Lamott, Hornsby To Headline Art & Soul Literary Conference

Feb. 12, 2001

Best¡selling novelists, award¡winning poets, prominent literary critics, scholars and even a Grammy winner will headline the second annual Art & Soul, an international festival of religious faith and literary art at Baylor University. The four¡day event, Feb. 22¡25, will feature public cultural events, a national writing conference and a scholarly conference on religion and culture.

"Art & Soul is a festival that brings together people from a wide spectrum of beliefs, fields and genres," said Dr. Greg Garrett, associate professor of English and director of the event. "Scholars, writers, editors, filmmakers, musicians and the general public all interact over the course of four days of the festival, creating a community of people interested in religion, spirituality and the arts."

An impressive range of presenters will appear at this year's conference, including Anne Lamott, author of the critically acclaimed novel "Crooked Little Heart" and "Rosie," as well as the best¡selling non¡fiction works "Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing" and "Life and Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith," and Bruce Hornsby, three¡time Grammy¡winning pianist/singer/songwriter, whose hits include "The Way It Is" and "Mandolin Rain." Lamott will deliver a public lecture and reading at 8 p.m. Feb. 23, and participate in a question/answer session on Feb. 24. Hornsby will perform a public concert at the Waco Hippodrome, 724 Austin Ave., at 8 p.m. Feb. 24.

Other major presenters include Jane Hirshfield, author of "Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry"; Rodger Kamenetz, author of "The Jew in the Lotus" and "Stalking Elijah"; Bret Lott, author of the Oprah Book Club selection "Jewel," which recently was made into a TV movie, and the novels "The Hunt Club" and "The Man Who Owned Vermont"; Lee Smith, author of nine novels, including "Saving Grace" and "Oral History," and three collections of short fiction; and Margaret Becker, a Dove Award¡winning singer and songwriter who has charted 14 number one Christian singles.

This year's scholarly conference will focus on the Oxford Christians (C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Dorothy Sayers), with presentations by J. Stanley Mattson, director of the C.S. Lewis Foundation; Christopher Mitchell, Director of the Wade Center, a research collection at Wheaton College devoted to the Oxford Christians; and Joe R. Christopher, author of "C.S. Lewis" in Twayne's English Authors Series.

Art & Soul also will feature workshops on fiction writing, screenwriting and songwriting, as well as a new track on writing for peace and justice.

Garrett said that the success of last year's inaugural conference, which featured a public lecture by best¡selling author John Grisham, has generated interest in this year's conference.

"The response has been exciting," Garrett said. "There is a tremendous buzz about this program nationally. We have more people coming to read and to present their research than last year, and more interest in the writing conference."

Tickets to Lamott's Friday night lecture are $10, and Hornsby concert tickets are priced at $25 for reserved seats and $10 for general admission. There is a charge for manuscript consultation for writers who would like to meet individually with conference faculty. Art & Soul is co¡presented by the Institute for Faith and Learning, the Center for American and Jewish Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences and the department of English. For a complete schedule of conference events, visit http://www.baylor.edu/~Rel_Lit/ or call the Institute for Faith and Learning at (254) 710¡4805.

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