$15 – $100

2019 South Carolina Academy of Authors Induction Ceremony

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Campus Room, Capstone Conference Center, University of South Carolina

898 Barnwell St

Columbia, SC 29201

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Join us on April 27, 2019, as we induct Elise Blackwell, Walter Edgar, Kathleen Parker, and Starkey Flythe into the South Carolina Academy of Authors for their outstanding literary contributions to our state.


  • $55 for individual (includes reception*, buffet meal, and attendance at ceremony)

  • $100 for a couple, (includes reception*, buffet meal, and attendance at the ceremony for you and guest)

  • and $15 for Sunday brunch to celebrate the winners of the Coker and McCray Nickens Fellowships and Student Prizes.

For further details, please go to: http://www.scacademyofauthors.org

If you cannot attend, please consider making a donation as an option.

Checks are accepted. Please indicate on the memo line: number of Tickets or if it’s a donation.

Checks should be mailed to:

The SC Academy of Authors
701 Gervais Street
Suite 150-195
Columbia, SC 29201

Please make checks can made payable to: SC Academy of Authors.

All ticket proceeds and donations fund events such as the induction ceremony and future educational programing by the Academy.

* Reception will be held at the Spigner House next to Capstone at the University of South Carolina Friday, 26, 2019 at 6:00PM in conjunction with An Evening with Starkey: A Gathering of Friends Reading Selections from His Works. Please see website for more details: http://www.scacademyofauthors.org

About our 2019 Inductees

Elise Blackwell is the author of five novels: Hunger (2003), The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish (2007), Grub (2010), An Unfinished Score (2010) and The Lower Quarter (2015). Her work has been translated into several languages, and her books have been named to numerous best-of-the-year lists, including the Los Angeles Times, the Sydney Morning Herald and Kirkus.

Born in Austin, Texas, Elise was raised in southern Louisiana about an hour from New Orleans, an area that figures prominently in two of her novels. She studied writing as an undergraduate at Louisiana State University and earned an MFA from the University of California-Irvine. After beginning her teaching career at Boise State University, she took a teaching position at the University of South Carolina in 2005 and was named director of the MFA program in creative writing in 2009. At USC she hosts the community literary series The Open Book, which has brought to Columbia such writers as Anthony Doerr, Celese Ng, Jonathan Franzen and Jennifer Egan.

Her work has been translated into several languages, as well as adapted for the stage. Her short stories and essays have been published in the Atlantic, The Millions, Witness, Brick and elsewhere. One of her books inspired the song “When the War Came” by the Decemberists. She has served on the board of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs and the Thomas Cooper Society.

An elegant writer with unusual range, her novels have addressed such topics as the siege of Leningrad, classical music, art restoration, young novelists in New York City, and the Mississippi River flood of 1927. She once said in an interview with storySouth: “If you want to read about people you’d invite to dinner at your mother’s house, I’m not the person you should read.”

Elise is an “urban homesteader” devoted to seed saving, raising heirloom vegetables, growing fruit trees, canning, and other forms of food preservation. She and writer David Bajo are parents of a daughter, Esme, a student at the University of Chicago studying art, math and computer science.

- Betsy Teter

Walter Edgar served as professor of history at the University of South Carolina for 40 years until his retirement in

2012. Born in Mobile, Alabama, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of South Carolina. He has held four distinguished professorships at the university, and in 2001 he was named a distinguished alumnus of the school.

Edgar’s many scholarly articles and books established a new look at the state’s history. As Carole Click of the Post and Courier put it, “Edgar gently promoted the audacious notion that women, Native Americans, African-Americans, Upstate mill workers and woodsmen ought to have as significant a place in the great mosaic of the state’s history as the powdered-wigged Lords Proprietors, the Revolutionary War heroes and Civil War generals who straddle the historical imagination.”

Edgar promoted that vision within the University of South Carolina and beyond. He was the founder and first

director of the university’s Public History program, and in 1980 he was named director of the Institute for Southern Studies, a research institute reflecting Edgar’s interdisciplinary approach to the South’s history. He held this position until his retirement. He embraced the role as the state’s public historian in his popular South Carolina Educational Radio series “Walter Edgar’s Journal” and “South Carolina A to Z.”

