By Stephanie Beaver

Library Specialist | Fiction Department

The holidays have passed, the New Year has arrived, and here at Hoover Library, we are counting down the days until the Southern Voices Festival.

Our annual celebration of literature and the arts begins with a reception honoring Opelika artist and educator Carlton Nell on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 5:30 p.m. A professor of art at Auburn University, his paintings and drawings can be found in galleries and private collections across the country. The reception is free and open to the public, and Nell’s works will be on display on the Theatre Level throughout the month of February.

Instead of a musical act, this year’s Wednesday and Thursday night performances will feature two one-act plays: Graceland and Asleep on the Wind. Both related vignettes are directed by Henry Scott and offer a warm-hearted and charming look at the human experience. Tickets to the performances and a reception are available from or by calling The Library Theatre Box Office at (205) 444-7888.

The award-winning crime author Laura Lippman will kick off the literary portion of the festival with a program, reception and book signing on Friday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in The Library Theatre. A former journalist, Lippman has penned over 20 best-selling novels, including the popular Tess Monaghan series. Her most recent novel, Lady in the Lake, has made frequent appearances on best-of lists in 2019.

This year’s Author Conference features eight writers representing an array of genres, from nonfiction, suspense and southern gothic to literary, romance and women’s fiction. You will not want to miss Kimberly Belle, Emily Carpenter, Lauren K. Denton, Sally Kilpatrick, Sarah MacLean, Hampton Sides, George Singleton and Snowden Wright on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets for this year’s Southern Voices Festival are on sale now! You can purchase them online at or by calling The Library Theatre Box Office at (205) 444-7888. Tickets to the theatrical performance on Wednesday and Thursday are $27.50; tickets to An Evening with Laura Lippman on Friday are $40; and tickets to the Author Conference on Saturday are $45. New this year, you can buy bundled tickets to all three events for $100.

We hope you are as excited as we are about this year’s lineup and look forward to seeing you at the 2020 Southern Voices Festival!