12th Annual Literary Festival
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By Brian Powers
Assistant Lifestyles Editor

 

On Thursday, September 21, the 12th annual Old Dominion Literary Festival d off with a bang, spotlighting a reading by one of the nation's leading writers, William Styron. Styron, a winner of the Prix de Rome, the Pulitzer and the American Book Award, read from some of his works and autographed copies of his books. The admission to see this writer of such acclaimed novels such as The Confession Turner and Sophie's Choice will be to fund for the rest of the festival,which officially begins October 2.

The festival will feature in all fourteen nationally acclaimed writers and poets. This list includes Carolyn Forche, winf the Yale Younger Poets and Lamont Poetry awards: Barry Lopez, winner of the Burroughs Medal for distinguished natural history writing, and the National Book Award in nonfiction. Bill Tremblay, author of Second Sun: New and Selected Poems; and Paule Marshall, her honors including a Gugenheim Fellowship, the Rosenthal Award of the American Academy of and Letters, and the Langston HughesAward Medallion.

The readings of Forche have been as "Spell binding, fascinating."She has established herself as a spokesperson for what has come to be called "poetry as witness" which is based on her belief that poetry should speak to "the most serious question of society."Poets must not trivialize human concerns...writers face demands in them to act as voices." Her essays, book and articles have appeared in many, The New York Times,'The Washngton Post , "and The Nation.

She will give a talk at 1:30pm on Monday, October 2 and will read from her poetry at 8:00 that evening.

Barry Lopez, praised for both his mature writing and his fiction, has been described as a writer who "goes to the wisderness to clarify a great deal about civilization." Among his works are Of Wolves and Men, a book that includes much on wolf lore, superstition, fork lore, and leterature from a wide range of people. His best known book, Arctic Dreams: imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape, has been described as "a lyrical geography and natural history, an account of Eskimo life, and a history of northern explorations." Mr. Lopez will speak at 1:30 pm on Wednesday, October 4, on the relationship between stories and settings and will read from his fiction at 8:00 pm that evening.

Bill Tremblay is an author of five books of poems, among them are Crying in the Cheap Seats, The Anarchist Heart, and Home Front. His poetry as been described by critics as "ambitious and intense, natural and sprawling. It grows like the broadening light of day: discovering new angles and textures in the old human concerns, seeking out the pockets of shadow which mast true motive and feeling." Mr. Tremblay will speak at 1:30 pm, on Tuesday, October 3, and will reak form his poetry at 8:00 pm that evening.

The last evening speaker will be Paule Marshall on Thurday, October 5, at 8:00 pm. She will also speak at 1:30 pm the same day. Marshall is called "one of the best novelists writing in the US." Her works include Brown Girl, Brownstones, Soul Clap Hands, Sins, and The Chosen Place, The Timeless People. Critics have said she "brings an instinctive understanding, a generosity, and a free humor that combine to form a style remarkable for its courage, color, and its natural control." Many other highly

acclaimed and important writers and poets will speak during the day. Among them are Janet Burroway, an author of six novels, two books of poetry, two children's books, a guide to fiction writing, and five plays; Kate Daniels, a Norfolk native, an author of two volumes of poetry; Jennifer Moyer, a half-publisher of Moyer Bell Ltd; Gerald Stem, a poet with many published books and with work including Paradise Poems and The Red Coal. Mary MacArthur, the executive director of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass.; Joe David Belamy, an author and editor of ten books; Liam Rector author of a book of poetry The Sorrow of Architecture and executive of the associated writing programs; Tony Ardizzone, former director of creative writing at ODU, and an author of two books; Ruth Stone, an author of six books, and is a visiting writer at ODU teaching creative writing; and finally, Wayne Ude, the director of the ODU Literary Festival and author of Buffalo and Other Stories.

Many of these day time lectures are here for the annual meeting of the Associated Writing Programs Board of Directors. This board is mission is to foster literary talent and achievement, to advance the craft of writing, to save the makers and readers of contemporary writing both with the academy and beyond. The literary Festival is one of the major programs of this association, whose headquarters is ODU.

Wayne Ude, director of the Festival, says the purpose of the festival is to provide the public the opportunity to hear many voices from different parts of the world in different modes of literacy. The festival is designed to be a reflection of broader reim of the outer world. All festival events are open to the public and admission is free. All events are interpreted for the hearing-impaired. For more information, call 683-4033.