← View All Articles

S.C. Arts Awards Spotlight Series: Ed Madden

Governor's Award: Individual Category

As the day nears for the 2022 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: four receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and three receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.

Ed Madden is a poet, activist, and a professor of English, with a focus on Irish literature, at the University of South Carolina.

[caption id="attachment_50362" align="alignright" width="265"] Ed Madden (left) received his Governor's Award from SCAC Executive Director David Platts on May 19, 2022. Click image to enlarge. SCAC photo by Jason Rapp.[/caption] There, he is also director of the women’s and gender studies program. His academic areas of specialization include Irish culture; British and Irish poetry; LGBTQ literature, sexuality studies, and history of sexuality; and creative writing and poetry. In 2015, Madden was named Columbia’s first poet laureate, a post he maintains today. His poetry collection Prodigal: Variations was published in 2011. His chapbook, My Father’s House, was runner-up for the 2011 Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. His latest books of poetry are Nest (2014) and Ark (2016). Madden is author of several critical articles on modern British and Irish poetry including Tiresian Poetics: Modernism, Sexuality, Voice, 1888-2001, a book on representations of Tiresian liminality in modernist poetry. He co-edited two texts, Irish Studies: Geographies and Genders, and The Emergence of Man into the 21st Century – an anthology of essays and poems on male experience. Finally, he penned “An Open Letter to My Christian Friends,” which makes appearances in various textbooks, including Everything’s an Argument. In addition to his literary criticism, he also publishes on issues involving sexuality and spirituality. He has published “Gospels of Inversion: Literature, Scripture, Sexology” in a collection of essays entitled Divine Aporia: Postmodern Conversation About the Other (edited by John C. Hawley). Another foray into the intersection of religion, literature, and sex came in the essay “The Well of Loneliness, or the Gospel According to Radclyffe Hall,” published in Reclaiming the Sacred: The Bible in Gay and Lesbian Culture. Madden has been a South Carolina Academy of Authors Fellow in poetry twice and was South Carolina Arts Commission Prose Fellow in 2011. In 2019 he was named a Poet Laureate Fellow of the Academy of American Poets and a visiting artist fellow at the Instituto Sacatar in Bahia, Brazil. He has been writer-in-residence at the Riverbanks Botanical Garden and at Fort Moultrie in Charleston as part of the state’s African American Heritage Corridor project. He also works with the South Carolina Poetry Initiative and was 2006 artist-in-residence for South Carolina State Parks. Madden won the single-poem contest co-sponsored by The State newspaper and the South Carolina Poetry Initiative (with “Prodigal: Variations”) and won the South Carolina Poetry Book Prize, with Signals, published by the UofSC Press. He was selected as one of the top 50 New Poets by Meridian Magazine (which is published by the University of Virginia Press) for his poem, “Sacrifice,” which was included in the Best New Poets of 2007 anthology.
The South Carolina Arts Awards are coming live to SCETV on Monday, June 13, 2022 at 9 p.m. ET. South Carolina ETV, the state’s public educational broadcasting network, will broadcast the awards ceremony through its 11-station TV network that spans the state. Viewers can access the broadcast via livestream on the homepage of SCETV.org; by using a digital antenna; or through cable, satellite, and streaming live TV providers. Further information about accessing SCETV is available here.

Jason Rapp

2022 South Carolina Arts Awards to be broadcast on SCETV

Monday, June 13 at 9 p.m. ET

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission and University of South Carolina McKissick Museum are announcing an exciting first: the South Carolina Arts Awards ceremony will be broadcast on television Monday, June 13, 2022 at 9 p.m. ET thanks to a new partnership with SCETV.

