Beaufort SC writers, poets and authors

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The Literary Landscape of Beaufort

Pat Conroy explains in Hugh Howard's book Writers of the American South, that he was raised by his mother to be a Southern writer and says there was geographic tension growing up in a household with his Chicago-bred father.  The bestselling author reveals, though, in the book that “shrimp and grits won hands down.”

Beaufort and its Low Country neighbors – Hilton Head and Charleston – give writers many environmental props to use as their muse.  Colonial and antebellum homes in downtown historical districts and the harbors that hold the waters from the Atlantic Ocean are features, if not downright characters, that appear in many books published about Beaufort.

Former Beaufort Gazette columnist Gerhard Spieler captivated newspaper readers for 40 years with his observations and insights of the town he calls home – and especially its history.  Spieler authored several books on the town's landmarks and history from artifacts and information he collected for many years when he initially worked in Beaufort County government.  One of his most recent books, Beaufort, South Carolina:  Pages of the Past, serves as a reminder of Beaufort's rich history when Spanish explorers and early settlers sought to claim Beaufort as home.

Families who have resided for generations are also sources of inspiration for literary work.  Steeped deep in the tradition of Gullah country is teacher-poet Patricia Bee, whose book of poetry Mama's Pearls:  Poetry to Live By, is less poetry and more of a collection of life lessons.  Bee grew up in the Gullah Country of Beaufort County, and shares the love and sage advice given to her by her mother.

Coastal bonfires, lazy summer days on a sand bar and dinner with friends set the scenes for Rachel Hauk's novel Love Starts with Elle.  The story about Elle, a lifelong resident of Beaufort, and the choice she has to make between falling for and following her pastor as he answers his calling in another state, or staying in her hometown with another man, a widower, and his daughter.  Readers delight to learn whether or not it is truly Beaufort that tugs at her heart the most.   

Beaufort's charm is found in many literary works.  From fiction to non-fiction to poetry, Beaufort's literary landscape is plentiful.  These books can be a great source of education and relaxation over the summer months while sipping on a fruit smoothie in Java City Cafe or nestling in a hammock overlooking the seacape. 

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