Spring Literary Festival to Spark Minds of Writers Young and Old

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Wednesday marks the kick off for Ohio University’s Spring Literary Festival, featuring Mary Cappello, Gerald Early, Tom Sleigh, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, and Colm Tóibín.

The three-day literary extravaganza consists of ten events (both lectures and readings) with the selected writers, all of whom are favorites of the creative writing program at Ohio University.

“The festival started in 1986 as a way to bring best writers in the country – and even in the world – to Athens for three days to bounce ideas off of each other and give our community access to that great writing,” said David Wanczyk, editor of Ohio University’s New Ohio Review. “It’s sort of a master class in creative writing. It’s very inspiring for undergrads to see people who have succeeded to such a level. It gives them a sense of the vibrant world there is out there for writers.”

Wednesday night’s event takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Walter Hall Rotunda on the Ohio University campus, featuring acclaimed Irish writer Colm Tóibín, the author of the 2009 Costa Novel Award-winning Brooklyn, which was adapted into a 2015 film of the same name directed by John Crowley. Tóibín has written seven other novels, as well. A reading by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum will follow. Bynum has two novels under her belt, the PEN/Faulkner Award finalist Ms. Hemp Chronicles, and the National Book Award finalist Madeleine Is Sleeping.

On Thursday morning, Mary Cappello (author of five literary nonfiction works, including Los Angeles Times bestseller Awkward: A Detour,) will lecture at 11 a.m. in the Walter Hall Rotunda, followed by another reading Bynum reading. Thursday evening, at 7:30 p.m., scholar and cultural critic Gerald Early will read, followed by a reading by accomplished poet Tom Sleigh, in the Walter Hall Rotunda.

The event closes out on Friday with a 11 a.m. lecture by Sleigh and a lecture by Early, in Alden Library. Cappello and Tóibín will finish off the 2017 Spring Literary Festival with readings starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Baker Theatre.

“It’s a very inspiring event,” said Wanczyk. “To me, after Lit Fest, I know that I just want to start writing.”