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Amelia Islander

28th Annual MKR Conference held in Lakeland

The Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Society invites anyone interested in the life and writings of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings to attend the 28th Annual Rawlings Conference, which will take place on the historic campus of Florida Southern College, March 27 to 28, 2015.

In 1928, writer Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings bought a 72-acre orange grove at Cross Creek, Florida, and moved there with her husband, Charles Rawlings. She describes the setting in her book, Cross Creek: “Any grove or any wood is a fine thing to see. But the magic here, strangely, is not apparent from the road. It is necessary to leave the impersonal highway, to step inside the rusty gate and close it behind. . . One is now inside the grove, out of one world and in the mysterious heart of another. Enchantment lies in different things for each of us. For me, it is in this: to step out of the bright sunlight into the shade of orange trees; to walk under the arched canopy of their jadelike leaves; to see the long aisles of lichened trunks stretch ahead in a geometric rhythm; to feel the mystery of a seclusion that yet has shafts of light striking through it. This is the essence of an ancient and secret magic.”

Activities at the MKR conference include a Friday afternoon excursion tour of the Frank Lloyd Wright buildings on the Florida Southern College campus. The tour will be followed by cocktails and a banquet dinner, which will feature a talk by a guest speaker. A special feature of this year’s conference is the second annual silent auction fundraiser. If you have any special items that you would like to donate to the Society, please contact Elaine Bradbury at [email protected] Items can include not only Rawlings memorabilia, but also Florida-themed items, real art work, or books, especially signed, or other items of general interest.

The conference hotel is the Terrace Hotel, 329 East Main Street, Lakeland, Florida, 33801. Phone: (863) 688-0800. Toll Free: (888) 644-8400. Web site: For more information about the conference, please contact Anna Lillios at [email protected]