South Carolina ETV, the state’s public educational broadcasting network, will broadcast the awards ceremony through its 11-station TV network that spans the state. Viewers can access the broadcast via livestream on the homepage of SCETV.org; by using a digital antenna; or through cable, satellite, and streaming live TV providers. Further information about accessing SCETV is available here. South Carolina First Lady Peggy McMaster and David T. Platts, executive director of the SCAC, will be joint hosts of the South Carolina Arts Awards for the third year running. They will recognize seven award recipients: three receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award and four receiving the South Carolina Governor’s Award for the Arts. McKissick Museum Executive Director Jane Przybysz will introduce each Folk Heritage Award recipient:
  • Justin Guy (Edgefield): artist category, traditional alkaline-glazed stoneware pottery
  • Ann Phillips (Sumter): artist category, quiltmaking
  • Duncan Rutherfurd (Aiken): advocacy category, custom knifemaking
Platts will introduce the four recipients of the Governor’s Award for the Arts:
  • Darion McCloud (Columbia): artist category
  • Ed Madden (Columbia): individual category
  • Carrie Ann Power (Aiken): arts in education category
  • One Columbia for Arts and History (Columbia): organization category
The partnership between the SCAC and SCETV also allowed the South Carolina Arts Awards to take advantage of an SCETV production team, led by executive producer William I. Richardson, that created the pre-recorded ceremony. “This partnership with South Carolina ETV will help the South Carolina Arts Awards ceremony reach new highs in terms of production and reach. The quality of this broadcast, with the bonus of being accessible to nearly all South Carolinians, will showcase how valuable the latest recipients’ accomplishments are to all of us. The South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum are delighted to begin an exciting new chapter of the Governor’s Awards and Folk Heritage Awards,” Platts said. “Art is an expression of our culture, emotions and history. The 2022 South Carolina Arts Awards fits perfectly with SCETV’s mission to share the diverse viewpoints and stories of South Carolinians. We are proud to partner with the South Carolina Arts Commission and the University of South Carolina McKissick Museum for this first-ever televised broadcast of the awards ceremony," SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett said.
About the South Carolina Arts Commission The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in four areas: arts learning, community and traditional arts, artist development, and arts industry. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.
About the University of South Carolina McKissick Museum The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum tells the story of southern life: community, culture, and the environment. The Museum is located on the University of South Carolina’s historic Horseshoe with available parking in the garage at the corner of Pendleton and Bull streets. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. The Museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. The Museum is closed Sundays and university holidays. For more information, please call at 803.777.7251 or visit https://sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/artsandsciences/mckissick_museum/.
About South Carolina ETV and Public Radio South Carolina ETV (SCETV) is the state's public educational broadcasting network. Using television, radio and diverse digital properties, SCETV's mission is to enrich lives by educating children, informing and connecting citizens, celebrating our culture and environment and instilling the joy of learning. In addition to airing local programs, such as Carolina Classrooms, Making It Grow, Palmetto Scene and This Week in South Carolina, SCETV also presents multiple programs to regional and national audiences, including By The River, Expeditions, Reconnecting Roots, Reel South, Somewhere South, Yoga in Practice and Live from Charleston Music Hall. In addition, SC Public Radio produces the national radio production, Chamber Music from Spoleto Festival USA.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

S.C. Arts Commission to present four Governor’s Awards for the Arts in 2022

for immediate release COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is happy to announce four recipients who are to be honored in 2022 with South Carolina’s highest award for exceptional achievement in practicing or supporting the arts. The SCAC presents the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts annually each spring. The appointed members of the agency’s board of directors vote on panel recommendations for the award. In 2022, the SCAC board approved the recommendations of the following honorees from their respective categories to be recognized for outstanding achievement and contributions to the arts in South Carolina:

  • ARTIST: Darion McCloud, Columbia
  • INDIVIDUAL: Ed Madden, Columbia
  • ARTS IN EDUCATION: Carrie Ann Power, Aiken
  • ORGANIZATION: One Columbia for Arts and History, Columbia

