Literary & Ideas

Sat., June 1, 5 pm, Piccolo Fiction presented by Blue Bicycle Books.

Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King Street. Free and open to the public.  843-722-2666.

The festival’s longest-running event exclusively devoted to fiction, Piccolo Fiction presents local and South Carolina authors reading brief short stories. This year’s reading will be in the courtyard beside the bookstore, and, following tradition, each story will begin with the words “I ducked into the alley…”

Since 2000, Piccolo Fiction has featured dozens of S.C. writers, with stories broadcast by S.C. Public Radio and published in the Charleston City Paper.

Featured authors:

Mindy Friddle is the author of The Garden Angel and Secret Keepers, both with St. Martin’s Press. Her short stories have appeared in Orca, storySouth, LitMag and other publications. Her third novel, Her Best Self, was published by Regal House in May. She has an MFA in fiction from Warren Wilson and lives on Edisto Island.

Emilie Ross is a writer and painter. She’s worked as a senior editor on Copper Nickel and currently works as an editorial assistant for swamp pink. Currently pursuing her MFA in fiction at the College of Charleston, she received her undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado Denver.

Sara Cappell Thomason was the winner of the 2022 New Flash Fiction Review Prize. Her work has previously appeared in Electric Literature, Tin House, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Witness, SmokeLong Quarterly, and The Citron Review, among others. She has an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College and lives on Isle of Palms.

Susan Beckham Zurenda taught literature and creative writing to high school and college students for 33 years. Her debut novel, Bells for Eli, was nominated for a 2021 Pushcart Prize, and her latest, The Girl From the Red Rose Motel, was released last fall. She lives in Spartanburg with her husband Wayne and two Boston Terriers.

An evening with 2022 Philly’s Best Rapper, Kuf Knotz, and classical trained harpist Christine Elise. Their hip-hop/soul fusion  has landed them on NPRWorld Café Life, and opening act for Little Stranger, Morcheeba, Wax Tailor, Wyclef, and Rising Appalachia. Their 2024 sophomore album Hypnagogia is their first self-produced record, detailed in abstract art, captivating melodies, and poetic lyrics.

Accompanied by a live painter, this event will cater to all ages, using the power of music to provide a positive experience.

Performance: Friday, June 7 at 7:00pm

Venue: Cannon Street Arts Center, 134 Cannon Street


Guided by the songs and script of Septima, six panelists will discuss the importance of Septima’s legacy and the continued fight for voter rights in South Carolina, the South, and beyond.

Panelists will include Dr. Patricia Williams Dockery (playwright and principal researcher), Joan Zaleskie & Leah Pedersen (League of Women Voters representative), Georgette Mayo (Septima Archivist), Aaron White (Johns Island Progressive Club), and Zania Cummings (actress playing Septima). The event will be moderated by Sharon Graci (PURE Co-Founder and director of Septima)

Livestreaming begins at 11:00am on Tuesday, May 28

Admission: $10, PURCHASE TICKETS

Journey to the enchanting world of native plant gardening in this engaging presentation from a curator of North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chris Liloia. Her exceptional garden arrangements detail how plants play a vital role in supporting pollinators and other garden creatures. Delve into a broader landscape perspective through the artistry behind wattle structures crafted from last year’s perennial stems, Andy Goldsworthy-inspired brushpiles, and creative stickery. Experience the intentional framing of critical habitat with artistic flair. Explore how gardening with ecological function becomes a source of creative joy, a canvas of living art and a profound connection to the natural world.  Free admission.
  • Thursday, June 2 at 7:00pm; Rita Hollings Science Center Auditorium, College of Charleston, 58 Coming Street

Sundown Poetry
Washington Square Park, 80 Broad Street at 6pm
Admission: Free
*Signings/receptions to follow at Buxton Books, 160 King Street

Danielle DeTiberus
Tuesday, May 28th
Danielle DeTiberus lives in Charleston, SC, where she teaches creative writing. Her poetry has appeared in Academy of American PoetsCopper NickelThe Missouri ReviewRiver StyxWaxwing and elsewhere. Her nonfiction has appeared in EntropyHunger Mountain Review, and The Los Angeles Review. Her work has been featured in Verse Daily, the Best American Poetry anthology, and The Missouri Review’s special Project Muse collection Ascendant: Seven Promising Poets.

Jessica K. Hylton
Wednesday, May 29th
Jessica K. Hylton holds a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and works at Coastal Carolina University. Her books include Gag Order, The Great Scissor Hunt, and the forthcoming collection Scatter; or, James Joyce Always Makes Me Think of Boobs.  She is the program director for the Poetry Society of South Carolina and runs the Funky Fish Camp Reading Series at Between the Antlers in Georgetown.

Joey Tucker
Thursday, May 30th

Mr. Enlightenment was born in the small town of Walterboro, SC. He is an author and spoken word poet that has been performing and reading for audiences in the southeast since 2010. In 2009, he released his first chapbook, Walletz & Pursez. In 2023, he released Flicker Poetry.

Cheryl Boyce-Taylor
Thursday, May 31st
Cheryl Boyce-Taylor is a renowned Trinidadian immigrant poet and author of seven poetry collections, including her most recent, The Limitless Heart: New and Selected Poems (1997-2022). Cheryl’s verse memoir, Mama Phife Represents, tributing her son Malik (aka Phife Dawg), was awarded the 2021 Publishing Triangle Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry.

Lola Haskins
Tuesday, June 4th
Lola Haskins’ fourteenth collection of poetry, Homelight (Charlotte Lit Press 2023), was named Poetry Book of the Year by Southern Literary Review.  Past honors include four book prizes,  two narrative poetry prizes, the Florida’s Eden prize for environmental writing, and the Emily Dickinson Prize from Poetry Society of America.

Ray McManus
Wednesday, June 5th
Ray McManus is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Last Saturday in America, and Punch. His poems have been published in numerous journals. In 2023, Ray received the South Carolina Governor’s Awards for the Arts — the highest honor the state gives in the arts.

Regina YC Garcia
Thursday, June 6th
Regina YC García is a DAR American Heritage award-winning poet, professor and language artist from Greenville, NC. A finalist in the Charlotte 2024 Lit/South Award, a two time James Applewhite Semifinalist, and a Pushcart Prize Nominee, she is also widely published in numerous journals and anthologies.  Her chapbook, The Firetalker’s Daughter, was published by Finishing Line Press in March, 2023.

Katherine Williiams
Friday, June 7th
Katherine Williams (BA 1978 CofC), originator of Poetry at McLeod, presenting illustrious Black poets at a former Southern cotton plantation where the lives of the once-enslaved are researched, announces her first collection, The Devil Cruises Pacific Coast Highway (Kelsay). The Pushcart nominee’s poems appear in Spillway, Measure, SC Review, and elsewhere.