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Afterwards: The 44th Annual ODU Literary Festival

October 3 - 7, 2021


When you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person who walked in. - Haruki Murakami

In the aftermath of trauma—if it ever really ends—we are called to reckon with the past that led us to this present moment, and with the question of what futures we might make from it. Survival is triumph, but it is also a process of change, leaving us reborn to question, to celebrate, to recognize. Join us at the 44th Annual ODU Literary Festival as we celebrate writers who address the storms of past and present, and the changes wrought upon us, as we turn to face the future.

Our line-up features internationally recognized memoirists, poets, fiction writers, and dramatists, including Meredith Talusan, Dantiel W. Moniz, Tom Lin, Lisa Beech Hartz, Kelli Jo Ford, Kareem Fahmy, and Matt Bell. We are especially thrilled to include in this year's festival a selection of readings from ODU ​MFA Creative Writing Program alumni Lynn Waltz, Greg Larson, and Amanda Galvan Huynh, and from faculty members of the English Department: Sheri Reynolds, Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley, Elaine Fletcher Chapman, and our newest faculty member, Molly McCully Brown.

Kent Wascom & Katherine Jackson
2021 ODU Literary Festival Co-directors


Schedule & Participants

Online events will be livestreamed on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFtmAdZoEzRmGHQNlNNwxPw/videos | Purchase books by our featured writers here!


elaine-fletcher-chapman
greg-larson

4 p.m., Elaine Fletcher Chapman & Greg Larson

The Green Onion Restaurant, 1603 Colley Avenue


Elaine Fletcher Chapman is the author of two volumes of poems, Reservoir and Hunger for Salt and a letterpress chapbook, Double Solitude. She is an Assistant Professor (Adjunct) at Old Dominion University. Chapman worked on staff at The Bennington Writing Seminars for 18 years, and she founded The Writer's Studio where she teaches poetry and nonfiction. For the last 40 years she has worked as a psychotherapist in private practice. She is also a Certified iRest Yoga Nidra teacher. Her poems have been published in Cloudbank, Poetry Pacific, 8 Poems, The EcoTheo Review, The Cortland Review, Connotation, The Sun, Calyx, Poet Lore, and others.


Greg Larson is an author, editor, and stand-up comedian in Austin, Texas. His memoir Clubbie (University of Nebraska Press, 2021) was his graduate thesis for Old Dominion University's Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing program. Library Journal called it "[A] necessary addition to current baseball literature." He has since been featured by NPR, CBS Sports Radio, ESPN, and the MLB Network. As an editor, his clients' work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, the Wall Street Journal Bestseller List, the USA Today Bestseller List, and more.



ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY

For more information, please contact the Old Dominion University English Department at (757) 683-3991 or mfagpdassistant@odu.edu.

Follow the Literary Festival on Facebook @ODULitFest and on Instagram @odu_mfa_creative_writing

tom-lin

2 p.m., Tom Lin

Online


Tom Lin was born in China and immigrated to the United States when he was 4. A graduate of Pomona College, he is currently in the PhD program at the University of California, Davis. The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu is his first novel.



sheri-reynolds
Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley

4 p.m., Sheri Reynolds & Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley

University Theatre + Online


Sheri Reynolds' newest novel, The Tender Grave, was released in March 2021. She also wrote the novels Bitterroot Landing, The Rapture of Canaan (an Oprah book club selection and New York Times bestseller), A Gracious Plenty, Firefly Cloak, The Sweet In-Between, The Homespun Wisdom of Myrtle T. Cribb, and the play, Orabelle's Wheelbarrow. She teaches creative writing and literature at Old Dominion University and currently serves as department chair of English. She lives in the town of Cape Charles on Virginia's Eastern Shore.


Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley was born to two True Temper wheel-barrow factory workers and belongs to the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans in New York. He is the Affrilachian author of the collections Dēmos: An American Multitude (Milkweed, 2021), Colonize Me (Saturnalia, 2019), and Not Your Mama's Melting Pot (University of Nebraska Press, 2018). He received fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Tickner Center, and Kundiman, among others. His recent work has been published in The BreakBeat Poets: LatiNEXT, Native Voices: Honoring Indigenous Poetry, The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Oxford American, Poetry, and Tin House.



gabrielle-calvocoressi

7 p.m., Gabrielle Calvocoressi

University Theatre + Online


Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart; Apocalyptic Swing, which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize; and Rocket Fantastic, winner of the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry. Calvocoressi has received numerous awards and fellowships including a Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship from Stanford University, a Rona Jaffe Woman Writer's Award, a Lannan Foundation residency, the Bernard F. Conners Prize from The Paris Review, and a residency from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Calvocoressi teaches at UNC Chapel Hill and lives in Durham, North Carolina.



ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY

Free parking will be available in the Constant Center 43rd Street Garage, floors 2, 3, and 5 only; and in the Constant Center 45th Street Garage, floors 3-5 only. Ticketing will be suspended from one hour prior to the start of the event until one hour after the end time of the event. Do not park in reserved spaces.

For more information, please contact the Old Dominion University English Department at (757) 683-3991 or email mfagpdassistant@odu.edu.

Follow the Literary Festival on Facebook @ODULitFest and on Instagram @odu_mfa_creative_writing

matt-bell

12:30 p.m., Matt Bell

Online


Matt Bell's latest novel, Appleseed, was released in July 2021 from Custom House. His craft book Refuse to Be Done, a guide to novel writing, rewriting, and revision, will follow in early 2022 (Soho Press). He also wrote the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short story collection A Tree or a Person or a Wall, a nonfiction book about the classic video game Baldur's Gate II, and several other titles. A native of Michigan, he teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.



Civitella Ranieri

4 p.m., Molly McCully Brown

University Theatre + Online


Molly McCully Brown is the author of the essay collection, Places I've Taken My Body, which was named one of Kirkus Reviews' best nonfiction titles of 2020, and the poetry collection, The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded, which won the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. With Susannah Nevision, she wrote the poetry collection In the Field Between Us. The recipient of a United States Artists Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship, and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and Jeff Baskin Writers fellowships, Brown is an assistant professor of English and creative nonfiction at Old Dominion University.



dantiel

7 p.m., Dantiel W. Moniz

Online


Dantiel W. Moniz has received the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction, the Cecelia Joyce Johnson Emerging Writer Award by the Key West Literary Seminars, and a Tin House Scholarship. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, Tin House, Ploughshares, the Yale Review, Joyland, and McSweeney's Quarterly Concern. Milk Blood Heat is her first book. She lives in Northeast Florida.




ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY

Free parking will be available in the Constant Center 43rd Street Garage, floors 2, 3, and 5 only; and in the Constant Center 45th Street Garage, floors 3-5 only. Ticketing will be suspended from one hour prior to the start of the event until one hour after the end time of the event. Do not park in reserved spaces.

For more information, please contact the Old Dominion University English Department at (757) 683-3991 or email mfagpdassistant@odu.edu.

Follow the Literary Festival on Facebook @ODULitFest and on Instagram @odu_mfa_creative_writing

mansoor-adayfi

10 a.m., Mansoor Adayfi

Online


At age 18, Mansoor Adayfi left his home in Yemen for a cultural mission to Afghanistan. He never returned. Kidnapped by warlords and sold to the U.S. after 9/11, he was rendered to Guantánamo Bay where he spent the next 15 years without being charged with a crime. He now lives in Belgrade, Serbia, where he writes and advocates for prisoner and detainee rights. His memoir of time at Guantánamo, Don't Forget Us Here, tells two coming-of-age stories in parallel: a makeshift island outpost becoming the world's most notorious prison, and a young man emerging from its darkness. Art by Adayfi and other former and current detainees will be featured in the spring 2022 exhibition Art from Guantánamo Bay at ODU's Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries.



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galvan-huynh-amanda

2 p.m., Lynn Waltz & Amanda Galvan Huynh

Online


Lynn Waltz is a writer, journalist, and professor of journalism at Hampton University. She is the author of Hog Wild: The Battle for Workers' Rights at the World's Largest Slaughterhouse, which exposes 16 years of labor law violations by Smithfield Foods. Twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, her work freed a wrongly imprisoned man and exposed abuses by a Virginia legislator. Her feature about a death row chaplain was judged among the top three newspaper stories in the country. Her story about a wrongly convicted student won first place in news writing from the National Association of Black Journalists. She is a graduate of Old Dominion's MFA Creative Writing Program.


