Virtual Little Grassy Literary Festival 2022 features readings, discussions

March 31, 2022

Virtual Little Grassy Literary Festival 2022 features readings, discussions

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Little Grassy Literary Festival at Southern Illinois University Carbondale returns next week in a virtual format but still featuring a variety of renowned literary authors.

This year’s event, April 4-8, will feature 11 authors and poets who will read their work during nightly readings. There will also be three panel discussions where the audience can ask authors how they created their work or became successful writers. There is one Zoom performance at 5 pm Thursday, April 7, and an open mic session at 7:30 pm Friday, April 8, for anyone interested in sharing their work.

This is the 13th festival; the 2020 festival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2021 event was also held virtually.

Hosted by graduate students from SIU’s MFA creative writing program, the festival provides an opportunity for students and community members to hear from renowned literary authors.

The festival schedule, with available Zoom links to register, is:

Monday, April 4

  • 5-6 pm — Panel discussion: “Character-Driven Worlds” with Angela Jackson-Brown, Cole Nagamatsu, Shana Youngdahl and Lara Stapleton.
  • 7-8:30 pm—Reading: Lily Hoang and Phil Kaye.

Tuesday, April 5

  • Noon-1:30 pm—Workshop, Lara Stapleton, fiction.
  • 5-6:30 pm—Reading: Donald Quist and Éireann Lorsung.
  • 7:30-8:30 pm — Panel discussion: “The Writer’s Life: Publishing at Present” with Emily Rose Cole, Drew Hemmert and Éireann Lorsung.

Wednesday, April 6

  • Noon-1:30 pm — Workshop, Jennifer Givhan, poetry.
  • 5-6 pm — Panel discussion: “The Personal ‘Truth’ in Writing” with Jennifer Givhan, Lily Hoang, Phil Kaye and Donald Quist.
  • 7-8:30 pm—Reading: Angela Jackson-Brown and Cole Nagamatsu.

Thursday, April 7

  • 3-4:30 pm — Workshop, Éireann Lorsung, creative nonfiction.
  • 5-6:30 pm—Performance: An Archaeology. Six writers and artists present five short texts and one multivocal performance choreographed, costumed, and produced for Zoom: Laressa Dickey, Nina MacLaughlin, Andrea Blancas Beltran, Wah-Ming Chang, Arlene Kim and Éireann Lorsung.
  • 7-8:30 pm—Reading: Emily Rose Cole and Andrew Hemmert.

Friday, April 8

  • 5-7 pm — Reading: Jennifer Givhan, Lara Stapleton and Shana Youngdahl.
  • 7:30-8:30 pm – Audience open mic. Hosted by Canned Reads and The Graduate Writers Forum. Email ruswick@siu.edu before April 8 to join the open mic lineup. All performances are welcome, but there is a maximum 15-minute reading/performing time. Because this event is virtual, participants are asked to prepare their audio/visual features accordingly.

Canned Reads is a reading series hosted by SIU MFA students that collects food donations to support the Carbondale community. Email the group to find out how to make a donation.

For more information, contact Michaela Zelie, Little Grassy Literary Festival executive director. Additional information is available on the festival’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

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