He has been a prolific scholar, writing and/or editing a dozen books, as well as 60 essays and articles. His most popular books are South Carolina: A History and the South Carolina Encyclopedia, for which he served as Editor in Chief.

He holds honorary degrees from four colleges, and he has been inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame and the South Carolina Higher Education Hall of Fame. He has also received the Governor’s Award in the Humanities.

- Kendra Hamilton

Starkey Flythe, Jr., lifelong resident of North Augusta, was one of the most diversified, distinctive, and memorable literary figures to come into prominence in South Carolina, and beyond, during the last quarter of the twentieth century.

Educated at the University of the South (Sewanee) and the University of Georgia, he went on to serve stints as a U.S. Army officer (with duty in East Africa) and, at various times, as an English teacher (principally in Beaufort, North Augusta, and Greenville, South Carolina; and in Augusta, Georgia). In 1971 he moved to Indiana as senior editor in the re-founding of The Saturday Evening Post (which had gone defunct in 1969). There he became engaged in supervising the publication of most of the large-format, popular-culture books that the Post produced during that decade. He also edited Holiday and The Country Gentleman

Flythe returned to South Carolina in the early 1980s to focus on his own writing. His poetry, short fiction, and essays, which garnered many honors and awards, appeared in numerous journals, reviews, and anthologies, among them The Southern Poetry Review, Ploughshares, The New Yorker, and New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best (2004). He published two award-winning collections of short stories, Lent: The Slow Fast, 1989 and Driving with Hand Controls, 2011, as well as three books of poetry.

For a generation he became a key figure in the cultural and literary life of both South Carolina and Georgia. Through his initiative in establishing literary organizations and supporting existing ones, participating in writing workshops, leading seminars and conferences, presenting lectures and readings, and just being a friend to writers—both amateurs and professionals—he was a major, but self-effacing, creative force.

Maxine Kumin spoke of the “flashes of vivid insight” in Flythe’s work; Stephen Corey, of his “inimitable voice”; Pat Conroy, of his “precision and natural eloquence,” his “passion.” Writer friend Laurel Blossom said of him, “He was beloved for his wit, his celebratory but wry attitude towards everything and everybody, his encyclopedic knowledge...I wish I could tell you—I wish I could imagine—what the world will be like without him.”

- Thomas Johnson

Columnist Kathleen Parker, an award-winning writer for The Washington Post, is a Florida native who often spent summers in Columbia with her mother’s family. Her career began in 1987 with the Orlando Sentinel, after covering South Carolina lowcountry news for the then Charleston Evening Post. Her column was nationally syndicated in 1995, and she joined The Washington Post Writers Group in 2006.

Editor Sharon Grigsby of the Dallas Morning News states: “In a media genre that's all too often predictable, Kathleen Parker almost never fails to surprise – with her passion, her wit and her creativity. She's an independent thinker and her viewpoint is often so fresh and original, you can't help but be moved even when you disagree." Parker is often described as “a politically conservative-leaning” columnist. She has described herself politically as “mostly right of center.”

In 1993 she received the prestigious H. L. Mencken Writing Award for, "attacking ignorance and stupidity with vividness and originality." In 2010, she received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for, “her perceptive, often witty columns on an array of political and moral issues, gracefully sharing the experiences and values that lead her to unpredictable conclusions.”

Her book Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care (Random House) was published in 2008. She is a consulting faculty member at the Buckley School of Public Speaking and serves on USA Today's Board of Contributors

She is a guest on cable and network news shows, a regular panelist on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and MSNBC. She has contributed articles to The Weekly Standard, Time, Town & Country, Cosmopolitan and Fortune Small Business. Ms. Parker is married to attorney Woody Cleveland and resides in Camden, SC.

- Libby Bernardin

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Campus Room, Capstone Conference Center, University of South Carolina

898 Barnwell St

Columbia, SC 29201

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