Speaking Topics


He Sold His Poems to Buy His Freedom: The Fascinating Life and Work of George Moses Horton, Slave Poet
A collaborative poetry performance and lecture 

Hudson tells the story of her discoveries of African American history in her community and invites participants to bring Horton’s life and work to life by performing his poems. Script provided. A poetry writing and performance workshop can be added, half day/full day/weekend.


Coming Home to North Carolina

Hudson tells the story of a Yankee moving south and falling in love with a place and a man — and performs selections from the PEN-Hemingway-honored Accidental Birds of the Carolinas – stories inspired by her love of her new adopted home. 40 minutes.


Southern Neighbors/Different Worlds
Stephanie Powell Watts & Marjorie Hudson, a PEN/Hemingway reading

In her short story collection, We Are Only Taking What We Need, PEN/Hemingway Finalist Stephanie Powell Watts writes about African American families under stress, religious conversion, and young Black women in Randolph County, Raleigh, and Hickory.

Marjorie Hudson’s story collection, Accidental Birds of the Carolinas, was a PEN/Hemingway Honorable Mention that same year, and it tells tales of newcomers and old-timers in central rural North Carolina, exploring themes of loss, migration, rural life, and religious conversion, in language that has been called “pure as birdsong”(Doris Betts).

The authors perform a joint reading, in a call and response format, sharing scenes from the two books that converge on a complex moment in the shifting world of the South. The reading will generate discussion about the intersection of rural and small town places, New South and old South cultures, Black families and Northern retirees.


Adventures with Virginia Dare and the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island

Hudson tells fascinating tales of the fate of the mysterious Lost Colony, weaving new research, pop culture, and her adventures in Rome, London, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
40 minutes


The Uses and Delights of Mosaic Writing  

Using bits and pieces of lyric line, memoir, fiction, research, travelogue, and other forms, writers can move toward understanding of difficult subjects, making a whole of many disparate parts. With forays into the work of Robin Hemley, David Foster Wallace, Haven Kimmel, and others. A creative non-fiction workshop can be added, half day/full day/weekend.


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