6th Annual Literary Festival
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The Mace & Crown, Wednesday, September 28, 1983
Sixth Annual Literary Festival starts next week
Carolyn Forche, author of The Country Between Us.
William Least Heat Moon, author of Blue Highways.

Jerri L. Fuller

Last year, Allen Ginsberg and Ken Kesey, among others, stormed through ODU's 5th Annual Literary Festival and set it afire. Next week, the 6th Annual Literary Festival commences with a line up that should recreate last year's fervor. The excitement within the English Department is mounting as the week draws to a close. Novelist Ann Beattie will open the festival the evening of Monday, October 4, at 8:00 p.m. in the BAL auditorium. Tony Ardizzonne, creative writing instructor and one of the coordinators of the festival, says "Ann Beattie is one of our best fiction writers." Ardizzonne is filled with anticipation of the upcoming festival. He feels the line up this year is "strong and exciting" and that "they reflect many of the current trends in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction." "Charles Johnsen," Ardizzone says, "is a stunning novelist, and with Beattie they present two very different approaches to writing fiction; one largely from the female perspective, and the other with an ethnic point of view." Johnson appears Wednesday, October 5, for an informal talk at 11:00 a.m. in rooms 148-150 of Webb Center. That evening, he will read from his fiction work at 8:00 p.m. in Kaufman Hall. Dr. Conrad Festa, Chairman of the English Department, also feels the line-up for the festival this year is "nicely balanced." Festa thinks there is a "concrete aspect" to the festival and "the nice thing about the line-up is not that they are promising but that they've already delivered the promise." All the artists who are appearing at the Literary Festival have made significant achievements. Automatically, William Least Heat Moon comes to mind with the mention of achievement. "He's probably the strongest contender for the Pulitzer Award in non-fiction this year." The poets present at the festival will be Carolyn Forche and Diane Ackerman. Ardizonne feels that the two will balance each other with a very different style of poetry. Ackerman is a very lyrical writer and her interests are diverse. Forche is, I think more contemplative and serious in that her work focuses frequently on larger social issues, such as El Salvador and questions of human rights." Forche has been. somewhat criticized because of her controversial subjects. Dr. Festa states "Anyone who wishes to take up contemporary issues will be attacked." But he notes that the most important aspect of Forche's work is her craft which, he says, is "beautiful." Ackerman will have a poetry reading on Wednesday, October 4, at 2:00 p.m. Carolyn Forche will close the festival with selections from her poetry in a reading given on Thursday, October 6, at 8:00 p.m. in the Kaufman Hall Auditorium. Earlier that day, she will give an informal talk on poetry in rooms 148-150 of Webb Center. Thursday, October 6, presents a golden opportunity for writers at Old Dominion. Fran McCollogh, the Dial Press Editor will be giving a talk entitled "The Book Business: An Editor's Viewpoint." "McCollogh is simply a very good editor with years of experience," comments Ardizonne. "She is a no-nonsense woman who will give us the straight stuff on publishing today in her afternoon talk." Students, faculty and community are highly encouraged to attend some or all of the festival. Readings used to be means of making a living for the writer, states Ardizonne. Mark Twain used to travel around the country giving readings. This was partly due to the high price of books during those years. But being able to hear a contemporary writer read is a rare opportunity that should not be missed. Ardizonne emphasizes that, like a play, a reading is different every time; it never is exactly the same. In other words, he says, a reading, whether it's from fiction, poetry, or non fiction, is "a performance of the written word." The 6th Annual Old Dominion Literary Festival is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Department of English, the Arts and Letters Public Service Program of ODU, the Activities Programming Board, the Virginia Commission on the Arts and the Associated Writing Programs. The Literary Festival is sure to be an exciting event where those who attend will have the opportunity to hear and even talk with contemporary writers. It will be a very worthwhile event to attend.

Charles Johnson will speak on October 5.
Ann Beattie, author of The Burning House.