Event to honor Alice Walker with purple and poems

Gwen Ralston

By Gwen Ralston / Guest Columnist

EATONTON -- The Georgia Writers Museum will host the second annual event to honor world-renown author Alice Walker on her birthday. The public is invited to dress in Walker’s signature color, purple, from her novel “The Color Purple.” Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was also made into a 1980s movie starring Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover and Cecily Tyson, and a Broadway play. However, many do not realize that she was a prolific writer of poetry as well.

A native of Putnam County, Walker is one of three local authors represented in the Georgia Writers Museum. Last year, the museum presented a noon-time birthday celebration, and Eatonton Mayor Walter Rocker Jr. and Putnam County Commission Chairman Steve Hersey proclaimed Feb. 9 as “Alice Walker Day” in Eatonton and Putnam County. The event, complete with birthday cake made by Reva Alexander of “Cake Wars” fame, was videoed and sent to Ms. Walker, who replied that she “was surprised and overwhelmed, as she had not had a birthday party in years.”

This year’s Alice Walker Day celebration is set for Thursday, Feb. 9, and is being jointly presented by the Georgia Writers Museum and the Uncle Remus Public Library system. Students and citizens are asked to wear purple. Merchants and businesses are asked to display purple in their windows, or display purple bows or balloons.

“We will be sharing Ms. Walker’s accomplishments with the students of the county so that they become aware of who she is and that they can achieve notoriety by pursuing their dreams as well,” said John Dennis, president of the Georgia Writers Museum.

A 6-7 p.m. Open Mic Poetry reading and celebration will be presented at the Georgia Writers Museum. Students from Putnam County High School, members of the GWM Writers Guild and others will read some of Walker’s poems, as well as original compositions honoring Walker and her Putnam County roots.

The public is invited to this free event. If you would like to participate by reading a poem, please call Vickie at the Georgia Writers Museum for a slot on the agenda. The number is 706-991-5119. Additional information is available online at www.georgiawritersmuseum.com

(Gwen Ralston is a member of the Georgia Writers Museum's Board of Directors. Email her at gcralston@gmail.com.)

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