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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.

2024 Spring Literary Festival

March 20–21

The Ohio University English Department plans to hold 2024 Spring Literary Festival on the Athens campus on March 20–21.

Authors scheduled to attend include memoirist Lily Hoàng, novelist Chigozie Obioma, and poet Mary Szybist.

The schedule also is posted to the university calendar:

Event Schedule

Wednesday, March 20

Baker Center Theater

  • 7:30 p.m. — Mary Szybist Lecture
  • 8:30 p.m. — Lily Hoàng Reading

Thursday, March 21

Walter Hall Rotunda

  • 10:00 a.m. — Lily Hoàng Lecture
  • 11:00 a.m. — Chigozie Obioma Lecture
  • 7:30 p.m. — Chigozie Obioma Reading
  • 8:30 p.m. — Mary Szybist Reading

2024 Event Speakers

Lily Hoàng

Lily Hoàng is the author of six books, including Underneath (winner of the Red Hen Press Fiction Award), A Bestiary (PEN/USA Non-Fiction Award finalist), and Changing (recipient of a PEN/Open Books Award). She has two books forthcoming in 2024—The Mute Kids (micro-tales) and A Knock at the Door (fairy tales)—and her collaborative collection Timber & Lụa with Vi Khi Nao is forthcoming in 2025. She is a Professor of Literature at UC San Diego, where she teaches in their MFA in Literary Arts.

Chigozie Obioma

Chigozie Obioma was born in Akure, Nigeria. His novels, The Fishermen (2015) and An Orchestra of Minorities (2019) were shortlisted for The Booker Prize. He is also the author of the forthcoming The Road to the Country (2024). His novels have been translated into more than 29 languages. They have won awards including the inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Award for Fiction, the NAACP Image Award, the Internationaler Literaturpreis, and the LA Times Book Prize, and been nominated for many others. The Fishermen was adapted into an award-winning stage play by Gbolahan Obisesan that played in the UK and South Africa between 2018-2019. He was named one of Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015. Obioma is the Program Director and a mentor at Oxbelly Writers Retreat. He is the James E. Ryan Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and divides his time between the US and Nigeria.” (from Blue Flower Arts)

Mary Szybist

Mary Szybist is the author of Incarnadine, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Poetry.  She the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Witter Bynner Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center.  Her first book _Granted_ won the 2004 GLCA New Writers Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  She lives in Portland, Oregon where she teaches at Lewis & Clark College.

About the Spring Literary Festival at Ohio University

Past Speakers Archives

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.

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Support the Literary Festival

The Ohio University Spring Literary Festival has been a University and Southeastern Ohio community staple event for nearly forty years. To honor this OHIO tradition, two English department alumnae created the opportunity to support the Festival’s operations and help continue its successful legacy for another forty years. We invite you to join them in giving a gift to the Ohio University Spring Literary Festival Fund, taking part in the celebration of joy and impact the Festival brings to the OHIO community. Alternatively, you may choose to support the English Department or a professorship in the Creative Writing Program. All donations are charitable contributions and tax-deductible.