It was a wonderful weekend in this gorgeous piece of paradise!
It's a very long ways from Columbus to the coast. Fortunately, my good friend Karen Johnson went down with me and kept me awake on the long drive. We arrived on Thursday night and crashed at a hotel in Brunswick. On Friday, Dr. Jennifer Gray, who coordinates the writing center at the College of Coastal Georgia, along with three of her writing coaches picked me up to take me to my school visits for the day.
|Dr. Jennifer Gray, Hannah, me, Beth, and Ashley.|
Jennifer delivered me to the hotel on the island. What a wonderful place with such fascinating history. The first transcontinental telephone call was initiated here with Dr. Bell in New York and Mr. Watson in San Francisco.
The festival was held at the new conference center on Jekyll, a lovely setting with views of the Atlantic from nearly every window.
It seems to happen to me often when I would really love to have a photo. I couldn't get the camera button to work. Though it worked fine the rest of the weekend. So I'm grateful to have found a video by Buffy Hamilton from the Unquiet Librarian of Natasha Trethaway's reading of "The Elegy," the first poem in her collection, Thrall. Ms. Trethaway read numerous poems from the collection. I was moved to tears. Literally. I had to sit for a moment before I could leave the presentation. Perhaps because I'm dealing with my own father's final days, the tenderness and the struggles inherent in this collection (one that she called a public conversation with her father) hit a sweet spot in my heart.
Saturday was a wonderful time of hanging out with good friends, Gail Karwoski and Lola Schafer. And meeting new ones. The children's sessions were fairly small, but well attended. I always take my hat box with me to talk about the writing process, all the hats a writer wears. It's not literal, but I really do like literal hats, so what can I say?
Saturday night, we enjoyed a wine dinner with Chef Hugh Acheson, who owns the Five & Ten in Athens and the Empire State South in Atlanta. I have no idea how they decide who will sit with whom, but table nine was the place to be. Karen and I were joined by BA and Gabe, owners of a sustainable farm in Brunswick who provided vegetables for the night's meal, a couple from Florida (so sorry I've lost the card with their names) who also run a sustainable farm, and a book reviewer from Atlanta. The laughter flowed more volubly than the wine, I think. It was a wonderful close to a very full day.
|The raucous crew of table nine.|
Sapelo Farms and BA gave us a tour, let us sample different varieties of greens, and introduced us to the baby lambs.
What satisfying weekend!