Published Sunday, January 20, 2013

Authors' Series done in honor of Anne Powell

By MARIANNE THOMASSON

marianne@newnan.com

The inaugural presentation of the Anne Quinn Powell Authors’ Series was given by Sue Monk Kidd, author of “The Secret Life of Bees” and “Traveling with Pomegranates,” recently at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts.

The series was established by Powell’s family to honor the life and work of a passionate friend and teacher, according to a Centre spokesperson. “Ann devoted her career as a media specialist to finding ways to get young people to discover the joys and inspiration that come through books. The latter part of her career was spent at Smokey Road Middle School where she helped those who came her way to find connections to the power of the written word.”

Raised in Chickamauga, Georgia, and educated at Shorter College in Rome, with a BA in Fine Arts, “Anne was one of those people who soaked up the stories her relatives told about the messes people can make of life and the lovable characters who make them. Religion was integral to these people and their stories, both in its power to change people and harm them.”

She and her husband, Mitch, journeyed from the South to the halls of Harvard “on their spiritual quests. That road brought them full circle back into our lives where they continued to deal with God, life and how we all relate to it,” the spokesperson said.

Mitch and Anne both lost their battles with cancer. “For Anne, the power of religion and life all had to do with relationships and that was wrapped around words, both written and spoken.”

A pile of books was often nearby and conversations were impacted by the characters and stories recently introduced from the pages. “Anne loved to engage friends in discussions about life, politics and personalities over a Coke on her glassed-in porch or out on the party patio. She was all about flesh and blood real people whose stories she could enter.” Through this series, “we hope to remind us all that our friends and family never really leave us if they continue to be present in our stories,” the spokesperson concluded.

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