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.

2021 Spring Literary Festival

March 17-19

The English Department’s 2021 Spring Literary Festival is being held virtually from Wednesday, March 17, to Friday, March 19.

Authors include Chris Abani, Nina Li Coomes, Ada Limón, Jason Schneiderman, and Lidia Yuknavitch. 

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

2021 Spring Literary Festival | March 17-19

Ellis Hall entryway architectural elementThe English Department’s 2021 Spring Literary Festival is being held virtually from Wednesday, March 17, to Friday, March 19. Authors include Chris Abani, Nina Li Coomes, Ada Limón, Jason Schneiderman, and Lidia Yuknavitch. Wednesday, March 17 7:30 p.m. — A reading by Chris Abani, with a Q&A to follow. Join […]

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Posted on 03/02/2021

Lit Fest | The Artistry of Chris Abani: ‘What we know about how to be who we are comes from stories,’ March 17

Chris Abani, portraitChris Abani reads from his work on March 17 at 7:30 p.m. as part of Spring Literary Festival. By Candace Walsh Nigerian and American writer Chris Abani chooses and uses fiction, poetry, essays, and screenplays to tell bracing stories that have earned a Guggenheim Award, a PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, […]

The post Lit Fest | The Artistry of Chris Abani: ‘What we know about how to be who we are comes from stories,’ March 17 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 03/02/2021

Lit Fest | Nina Li Coomes Brings Her Writings to OHIO, March 18

Nina Li Coomes, portraitBy Morgan Riedl Ohio University’s English Department virtually presents writer Nina Li Coomes for this year’s Spring Literary Festival at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 18. Coomes is a Japanese and American writer born in Nagoya and currently residing in Chicago, where she is a student at the Litowitz MFA […]

The post Lit Fest | Nina Li Coomes Brings Her Writings to OHIO, March 18 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 03/02/2021

Lit Fest | Homecoming Songs: the Poems of Ada Limón, March 18

Ada Limón, portraitBy Paul Pickering The English Department welcomes poet Ada Limón to the Spring Literary Festival to read from her work on Thursday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. We are also delighted to follow the reading with a conversation with the poet Jason Schneiderman on Friday morning, March 19, at 10:30 a.m. […]

The post Lit Fest | Homecoming Songs: the Poems of Ada Limón, March 18 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 03/02/2021

Lit Fest | “Flawed, Furious, Bold, Tender”: the Creations of Lidia Yuknavitch, March 19

Lidia Yuknavitch, portraitBy Kay Keegan Ohio University’s English Department welcomes Lidia Yuknavitch to the annual Spring Literary Festival. Yuknavitch’s virtual Reading and Q&A will take place on Friday, March 19, at 2 p.m. Yuknavitch is a bestselling writer, who has most recently published Verge (2020), a short story collection that is equal […]

The post Lit Fest | “Flawed, Furious, Bold, Tender”: the Creations of Lidia Yuknavitch, March 19 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 03/02/2021

Lit Fest | Equilibrium and Explosiveness in the Poetry of Jason Schneiderman, March 19

By Eric Steifel The English Department presents award-winning poet and essayist Jason Schneiderman as part of our upcoming Spring Literary Festival, where he will be in conversation and reading from his work on Thursday, March 19, at 10:30 am.. Schneiderman is the author of four books of poems: Hold Me […]

The post Lit Fest | Equilibrium and Explosiveness in the Poetry of Jason Schneiderman, March 19 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 03/02/2021

CANCELED | 2020 Spring Literary Festival Is March 18-20

Note: This event has been canceled. The Ohio University Creative Writing program presents five visiting writers for the 35th annual Spring Literary Festival, March 18-20. Authors include Lauren Groff, Melissa Febos, Ada Limon, Anthony Marra, and Ira Sukrungruang. All readings and lectures are free and open to the public. The […]

The post CANCELED | 2020 Spring Literary Festival Is March 18-20 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 03/01/2020

CANCELED | Lit Fest | Lauren Groff Gives Reading, Lecture, March 19, 20

Lauren Groff , portraitNote: This event has been canceled. “We Need to Keep Around Us People Who Think and Speak”: Lauren Groff’s Thundering Florida By Chase Campbell Though the pages of Lauren Groff’s collection Florida are scored with the natural hazards indigenous to the Sunshine State, that “Eden of dangerous things,” these aren’t […]

The post CANCELED | Lit Fest | Lauren Groff Gives Reading, Lecture, March 19, 20 appeared first on Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences.

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Posted on 03/01/2020

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