April 07, 2017

SIU to host Little Grassy Literary Festival

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – The ninth annual Little Grassy Literary Festival takes place April 12-14 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The Graduate Writers Forum presents the free festival, one of two hosted at the university, as a way of bringing up-and-coming writers to campus for readings, panels and informal discussion. 

All events take place in Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. Here’s the schedule:

April 12

6 p.m. – Bonnie Jo Campbell and David Winter readings

April 13

11 a.m. – Abby Geni reading

2 p.m. – Allison Joseph reading

3 p.m. -- book signing

4 p.m. – Aja Monet and Carl Phillips readings

April 14

10 a.m. – Brian Barker reading

11:30 a.m. – Discussion panel

Brian Barker won the Crab Orchard Open Competition in 2010 with his poetry collection “The Black Ocean.” He is also the author of “The Animal Gospels” and many poems and reviews that appear in journals including “American Poetry Review,” “Poetry,” “Kenyon Review Online” and “Ploughshares.” He is an Academy of American Poets prize winner among other awards. He is poetry editor of “Copper Nickel,” and teaches at the University of Colorado Denver.

Bonnie Jo Campbell is the author of “Woman and Other Animals,” winner of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs prize for short fiction; “Q Road,” “American Salvage,” “Once Upon a River” and “Mothers, Tell Your Daughters.” An adventure tour organizer and guide, she lives near Kalamazoo, Mich., and teaches at the low residency creative writing program at Pacific University.

Abby Geni is the author of “The Lightkeepers,” winner of the 2016 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award for Fiction and the inaugural Chicago Review of Books Awards for Best Fiction. Her book “The Last Animal” was an Indies Introduce Debut Writers Selection and a finalist for the Orion Book Award. Her short stories have also garnered awards and appear in several journals and anthologies.

Allison Joseph is associate professor of English and the director of the master of creative writing program at SIU. Widely recognized as the poetry editor of “Crab Orchard Review,” director of the SIU Young Writers Workshop and coordinator of the Creative Writers Opportunities List, she is also the award-winning author of many books of poetry, including recent publications “Multitudes,” “Double Identity,” “Mercurial” “Mortal Rewards” and “The Purpose of Hands.”

Aja Monet is recognized for her poetry slam performance skills as well as her writing. She is the youngest-ever winner of the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Grand Slam, and she performed at the NAACP’s inaugural event for Barack Obama. She is the author of “Inner-City Chants and Cyborg Cyphers” and “The Black Unicorn Sings.”

Carl Phillips was chancellor of the American Academy of Poets from 2006 to 2012, and is now professor of English and of African American studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of several award-winning books, including “The Tether,” “Pastoral,” “From the Devotions” and “In the Blood.” He has won many prestigious awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Library of Congress, the Pushcart Prize and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

David Winter is the author of the poetry collection “Safe House,” and the pending collection “Archived Light.” His work appears in several journals. He currently holds a Stadler Fellowship from Bucknell University and is a past recipient of an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council.