University of South Carolina

Fall Literary Festival to host 3 top writers

Contact: Margaret Lamb, 803.777.5400

The University of South Carolina will host some of the literary world’s most notable writers for the annual Fall Literary Festival in November.

Poet Maggie Dietz, Pulitzer-Prize winner Junot Díaz and best-selling nature writer David Gessner will talk about writing, read from their works and sign books in the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library.

Maggie Dietz
Maggie Dietz

Dietz launched the popular festival on Nov. 3. Díaz’s visit is set for Nov. 8, and Gessner will conclude the festival on Nov. 17. Each event will begin at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Díaz’s and Gessner’s books will be on sale in the Brittain Gallery.

Dietz’ book of poems, “Perennial Fall,” won the 2007 Jane Kenyon Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry. She is credited with bringing poetry to the general public as director of the American Favorite Poem Project. With U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky, she co-edited three anthologies related to the project: “Americans' Favorite Poems,” “Poems to Read” and “An Invitation to Poetry.” She is also assistant poetry editor at Slate.

Her work has appeared in such esteemed journals as Poetry, Ploughshares, Agni, Harvard Review and Salmagundi. The Book Review wrote that “(her) lippy candor is invigorating in a wish-I'd-thought-of-that way.”

Junot Diaz
Junot Diaz

Díaz has been called “one of contemporary fiction’s most distinctive and irresistible new voices” by the New York Times. He is best-known for his book, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” which won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

He is also the author of “Drown,” and his fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, African Voices, Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize XXII and The O. Henry Prize Stories 2009. He is the fiction editor at the Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Gessner, considered one of the country’s leading environmental writers, has written eight books, including “Return of the Osprey,” which the Boston Globe called a

Cecil Williams
David Gessner

"classic of American nature writing" and cited as one of the top 10 nonfiction books of 2001. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Boston Globe, Outside, Georgia Review, Harvard Review and Orion, among others. Gessner is on the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he founded the national literary journal, Ecotone.

His latest books, “My Green Manifesto” and The Tarball Chronicles, were published earlier this year. The Los Angeles Times has called his work “raw and honest.”

The Fall Literary Festival is sponsored by the University Libraries and the English Department in USC’s College of Arts and Sciences. For more information, visit the festival web site.

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Posted: 10/19/11 @ 10:00 PM | Updated: 11/04/11 @ 2:17 PM | Permalink