The Union Recorder

January 31, 2014

O’Connor’s home place kicks off annual February lecture series


Special to The U-R

MILLEDGEVILLE — Distinguished Southern poet, author and teacher David Huddle kicks off the ninth annual February Lecture Series with a poetry reading at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Andalusia Farm, the final home of author Flannery O’Connor and inspiration for some of her most acclaimed stories.

Huddle has published 19 books and his work has appeared in “The New Yorker,” “Esquire” and other national publications. He also will make presentations on Monday at Georgia College, the alma mater of O’Connor, who graduated when the school was Georgia State College for Women.

On Monday, Huddle will deliver the 2014 Flannery O’Connor Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. in the Museum Education Room in the library on the Georgia College campus. His topic will be “Ironic confidence: The Singular Voice of Flannery O’Connor.” He will also give a reading of his fiction.

Andalusia will host a writer or historian each Sunday in February. The public is invited. 

The presentations are free and will be followed by a reception with light refreshments.

“The February Lecture Series is a wonderful way to get to know Andalusia Farm while attending fascinating presentations by a roster of brilliant writers and historians,” said Elizabeth Wylie, who became executive director of the Flannery O’Connor-Andalusia Foundation in January. “We welcome back the foundation’s long-time friends and look forward to meeting new ones. Our hope is that visitors will fall in love with the farm and come back again and again.”

The month’s other lecturers are: 

• Feb. 9 - John Kay discusses the Byron Herbert Reece Society and the development of the Reece Farm site near Blairsville, a new addition to the Southern Literary Trail. Reece was an acclaimed Georgia poet who committed suicide in 1958 at the age of 40;

• Feb. 16 - Professor Pamela Gore, a geology professor at Georgia Perimeter College, discusses her research on hurricanes and climate change, and will present her new book, “Roadside Geology of Georgia”;

• Feb. 23 - Sophia Sineath of the Georgia Historical Society discusses the 2014 Georgia History Festival and the decision to name Flannery O’Connor as the 2014 Featured Historical Figure;

O’Connor is venerated as one of America’s greatest authors. Her book “The Complete Stories” was selected as No. 9 on the list of “Top Ten Works of the 20th Century” by a panel of 125 prominent British and American authors.  

O’Connor moved to Andalusia, the family farm, in 1951 after she discovered she suffered from the autoimmune disease, lupus, which took her life at age 39. This year marks the 50th anniversary of her death. 

The Flannery O’Connor-Andalusia Foundation is dedicated to the restoration, preservation, and appreciation of Andalusia, the final home of Flannery O’Connor, to perpetuate her place in the roster of great writers of the 20th century. The farm — located at 2628 N. Columbia St. (U.S. 441), Milledgeville — is open to the public. 

Donations are appreciated. For more information visit www.andalusiafarm.org.