CSU To Honor Carson McCullers with 99th Birthday Reception, Concert

CarsonCOLUMBUS, Ga. --- Columbus State University’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians will host two events this February honoring its namesake on what would have been her 99th birthday.

The events, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 19, will celebrate two key elements of Carson McCullers’s life: writing and music. A birthday reception for the author will be held at the writing center on Stark Avenue, followed by a concert in downtown Columbus’ Legacy Hall featuring ALIA Musica Pittsburgh, a contemporary ensemble directed by Federico Garcia de Castro. The concert will be sponsored by CSU’s Schwob School of Music.

“We are proud to be partnering with the Schwob School of Music for this celebration of Carson McCullers’s 99th birthday,” said Nick Norwood, director of the Carson McCullers Center. “People often forget that the Smith-McCullers Center is for both writers and musicians.”

Born in 1917, McCullers grew up in the Columbus home where CSU’s Carson McCullers Center is now located. She also spent twenty years in Nyack, NY before her death at age 50. CSU inherited the Nyack home in 2014 from the estate of Mary Mercer, the noted author’s physician and long-time friend.

During her abbreviated life, McCullers wrote five novels, twenty short stories, two-dozen nonfiction pieces, a book of children’s verses, a number of poems and an unfinished autobiography. Her best known works include “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” “The Ballad of the Sad Café,” and “The Member of the Wedding.”

Carson McCullers’s birthday celebration reception will take place from 4-6 p.m. Friday, February 19 at the McCullers Center on 1519 Stark Ave. McCullers’s birthday concert will be held from 7:30-9:30 p.m. the same evening in Legacy Hall at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. Both events are free and open to the public.

CSU’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Carson McCullers through educational and cultural programming. The center maintains Carson McCullers’s childhood home as a museum with an ever-growing archive of materials related to the life and career of the renowned author.