Every year, the Pat Conroy Literary Center hosts March Forth to commemorate the anniversary of the beloved Lowcountry author’s death. The seventh annual March Forth is planned for March 4-5, with a preview event March 3. 

“Pat passed away on the fourth day of March 2016,” Pat Conroy Literary Center executive director Jonathan Haupt said. “But ‘March Forth’ was also his final message to us – to continue on ahead. So we do so in Pat’s memory.”

Haupt said people will literally be marching forth on a nature walk at Penn Center, but they will also be marching forth in a figurative sense.

“It is the marching forth in continuation of Pat’s legacy through discussions inspired by major themes of his writing life: storytelling, education, conservation, inclusivity and the family dynamic, to name a few,” Haupt said. “When we do all of that well – which we always do – you can feel both the presence and absence of Pat Conroy at our March Forth. It’s always a magical event.”

March Forth is a joint effort of the Pat Conroy Literary Center, Penn Center, NeverMore Books, the Storybook Shoppe, the Port Royal Farmers Market, Catering by Debbi Covington, and the Beaufort High School and Beaufort Academy chapters of the Diversity Awareness Youth Literacy Organization. A grant from the nonprofit South Carolina Humanities helps with the cost of putting on the various events.

A free preview of March Forth will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. March 3 at NeverMore Books in Beaufort. New York Times bestselling novelist De’Shawn Charles Winslow will sit down with Haupt to discuss his new book, “Decent People.” He will sign copies of his book after the discussion. Seating is limited. Reserve your spot by calling 843-812-9460.

Children are invited to a free Teddy Bear Picnic Read-Aloud from 9 a.m. to noon March 4 near the gazebo at the Port Royal Farmers Market. Light snacks will be provided. 

As part of March Forth, the public is encouraged to visit the York W. Bailey Museum at Penn Center between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. March 4. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children. Discover Darrah Hall, which is part of the Reconstruction Era National Historic Park, at Penn Center between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. March 4. Admission is free.

At noon, South Carolina Academy of Authors honoree, environmentalist, memoirist, poet and novelist John Lane will speak and sign his books, “Still Upright and Headed Downstream” and “Coming into Animal Presence.” 

A conversation with New York Times bestselling nature-themed mystery novelist Megan Miranda will take place from 1:20 to 2:20 p.m., followed by a book signing. Miranda is the author of “The Last to Vanish” and her forthcoming novel, “The Only Survivors.”

At 2:40 p.m., former Charleston City Poet Laureate Marcus Amaker, with the help of student readers, will give a poetry reading and discussion, followed by a book signing. Amaker is editor of “Colors Wash Over Me: Poems by Lowcountry Students,” and author of a forthcoming “Hold What Makes You Whole.” 

The festivities will continue March 5 with check-in at 10:30-11 a.m. at Penn Center. MacArthur Fellowship honoree, environmentalist and author of “Sparrow Envy” J. Drew Lanham, along with author John Lane, will lead a nature walk of Penn Center from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A book signing will follow. 

For more information on the Pat Conroy Literary Center, visit patconroyliterarycenter.org. 

Amy Coyne Bredeson of Bluffton is a freelance writer, a mother of two and a volunteer with the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance.