October 18, 2017

Lineup set for Devil’s Kitchen Literary Festival

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – The 21st annual Devil’s Kitchen Literary Festival comes to Southern Illinois University Carbondale October 25-27. 

The festival includes readings and panels, and features the winners of the 2017 Devil’s Kitchen Reading Awards. The editorial staff of “Grassroots,” the annual undergraduate literary and arts journal for SIU students organizes the festival. The students select the winners of the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Awards based on books published in the preceding year. Reading Award winners participate in the festival as special guests and receive a cash award. 

This year’s Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award winners are: Brian Fanelli, poetry, for his second collection of poems, “Waiting for the Dead to Speak”; Donna Kaz, non-fiction prose, for her memoir, “Unmasked: Memoirs of a Guerilla Girl on Tour”; and Alexander Weinstein, fiction, for his collection of stories, “Children of the New World.” 

All events take place in Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium, or in the first-floor rotunda adjacent to the auditorium. Here is the schedule of events: 

Oct. 25

  • 8-9 p.m. – Reading by Donna Kaz

Oct. 26

  • 11-11:50 a.m. – Panel featuring Jehanne Dubrow, Brian Fanelli, Brendan Galvin, Donna Kaz, Alexander Weinstein and Erika Wurth
  • 2-3:15 p.m. – Readings by Crab Orchard Open Competition winners Jehanne Dubrow and Brendan Galvin
  • 3:15-4:30 p.m. – Reception and book signing featuring festival readers
  • 4:30-6 p.m. – Readings by Brian Fanelli and Alexander Weinstein

Oct. 27

  • 11-11:50 a.m. – Open mic readings from SIU students
  • Noon-12:50 p.m. – Reading by Erika Wurth 

Here are brief biographies of the authors:

Jehanne Dubrow is the author of five poetry collections, co-editor of two anthologies, and the winner of the 2016 Crab Orchard Review Series in Poetry Open Competition Award. Her sixth collection, “Dots and Dashes,” offers valuable testimony to the experiences of military wives and is available from SIU Press. Dubrow is associate professor of creative writing at the University of North Texas. 

Brain Fanelli, the 2017 Devils Kitchen Reading Award in Poetry winner, is the author of two poetry collections and a chapbook. His poems appear in various venues, including the “Los Angeles Times” and as a feature on “The Writer’s Almanac” with Garrison Keillor. He teaches at Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania. 

Brendan Galvin is the author of more than 15 books of poetry, and has been an Iowa Poetry Prize winner and a finalist for the National Book Award. His collection “Egg Island Almanac” is a 2016 Crab Orchard Review Series in Poetry Open Competition Award winner. His poetry appears in the “New Yorker,” the “Atlantic,” and elsewhere. 

Donna Kaz is a multi-genre writer and a columnist for “The Clyde Fitch Report.” Her plays and performances appear on stages including the New York Musical Theatre Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She received the Venus Theatre Lifetime Achievement Award and an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant; the Yoko Ono Courage Award for the Arts, the Skowhegan Medal, the Art is a Hammer Award, and the 2017 Devils Kitchen Reading Prose Nonfiction Award. 

Alexander Weinstein is the director of the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and the 2017 Devils Kitchen Reading Fiction Award recipient. His stories appear in various places, including “Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2017” and “Best American Experimental Writing.” He has earned a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and the Lamar York, Gail Crump, Hamlin Garlind and New Millennium prizes. 

Erika Wurth is the author of the novel “Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend” and the poetry collection “Indian Trains.” Her short story collection “Buckskin Cocaine” and poetry collection “A Thousand Horses Out to Sea” are forthcoming. A guest writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Wurth teaches at Western Michigan University.