Ohio University

Spring Literary Festival

Robert Pinsky performs with musician Daniel Gerald Spencer at the 2015 Spring Literary Festival.
Robert Pinsky performs with musician Daniel Gerald Spencer at the 2015 Spring Literary Festival.

Spring 2019 Literary Festival
April 3-6

The English Department’s 2019 Spring Literary Fest is April 3-5.

Authors Claire Vaye Watkins, Stephanie Powell Watts, Mark Doty, Kiese Laymon and Laura Kasischke. See details.

About the Spring Literary Festival at Ohio University

Since 1986, The Spring Literary Festival has featured some of the world's finest, most distinguished writers of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. The three-day festival is held in April on the Ohio University main campus in Athens, OH.

The festival is sponsored by the Creative Writing program in the English Department and is generously funded by the College of Arts & Sciences. All readings and lectures are free and open to the public.

The five visiting writers are present throughout the festival, lecturing and reading from their work, and books by the authors are available for purchase after each program, and at Little Professor Book Center in Athens.

For more information, contact David Wanczyk, Spring Literary Festival Coordinator.

Past Spring Literary Festival attendees include Paul Auster, John Ashbery, Russell Banks, Frank Bidart, Billy Collins, Lydia Davis, William Gass, Donald Hall, Barry Hannah, Terrance Hayes, Elizabeth Hardwick, Amy Hempel, Tony Hoagland, Kenneth Koch, Denise Levertov, Barry Lopez, Heather McHugh, W.S. Merwin, Czeslaw Milosz, N. Scott Momaday, Lorrie Moore, Mary Oliver, Susan Orlean, Cynthia Ozick, Grace Paley, Francine Prose, Richard Rodriguez, Marilynne Robinson, George Saunders, Leslie Marmon Silko, Charles Simic, James Tate, John Edgar Wideman, Geoffrey Wolff. See more in the Past Speakers Archives.

Recent News

Recent Events

Lit Fest: Quiet Triumph–The Unmatchable Poetry and Prose of Laura Kasischke | April 3-5

Learn more about Laura Kasischke’s work and Lit Fest events. By Madison Foltz The Poetry Foundation describes Laura Kasischke’s poetry as “noted for its intelligent, honest portrayal of domestic and familial life, its explosively accurate imagery and dense soundscapes, and its idiosyncratic use of narrative.” No poem of hers encapsulates […]

The post Lit Fest: Quiet Triumph–The Unmatchable Poetry and Prose of Laura Kasischke | April 3-5 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 04/01/2019

Spring Literary Festival | Kiese Laymon, April 3-5

Kiese Laymon, portraitOhio University’s Spring Literary Festival is April 3 to 5. One of this year’s featured authors is Kiese Laymon, a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Miss. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA in Fiction from Indiana […]

The post Spring Literary Festival | Kiese Laymon, April 3-5 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 04/01/2019

Spring Literary Festival | Mark Doty, April 3-5

Mark Doty, portraitOhio University’s Spring Literary Festival is April 3 to 5. One of this year’s featured authors is Mark Doty, who is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently Deep Lane (W. W. Norton, 2015); A Swarm, A Flock, A Host: A Compendium of Creatures (Prestel, 2013); Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (HarperCollins, […]

The post Spring Literary Festival | Mark Doty, April 3-5 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 04/01/2019

Spring Literary Festival | Laura Kasischke, April 3-5

Laura Kasischke, portraitOhio University’s Spring Literary Festival is April 3 to 5. One of this year’s featured authors is poet and novelist Laura Kasischke, who was born in Grand Rapids, Mich., and teaches in the MFA program at the University of Michigan. Her books of poetry include Wild Brides (1992), Fire and Flower (1998), Dance and Disappear (2002), Gardening […]

The post Spring Literary Festival | Laura Kasischke, April 3-5 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 04/01/2019

Spring Literary Festival | Claire Vaye Watkins, April 3-5

Claire Vaye Watkins, portraitOhio University’s Spring Literary Festival will take place April 3 through April 5. One of this year’s featured authors is Claire Vaye Watkins was born in Bishop, California in 1984. She was raised in the Mojave Desert, in Tecopa, California and Pahrump, Nevada. A graduate of the University of Nevada […]

The post Spring Literary Festival | Claire Vaye Watkins, April 3-5 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 04/01/2019

Spring Literary Festival | Stephanie Powell Watts, April 3-5

Stephanie Powell Watts, portraitOhio University’s Spring Literary Festival is April 3 to 5. One of this year’s featured authors is Stephanie Powell Watts, who won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for her debut story collection, We Are Taking Only What We Need (2012), also named one of 2013’s Best Summer Reads by O: […]

The post Spring Literary Festival | Stephanie Powell Watts, April 3-5 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 04/01/2019

Lit Fest: Unpacking the Weight of Kiese Laymon’s ‘Heavy’ | April 3-5

Kiese Laymon, portraitLearn more about Kiese Laymon’s work and Lit Fest events By Madison Foltz Kiese Laymon begins Heavy with the insistence that he wanted to “write a lie.” But he then lists every reason why that lie was not worth writing. He doesn’t want to lie because he needs to be […]

The post Lit Fest: Unpacking the Weight of Kiese Laymon’s ‘Heavy’ | April 3-5 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 04/01/2019

Lit Fest: Mark Doty and the Embers of Empathy | April 3-5

Learn more about Mark Doty’s work and Lit Fest events here. by Tatiana Radujkovic The poet Mark Doty ensnares moments of plain humanity in stanzas of striking beauty, and his Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems identifies and explores the world that surrounds us with a drollness, but also […]

The post Lit Fest: Mark Doty and the Embers of Empathy | April 3-5 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 04/01/2019

2019 Spring Literary Fest is April 3-5

The English Department’s 2019 Spring Literary Fest is April 3-5. The authors, who will give readings and craft-based lectures, include the following novelists, poets, and essayists: Stephanie Powell Watts, Kiese Laymon, Mark Doty, Claire Vaye Watkins, and Laura Kasischke, Wednesday, April 3rd Walter Hall Rotunda 7:30p Stepahanie Powell Watts Reading […]

The post 2019 Spring Literary Fest is April 3-5 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 08/02/2018

Lit Fest | Antic Sincerity: The Poems of Alan Shapiro, April 11, 12

Alan Shapiro, portraitThe 2018 Spring Literary Festival welcomes author Alan Shapiro for a reading on Wednesday, April 11, at 8:30 p.m., and for a lecture on Thursday, April 12, at noon. Both events will be held in Walter Hall Rotunda. By Derek J. G. Williams Graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Creative Writing: Poetry “I can’t embrace the […]

The post Lit Fest | Antic Sincerity: The Poems of Alan Shapiro, April 11, 12 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 04/01/2018