Thacker Mountain Radio Hour to Close Winter Institute With Big-Name Authors

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The 2018 Winter Institute will feature four days of events and programming that will close with a presentation of the Thacker Mountain Radio Hour featuring singer/songwriter Dar Williams, poet Elizabeth Acevedo, and author Charles Frazier. The performance will be followed by the Winter Institute closing reception with the Thacker Mountain guests.

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour, which will take place at Winter Institute on January 25 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., is a live weekly radio show recorded in Oxford, Mississippi, that features author readings and musical performances.

Since its founding in 1997, the Thacker Mountain Radio Hour has hosted a number of notable literary figures, including Jesmyn Ward, Elizabeth Gilbert, Orhan Pamuk, Tom Franklin, and Donna Tartt, as well as musical artists Elvis Costello, Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls, the Drive By-Truckers, and more.

The special Winter Institute performance of the Thacker Mountain Radio Hour will feature:

Elizabeth Acevedo, Charles Frazier, and Dar WilliamsElizabeth Acevedo, author of the debut novel The Poet X (HarperTeen): The youngest child and only daughter of Dominican immigrants, Acevedo holds a bachelor’s degree in performing arts from George Washington University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland. With nearly 15 years of performance poetry experience, Acevedo is well-known for her poetry videos, which have been picked up by PBS, Latina Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Upworthy. She is also a National Poetry Slam Champion, a Beltway Grand Slam Champion, and the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam representative for Washington, D.C., as well as a Cave Canem fellow, a CantoMundo fellow, and a participant in the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. She lives with her partner in Washington, D.C.

Charles Frazier, author of Varina (Ecco): Frazier is the author of the international bestseller and National Book Award-winner Cold Mountain (Grove Press), which was adapted into an Academy-Award winning film in 2003. He is also the author of the bestselling novels Thirteen Moons and Nightwoods (Random House Trade Paperbacks).

Dar Williams, author of What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician’s Guide to Rebuilding America’s Communities — One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open-Mike Night at a Time (Basic Books): Singer/songwriter Williams debuted her first full album, The Honesty Room, in 1993 on her own record label; her ninth album, Emerald, came out in 2015. Williams recently taught a course titled “Music Movements in a Capitalist Democracy” at her alma mater, Wesleyan University; she also leads an inspirational songwriting retreat in New York’s Hudson Valley, and is the author of two young adult novels from Scholastic, Amalee and Lights, Camera, Amalee. Her new book, What I Found in a Thousand Towns, details the flourishing and failure of the American towns Williams cherishes and offers solutions for rebuilding declining communities.

Thacker Mountain Radio began in 1997 as the “Words and Music” show at Blind Jim’s, a former Oxford bar. It is currently taped and broadcast every Thursday at 6:00 p.m. during the fall and spring and rebroadcast every Saturday at 7:00 p.m. on Mississippi Public Broadcasting. The show’s home is now Off Square Books, the events location for Oxford independent bookstore Square Books.

The 2018 Winter Institute will be held January 22–25 at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel and the Memphis Cook Convention Center in Memphis, Tennessee. The institute is made possible by support from lead sponsor Ingram Content Group and from publishers large and small. Questions about Winter Institute can be addressed to