April 06, 2013

Little Grassy Literary Festival opens April 10

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Little Grassy Literary Festival at Southern Illinois University Carbondale next week will bring up-and-coming authors to campus for readings and panel discussions.

The annual festival, now in its fifth year, runs April 10-12.  The event features readings, panel discussions, and book signings.  Students in the creative writing master of arts program organize the event, including selecting guest writers.  The readings and discussions are for anyone who enjoys literature.

Readings are in the John C. Guyon Auditorium in Morris Library, and receptions are in the first floor rotunda, unless otherwise noted.  The public is invited.

Here’s a look at the festival’s event schedule:


  • 8 p.m., Reading featuring poet Ross Gay, and fiction writer Jared Yates Sexton, an SIU Carbondale alumnus.  The SIU Bookstore will have books available after the reading, and Gay will be on hand for an informal book signing.


  • 11 a.m., Poetry panel discussion featuring Ross Gay, Lee Ann Roripaugh and Tyler Mills.
  • 2 p.m., Readings by Lee Ann Roripaugh and Tyler Mills.
  • 3:30 p.m., Book signing and reception, light refreshments included.
  • 7:30 p.m., Reading, followed by a question and answer period with Peter Ho Davies.


  • 11 a.m., Fiction panel discussion featuring Peter Ho Davies, Jared Yates Sexton and LeAnne Howe.
  • 1 p.m., Reading and question and answer period with LeAnne Howe, held in the third floor rotunda of Morris Library.

Author biographies

  • Peter Ho Davies is the author of the novel “The Welsh Girl,” and the story collections “The Ugliest House in the World,” and “Equal Love.” His novel was a Man Booker Prize nominee in 2007.  He teaches creative writing in the master of fine arts program at the University of Michigan.
  • Ross Gay is the author of two poetry collections, “Against Which,” and “Bringing the Shovel Down.” His poems appear in literary journals and magazines including the “American Poetry Review,” and “Harvard Review,” and in literature anthologies.  He is a Cave Canem Workshop Fellow and a Bread Loaf Writers Conference Tuition Scholar.  He teaches at Indiana University, and at the low-residency master of fine arts in poetry program at Drew University.
  • LeAnne Howe is the author of the novels “Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story,” and “Shell Shaker.” She is also the author of several plays, including “The Mascot Opera: A Minuet and Choctalking on Other Realities.”  She is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and she is a professor of English and of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
  • Tyler Mills is the author of “Tongue Lyre,” published by SIU Press. He is also the winner of the 2011 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award.  She is pursuing a doctoral degree in creative writing at the University of Illinois Chicago.
  • Lee Ann Roripaugh is the author of the poetry collections “On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year,” and “Year of the Snake,” both published by SIU Press. She is also author of “Beyond Heart Mountain.” She is professor of English at the University of South Dakota.
  • Jared Yates Sexton is the author of the novel “An End to All Things.”  His work appears in literary publications including “The Emerson Review” and “The Southern Review,” and some of his stories have been Pushcart, The Millions Writer’s Award, and The New American Fiction Prize nominees.  He teaches creative writing at Georgia Southern University, and is managing editor of the literary magazine “BULL.”