BONUS CONTENT: 2022 Governor's Awards for the Arts recipient reveal video


"Recipients always represent the best of South Carolina. They are talented, successful, and dedicated. They give of themselves to ensure access to the arts for all,” SCAC Chairwoman Dee Crawford said. “By presenting them the Governor’s Award, we celebrate their achievements and thank these accomplished recipients for enriching life and culture throughout South Carolina.” “This class of Governor’s Award recipients is notable for the ways it improves access to the arts across the spectrum,” elaborates SCAC Executive Director David T. Platts. “Making the arts more representative is central to the South Carolina Arts Commission’s mission. All four of these recipients demonstrate tireless efforts to help the arts be more inclusive and accessible.” A diverse committee, appointed by the S.C. Arts Commission Board of Directors and drawn from members community statewide, reviews all nominations. After a rigorous process and multiple meetings, the panel produces a recommendation from each category with a nomination that is sent to the board for final approval. Serving on the panel for the 2022 awards were Shani Blann (Lexington), Dr. Philip Mullen (Columbia), Glenis Redmond (Mauldin), Bhavna Vasudeva (Columbia), and Bradley Wingate (Greenville). Recipients of the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards are honored during a video presentation of the South Carolina Arts Awards. The SCAC and its partner for the Folk Heritage Awards, McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina, are working to finalize plans for the 2022 awards and announce details on a later date.
About the 2022 South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts Recipients DARION MCCLOUD (Artist Category) is an actor, director, storyteller, educator, arts activist, and children’s literature advocate from Columbia. He is also the founder and creative director both of NiA Theatre Company and Story Squad. McCloud is a Riley Institute Diversity Fellow and the 2019 recipient of the Theatre Artist of the Year Award from The Jasper Project. A formally trained visual artist with a bachelor’s in art studio from the University of South Carolina, he found his way to the stage via telling stories and stayed, acting and teaching there for more than 20 years. He enjoys crafting theatre, storytelling, and art experiences for old and young and the initiated and the un-initiated in environments as varied as classrooms, corporate settings, libraries, campfires and, of course, theatres; he is a company member for Columbia-based Trustus Theatre and the South Carolina Shakespeare Company. McCloud has numerous statewide partnerships to his credit in higher education, the humanities, and the arts. He considers himself as having committed his life to the transforming power of art. ED MADDEN (Individual Category) is a poet, activist, and a professor of English, with a focus on Irish literature, at the University of South Carolina. There, he is also director of the women’s and gender studies program. His academic areas of specialization include Irish culture; British and Irish poetry; LGBTQ literature, sexuality studies, and history of sexuality; and creative writing and poetry. In 2019 he was named a Poet Laureate Fellow of the Academy of American Poets and a visiting artist fellow at the Instituto Sacatar in Bahia, Brazil. In 2015, Madden was named Columbia’s first poet laureate, a post he maintains today. Madden has been a South Carolina Academy of Authors Fellow in poetry twice and was South Carolina Arts Commission Prose Fellow in 2011. He has been writer-in-residence at the Riverbanks Botanical Garden and at Fort Moultrie in Charleston as part of the state’s African American Heritage Corridor project. He also was 2006 artist-in-residence for South Carolina State Parks. His numerous publishing and editing credits include four of his own: NestArk, Prodigal: Variations, and Signals, and his chapbook So They Can Sing won the 2016 Robin Becker Chapbook Prize. Photo by Forrest Clonts. CARRIE ANN POWER (Arts in Education Category) has been an arts educator and advocate in South Carolina for more 30 years. Beginning in 2004 she was the fine arts department chair, grant manager, and visual arts teacher at East Aiken School of the Arts (EASOA) until 2015. During that time, she transformed EASOA by adding full-time dance and theatre programs, developed and implemented all aspects of the EASOA after-school arts program, and secured donations to fund scholarships providing low-income families access to programs. During that tenure she coordinated the Curriculum Leadership Institute in the Arts, which improves and enhances arts lesson plans based on the 2010 S.C. Visual and Performing Arts Academic Standards. She then served as the education associate for visual and performing arts at the South Carolina Department of Education from 2015 until 2019, where she oversaw the development of K-12 Design Standards for visual and performing arts and later coordinated their revisions. Power served an active role on notable state arts or arts education boards and, in her community, supports educational outreach programs that bring professional artists into schools. Founded as a non-profit in January 2012, ONE COLUMBIA FOR ARTS AND CULTURE (OC) (Organization Category) served as de facto office of cultural affairs for Columbia until being officially named as such earlier this year. Its mission is to “advise, amplify and advocate for strengthening and unifying the cultural community of Columbia” and does so by promoting cultural activities taking place in the city through various means. In 2014, OC facilitated the formalization of Columbia’s public art program, which has resulted in the creation of more than 60 public artworks and an online directory of public art throughout the city of Columbia. The organization facilitates other projects related to tactical urbanism, creative placemaking and enhancing public space. When Columbia established the honorary position of city poet laureate in 2015, it tasked OC with creating the selection committee that resulted in Dr. Ed Madden being awarded the title. OC is responsible for Amplify, a comprehensive cultural plan approved by city council in 2020. In recent years, it undertook the lengthy process of developing of a modern flag for the city adopted by city council in 2020.
About the South Carolina Arts Commission The mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in four areas: arts learning, community and traditional arts, artist development, and arts industry. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for #Arts4SC and #SCartists content.
South Carolina Arts Commission News Release, Media Contact: Jason L. Rapp, Communications Director. jrapp@arts.sc.gov or 803.734.8899

