Conference Events

Conference Events

This CEA Conference features a number of engaging events and speakers, many hailing from the Hilton Head region and reflecting the area's diverse cultures.

Poet Tim Conroy

Tim Conroy

Plenary (Thursday, March 26, 5:00 p.m.)

Tim Conroy is a poet and former educator. His work has been published in journals, magazines, and compilations, including Fall Lines, Auntie Bellum, Blue Mountain Review, Jasper, Marked by the Water, and Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy. In 2017, Muddy Ford Press published his first book of poetry, Theologies of Terrain, edited by Columbia, South Carolina, poet laureate Ed Madden. A founding board member of the Pat Conroy Literary Center established in his brother’s honor, Tim Conroy lives in Columbia. Our plenary session speaker, Tim in part will explore his brother Pat’s lifelong relationship with poetry as a reader, as a self-described failed poet, and as a writer who found a creative outlet in his iconic lyrical and descriptive prose.

Picture of Valinda Littlefield

Valinda Littlefield

Diversity Luncheon (Friday, March 27, 12:15 p.m.)

Dr. Littlefield received a Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign, and specializes in late nineteenth and twentieth century African American History. Her current research focuses on African American rural southern women school teachers during the Jim Crow era. She has been involved in several large oral history projects since coming to South Carolina and received the Governor’s Award in 2015 for her efforts in broadening South Carolina’s knowledge of African American achievements and history. She currently serves in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as the Director of Community Engagement and Service Learning at the University of South Carolina.

Poet Marjory Wentworth

Marjory Wentworth

Women’s Connection Reception (Friday, March 27, 7:00 p.m.)

Marjory Wentworth, Poet Laureate of South Carolina, is the New York Times bestselling author of Out of Wonder, Poems Celebrating Poets (with Kwame Alexander and Chris Colderley). She is the co-writer of We Are Charleston, Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel, with Herb Frazier and Dr. Bernard Powers and Taking a Stand, The Evolution of Human Rights, with Juan E. Mendez.  She is co-editor with Kwame Dawes of Seeking, Poetry and Prose inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green, and the author of the prizewinning children’s story Shackles.  Her books of poetry include Noticing Eden, Despite Gravity, The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle and New and Selected Poems. Her poems have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize six times. She is the current poet laureate of South Carolina. Wentworth serves on the Board of Advisors at The Global Social Justice Practice Academy, and she is a 2020 National Coalition Against Censorship Free Speech is for Me Advocate. She teaches courses in writing, social justice and banned books at The College of Charleston.


Author Ned Balbo

Ned Balbo

Coffee at the Commons (Saturday, March 28, 9:15 a.m.)

Born on Long Island, Ned Balbo earned an BA from Vassar College, an MA from Johns Hopkins, and an MFA from the University of Iowa. He has published six books of award-winning poetry: Galileo's Banquet (1998, Towson University Prize for Literature); Lives of the Sleepers (2005, the Ernest Sandeen Prize); The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems (2010, the Donald Justice Prize and the Poets' Prize); Upcycling Paumanok (2016),  3 Nights of the Perseids (2019, a Richard Wilbur Award selection); and The Cylburn Touch-Me-Nots (2019, New Criterion Poetry Prize). He was awarded a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowship for his version of Paul Valéry's La Jeune Parque, and was a co-winner of the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize. Married to poet-essayist Jane Satterfield, he has taught in Iowa State University's MFA program and at Loyola University Maryland.

CEA Critic Editor Jeri Kraver

Jeri Kraver

All-Conference Luncheon (Saturday, March 28, 12:50 p.m.)

Jeri Kraver is Professor of English and Director of English Education at the University of Northern Colorado (UNCo). In the spirit of the CEA, her research crosses regions, periods, and disciplines, ranging from the early 20th century immigrant fiction of Anzia Yezkierska to the work of Benjamin Disraeli, from teaching for social justice in the 21st century classroom to the role of teachers during the Holocaust, from film studies to composition and rhetoric. In 2012, she brought the CEA’s flagship journal, The CEA Critic, to Colorado’s front range and has guided it through a variety of changes including an updated cover and annual proceedings issue. Her pride and joy, however, is the 80th Anniversary issue celebrating the history of The Critic.