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Spring Literary Festival

Virtual Opportunities: The Annual Spring Literary Festival fosters reading, cultivating the arts, and enriching our community through the best humanities education possible. While we weren't able to host the festival in person this year due to social distancing and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are excited to share these virtual experiences with you. Sponsored by the 2019-20 Campus Theme - Sustainability and the Environment - and the Visiting Scholar program.

Headshot of Jeff VanderMeer

A Conversation with "the weird Thoreau," Jeff VanderMeer

Watch the conversation with New York Times bestselling author Jeff VanderMeer, hosted by WCU English Professor, Dr. Laura Wright as they discuss the natural and unnatural worlds of Jeff's novels and using art to take on environmental issues. Buy Jeff's books.

Nickole and Jessica

An Interview with poets Jessica Jacobs and Nickole Brown

Current Master of Arts in English student, Whitney Waters, visits Jessica Jacobs and Nickole Brown in their home in Asheville to talk poetry, research, marriage, and more.

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Interview with Doug Bock Clark

Doug Bock Clark, author of the The Last Whalers and correspondent for GQ, speaks with festival director Jeremy Jones about his work. Buy Doug's book.

Headshot of Joni Tevis

Joni Tevis

Essayist Joni Tevis reads from her essay "And Shelter Cannot Help Us" and offers listeners a writing exercise. Buy Joni's books. 

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Pamela Duncan

Writer and WCU professor Pamela Duncan reads a new short story, "Real Life." Buy Pam's books. 

Headshot of Wes Browne

Wesley Browne Reads from Hillbilly Hustle

Debut novelist Wesley Browne reads from Hillbilly Hustle. Wesley is an attorney, business owner, and writer living in Kentucky. Buy the book. 

(Wesley mentions, but he meant to say

Headshot of Ashleigh Bryan Phillips

Ashleigh Bryant Phillips

Ashleigh Bryant Phillips reads her short story "Shania" from her forthcoming collection Sleepovers, which won the C. Michael Curtis Prize. Ashleigh will be at the 2021 Spring Literary Festival. Preorder the book.

Screengrab from Cassie Kircher's recording

Cassandra Kircher - Reading and Tour

Essayist Cassandra Kircher reads from her book Far Flung and takes viewers on visual tour of Rocky Mountain National Park. Buy the book.

Headshot of Kathryn Kirkpatrick

Kathryn Kirkpatrick Reads Her Poetry

Poet and Appalachian State University professor Kathryn Kirkpatrick reads from her poems. Buy Kathryn's work.

A screenshot of Catherine Carter from this video

Poet Catherine Carter

Dr. Catherine Carter works in English education, poetry, and American literature, and is the author of the poetry collections Larvae of the Nearest Stars, Marks of the Witch, The Swamp Monster at Home , and The Memory of Gills. Buy Catherine's books.

A screenshot of Jessica Jacobs reading her poem in this video

Jessica Jacobs reads "How to Pray"

Poet Jessica Jacobs reads "How to Pray" which is a Thomas Merton Prize in Poetry of the Sacred, Honorable Mention. Her poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in publications including Orion, New England Review, Guernica, and The Missouri Review.

Headshot of Jessica Jacobs

Jessica Jacobs reads "A Question to Ask When the Honeymoon is Over"

Poet Jessica Jacobs reads a poem from her collection Take Me With You, Wherever You Go. Buy the book.

A screenshot from this video of Nikole Brown reading poetry

Nickole Brown reads A Prayer to Talk to Animals

'A Prayer to Talk to Animals' is an incantation that opens a forthcoming collection with its eye to animal sentience and behavior, and ultimately, it’s my attempt to give voice to what we’re bound to lose in the face of climate change and continued ecological devastation.

Headshot of Nickole Brown

Nickole Brown reads "Mercy"

Poet Nickole Brown reads a poem from her chapbook To Those Who Were Our First Gods. Buy Nickole's work. 

A screenshot of Kevin Boyle from this video

Poet Kevin Boyle

Kevin Boyle’s book, Astir, was a finalist for the 2016 Brockman-Campbell Prize. His first collection, A Home for Wayward Girls, won the New Issues Poetry Prize, judged by Rodney Jones, and his chapbook, The Lullaby of History, was selected by David Rivard for the Campbell Award. He now teaches writing and literature at Elon University in North Carolina.

Screenshot of Rae Hanes from video

Student Rae Hanes Reads Her Poem

Winner of the 2020 Kathryn Stripling Byer Prize in Poetry, WCU student Rae Hanes reads her poem "How to Make Spaghetti." Kevin Boyle judged the prize, part of the first annual LitFest Creative Writing Competition.

Screenshot of Chrishaun Baker reading.

Chrishaun Baker Reads His Essay

Winner of the 2020 Prize in Nonfiction, WCU student Chrishaun Baker reads from his essay "Shaniya." Judged by Cassandra Kircher, the prize was part of the first annual LitFest Creative Writing Competition. 



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