Jason Rapp

‘Poets of merit’ sought for prestigious fellowships

$50,000 to $100,000 awards up for grabs

Application deadline: Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET
The Academy of American Poets has a long history of championing the role of poet laureate.
[caption id="attachment_17625" align="alignright" width="200"]Ed Madden Photo by Forrest Clonts[/caption] In 2019, they expanded their work, and prizes and fellowships for poets, with the launch of Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships. These are $50,000-$100,000 awards given to honor poets of literary merit appointed to serve in civic positions and to enable them to undertake meaningful, impactful, and innovative projects that engage their fellow residents, including youth, with poetry, helping to address issues important to their communities. Last April, Ed Madden (right) was named poet laureate of Columbia when he received a $50,000 fellowship. The fellowship award is unrestricted; however, in addition to the other eligibility and application criteria, the concept, scope, components, depth, and geographic reach of the proposed project, as well as the number of individuals to be served, will inform the recommended award made by a panel of award-winning poets and leaders in poetry and civic engagement. The fellowships were established in partnership with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Read more about the 2019 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellows and their civic projects.
Submissions for the 2020 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships are accepted from December 20, 2019 until February 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. eastern time.

Columbia poet laureate makes call for poems

Call for poems from South Carolina poets!


[caption id="attachment_17625" align="alignright" width="175"]Ed Madden Photo by Forrest Clonts[/caption] COMPOSED: a hospital poetry project Many of us have taken a moment to collect ourselves before visiting someone in the hospital. We stop and wash our faces, look in the mirror. compose ourselves. Using this moment as the inspiration for our next Prisma Health poetry project, we are looking for poems that fit that moment. We want to use local voices about health, healing, comfort, and courage in spaces where they can make a difference.  

Submitted material

Madden ‘beyond excited’ by new laureate fellowship

Academy of American Poets further validates Ed Madden

He's Columbia's poet laureate (since 2015) and he is a previous S.C. Arts Commission fellow for prose (2010). He is further expanding his influence with a new accolade.
[caption id="attachment_17625" align="alignright" width="200"]Ed Madden Photo by Forrest Clonts[/caption] Ed Madden was just awarded the Academy of America Poets Laureate Fellowship along with 12 other poets laureate of states, cities, and counties across the U.S. receiving a combined, historic $1 million in recognition of their literary merit and to support civic programs, which will take place over the next 12 months.  (See news release here.) “Poets have an important role in our culture and in communities all across the country. By supporting Poets Laureate at the state and local level, we hope to ensure that more people become acquainted with poets and poetry where they live and have an opportunity to benefit from innovative and groundbreaking programming close to home,” said Michael Jacobs, Chairman of the Academy of American Poets. These new fellowships are made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and, in total, are believed to be the largest awards provided to poets in the U.S. at any one time by a charitable organization. They are also in keeping with this spring’s national poetry programming theme of Poetry & Democracy offered by the Poetry Coalition, an alliance of more than 20 organizations working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. Columbia's Free Times has an interview with Madden, who already has plans to put the $50,000 he received to use in Columbia. According to Free Times, they will fit in with his "other initiatives [that] have put poetry on Main Street banners and coffee sleeves. On April Fool’s Day 2017, random cars were tagged with fake parking tickets, no doubt baffling drivers who found on not an official summons but a few lines of verse. Last year, little free poetry boxes — similar to little free library kiosks — sprang up in yards throughout the city. There’s also been 'rain poetry,' where short local poems, stenciled onto sidewalks with hydrophobic paint, magically appear when it rains."

