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Spring Literary Festival starts May 9
Event continues 22-year tradition of featuring distinguished writers 

ATHENS, Ohio (April 27, 2007) -- The Ohio University community will have the chance to interact with six world-class authors as they present lectures and read from their work during the Spring Literary Festival, May 9 to 11 in Baker University Center.

"There is no experience like hearing a writer present his or her own work. The passion and dedication that emerges is inspiring," said Kevin Haworth, Ohio University's coordinator of special programs and visiting faculty member in English. "This is one of the great benefits of being in a university community, and I encourage everyone to experience it."


The schedule for the free three-day event:

Wednesday, May 9

  • 7:30 p.m. Baker Ballroom?Chenjerai Hove reading
  • 8:30 p.m. Baker Ballroom?Trinh T. Minh-ha reading
Thursday, May 10
  • 11 a.m. Baker Theater?Trinh T. Minh-ha lecture
  • 12 p.m. Baker Theater?Nawal El Saadawi lecture
  • 4 p.m. Baker Theater?Charles Simic lecture
  • 7:30 p.m. Baker Ballroom?Kofi Awoonor reading
  • 8:30 p.m. Baker Ballroom?Ron Carlson reading
Friday, May 11
  • 11 a.m. Baker Theater?Ron Carlson lecture
  • 12 p.m. Baker Theater?Chenjerai Hove lecture
  • 4 p.m. Baker Theater?Kofi Awoonor lecture
  • 7:30 p.m. Baker Ballroom?Nawal El Saadawi reading
  • 8:30 p.m. Baker Ballroom?Charles Simic reading

Books by the authors will be available for purchase following each program.


This year's authors follow a long line of distinguished writers of poetry, fiction and nonfiction featured at the 22-year-old festival. This year's visiting writers are: Kofi Awoonor, Ron Carlson, Chenjerai Hove, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Nawal El Saadawi and Charles Simic.

Awoonor is a poet and novelist from Ghana whose publications include a collection of poems, "The House by the Sea," which chronicles his years spent as a political prisoner. He is an active part of the Ghanaian government, serving as an ambassador to Brazil and to the United Nations. 

Carlson, director of the Creative Writing Program at University of California-Irvine, is the author of eight books of fiction that range from short story collections to novels. His stories have appeared in Harpers, The New Yorker and Esquire, among others, and have earned him numerous awards including the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction. 

Hove is a Zimbabwean poet, novelist and essayist who has written more than a dozen publications, including the novels "Bones" and "Ancestors." His collection of essays, "Palaver Finish," details politics and life in Zimbabwe. Hove won the German-Africa Prize for his literary contribution to freedom of expression in 2001. 

In addition to the eight books she has published, Trinh is an independent filmmaker and feminist whose work includes two large-scale multimedia instillations and seven films. She is a professor of rhetoric, and gender and women's studies at the University of California-Berkeley.   

El Saadawi is a writer, psychologist and former Egyptian Minister of Public Health. Her novels on the situation of young women have made her well-known in the Arab world for the past four decades. Her recent works include the novel "The Fall of Imam" and an essay collection "The Nawal El-Saadawi Reader." 

A Pulitzer Prize-winner for poetry, Simic has published more than 60 books in the United States and abroad. He has also translated French, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian and Slovenian poetry and has written several books of essays. He currently is a professor of English at the University of New Hampshire. 

Haworth said the Spring Literary Festival is intended for the entire university community, including faculty, staff and students of every discipline.

"The diversity and talent of our writers is remarkable," he said. "They will be appealing to people who are interested in history, literature, politics, women's studies, international issues and much more." 

This year's program is co-sponsored by the Program in Creative Writing of the Department of English and the African Studies Program, with support from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Fine Arts, and the Office of the Provost. The readings and lectures are free and open to the public.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist George Mauzy at (740) 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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