Since the 1980s, SMU’s Literary Festival has fostered a sense of literary community both on the campus and in the Dallas community at large. Each spring, the festival nurtures new talent and brings together students and established writers in workshops and readings. Expanding on that tradition, this past October Visiting Assistant Professor Paul Otremba organized a small-scale, first-annual fall festival. Award-winning poet Jennifer Grotz, assistant professor of English at the University of Rochester, and SMU’s own Dominic Smith, celebrated novelist and visiting assistant professor of creative writing, provided their expertise.
“There’s a stimulation of energy and fresh creativity that is evident after these events.” says Prof. Otremba. “I wanted that experience for our students, in the fall and spring.” This coming spring, the 2012 SMU Literary Festival begins Thursday, March 22 and runs through Saturday, March 24. Events are free and open to the public.
As of publication, the award-winning speaker lineup includes:
Shannon Cain, 2011 Drue Heinz Literature Prize
Amina Gautier, 2011 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction
Krys Lee, February 2012 release of her story collection
Dean Bakopoulis, O, The Oprah Magazine #1 Title to Pick Up Now
Martha Rhodes, Green Rose Prize
Corey Marks, editor of American Literary Review
Tyhemba Jess, poetry book of the year by Black Issues Book Review
Eduardo Corral, winner of both the 2011 Yale Younger Poets Series and Whiting Award