Photo by Nico Tucci
President Obama's inaugural poet and OLLU's 2013 Visiting Writer Richard Blanco will open the 2013 Literary Festival with a public reading on Tuesday, April 2 at 7 p.m. in Thiry Auditorium. He will be reading from his new poetry collection, "Looking for the Gulf Motel."

His first book of poetry, "City of a Hundred Fires," explores the yearings and negotiation of cultural identity as a Cuban-American and received the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in journals such as "The Nation," "the New Republic," "Ploughshares," "Michigan Quarterly Review," and "Great American Prose Poems. He has been featured on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and "Fresh Air." 

 Photo by Marion Ettlinger
The festival's headline author is Antonya Nelson. She is the author of six short story collections, including "The Expendables," which won the Flannery O’Connor Award, and four novels, including "Talking in Bed," which received the Heartland Award. 

Her work has appeared in "The New Yorker," "Esquire," "Harpers," and "Redbook," as well as anthologies such as "Prize Stories," the "O.Henry Awards," and "Best American Short Stories." Her books have repeatedly been "New York Times" notable books, and "The New Yorker" named her one of the “twenty young fiction writers for the new millennium.”She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship.



Favorite Poem Project, Noon, Blue Room
Sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta
Everyone is invited to share his or her favorite poem at this event 

English Graduate Program Alumni Presentation, "Return to the Fairytale: What's Old is New and What's New is Old" 3 p.m., Blue Room
English Graduate Program alumni will look at the recent influx of fairytales in mass media. This event will be audience interactive and will include discussions about the evolving form of fairytales, including ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” NBC’s “Grimm,” the recent Snow White films, etc.

Visiting Writer, Richard Blanco Reading, 7 p.m., Thiry Auditorium
OLLU’s spring 2013 Visiting Writer and President Obama’s inaugural poet Richard Blanco will read from his new poetry collection, “Looking for the Gulf Motel.”


Faculty Reading, Noon, Library Community Room
OLLU faculty members Yvette Benavides, Mary Francine Danis, Sandford Nowlin, Antoniette Winstead, Michael Lueker and Nan Cuba will read personal selections during the event.

Antonya Nelson Reading, 7 p.m., Providence Hall, West Social Room
Festival headliner Antonya Nelson is the author of six short story collections, including, “The Expendables,” which won the Flannery O’Connor Award and four novels, including, “Talking in Bed,” which received the Heartland Award.


Dr. Walter Herbert Lecture, 7 p.m., Library Community Room
Noted scholar, T. Walter Herbert, professor emeritus of English at Southwestern University, will deliver a lecture on Herman Melville’s global consciousness.

The Joyce and Richard Harris Sapience Foundation High School Outreach Day with comic book creator David Liss and author Jenny Brown.

The program designed for high school students, but open to the public, will begin with a presentation by comic book creators David Liss and John Minton. Following a campus tour and lunch an Open Mic will take place, and Jenny Brown will close out the afternoon with the presentation, “Dear Stranger: Write Back Soon.”

Comic Book Creators David Liss and John Minton, 9:30 a.m., Thiry Auditorium

Jenny Browne, 1 p.m., Thiry Auditorium

Hayan Charara and Fady Joudah Reading, 6:30 p.m., Twig Book Shop
Co-sponsored with Gemini Ink
Fady Joudah is a poet and translator whose first collection, “The Earth in the Attic,” was a Yale Series of Younger Poets selection. His translations have won a Banipal Prize from the UK and a PEN USA prize. Hayan Charara is the author of two poetry books and a children's book. He is the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship, the Lucille Joy Prize for Poetry, and the New Voices Award Honor. He is the English Program Chair at Our Lady of the Lake University.


Drama Production, "All the World's a Stage," 7 p.m., 24th Street Theater
The OLLU drama department will present a series of monologues directed by students.


"The Thing Itself" publication party, 3 p.m., Blue Room
The latest edition of OLLU’s Literary Journal, “The Thing Itself,” will be unveiled. This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the journal. 

Open Mic, 7 p.m., Blue Room
Sponsored by the English Graduate Program students
Everyone is invited to share his or her original work or someone else’s work. Open to all genres.


Sandra Cisneros and Joe Jiménez, 7 p.m., Thiry Auditorium
Sandra Cisneros, OLLU’s Writer in Residence, and Joe Jiménez, winner of the 2012 Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation Award, will present selections from their recent publications.

*The 2013 Literary Festival is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and from the Smothers Bruni Foundation. The High School Outreach Day and the Visiting Writers Program are funded with a grant from the Richard and Joyce Harris Sapience Foundation.


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