Northeast Alabama Community College in Rainsville, held its annual Arts and Humanities Speakers Forum recently, and this year’s event was a celebration of its 25th anniversary. To mark this event, the college invited six authors who have been a part of the Speakers’ Forum over the past 25 years — Michael Knight (2008), Silas House (2010), Darnell Arnoult (2011), Tom Franklin (2013), George Singleton (2016) and Mark Powell (2017).

David Campbell, president of NACC, began the Arts and Humanities Speakers’ Forum in the early 90s. Since that first year, in addition to these six authors, the Forum has hosted such writers as Janisse Ray, Mary Hood, Dori Sanders, Thomas Cook, Ron Rash, Pam Duncan, Sena Jeter Naslund, Robert McCammon and Joshilyn Jackson.

This event is offered for the community as well as the students, faculty and staff at Northeast and was co-sponsored by the college’s English and Fine Arts Division, the college’s English honor society, the Alabama Humanities Foundation, Gorham’s Bluff and Akins’ Furniture.

Over 400 were in attendance for the event, which included two panel discussions. The first panel dealt with a discussion of Appalachian literature as a genre, its past, its present and its future; and the second dealt with “Grit Lit,” a genre which deals with the literature of the rough South.

The discussions began with a reading by each panelist and ended with a Q&A with the audience. Moderating the panels was Dr. Don Noble, host of Alabama Public Television’s award-winning series, Bookmark. At the end of the day the college hosted a reception and book signing with all of the authors.

In attendance was faculty and students from Calhoun Community College, Chattanooga State Community College and Georgia Highlands Community College. Joan Reeves, chair of the English and Fine Arts Division, said, “What a great way to celebrate an event that has brought so much to the Northeast campus over the years. Dr. Campbell showed great vision when he created this forum in 1993, and because of this, we are very fortunate to have been able to have brought such exemplary Southern writers to NACC over the last 25 years.”

The NACC chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta does have some signed copies of books by these authors available. For more information, contact Joan Reeves at 256-638-4418 or 256-228-6001, ext. 2231, or by email .

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