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Author Talk with Hugh Suggs
January 9 @ 2:30 pm - 4:45 pmFree
“Pssst, want to know a secret?” asks Hugh Suggs. “There’s no bottom you can’t come back from if you are determined to get back up, are willing to ask for help, and accept it when it’s offered.”
Suggs will speak on Sunday, January 9, at 2:30 p.m., in Meeting Room A on the upper level of the downtown library. 401 E. University Ave, 32601. While the meeting room on the upper level is spacious, attendees are encouraged to wear a mask and socially distance themselves. If the meeting has to change, the information will be available on the Writers Alliance of Gainesville website: www. writersalliance.org. Check back before you go. The meeting is free and open to the public.
Suggs’s poignant story, “From one Field to Another,“ won first place for creative nonfiction in the 2019 Bacopa Literary Review. He has now written a powerful memoir dedicated to his illiterate farming father’s struggle, inside the abject poverty of itinerate farm work, to raise six children—children who’d go on to become teachers, county managers, decorated soldiers, and successful politicians.
Written in novel style in a series of forty vignettes, the reader walks into Wise’s Drugs with Suggs’s father in 1945 as the storyteller journeys back to his sharecropping roots in order to discover how he became the person who ended up beneath the wheels of a loaded log truck. While he lost his legs in that accident, he gained an enhanced perspective in his writing.
His talk will center around how he combines his open-mic-honed prose poetry with the challenge of writing about a seventy-year journey from his changing perspective; first as that of a gifted child laborer who becomes a budding poet and then as a baggage-carrying, struggling adult whose bad choices left him beneath those wheels.
He will be highlighting this technique by reading excerpts from both his finished manuscript of creative nonfiction, “Rind and All,” and performing pieces from a collection of poetry he’s calling “Back on this Side / A Second Chance at Enlightenment,” whose lines kept finding their way into his memoir’s manuscript.
There is free parking around the downtown library and side streets.
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