself in Nashville. Sparks meshes her gift for storytelling with music, and poetry to tell vivid stories of the rural South. She earned the title of the first […]

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The Sonnet Man

If you’re ready for some Hip Hop Shakespeare Fusion, the 2016 Word of South Festival is the place for you. Come check out the Sonnet Man, aka artist Devon Glover of New York, who performs the Bard’s love sonnets to a Hip Hop beat, introducing young people to Shakespeare’s immortal words in a form they […]

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Amanda Shires

Amanda Shires is a violinist and singer/songwriter who performs as a solo act and with her husband Jason Isbell’s band, the 400 Unit. She began playing violin around age 10, and by her teens was performing with Western Swing legend Bob Wills’ band the Texas Playboys. She has released five albums and appeared in the […]

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Brenda Shaughnessy

Born in Okinawa, Brenda Shaughnessy is an award-winning American poet. A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, Shaughnessy has also received fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute, the Japan/U.S. Friendship Commission, and the Howard Foundation of Brown University. Her 2008 book Human Dark with Sugar won the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of […]

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Bob Shacochis

Bob Shacochis is one of America’s most provocative and accomplished writers. His story collection Easy in the Islands won the National Book Award, and his novel Swimming in the Volcano was a National Book Award finalist. His most recent work, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, was the winner of the Dayton International Literary Peace […]

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