40th Annual Literary Festival Coming to Emory & Henry Campus

Posted by Tyler Segraves
Emory & Henry College’s Appalachian Center for Civic Life is hosting the 40th annual Literary Festival at the College’s Emory campus featuring Appalachian poet Jesse Graves on Thursday, November 3 and Friday, November 4.

The Appalachian Center for Civic Life began hosting the Literary Festival in 1982 with a program dedicated to Sherwood Anderson, an author living in Smyth County, Va. Since the inaugural Literary Festival, the Appalachian Center for Civic Life has honored a living writer with strong ties to Appalachia during each festival. “For the Appalachian region, this event has influenced how we understand this place and our shared membership here,” said Civic Innovation Professor and Resident Scholar for the Citizenship of Place Dr. Tal Stanley.

This year the Appalachian Center for Civic Life is featuring Jesse Graves’ poetry during the Literary Festival. Graves is an English professor and poet-in-residence at East Tennessee State University. He has authored three poetry collections since 2011 and received the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South from the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 2015.

“For forty years the Emory & Henry College Appalachian Literary Festival has enriched the educational mission for students, staff, and faculty of this College, regardless of where we are from,” said Stanley.

The Literary Festival will have three sessions on Thursday, November 3 followed by a reading and book signing in the Black Box Theatre at the McGlothlin Center for the Arts. The first session, Jesse Graves’ Life, Work, & Poetry begins at 10:30 a.m. and concludes at 11:45 a.m. The second session, Writing the Homeplace in Appalachian Literature begins at 1:30 p.m. and ends at 2:45 p.m. The third session, Setting the Homeplace to Music begins at 3:30 p.m. and ends at 4:45 p.m. The reading and book signing will begin at 7:30 p.m.

There will be three more sessions on Friday, November 3 in the Black Box Theatre at the McGlothlin Center for the Arts. The first session, Poet as Collaborator: Jesse Graves Scholarly Projects begins at 10:30 a.m. and concludes at 11:45 a.m. The second session is an interview with the public that will begin at 1:30 p.m. and conclude at 2:45 p.m. The third and final session of the Literary Festival, Writing the Homeplace: Jesse Graves’ Craft Talk begins at 3:30 p.m. and ends at 4:45 p.m.

“The Appalachian Literary Festival bears witness not just to Emory & Henry’s commitment to broad learning for all, but also to our commitment to giving expression to the rich and varied voices of Appalachia,” said Stanley.

The Emory & Henry Appalachian Literary Festival is open to the public at no cost, requiring no registration. All are welcome. For more information about the Appalachian Center for Civic Life or the Literary Festival, visit https://www.ehc.edu/appalachian-center-for-civic-life/.

  • Jesse Graves is an English professor and poet-in-residence at East Tennessee State University. He has authored three poetry collections since 2011 and received the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South from the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 2015.

“For forty years the Emory & Henry College Appalachian Literary Festival has enriched the educational mission for students, staff, and faculty of this College, regardless of where we are from,” said Civic Innovation Professor and Resident Scholar for the Citizenship of Place Dr. Tal Stanley.

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