The Arts Center of Kershaw County (formerly known as the Fine Arts Center) will host a panel discussion and publishing release for “Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy” on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. in Wood Auditorium.
New York Times best-selling writer Pat Conroy (1945–2016) inspired a worldwide legion of devoted fans numbering in the millions, but none are more loyal to him and more committed to sustaining his literary legacy than the many writers he nurtured over the course of his 50-year writing life. In sharing their stories in “Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy,” his fellow writers honor his memory and advance our shared understanding of his lasting impact on 20th- and 21st-century literary life in and well beyond the American South.
Featured writers for this discussion are “Our Prince of Scribes” co-editor Jonathan Haupt, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker, her son and fellow writer John Connor Cleveland, poet and Conroy’s brother Tim Conroy, and historian and Pat Conroy’s Beaufort High School classmate Alexia Jones Helsley. Through their remembrances, a vibrant, multifaceted portrait of Pat Conroy comes to life and sheds new light on the writer and the man.
Presented in partnership with the Pat Conroy Literary Center, this special event will be held on the publication day of the paperback edition of “Our Prince of Scribes,” and the one-year anniversary of the original hardcover edition. Sales of “Our Prince of Scribes” support the educational mission of the nonprofit Conroy Center, based in Conroy’s adopted hometown of Beaufort.
Praise for ‘Our Prince of Scribes’
“A moving tribute to the legacy of one of the South’s brightest lights.” --Garden & Gun’s Talk of the South
“Our Prince of Scribes isn’t just a collection of homages but also a delightful introduction to Conroy’s vast and talented circle of friends.” --Washington Post
“More than 60 writers -- from Pulitzer Prize winners to Conroy relatives to Barbra Streisand -- fill Our Prince of Scribes with personal stories about [Pat Conroy’s] impact.... The result is a moving, entertaining read as genuine as the icon himself.” --Charleston Magazine
“His wound may have been geography, but his legacy was generosity. That’s the takeaway from this new collection of essays honoring the late Pat Conroy.... A fitting tribute to a unique, significant writer and man.” --Kirkus Reviews
About the presenters
Writer John Connor Cleveland is director of policy and external communications for S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster. He is the son of Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Kathleen Parker. He lives in Columbia.
Tim Conroy is a former special education teacher and school administrator. He is the author of the poetry collection Theologies of Terrain and a founding board member of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, established in his brother’s honor. He lives in Columbia.
Jonathan Haupt is the executive director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center and the former director of the University of South Carolina Press. With Nicole Seitz, he is co-editor of Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy. His articles and author interviews have appeared in the Charleston Post & Courier, Beaufort Lowcountry Weekly, Fall Lines literary journal, Pink magazine, Southern Writers Suite T blog, and elsewhere. He lives in Beaufort.
Alexia Jones Helsley is senior instructor of history and university archivist at the University of South Carolina Aiken. A high school classmate of Pat Conroy’s, she is the author of Beaufort, South Carolina: A History; Wicked Beaufort; Hidden History of Greenville County, South Carolina; The Lost History of Aiken County, and others. She lives in Columbia.
Kathleen Parker is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist for The Washington Post. Her twice-weekly columns on politics and culture are syndicated in more than 400 media outlets. She was inducted into the South Carolina Academy of Authors (the Palmetto State’s literary hall of fame) and awarded the National Society of Newspaper Columnist Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award earlier this year. She lives in Camden.
Tickets for this event are $20 per person and are available for purchase online at www.fineartscenter.org or by stopping by the ACKC’s box office, 810 Lyttleton St. in Camden.