University Relations and Communications


January 24, 2017

 NEW Big Read logo



NEA Big Read highlight of upcoming MSUB Library Lecture Series

Billings to read and celebrate “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” by Carson McCullers during month long event featuring music, films and lecture



Megan Thomas, MSUB Library, 657-1655

University Relations, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — In partnership with the Montana State University Billings Library, The Writer’s Voice will introduce a new generation of Montanans to the writing of Carson McCullers through a dynamic collaboration among the university faculty and students, Billings Public Library, and area high schools.


The program is also supported by Humanities Montana.


The Writer’s Voice, received an $11,900 grant to host the NEA Big Read in Billings this spring. A program of the National Endowment for the Arts, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. The Writer’s Voice is one of only 77 nonprofit organizations to receive a NEA Big Read grant.


The NEA Big Read in Billings will focus on Carson McCullers’s book “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.”


Carson McCullersIt is hard to believe that The Heart is Lonely Hunter,” was the first book of a twenty-three-year-old author, said MSUB Library Interim Director Megan Thomas.


“This tragic, small-town drama is so ambitious in its scope-presenting five radically different characters whose troubled lives intersect in the Depression-era South. It always seems like the work of a master storyteller,” said Thomas.


The public is invited to pick up a free copy of the book at the MSUB Library and sign up for a discussion group, sessions begin March 1.


Thomas indicated that the NEA Big Read events will be one of two lecture series sponsored by the MSUB Library.


The second lecture series will begin in late March and feature four events around Democracy.


“The library’s participation with Big Read was made possible by The Writer’s Voice and the grant it received and we are excited to take part,” Thomas said.


Managed by Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book. The program supports organizations across the country in developing community-wide reading programs which encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences.


The Writer’s Voice has been a literary presenter since 1991 and has spent 25 years developing and expanding literary programs for youth and adults. Formerly a program of the Billings Family YMCA, The Writer’s Voice now operates as an independent project of the Billings Cultural Partners. For more information about The Writer’s Voice contact Corby Skinner at 294-2390 or



All events are free to the public and will be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:30pm, in L.A. 205, Montana State University Billings, except where noted.


February 14 – MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Southern Music from the 1930s & 40s with Ed & John Kemmick at Art House Cinema, 109 North 30th.


February 16 – FILM: “Member of the Wedding”


February 21 – LECTURE: “Homesick most for the places we have never known’: Recreating Carson McCullers’s Historical Landscape” with Emily Arendt, PhD.


February 23 – FILM: “Reflections in a Golden Eye”


February 28 – PANEL DISCUSSION: “Carson McCullers & the Southern Gothic Literary Tradition” with Bernie Quetchenbach, PhD., Thomas Nurmi, PhD., Tami Haaland PhD., Corby Skinner


March 2- FILM – “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter”


March 14 – PERFORMANCE:  A staged reading of “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter”by David Caserio and guests


March 16 – FILM: “Ballad of the Sad Café”