New mixed media feature at CMA combines art and poetry

The Write Around Series with Ed Madden and Ray McManus, the latest initiative in the Columbia Museum of Art's new Writer-in-Residence program, launches Sunday, Sept. 16, at 3 p.m. Award-winning poets Madden (left) and McManus (right) open the series with work they have written inspired by the dynamic themes of the newly redesigned collection galleries. “By grouping the art thematically rather than chronologically, the new collection galleries create conversations, not just among the works of art, but also among patrons,” says McManus. “Writing that responds to the artwork—some of it displayed now for the first time—is another kind of conversation across forms of art, and one that can only amplify and extend the conversation created by the new gallery designs.” As writer-in-residence, McManus is charged with creating programs that promote literary art as a way to contemplate and connect with visual art. The Write Around Series is year-long program that invites writers to create and share original poetry and prose inspired by the art in the CMA. An associate professor of English at the University of South Carolina in Sumter, McManus teaches creative writing, Irish literature, and Southern literature. He is the director of the Center for Oral Narrative housed in the Division of Arts and Letters. In 2014, he joined the editorial board for the Palmetto Poetry Series, and he maintains partnerships with the S.C. Arts Commission and local arts agencies. McManus is the founder of Split P Soup, a creative writing outreach program that places writers in schools and communities in South Carolina, and the director of the creative writing program at the Tri-District Arts Consortium. His current project is Re:Verse, a teaching initiative that works with educators and administrators to develop effective strategies to bring more emphasis to creative writing in standard education. Madden is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Ark, a memoir in poetry about helping with his dying father’s hospice care. He is a professor of English and director of the Women’s & Gender Studies Program at the University of South Carolina. He has been the inaugural poet laureate for the City of Columbia since 2015. He received the Arts Commission's 2011 prose fellowship. “I’m excited to launch The Write Around Series, and I’m especially excited to launch this program with the poet laureate of Columbia, Ed Madden,” says McManus. “I can’t wait to see what we come up with together!” The event is free with CMA membership or separate admission. The program is supported by South Carolina Humanities. For more information, visit ColumbiaMuseum.org.

Jason Rapp

S.C. literary giants to participate in 2018 Deckle Edge Literary Festival

Have you ever caught yourself wondering whether South Carolina has successful artists? Famous artists? Any making a mark in their medium or genre? Then consider Deckle Edge Literary Festival 2018 and wonder no longer. [caption id="attachment_33843" align="alignright" width="200"] Photo by Kathy Ryan, courtesy of TerranceHayes.com[/caption] The festival announced Columbia native Terrance Hayes (right, top) as its keynote speaker this year, and Conway native and current Columbia resident Nikky Finney (right, bottom) is to receive the inaugural Deckle Edge Southern Truth Award. Among Finney's accolades is being an Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award recipient from the Arts Commission, and she also received the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry and 1996 PEN American Open Book Award. Hayes is the current poetry editor for New York Times Magazine and has won Guggenheim, MacArthur, National Endowment for the Arts and U.S. Artists Zell fellowships. His Lighthead won the 2010 National Book Award, and How to Be Drawn was a finalist for the same. Got all that? Because we're not quite done. [caption id="attachment_33844" align="alignright" width="200"] Photo by Forrest Clonts, courtesy of NikkyFinney.net[/caption] Further Arts Commission connections abound among the authors, poets, and songwriters scheduled to participate in the scheduled panels or presentations. Julia Elliott, Scott Gould (twice), and Ed Madden are all S.C. Arts Commission Fellows, and other writers have received grants or won awards from the agency as well. In fact, it would probably be easier simply to list those who lack Arts Commission ties - but then we don't want anyone to feel left out. Go here for more information on Deckle Edge Literary Festival 2018, and go forth with the knowledge that, yes, South Carolina has amazing, accomplished artists of all disciplines. And as we continue our focus on Arts Advocacy Week, remember that public support of the arts has played a role in getting them there.

