Flagler College Writers-in-Residence series features 'In Conversation' program

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Michael Carroll

ST. AUGUSTINE, FL (09/30/2014)(readMedia)-- Flagler College will be the venue for a unique presentation modeled on the fabled "In Conversation" format developed at New York City's Center for Fiction. Writers Michael Carroll ("Little Reef") and Laura Lee Smith ("Heart of Palm") will discuss why the First Coast is the ideal place to set their works of fiction on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.

The event is co-sponsored by Flagler's Writers-in-Residence program and by Swamp Radio, a live local radio show celebrating Northeast Florida culture and arts.

"I attended an event in New York at the Center for Fiction celebrating Mike [Carroll]'s work which utilized the format of a conversation between writers rather than a straight lecture with a Q&A afterwards," said Swamp Radio Executive Producer Ian Mairs. "It was riveting. So we are going to give it a try here in Florida. In selecting authors, I was struck by how both of these writers captured with accuracy and affection the mixture of images, which resonates with so many people when they think about this area. Reading their work, you can feel the sand on your feet and smell the salt in the air. For me, that is what great writing is all about––being transported."

Author Michael Carroll, whose recently released collection of short stories is titled "Little Reef and Other Stories," grew up in the Fort Caroline area of Arlington. Many of his stories are set in familiar places in the area. Novelist Ann Beattie called it a "riveting collection...makes the reader disturbingly comfortable in unfamiliar places."

Laura Lee Smith's debut novel, "Heart of Palm," is set in the fictional town of Utina, Florida and explores the lives of a family with bracing wit and clarity about grief and regret. "O, The Oprah Magazine" declared it "an incandescent first novel." Writer Richard Russo ("Empire Falls") echoed this sentiment stating "intelligence, heart, wit...Laura Lee Smith has all the tools and 'Heart of Palm' is a very impressive first novel."

Both authors will sign books after the event.

If you are a person with a disability and need reasonable accommodations, please contact Lynn Francisco at 904-819-6460. Sign Language Interpreters are available upon request with a minimum of three days' notice. Call (904) 819-6339 or visit www.flagler.edu/our-community/events/writers-in-residence for more information.


Flagler College is a private, four-year comprehensive college located in St. Augustine, Fla. The college offers 29 majors, 34 minors and two pre-professional programs - the largest being business administration, communication, psychology and education. Small by intent, Flagler College has an enrollment of about 2,500 students, as well as a satellite campus at Tallahassee Community College in Tallahassee, Fla. U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review regularly feature Flagler as a college that offers quality education at a relatively low cost. A Flagler education is less than half the cost of similar private colleges, and competitive with many state universities. A relatively young institution (founded in 1968), Flagler College is also noted for its historic beauty. The centerpiece of the campus is the former Hotel Ponce de Leon, a grand resort built in 1888 by Henry M. Flagler, an industrialist, railroad pioneer and co-founder of Standard Oil. The Ponce has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. For more on Flagler College, visit www.flagler.edu.