21st Annual Literary Festival
Old Dominion University
October 6-9, 1998
Robert Pinsky

Maria Luisa Carino

Jacqueline Woodson

John McPhee

Tony Hoagland

Scott Cairns

Jane Bernstein

Nicole Brossard

Sena Jeter Naslund

Jack Myers

Anthony Grooms

Li-Young Lee

Festival Director: Tim Seibles
RealAudio Interview with Tim Seibles (10/99)

Electric Voice Coming of Age
We think of electricity as a utility, the power that allows us to turn on the light or to make machines work.  We recognize its undeniable might in storms.   It is often forgotten, however, that inside each of us electric current is constantly moving, that the body itself is invisibly charged.

When Walt Whitman wrote, "I sing the body electric,"  I believe he was testifying to this and to the truth that the human voice and the syllables that make its meanings are sweet embodiments of the current that sustain our humanity.

Whenever a nation gives in to fear and forces the yearning voices to be silent, that place goes dark.  To keep the light, to clarify the heart, there are those who spend their lives finding the words that conduct this quiet lightning, that turn the voice electric.

Tim Seibles
Literary Festival Director

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