Old Dominion University will host its 40th Annual Literary Festival, “Lust for Life,” from Sunday 1 October to Thursday 5 October, 2017.
Release provided by ODU.
This weeklong festival will bring 17 internationally known writers and artists to Norfolk to present their work to students, faculty, and the public. The festival’s President’s Lecture Series guest will be Roz Chast, whose 2014 book Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? became the first-ever graphic memoir to win a National Book Critics Circle Award.
Other writers headlining the festival will include Kaitlyn Greenidge, a 2017 Whiting Award winner for her novel We Love You, Charlie Freeman; Garth Greenwell, whose novel What Belongs to You won last year’s British Book Award for Debut of the Year and has been a finalist for several major literary prizes; Alexandra Petri, whose political op-eds for The Washington Post have led Longreads to name her “The Only Op-Ed Columnist America Needs Right Now;” and Don Lee, winner of the American Book Award and the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author.
Of the six poets at the ODU Literary Festival, two serve as state poets laureate: Laurie Ann Guerrero, Poet Laureate of Texas, and Tim Seibles, Poet Laureate of Virginia. Seibles is one of four ODU professors with new books in 2017 who will read from their new work; others include Janet Peery, Drew Lopenzina, and Remica Bingham-Risher. A 2017 alum of the ODU MFA Creative Writing Program, Lamar Giles, will present his new novel, Overturned.
Playwright Ellen McLaughlin, who will speak about her work on Wednesday 4 October, will have a full production of her Lysistrata adaptation directed by ODU professor Chris Hanna and performed by ODU theatre students. Additionally, the ODU MFA Creative Writing Program’s Fall 2017 Writer-in-Residence, Olivia Laing, will read from her widely praised memoir The Lonely City. The Lonely City was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism and was named a best book of the year by NPR, Newsweek, Publisher’s Weekly, and LitHub.
The Women’s Studies Department at ODU will collaborate with the Literary Festival to bring photographer Sarah Stacke for an exhibit of work—with an emphasis on South Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo—that has taken her around the world. Stacke’s photography will be on display at the Slover Library, and she will discuss her images on Tuesday 3 October.
The ODU Literary Festival began in 1978 with writers including Charles Wright, WD Snodgrass, and Anthony Hecht. Past guests have included Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey, Raymond Carver, William Least Heat Moon, Rita Dove, Donald Barthelme, William Styron, Tony Kushner, and Susan Sontag.
Festival events are open to the public and free with the exception of Lysistrata, which requires a $15 ticket purchase at ODUArtsTix.com. ODU garage parking is free during festival events. A full and updated schedule of events is available online at odu.edu/litfest.