25th Annual Villanova University Literary Festival Features Award-Winning Novelists, Poets

Villanova, Pa. – For a quarter of a century the Villanova University Literary Festival has brought prize-winning poets, novelists and playwrights to campus. This year, the College welcomes accomplished authors from Ireland, Nepal and the United States, who will share a reading of their work with the Villanova community.

Mary O'Donoghue

Mary O'Donoghue: 2023 Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair of Irish Studies
Feb. 23 | 6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. talk | President’s Lounge, Connelly Center

Mary O'Donoghue is a short story writer, novelist, poet and translator for Irish-language poetry. She is the author of the novel, Before the House Burns, and poetry collections, Among These Winters and Tulle. Her fiction has appeared in several US and European publications including, Subtropics, The Common, Granta, Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Irish Times, Sunday Times UK, Stinging Fly, Dublin Review and more. O'Donoghue has translated poems published in Leabhar na hAthghabhala / Poems of Repossession and Sean O Riordain Selected Poems.

Tsering Yangzom Lama
Photo credit: Paige Critcher

Tsering Yangzom Lama
March 16 | 7 p.m. | Speakers' Corner, Falvey Memorial Library

Tsering Yangzom Lama’s debut novel, We Measure the Earth with our Bodies, was a finalist for The Scotiabank Giller Prize and longlisted for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and The Toronto Book Award. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and International Relations from the University of British Columbia. Lama’s writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Malahat Review, Grain, Kenyon Review, Vela, LaLit and Himal SouthAsian, as well as the anthologies Old Demons New Deities: 21 Short Stories from Tibet; House of Snow: An Anthology of the Greatest Writing About Nepal; and Brave New Play Rites.

Donika Kelly

Donika Kelly
March 30 | 7 p.m. | Speakers' Corner, Falvey Memorial Library

Donika Kelly is author of The Renunciations, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf book award in poetry; and Bestiary, winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. Kelly’s poetry has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Publishing Triangle Awards, the Lambda Literary Awards and longlisted for the National Book Award. She has received several fellowships including a Cave Canem graduate fellowship, Lannan Residency Fellowship and a Fine Arts Work Center summer workshop fellowship. Kelly earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and a doctorate in English from Vanderbilt University. Her poems have been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic and The Paris Review, among others.

Steph Cha

Steph Cha
April 18 | 7 p.m. | Speakers' Corner, Falvey Memorial Library

Steph Cha is the author of Your House Will Pay, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the California Book Award, and the Juniper Song trilogy. She is also a critic and has written for the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and the Los Angeles Review of Books, where she served as noir editor and is the current series editor of the Best American Mystery & Suspense anthology. A native of the San Fernando Valley, she lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Directed by Alan Drew, MFA, associate professor in English and director of the Creative Writing program, the Literary Festival is sponsored by the Department of English, the Creative Writing Program and Falvey Memorial Library.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators, and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.