This is what drew me in. I spied a Little Free Library while we were walking to our car in Beaufort, South Carolina and immediately stopped. Poor Chris is getting pretty used to my swivel head when it comes to spying Little Free Libraries.
But this one was extra special because of where it was located. I had no idea that The Pat Conroy Literary Center was in Beaufort but it totally made sense after I saw it. After all, Pat Conroy was a lover of all things Southern and lived on both Fripp Island and Beaufort for years. We had no real itineary so Chris indulged me once again and we made a quick stop at the Literary Center.
Mounted outside the building is the plaque that tells a little bit about the Literary Center and its purpose. The beautiful center boasts some really wonderful things including copies of all of Conroy’s works as well as memorabilia and books from Conroy’s own library.
A wall of framed pictures share the journey of Pat Conroy from young man to adult and our guide was quite knowledgeable about all facets of his life.
The Literary Center was welcoming and the perfect place to spend some time learning more about this prolific writer. I learned so much about him in just a short time and it endeared me to him. Another life taken too soon but one that continues to give people much joy after his death when his books are read.
The mission of the center as stated on their website is as follows:
The Pat Conroy Literary Center educates and inspires a community of readers, writers, and teachers in and beyond our home in the South Carolina lowcountry. In honor of our namesake, one of America’s best loved writers and truth-tellers, the Conroy Center continues Pat Conroy’s courageous and generous-hearted legacy as a teacher, mentor, advocate, and friend to storytellers of every kind.
Based in Conroy’s beloved hometown and muse of Beaufort, the Conroy Center will develop an inclusive, sustainable, and highly visible educational presence by hosting exhibitions drawn from Conroy’s writing life, presenting workshops on the writing craft and professionalization, organizing book group discussions, offering presentations by local and visiting writers and literary arts leaders, sponsoring mentorship programs and awards to foster a great love of literature among young and emerging writers, honoring the vital work of educators, holding as our signature event the annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival, fostering a robust online outreach to our global audience, and partnering with schools, universities, libraries, festivals, fellow nonprofits, and other humanities organizations to enhance the literary arts.
Collectively these ambitious efforts serve as an open invitation to all of those from around the globe who have appreciated and benefited from Pat Conroy’s extraordinary gifts and generosity to join us in championing the transformative power of education and of story itself to reshape our lives and our world for the betterment of all.
There were some really wonderful displays including a quilt that featured his books, his family and a lot of other glimpses into his life.
One of my favorite areas was a wall that people had stuck notes to Pat —it was very moving to see the many post it notes that had been left.
I was drawn to the area where his books were displayed for sale and I ended up buying The Water is Wideas it is one of his books I have not read yet. Chris and I actually listened to part of The Great Santini on the way home and I am finishing up listening to it while I walk. We watched the movie when we got home so I already know how it ends but that’s okay.
But without a doubt my favorite thing was seeing Pat Conroy’s desk and chair along with the yellow legal pad that he wrote his novels on. No computer or typewriter for this man – he loved the written word on yellow legal pads.
Even more exciting? Being able to sit in that same chair where so many wonderful words and phrases were written.
If you are ever in Beaufort take a little side trip to Port Republic Street and check out the center. Check out their website to find out more about the Pat Conroy Literary Center and keep up with all of the events that they have in the center and beyond. The link to their website and other social media channels are listed below.
If you are a Pat Conroy fan what is your favorite book that he penned? I would love to read your thoughts in the comments section and remember to Comment for a Cause.
22 CommentsLeave a comment
Love the post it notes!
Sweet idea, huh? I loved them as well.
I can’t believe I never knew about this place. We will definitely have to visit there on our next Fripp trip. I love “Beach Music”.
It is fairly new –probablay within the past year and a half I want to say so you can give yourself a break for not knowing about it. Beach Music is up on my list next –it was too heavy to carry on my trip to Ohio. 🙂
Never knew this place existed, thanks for the heads up! Looks like a worthy visit, next time we find ourselves a lil’ southier, we’ll know to check this place out!
It is a great spot to visit. I am so happy we found it.
South of Broad and The Great Santini are my two favorites. I visited HIlton Head this past fall and we took a day trip to Beaufort. I did not know this was there and am disappointed I missed out! So glad you posted.
Next time you visit Hilton Head look it up –it has only been open for a year or so and it already booming with activity and visitors.
That’s so cool! Thanks for sharing!!
Thanks so much fro stopping by! Great to see you here!
Don’t you just love finding these unexpected places. Pat Conroy was an awesome writer. The Prince of Tides is an excellent book. So great to know there is a centre showcasing his life and work. That quilt is amazing!!
Yes. It was a really great find and I will be back someday for sure since we love the area so much. I am reading The Water is Wide now and have Beach Music on deck.
My husband reads Pat Conroy bur never have. So happy you found this special place.
Me, too! It was a bit of serendipity!
You’ll enjoy “The Water is Wide” I think. I must stop in to this wonderful place if I’m in Beaufort!
You must! It was delightful and there are wonderful volunteers to help guide you around. Thanks for stopping by!
Yes, you must!!!
I’ve never read any of Pat Conroy’s books. So thank you for sharing this post. I would feel the same as you about needing to explore this center. The post-it notes and the desk are great. But writing on a yellow legal pad? Nope, I could not do that.
I think you would enjoy his writing a lot. He is very descriptive and engaging. I have had to look up far more words than I care to admit to find out definitions. 🙂
“The Water Is Wide”
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