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April 8-10, 2022

Word of South 2022

Lara Ruggles

Colorado singer-songwriter Lara Ruggles released her debut full-length album, Cynics and Saints, last year, overcoming a number of obstacles she describes as “tears, sweat, and blood” that delayed its release for more than three years. “I’m the kind of person who spent eight years training a wild horse,” said Ruggles. “But this still tested my […]

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Leslie Poole

Leslie Kemp Poole is an award-winning environmental writer and historian. A fourth-generation Floridian, Poole has long been interested in the role of women in the state and how they were saving the state’s important natural resources even before they were able to vote. She explored the important role of women in the state’s environmental movement […]

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Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Leonard Pitts, Jr. is a nationally-syndicated columnist who won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, and has also written three critically acclaimed novels, as well as spent time as a music critic.  His 2015 novel Grant Park is a powerful account of race relations in this country over a 40-year period culminating in a plot […]

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Pierce Pettis

Pierce Pettis has been writing and recoding finely crafted songs since the late 1970s, when Joan Baez included his “Song at the End of the Movie” on one of her albums. Since then, his songs have been covered by many artists, including Dar Williams, Garth Brooks and Art Garfunkel. Pettis was part of the Fast […]

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Grant Peeples

Singer-songwriter Grant Peeples, a native of Tallahassee, says he was changed forever at the age of 15 when a friend came over and played three classic Bob Dylan songs.  Peeples’ long career as a musician has included a short stint in Nashville, owning a club where artists like Jerry Jeff Walker played, recording music with […]

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Dexter Palmer

Dexter Palmer is the author of the futuristic novels Version Control and The Dream of Perpetual Motion.  In a review of The Dream of Perpetual Motion, the writer Jeff VanderMeer described it as “a singular riff on steampunk — sophisticated, subversive entertainment that never settles for escapism.” Palmer lives in Princeton, New Jersey, and earned […]

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Janis Owens

Janis Owens is a novelist, memoirist, folklorist and storyteller. As a child, her family lived briefly in Louisiana and Mississippi, and then returned to North Florida, where she attended the University of Florida. Her first novel, My Brother Michael, won the Chautauqua South Fiction Award for Best Novel. The companion novels to My Brother Michael […]

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Neil Alday and the Further South

No one knows what to call Neil Alday and Further South-Country/Southern Rock/Americana? Neil calls it, “Good songs with a southern accent.” Neil’s first band-Socialburn-was a hard hitting rock quartet whose songs “Down” and “Everyone” charted to # 8 and # 27 in the rock and modern charts (Electra/Atlantic/ then Universal Records). They toured extensively before […]

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Israel Nash

Country rocker Israel Nash’s move to Dripping Springs, Texas, in 2011 after five years of trying to make it in New York City is paying off.  Nash’s latest album, Rain Plans, which he recorded at his Texas home, has received raving reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.  The German Rolling Stone called it “the […]

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Bruce Thomason

Bruce Thomason served in law enforcement agencies in Texas, Ohio, and Florida, including more than 21 years as the Chief of Police in Jacksonville Beach. During his long career, he had the opportunity to work as a patrol officer, detective, and, ultimately, as a police executive. This wide-ranging experience has given him an exceptional grasp […]

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