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Rick Bragg

If you go

› What: Rick Bragg in Southern Lit Alliance’s South Bound: Distinguished Lectures

› When: 5 p.m. (book signing) and 6 p.m. (reading) today, Jan. 21; reception for VIP ticketholders at 4 p.m.

› Where: Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd.

› Admission: $75 VIP, $50 general admission, $30 student

› Phone: 423-267-1218

› Website: www.SouthernLit Alliance.org

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg is in town today, Jan. 21, to help the Southern Lit Alliance kick off South Bound: Distinguished Lectures, a series that will feature renowned and emerging voices in current American literature.

Bragg's schedule includes a happy-hour reception for VIP ticketholders at 4 p.m., then a book signing at 5 p.m. and reading at 6 p.m., all at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. There will be no book signing after the presentation as Bragg is the special guest for a fundraising dinner at Easy Bistro. Tickets to the dinner have sold out.

Bragg became a domestic correspondent in the Atlanta office of The New York Times in 1994 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 1996. His reporting has ranged from murders to unrest in Haiti to the Oklahoma City bombing. In addition to the Pulitzer, he is the recipient of the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award and 31 other national, regional and state writing honors.

Author of three best-selling memoirs, "All Over But the Shoutin'," "Ava's Man" and "The Prince of Frogtown," he is now a writing professor in the journalism program at the University of Alabama. Most recently he has published "Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story," a biography of the rock-and-roller, and "My Southern Journey," a collection of his best essays about the South.

Future authors in the series are award-winning poet Adrian Matejka, whose "The Big Smoke" chronicles the life of the first black heavyweight champion during the Jim Crow era; Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly, who co-wrote "The Tilted World"; Claire Vaye Watkins, considered a "stunning new voice" in American literature based on her first novel, "Gold Fame Citrus"; and Harrison Scott Key, who has spun off the humor and nonfiction he has written for national periodicals into his first book, "The World's Largest Man," a memoir about his father.

All remaining appearances will take place at The Arts Building, 301 E. 11th St. Individual tickets to future readings are $25 VIP, $15 general admission, $5 students. Season subscriptions are available for $160 VIP or $95 general admission.

Save the date

Still to come in the Southern Lit Alliance’s South Bound: Distinguished Lectures series are:

› Feb. 10: Adrian Matejka, “The Big Smoke”

› March 22: Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly, “The Tilted World”

› April 21: Claire Vaye Watkins, “Gold Fame Citrus”

› May 20: Harrison Scott Key, “The World’s Largest Man”

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