As a National Poetry Month special event, the Charleston County Public Library will host the Pat Conroy Literary Center’s executive director Jonathan Haupt and student intern Holland Perryman for a free virtual presentation of Pat Conroy’s “Great Love of Poetry” on Monday, April 19th, at 6 pm. Learn more and register to attend at www.ccpl.org/events/pat-conroys-great-love-poetry.
“The poets of the world occupy a place of high honor in my city of books,” Conroy wrote in My Reading Life (2010).
Haupt and Perryman will explore Conroy’s lifelong relationship with poetry as a reader, as a self-described failed poet, and as a writer who found a creative outlet for the rhapsody and rhythms of poetry in his iconic lyrical and descriptive prose. Conroy’s love of language blossomed from an early love of poetry, and even in his final hours, he was immersed in the beauty and power of verse. Through discussion of Pat’s teachers, mentors, favorite poets, and fellow advocates of poetry, and through published and unpublished examples of his writings spanning the breadth of his life, this presentation fosters a new appreciation for his admiration of poetry, for his dedication to the writing craft, and for the myriad ways in which poetry shines through Conroy’s storied prose. This program was originally created in collaboration with poet and retired educator Tim Conroy, author of Theologies of Terrain.
Jonathan Haupt is the executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center and the former director of the University of South Carolina Press. Jonathan’s book reviews and author interviews have appeared in the Post and Courier, Lowcountry Weekly, Beaufort Lifestyle, Savannah Morning News Beacon magazine, Southern Review of Books, and Southern Writers Magazines Suite T blog. He is co-editor with Nicole Seitz of Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy, the winner of 17 book awards. Jonathan also serves on the boards of the South Carolina Academy of Authors and the Friends of South Carolina Libraries and on the advisory board of the South Carolina Humanities and the affiliates steering committee of the American Writers Museum. He is the host of the monthly Live from the Pat Conroy Literary Center author interview podcast and an associate producer of the Telly Award-winning ETV series By the River. In 2020, he was recognized with the Doug Marlette Literacy Leadership Award presented by the Pulpwood Queens, the largest book club in the U.S.
The first writer to be twice featured on the “Lowcountry Poet’s Corner” segment of the ETV series By the River, Holland Perryman is the Pat Conroy Literary Center’s first student intern. A Beaufort High School junior and the student body vice president, she was the recipient of the creative writing award for a competition inspired by the Conroy Center’s March Forth partnership at BHS in 2019. Holland was also a finalist for the inaugural Ann Head Literary Prize for Short Story in 2020, and she was selected for the Creative Writing Academy Program at the SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in 2019. Her work has been published in the Charleston Post and Courier, Lowcountry Weekly, Southern Review of Books, and Stretching Skyward, the Camp Conroy 2020 anthology.
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