News Archive

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Rick Bragg to Speak at Somerset Community College April 9

BraggPulitzer prize-winning author Rick Bragg will be on the campus of Somerset Community College on Thursday, April 9, 2015 as part of SCCs 50th Anniversary Speakers Series.

Bragg, a former national correspondent for the New York Times author of the memoir All over but the Shoutin', and numerous other books, will be giving a public presentation on Thursday, April 9 at 7 p.m. in SCCs Meece Hall Auditorium, with a reception, hosted by the SCC Culinary Arts chefs, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the foyer. Bragg will be available for a question and answer session, as well as book signing, after the presentation. Books will be available for purchase at the event.

Meece Hall is located on the SCC Somerset Campus at 808 Monticello Street in Somerset.

Rick Bragg

According to his publishers webpage, Rick Bragg learned to tell stories by listening to the masters, the people of the foothills of the Appalachians. They talked, of the sadness, poverty, cruelty, kindness, hope, hopelessness, faith, anger and joy of their everyday lives, and painted pictures on the very haze of the early evening, when work faded into story-telling.

Bragg was born in Alabama, grew up there, and worked at several newspapers before joining the New York Times in 1994. He covered the murder and unrest in Haiti as a metro reporter there, then wrote about the Oklahoma City bombing, the Jonesboro killings, the Susan Smith trial and more as a national correspondent based in Atlanta. He later became Miami Bureau Chief for the Times just in time for Elian Gonzalezs arrival and the international battle for the little boy. He now works as a writing professor at the University of Alabamas journalism program in its College of Communications and Information Sciences.

All Over but the Shoutin, a memoir of his childhood, was written as tribute and testimony to his mother, a woman who raised three sons in the shadow of poverty and the intermittent appearances and disappearances of her husband, an alcoholic charmer unable to cope with the responsibilities of a family or his memories of the Korean War. Students on SCCs campus have been reading All Over but the Shoutin as part of the colleges newly established Common Read experience, which allows students to read the same book and then gather to discuss common themes and thoughts. A New York Times notable book of the year, Rick Braggs first book won several awards and was selected as one of the best books of the year by several news organizations and reader groups.

Another book about his family, this time his grandfather, Avas Man also makes good use of his personal history, telling the story of a whiskey man, poacher, roofer and folk legend who was his mothers father, and the grandfather he never saw.

Bragg has twice won the prestigious American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award and more than 50 writing awards in his 20-year career. In 1992, he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University.

He is also the author of Somebody Told Me, a critically acclaimed collection of his newspaper stories, and I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story, as well as others. His writing is also featured on a regular basis in Southern Living magazine.

Arnow Conference

Bragg will be at SCC on Thursday and Friday, April 9 and 10, 2015 as part of both the SCC 50th Anniversary Speakers Series and the 13th Annual Harriette Simpson Arnow Conference. He will speak on Thursday night at 7 p.m. and again on Friday at 10:45 a.m. at the Arnow conference. Registration for the conference is required. To find out more about the conference, visit

No registration is necessary for the public 50th Anniversary Speakers Series event on Thursday evening, April 9, at 7 p.m.