Friday March 10, 2017

LitFest 2017

The University of Dayton department of English hosts LitFest 2017 - a creative festival of literary arts that brings the University and Dayton-area communities together in a celebration of diverse and accessible poetry - Friday and Saturday, March 10-11, on campus. All events take place in the University of Dayton McGinnis Center and are free and open to the public.

Launched in 2002, LitFest showcases well-known and up-and-coming writers who highlight the diversity of the American poetry scene. This year’s theme — "Imagine Now!" — celebrates diversity, creativity and invites University students and Dayton-area writers to “take a stand for the arts and letters.”

Guest authors Martín Espada, a social justice poet, and Lily Hoang, an innovative, flash-nonfiction writer, kick off LitFest at 6 p.m. Friday with a reception, reading and book-signing.

LitFest continues Saturday with a day of workshops, readings, discussion and question-and-answer sessions. On Saturday evening, LitFest closes with a popular student-oriented open mic and poetry slam contest, hosted by local slam/performance poets.

Espada is a poet, essayist, translator, editor and attorney focused on social justice and Latino rights. He has published 14 books of poetry and numerous essays, and has won many awards in his 30-plus year career.

Hoang, director of the master’s of fine arts program at New Mexico State University, is the author of five books and numerous other publications. Her work has earned the PEN Open Book Award and won the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Nonfiction Contest.

LitFest brings poets and scholars of local, regional, and national reputation to campus to work with students, faculty and Dayton community members. Engaging and connecting readers and writers of all types is a major goal of the festival, and the involvement of both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as the local and regional writing communities, has been a hallmark of the LitFest tradition.

“There is no other opportunity like this where students can just be writers,” said P.J. Carlisle, the Herbert W. Martin Fellow at the University of Dayton. “They sit in workshops with famous authors and work on their own passion. It is different than a class, and students are seen as adults.”

For the first time, registered LitFest participants may submit work created at LitFest to Orpheus, the University’s art and literary magazine. Winning entries will be published in Orpheus, which is sold in the University bookstore.

The McGinnis Center is at the intersection of Frericks Way and Kiefaber Street. Please park in the P-Lot or any single-letter lot. The full LitFest 2017 schedule can be found below and on our FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/LitfestUniversityofDayton/.

- Delaney Lawrence ‘18

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