The Charleston Library Society is hosting a series of six writers working in the fields of journalism, history, politics and literature.
The series is one of three main legs of Piccolo Spoleto's literary programming, which also includes the Sundown Poetry Series (free readings at 6:30 p.m. through June 6 in the Dock Street Theatre courtyard) and the Piccolo Fiction Open, featuring three writers (George Singleton, Sandy Lang and Jonathan Bohr Heinen) who present 5-minute short-short stories in the courtyard of Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St.
"The Literary Festival at the Charleston Library Society has been a part of Piccolo Spoleto for the last 6-8 years, and every year, we strive to cater to a larger audience," said Anne Walker Cleveland, the Library Society's executive director. "This year, we have a lot of authors and topics with local connections."
Robert Kimball, an American musical theater historian and leading authority on the Gershwins, will speak on Thursday.
"Charleston played an important role in the creation of Porgy and Bess," Kimball said. "Ira Gershwin learned a lot from his trips to Charleston. It's exciting to talk to an audience about a work which they have been a part of, and I hope to help them learn a little bit more about a subject they already know so well."
Alex Jones will talk about what he calls "Our Gutenberg Moment: Imaging the Future in a Digital World." Jones, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is host of PBS' Media Matters and director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
"It is exciting to address an audience that is educated and interested in the subject matter," Jones said.
He will consider the 150 years after the invention of Gutenberg's revolutionary printing technology and contemplate the impact of the Internet.
The lineup includes Jonas "Jay" Pate, a writer, director and producer of movies and television. Pate will discuss modern television and how it's displacing film as the most culturally significant creative force in entertainment.
Other literary figures scheduled to give talks are John Warley, author of the just-published "A Southern Girl"; Aida Rogers, who produced the anthology "State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love,"; and David Gilbert, author of "The Normals," "& Sons" and numerous short stories.
Arshie Chevalwala is a Goldring Arts Journalist from Syracuse University.