22nd Annual Literary Festival
Old Dominion University
October 11-15, 1999

Rilla Askew
Richard Chess
Rita Dove
Margaret Gibson
Jane Ellen Glasser
Andrew Hudgins
Luisa A. Igloria
Mike Kelly
E. Ethelbert Miller
Erin McGraw

Debra Monroe
Jay Paul
Michael Pearson
Janet Peery
David Poyer

Sheri Reynolds
Tim Seibles
Fred Viebahn
Shelly Wagner

This year's literary festival was originally envisioned and shaped under the direction of poet Scott Cairns. When I took over for Scott, I tried to keep to the "spirit" of his vision and add mine to it. 

All true writing -- whether nonfiction, poetry, or fiction -- should inspire. When the breath of  a writer mingles with the breath of a reader, something new emerges. Literature documents, but it also discovers and enlivens, each word an exhalation that gives life to an inspirited scene, a familiar world experienced as if for the first time. True writing turns us inward and outward, to re-invent ourselves and re-create the world.

THE SPIRIT OF THE WORD

This year's festival has brought together a diverse group of writers who all share a common undertaking: they are men and women whose works invite readers to reflect on language and the heartbreaking and heartsome truths that poems and stories communicate. Breathe deeply: be inspired. 

Michael Pearson 
Director of the Festival
 

Interview with Michael Pearson


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