Early in his career Hal Crowther was a reporter and editor, working for publications such as Time and Newsweek. But he found his opinions kept getting in the way.
“I think I might have been a preacher if I was something other than a journalist,” he told one interviewer. As a writer he evolved from covering the news to commenting upon it.
“I became first a very outspoken columnist, a very angry one, back in the early Eighties. Then it kind of evolved into more of a philosophical, hopefully literary kind of essay,” he added.
His syndicated column won the Baltimore Sun’s H.L. Mencken Writing Award in 1992 and a prize for commentary from the American Association of Newsweeklies in 1998.
Crowther has written the “Dealer’s Choice” column at the Oxford American since 1994.
He has published four books of essays and criticism, amongst them Unarmed But Dangerous, Cathedrals of Kudzu, and Gather at the River, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s prize for criticism.
His most recent book is Freedom Fighters and Hell Raisers: A Gallery of Memorable Southerners.
“Freedom Fighters and Hell Raisers is aptly named, as it is a kaleidoscope of Southern trailblazers, ranging from poets and musicians to politicians and nuns. Hal Crowther creates his subjects with honesty and love, which is the only way to honor those who have had the courage to cut the path we now walk alongm” said Michael Farris Smith, author of The Fighter and Desperation Road.
Crowther visits Key West from North Carolina and is married to the novelist Lee Smith.
Admission is free and seating begins at 5:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis with the program starting promptly at 6:00 p.m.