Film producer Wendy Reed inspires

Published 4:39 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2010

“Growing up I was a nerd, reading everything that was put in front of me,” said Wendy Reed. “As a producer I get to powder authors’ noses.”

If reading a lot helps a person find life passion, she’s clearly discovered one key. Reed, a former speech writer for a University of Alabama president, is living her dream as writer/director/producer for Alabama Public Television.

“Bookmark” is a literary interview show produced by Reed, and hosted by Don Nobles, an English professor at UA. This show, featuring published writers, airs Sunday morning at 11a.m. More than 50 writers have been on the show including well-known literary stars Ray Bradbury and Anne Rivers Siddons.

Reed has a new book being published by Jefferson Press in Chattanooga, Tennessee, titled, “An Accidental Memoir: How I Killed Someone and Other Stories.” This book is a collection from which she read an excerpt, a true story of being in a deadly accident. One person in the audience said, “Your speaking technique is mesmerizing.”

“Actually, this is a book about how we remember,” Reed said. “I’m forever asking myself questions. What changed Lot’s wife? Was it her turning? Or what she saw?”

Reed’s main literary influence is writings by Flannery O’Conner, who wrote “A Good Man is Hard to Find” plus more spine tingling sagas, and once said, “The basis of art is truth, both matter and mode.”

“Glimpses” is a pilot series Reed is producing for Public Television next year.

“I hope to combine Southerners and stories in a way never imagined,” she said.

Reed has produced several documentaries. One describes a matriarchal lineage through which a plantation passed down many generations. Another documentary titled “Mother’s Day” tells of the plight of mothers in prison, and was filmed at Julia Tutwiler, where 65-70 percent of all inmates are mothers. The children visit on weekends. Statistics show many of the children follow the same pattern, later ending up behind bars.

“I like stories of people who can’t tell a story, people in situations of inequality, oppression,” said Reed. “I like to find absurdities in serious situations, the bizarre and amusing.”

Wendy Reed teaches script writing at the University of Alabama. Her reading event was sponsored and held at Jefferson State Community College on Valleydale, as a part of the Red Mountain Reading Series funded by the Alabama Humanities Foundation.

Gladys Hodge Sherrer can be reached by e–mail at