Amanda Galvan Huynh is a Mexican American writer and educator from Texas. She is the author of Lotería (Sundress Publications, 2022), Songs of Brujería (Big Lucks, 2019) and co-editor for Of Color: Poets' Ways of Making: An Anthology of Essays on Transformative Poetics (Operating System, 2019). Her writing has been supported by fellowships and scholarships from MacDowell, Vermont Studio Center, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and others. She received a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Old Dominion University, and she is a doctoral student in English at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.



kareem-fahmy

4 p.m., Kareem Fahmy

Online, featuring ODU Department of Communication & Theatre Arts Students reading a scene from "A Distinct Society" at University Theatre


Kareem Fahmy is a Canadian-born playwright and director of Egyptian descent. His plays, which include A Distinct Society, The Triumphant, Pareidolia, The In-Between, and an adaptation of the acclaimed Egyptian novel The Yacoubian Building, have been developed at theaters across the country. Directing fellowships and residencies include Sundance Theatre Lab, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the O'Neill, Second Stage, Soho, and Lincoln Center. Fahmy is co-founder of the Middle Eastern American Writers Lab at The Lark and of the consulting group Maia Directors.



meredith-talusan

7 p.m., Meredith Talusan

Online


Meredith Talusan is the author of Fairest (Viking Press, 2020), a widely praised memoir which Kirkus Reviews called, "captivatingly eloquent." It was excerpted in The New York Times and selected as a most anticipated book of 2020 by O: The Oprah Magazine. Talusan is founding executive editor of them., Condé Nast's first-ever platform devoted to the queer community. An award-winning journalist, Talusan has written for publications including The Guardian, The New York Times, The Atlantic, VICE Magazine, WIRED, The Nation, and BuzzFeed News. She received the 2017 GLAAD Media Award for outstanding digital journalism.



ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY

Free parking will be available in the Constant Center 43rd Street Garage, floors 2, 3, and 5 only; and in the Constant Center 45th Street Garage, floors 3-5 only. Ticketing will be suspended from one hour prior to the start of the event until one hour after the end time of the event. Do not park in reserved spaces.

For more information, please contact the Old Dominion University English Department at (757) 683-3991 or email mfagpdassistant@odu.edu.

Follow the Literary Festival on Facebook @ODULitFest and on Instagram @odu_mfa_creative_writing

lisa-beech-hartz

12:30 p.m., Writing Workshop with Lisa Beech Hartz

ODU Virginia Beach, RM 242 + Online


Inspired by and responding to a visual image, participants will be guided through the process of looking, writing, sharing, and revising a piece of writing.

Lisa Beech Hartz directs Seven Cities Writers Project, which brings creative writing workshops to underserved communities. She guides workshops in city jails and at an LGBT community center. Her ekphrastic collection, The Goldfish Window, was published by Grayson Books in 2018. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Massachusetts Review, Shenandoah, the Gettysburg Review, the Adroit Journal, Redivider, and Beloit Poetry Journal.



ford_headshot

4 p.m., Kelli Jo Ford

Online


Kelli Jo Ford's debut novel-in-stories, Crooked Hallelujah, was longlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel, the Story Prize, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. She received The Paris Review's Plimpton Prize, the Everett Southwest Literary Award, a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, and a Dobie Paisano Fellowship. She teaches writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts. She is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.




ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE COMMUNITY

For more information, please contact the Old Dominion University English Department at (757) 683-3991 or email mfagpdassistant@odu.edu.

Follow the Literary Festival on Facebook @ODULitFest and on Instagram @odu_mfa_creative_writing



Special Thanks


  • President Brian Hemphill, Ph.D., former President John R. Broderick, and the Office of the President
  • Cullen Strawn and Arts@ODU
  • Michael Khandelwal and The Muse Writers Center
  • Marc Katz and the University Village Bookstore
  • Edith White and the Forrest P. White Endowment
  • Dean Jonathan Leib and the Office of the Dean, College of Arts and Letters
  • Renée Olander and ODU Virginia Beach

  • Christopher Hanna and the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts
  • Cathleen Rhodes and Gay Cultural Studies
  • Elizabeth Groeneveld and Jennifer Fish, Department of Women's Studies
  • Shara Weber and the Office of University Design and Publications
  • Rhiannon Smith, cover illustration
  • Karen Vaughan, Perry Library


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MFA Creative Writing Program

Where great writers of the future connect with the great writers of our time

The Old Dominion University Annual Literary Festival is the premier event of our MFA Program in Creative Writing and one of the many reasons to study the writer's craft with us at ODU.

Literary Festival Archives

Visit the University Libraries' Annual Literary Festival Digital Archives to view materials from past festivals.