“It’s official. Dedra Grizzard, widow of the late Lewis Grizzard, the South’s most famous newspaper columnist, is on the program.” announced Ed Grismore, Conference Chair of the 2012 Conference in Macon, Georgia, May 3-5.
Ed tells us Mrs. Grizzard is not only honored but thrilled to come. And furthermore, she is going to ask Jim Minter, the former Atlanta Journal Constitution editor who hired Grizzard in Atlanta, to come with her.
In a recent popular article for columnists.com, Dave Lieber, Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist, dared assert “Why Papers are Dying: Lewis Grizzard Died First.” The time when people bought the newspaper to read their favorite columnist has passed. Dave says, “Yes, the syndicated Atlanta Constitution columnist was THAT good, and his following was that strong. He had fans throughout the nation that looked forward to his columns in a way that no other columnist since has matched.”
Grizzard passed away almost twenty years ago. Many of members of the current generation have never had an opportunity to discover the legendary writer’s articles, works with interesting titles like “They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat” and “Elvis is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself.”
New South Books, with Lewis Grizzard’s widow Dedra, has plans to reissue all of Grizzard’s out of print books, including releasing Grizzard’s titles as ebooks for the first time, according to Brian Seidman, Managing Editor of NewSouth. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Arts & Culture blog expects “a veritable renaissance in the Southern humorist’s work.”
“Lewis’s work is universal, it’s timeless. He’s very funny and writes about the truth of the human condition.” Dedra told Dick Humphreys of WGNU in a radio interview. The NSNC agrees and is excited to honor the memory of the legendary Southern columnist during our conference in Lewis Grizzard’s home state of Georgia.
Read a sampling of Grizzard’s columns online at LewisGrizzard.com