The 18th Annual Literary
Festival to be held Oct. 3-5 will not just celebrate literature, said
M. Evelina Galang, festival director.
Galang, an English professor, said she wanted to "mix things up" a bit
with this year's festival, "World Voice." And she has.
Unlike festivals of previous years, this festival, which coincides with
the opening of the international Writer's Center based I at the university,
will include musical and dance performances from local artists. On Oct.
5, the audience will have the opportunity to tour a glass exhibit, hear
a steel drum band and see some traditional dances of the Philippines at
the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk. The museum has donated that space for
the evening, Galang said.
"We're all telling a story. We're all trying to voice what's inside of
us," she said. "And music and dance and art are just forms of storytelling."
Galang also thought incorporating music, dance and art in the festival
would attract cross-audiences, but that is not all she has planned. She
has Also studied participation theatre in college and decided to get the
audience involved in this year's festival. "It's going to be a party,"
"One of the things I wanted to do was make [the festival] a community
affair where the audience become participants, so that the festival become
more celebratory," Galang continued.
"Open mike" sessions, to be held each day in the Atrium Garden at Webb
Center, will allow students to read their own literary works. With 'these
sessions, she wants to offer international students the chance to read
their poetry and prose in their own languages.
"I want the international students for once to be able to talk in their
own language and not have to explain themselves, not have to trivialize
what they have to say and reiterate it in English," Galang said.
Cultural booths will also be dis-played each day by various student organizations.
The purpose of the festival, Galang said, is to recognize the differences
- both cultural and individual - among all people. "Cultural Equities,"
last year's festival, "tended to make everyone the same and blend us all
together," Galang said.
She hopes students
who attend the festival will learn the truth behind cultural myths and
"One of the reasons
we don't get along is we are different. People don't want to say we're
dif-ferent from one another, but we are different, so maybe we need to
listen to that more and acknowl-edge that," said Galang, who used to teach
Galang said the writers, some of whom were paid to come to the festival,
reflect a wide variety of "voices, backgrounds and experi-ences." The
writers hail from all over the globe - from Singapore to Argentina.
The following is a list
of the writers who will be featured:
Fiona Cheong, a native of
Singapore, will read
Oct. 3 at 11 a.m. in Chandler Recital Hall (the Fine and Performing Arts
Center.) Her first novel, "Scent of the Gods," was published in 1991.
An assistant professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, Cheong
is currently working on her second novel, "Shadow Theatre."
Quraysh Ali, a native
of Sheba, will read Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. in the River Rooms at Webb Center.
He is author of "Candy Day," which will be produced by Chocolate Chips
Theatre Company in the spring of 1996. His work has been published in
various journals throughout the Midwest, including Freedom Rag and Atelier.
a critically acclaimed poet from Dublin, Ireland, will read Oct. 3 at
8 p.m. in Chandler Recital Hall. She has published seven books of poetry
includ-ing "Outside History," "Night Feed" and "In a Time
Tim Seibles, a creative writing professor at the university, will read
Oct. 4 at 11 a.m. in Chandler Recital Hall. Born in Philadelphia, Seibles
is author of three books of poetry: " Body Moves, " " Hurdy-Gurdy" and
"Kerosene." Recently, he won the Open Voice Award from the National Writers
Agha Shahid Ali, a
native of Kashmir, will read Oct. 4 at 3 p.m. in Chandler Recital Hall.
He is a poet whose work regularly appears in journals such as Yale Review,
Paris Review and Poetry. He is author of six collections of poetry including
"The Half Inch Himalayas" and "The Beloved Witness: Selected Poems."
Ninotchka Rosca, an
exiled journalist from the Philippines, will read Oct. 4 at 3 p.m. in
Chandler Recital Hall. Author of "Twice Blessed," and "ENDGAME: The Fall
of Marcos," Rosca was jailed in the 1970s for opposing the late President
Ferdinand Marcos' declaration of martial law. Rosca will also give a talk,
"Silencing. Of Women: Direct and Indirect Censorship," Oct. 5 in the River
Rooms at Webb Center.
Mary Crow, a poet and author of "Going Home," "Borders" and "The Business
of Literature," will read Oct. 5 at 11 a.m. in Chandler Recital Hall.
Her work has been published in more than 115 magazines.
Ariel Dorfman, born in Argentina and now a Chilean citizen, will read
Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. in the Chrysler Museum. Dorfman is author of several
books including "The Empire's Old Clothes" and "How to Read Donald Duck."
In 1994, his play, "Death and The Maiden," was released as a movie in
the United States. The movie starred Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley.
All events are open to the pub-lic. With the exception of October 5, the
fundraiser evening at the Chrysler Museum to which students must pay $5,
all events are free. The money raised that evening will go toward funding
next year's festival.