Literary Festival

The 19th Annual Villanova Literary Festival will feature the following writers

All readings, which begin at 7 p.m., are free and are followed by a reception and book signing.


James Richardson

January 31: James Richardson

Radnor/St. David Room, Connelly Center

James Richardson's newest collection, During, which appeared in January 2016, was awarded the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay Di Castagnola prize for the best manuscript in progress. His other books include By the Numbers: Poems and Aphorisms, which was a 2010 National Book Award finalist and a Publishers Weekly "Best Book of 2010;" Interglacial: New and Selected Poems and Aphorisms, which was a finalist for the 2004 National Book Critics Circle Award. He is a professor of creative writing at Princeton University.  

Brit Bennett

February 14:  Brit Bennett

Speaker’s Corner, Falvey Library

Brit Bennett is the author of the highly praised debut novel The Mothers.  Born and raised in Southern California, Brit Bennett graduated from Stanford University and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan, where she won a Hopwood Award in Graduate Short Fiction as well as the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers. Her work is featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, and Jezebel. She is one of the National Book Foundation’s 2016 5 Under 35 honorees.

Owen McCafferty

March 14:  Owen McCafferty

Presidents’ Lounge, Connelly Center

McCafferty’s most recent play Quietly had its US premiere in New York in July 2016. It was first produced at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in 2012 as part of their Great Irish Writers Season. The play was nominated for Best New Play at the Irish Times Theatre Awards. In 2013 the Abbey Production of Quietly played at the Traverse Theatre during the Edinburgh Festival and was then transferred to the SOHO Theatre, London. Owen McCafferty’s recent play Death of a Comedian was a co-production between The Abbey, The Lyric, Belfast and SOHO and was shown in Dublin, Belfast and London. His previous play Unfaithful was produced at The Traverse Theatre in 2014, to great acclaim and will be produced in London in August 2016 starring Niamh Cusack and Sean Campion.

* In conjunction with the Heimbold Professorship in Irish Studies

Reginald Dwayne Betts

March 30: Reginald Dwayne Betts

Speaker’s Corner, Falvey Library

Reginald Dwayne Betts is the author of a memoir and two books of poetry. His memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison (Avery/Penguin, 2009), was awarded the 2010 NAACP Image Award for non-fiction. His books of poetry are Shahid Reads His Own Palm (Alice James, 2010) and Bastards of the Reagan Era (Four Way Books, 2015). Betts is a 2010 Soros Justice Fellow, 2011 Radcliffe Fellow, and 2012 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow. In 2012, Betts was appointed to the Coordinating Council of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention by President Obama. He is a graduate of Prince George’s Community College, the University of Maryland, the MFA Program at Warren Wilson College, and is currently a student at Yale Law School.

Jennifer Haigh

April 20: Jennifer Haigh

Speaker's Corner, Falvey Library

Jennifer Haigh's newest book, the novel Heat and Light, looks at a community divided by the controversy over fracking. She is the author of the short story collection News from Heaven and four other critically-acclaimed novels: Faith, The Condition, Baker Towers and Mrs. Kimble. Her books have won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction, the Massachusetts Book Award and the PEN/L.L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author, and have been published in sixteen languages. Haigh's short fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, The Best American Short Stories and many other places. Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, she now lives in Boston.

Creative Writing program

Creative Writing Program 
St. Augustine Center 402

Alan Drew, MFA
Associate Professor, English