8th Annual Literary Festival
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Literary Festival promises variety of writers and genres

They're young, old. Black, white. Male, female. They come to Norfolk from different regions of the country, bringing with them varying backgrounds. And yet as individual as they may be, they all have a common desire to share their views of the world through the written word.

Writers. They are as diverse as any group of people. And it is this diversity that breathes life into the eighth annual Old Dominion University Literary Festival Oct. 7-10.

"We try to stay away from a common theme and have as much variety as possible," said Bruce Weigl, associate professor of English, poet and organizer of this year's event.

Writers include renowned novelist and Norfolk resident Mary Lee Settle; Pulitzer Prize-winning poets Gary Snyder and Carolyn Kizer; editor Joyce Johnson; novelist David Bradley; and poets Michael S. Harper, Reginald Gibbons, Richard Shelton and Rita Dove.

According to Weigl, fiction, non-fiction, poetry and prose will be well-represented at the annual festival. "We have gotten writers with national reputations," he said, crediting that in part to the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) being located on campus. The national writer's network has been instrumental in promoting the festival in conjunction with its annual board of directors meeting. Weigl said Shelton, Gibbons, Bradley, Dove and Kizer are appearing courtesy of the AWP affiliation.

Snyder is appearing courtesy of the university's Activites Programming Board. The events are free and open to the public. The schedule is as follows:

Monday, Oct. 7

A reading by Mary Lee Settle, 8 p.m., Batten Arts and Letters auditorium

Tuesday, Oct. 8

"Literature, Society and Politics in the New China," a talk by Gary Snyder, 12:30 p.m., rooms 148-150, Webb Center.

"Researching a Worldwide Novel," a talk by Mary Lee Settle, 2 p.m., rooms 148-150, Webb Center.

A reading by Gary Snyder, 8 p.m., Batten Arts and Letters auditorium.

Wednesday, Oct. 9

"Chants of Saints," a talk by Michael S. Harper, 11 a.m., rooms 148-150, Webb Center.

A reading by Reginald Gibbons and David Bradley, 12:30 p.m., rooms 148-150, Webb Center.

"The Role of the Editor in Book Publishing," by Joyce Johnson, 2 p.m., rooms 148-150, Webb Center.

A reading by Joyce Johnson, 8 p.m., Batten Arts and Letters auditorium.

Thursday, Oct. 10

A reading by Richard Shelton and Rita Dove, 12:30 p.m., rooms 148-150, Webb Center.

A reading by Carolyn Kizer, 2 p.m., rooms 148-150, Webb Center.

A reading by Michael S. Harper, 8 p.m., Batten Arts and Letters auditorium.

A profile of the writers who will present readings and lectures at the festival are:

MARY LEE SETTLE, winner of the 1978 National Book Award for fiction. Her writing career includes the publication of six highly acclaimed novels: "Blood Tie" and "The Beulah Quintet" collection, which consists of "Prisons," "O Beulah Land," "know Nothing," "The Scapegoat" and "Killing Ground." In addition to fiction, Settle has published articles in a variety of magazines and journals, including an essay in Esquire this year on Japan.

GARY SNYDER, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. Considered one of the most important poets of today, Snyder is the author of eight collections of poetry, including "Turtle Island" which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1974, and five collections of prose.

MICHAEL S. HARPER, winner of the Poetry Society of America's Melville Crane Award for his book "Images of Kin." His other books have earned two National Book Award nominations, as well as awards given by the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the Black Academy of Arts and Letters.

REGINALD GIBBONS, a 1985 winner of the National Poetry Series for his new book "Saints," which wil be published by Persea books. He has also won a Quarterly Review of Literature Prize and was the 1981 winner of Houghton Mifflin New Poetry Series. He has received poetry fellowships from the Guggenheim foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

DAVID BRADLEY, a 1982 PEN/Faulkner award winner for his novel "The Chaneysville Incident."

Bradley is the author of one other novel, "South Street," and of numerous articles and essays. He is currently an associate proofessor of english at Temple University.

JOYCE JOHNSON, winner of the 1983 National Boo Critics Award for the best autobiography "Minor Characters ." In addition to her autobiography, Johnson has published two novels, "Come and Join the Dance" and Bad Connections." She is currently senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly Press.

RICHARD SHELTON, a poet of the Southwest whose first book, "The Tattooed Desert," won the International Poetry Forum's United States Award in 1970. His fourth collection, "The Bus to Veracruz," was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

RITA DOVE, author of two volumes of poetry, "The Yellow House on the Corner" and "Museum." Her third full-length collection, "Thomas and Beulah," is forthcoming from Carnegie-Mellon in 1986. Dove has also published fictions and essays in numerous magazines, journals and anthologies.

CAROLYN KIZER, winner of the Pulitzer prize for poetry in 1985 for her book "Yin." Other books include "The Ungrateful Garden," "Knock Upon Silence," "Midnight Was My Cry" and "Mermaids in the Basement." Her career as a teacher and poet includes positions at Columbia University, Bucknell University, the University of Iowa and the University of Maryland.