Inaugural Deckle Edge Literary Festival to honor traditions and forge new ground

Note: One Columbia for Arts and History received a South Carolina Arts Commission Quarterly Grant to help support the Deckle Edge Literary Festival. The inaugural Deckle Edge Literary Festival, taking place Feb. 19 – 21 in Columbia, S.C., features readings, book signings, panel presentations, exhibitors, writers’ workshops, activities for children and young adult readers, and a range of other literary events for many interests and all ages. Events take place in or near downtown Columbia, and many events are free. A sample of events: Friday, Feb. 19

  • 1 - 2 p.m.: Top 20 "Outside the Box" Book Marketing Ideas, Shari Stauch, $30 per person, Historic Columbia's Woodrow Wilson Family Home
  • 2 - 3 p.m.: Plotting Strategies for Short Stories, Novels, and Plays, $30 per person, Paula Gail Benson, Historic Columbia's Woodrow Wilson Family Home
  • 7 p.m.: Opening Night Celebration - Concert and Burlesque Show, Columbia Museum of Art, $10
Saturday, Feb. 20
  • 9 - 10 a.m.: S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) Workshop for Kids, free, presented by The Watering Hole Poetry Organization, Tapp's Art Center
  • 11 a.m. - noon: Hub City Press Executive Director Betsy Teter moderates a panel of First Novel Prize winners Matt Matthews, James E. McTeer and Susan Tekulve, Columbia Museum of Art
  • 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.: Conversation with Southern Superstar Mary Alice Monroe, Columbia Museum of Art
Sunday, Feb. 21
  • 9 - 10:15 a.m.: Overcoming Creative Anxiety: 5 Steps to Jumpstart Your Writing & Remain Calm, Cassie Premo-Steele, $30 per person, location TBA
  • 1 - 2:30 p.m.: Writing and Healing with Ed Madden, $30 per person, Historic Columbia's Seibels House
  • 3 - 4 p.m.: IndieSC Launch - Calling all indie authors and aspiring writers in S.C! Presentation of free self-publishing platform by the South Carolina State Library, Columbia Museum of Art
View the full schedule online. Read a Free Times article about the festival. While Deckle Edge has its roots in the storied tradition of South Carolina’s literary life, festival organizers are committed to forging new ground and hope to appeal to regional and national audiences while remaining a community-focused effort. Festival partners make up an extensive network of South Carolina literary and cultural organizations, including Richland Library, the University of South Carolina PressHub City Writers Project, the S.C. Center for Children’s Books & LiteracyEd Madden and the Columbia Office of the Poet LaureateSouth Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, the Low Country Initiative for Literary ArtsJasper Magazine, Richland County schools, and others. Deckle Edge is built on the strong foundation of the South Carolina Book Festival, a project of the Humanities CouncilSC , which announced the festival’s dissolution this past summer. The Humanities CouncilSC is now actively pursuing a variety of year-round statewide literary initiatives and has been supportive of the plans for Deckle Edge as a new literary event to be hosted in Columbia. “The S.C. Book Festival was a tremendous gift to readers and writers in the South, and we’re grateful to the Humanities CouncilSC for sharing their expertise with us as we create something new,” said Deckle Edge co-chair Darien Cavanaugh. “We would not have been able to move so quickly on launching Deckle Edge without their guidance and good will.” In addition to local talent, the festival will highlight a handful of New York Times bestselling authors from the Carolinas, beloved favorites from past S.C. Book Festivals, and many voices not previously heard from at South Carolina literary events. “This is Columbia’s literary festival,” said Deckle Edge co-chair Annie Boiter-Jolley, “but it’s also joining the larger conversation about literature of and in the South. We look forward to sharing our vision with writers and readers, and to hearing from them as to what Deckle Edge might become in future years.” Via: Deckle Edge Literary Festival

