If you know anything about Walker Percy, it has probably crossed your mind to wonder what the author of Love In The Ruins would make of our current political mess. Well, if you come to the Walker Percy Weekend 2016, you can hear Matthew Sitman of Commonweal talk about it. The title of his talk is, “Where All Good Men Belong: Walker Percy & Politics in Low-Down Times”. Don’t worry, we’re not a partisan festival, and this is not going to be an occasion of argumentation and despair. We’re eating crawfish and drinking beer — that’s despair?
There’s lots of other good stuff too, including Ralph Wood and Jessica Hooten Wilson on Dostoevsky and Percy, and an exhibition of Christopher R. Harris’s photographs of Walker (see above for an example; that’s from the 2016 poster, which we will have out soon). Plus the front-porch Bourbon Stroll, the aforementioned mudbugs, cold beer, cocktails under the live oaks at Grace Church … and I’ve even gotten permission from Laura Dunn and Jef Sewell, the makers of the fantastic new Wendell Berry film The Seer, to screen it at the Percy festival. Jef and Laura are hoping to make it. If we can figure out how to fit the screening into the schedule, and find a screening room, we’ll make it happen.
If you’re the kind of person who thinks talking Wendell Berry, Walker Percy, and a sense of place with new friends while peeling boiled crawfish on a hot Louisiana summer night is fun, then you had better hurry up and buy your tickets and make your hotel reservations before the thing sells out. This year, the 100th anniversary of Walker Percy’s birth, you will have the chance to meet both of Walker and Bunt’s children, Mary Pratt and Ann. And readers of this blog will get to see familiar names and faces: Franklin Evans, Bernie, Leslie Fain, and others. The festival sold out both previous years, and once these tickets are gone, they’re gone.
It’s a great time. Come see us. You’ll be glad you did.