"The Big Time," an original production by St. Paul writer Patricia Hampl celebrating the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald, will be performed Sept. 18 at the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul.

The evening will include passages from his books and letters, and performances by a group of musicians led by Dan Chouinard. Singer/songwriter Blake Hazard, Fitzgerald's great-granddaughter, will perform, and the evening will be introduced by Eleanor Lanahan, his granddaughter.

The evening kicks off the Fitzgerald Theater's Centennial Season and celebrates the theater's inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.

"The Big Time" opens at 8 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St. Tickets are $25-$29 and are available at the MPR box office. The program will be recorded and broadcast on 91.1 FM at noon Sept. 24, the 114th anniversary of Fitzgerald's birth. Also ...

•The Birchbark Books Reading Series will start its second year of readings at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Birchbark Books and the Kenwood Cafe. Poet James Lenfestey will read from his new book, "Low Down and Coming On: A Feast of Delicious and Dangerous Poems About Pigs," published by Red Dragonfly Press. Other readers will include poets Jill Breckenridge, Margaret Hasse and Thomas R. Smith. Lenfestey, a former editorial writer for the Star Tribune, has written poetry, reviews, essays and articles. He has published six collections of poetry. Birchbark Books is at 2115 W. 21st St., Mpls.

Brent Olson of Big Stone County won the award for Best Regular Column by the American Agricultural Editors Association. The award was for his work in Living the Country Life magazine. The prize-winning column, about his grandchild from Ethiopia, was also published in Olson's recent book, "Papa."

•The 11th annual celebration of Minnesota children's authors and illustrators will take place Sept. 11 at the Anderson Center, five miles north of Red Wing on Hwy 61. Rick Allen, Emilie Buchwald, John Coy, Jacqueline West and many others will give presentations. The event is free and open to the public.

Garrison Keillor has been named judge for the 2011 May Swenson Poetry competition, sponsored by Utah State University Press.

Mark Conway, founder of the Literary Arts Institute at the College of St. Benedict, has released a new collection of poetry, "Dreaming Man, Face Down," published by Dream Horse Press. He'll read with poets J.P. White and Sharon Chmielarz at the Loft Literary Center, 1011 Washington Av. S., Mpls. at 7 p.m. Sept. 16.