Columbia, S.C., names first poet laureate

[caption id="attachment_17625" align="alignright" width="134"]Ed Madden Ed Madden; photo by Forrest Clonts[/caption] One Columbia for Arts and History and the city of Columbia, S.C., announce the selection of poet Dr. Ed Madden as Columbia’s first poet laureate. Madden will serve a four-year term that begins January 2015. Columbia is one of the few Southern cities to have a poet laureate position, according to One Columbia. Recognized by Mayor Steve Benjamin and the members of City Council in a resolution passed on October 21, 2014, the honorary position of poet laureate will “encourage appreciation and create opportunities for dissemination of poetry in Columbia, promote the appreciation and knowledge of poetry among the youth, and act as a spokesperson for the growing number of poets and writers in Columbia.” “Dr. Madden is not only a world-class talent and scholar but also a leader who, through his actions as well as his words, exemplifies the very best of who we are and who we hope to be,” said Benjamin. “We’re honored to have him serve as our city’s first poet laureate and confident that he will exceed our highest expectations.” Madden, associate professor of English and the director of Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of South Carolina, holds a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Texas at Austin. Originally from Newport, Arkansas, he has lived in Columbia since 1994. He has published three books of poetry and is currently working on a fourth book, titled Ark, to be published in 2016. He is the recipient of the inaugural Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship in poetry from the S.C. Academy of Authors as well as a 2011 fellowship for prose writing from the S.C. Arts Commission. His first scheduled readings as poet laureate include the State of the City address on January 20, 2015, and commemoration events for the 150th anniversary of the burning of Columbia on February 17, 2015. “I am excited to have been chosen for this position and really honored to be the first poet selected,” said Madden. “Columbia is a city so rich in writers, I’m also very humbled. I want to be a champion for poetry, language, and the arts, and I want to use poetry to document the life and culture of the city.” One Columbia will provide financial support for the poet laureate to conduct activities that support the organization’s mission to promote and strengthen the arts in Columbia. Madden was selected by a committee representing the literary community, city government and academia. Committee members were Nikky Finney, winner of the 2011 National Book Award for poetry; Tony Tallent, director of literacy and learning at the Richland Library and board chair of One Columbia; Councilman Moe Baddourah; Michael Wukela, representing the office of Mayor Benjamin; Jonathan Haupt, director of the University of South Carolina Press and One Columbia board member; Sara June Goldstein, senior coordinator for statewide partnerships with the S.C. Arts Commission; Cynthia Boiter, co-founder of Muddy Ford Press and editor of Jasper Magazine; and Alejandro García-Lemos, a Columbia artist and founder of Palmetto Luna. "The choice of Ed Madden, as Columbia's first poet laureate, is a lovely luminous moment for our city and state,” says Finney. “Poetry has the grace and power to both inspire and guide. The city of Columbia and the state of South Carolina need more poetry in its heart and soul. Ed is absolutely the one to help direct it there and there.” An official presentation will take place on January 15, 2015, between 6 - 8 p.m. at the Seibels House, 1601 Richland Street, Columbia. The event will also feature the official launch of Columbia’s One Book, One Community 2015 selection of On Agate Hill by Lee Smith. The event is open to the public. About One Columbia for Arts and History One Columbia for Arts and History is a nonprofit corporation that works to promote collaboration among citizens, the cultural community, and city government through celebrations of Columbia’s arts and historic treasures. Its goal is to enhance the quality of life for our residents, attract tourist dollars to our city, and further build our vibrant community. In short, it serves as the promotional arm of the City for Columbia’s cultural community. Visit the One Columbia website (http://onecolumbiasc.com) for a continuously updated master list of art and cultural activities occurring throughout the city.