Tyeimba Jess performs a poetry reading at Villanova University.

A highly anticipated annual tradition, the Villanova Literary Festival takes place each spring. The festival hosts major poets and fiction writers on campus to give readings and meet with students.

Visiting fiction writers have included Jonathan Franzen, Michael Cunningham, Colson Whitehead, Chang-Rae Lee, Junot Diaz, Lydia Davis, and Diana Abu-Jaber. Poets have included Marilyn Chin, Robert Creeley, Mark Doty, and Harryette Mullen.

Sponsored by the English Department, this event reflects our commitment to celebrating and cultivating the ongoing role of literature in American life.

Please enjoy our back catalogue of speaker videos here.

Lit Fest 2021 Speakers

The 2021 Literary Festival will be held online. Please go here for Zoom links to the events!

February 11: Brenda Shaughnessy

A Digital Event, 7 PM

Brenda Shaughnessy is the author of five poetry collections, including The Octopus Museum (coming in March 2019 from Knopf); So Much Synth (2016, Copper Canyon Press); Our Andromeda (2012), which was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award, The International Griffin Prize, and the PEN Open Book Award.  Her work has appeared in Best American PoetryHarpers, The New York Times, The New Yorker, O Magazine, Paris Review, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere.

Brenda Shaughnessy

Feb 25: Bryan Washington

A Digital Event, 7 PM

Bryan Washington is a writer from Houston. His fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the New York Times MagazineThe New Yorker, The New York Times Style Magazine, BuzzFeed, the BBCVultureThe Paris Review, Boston Review, Tin House, One Story, Bon Appétit, MUNCHIES, American Short Fiction, GQ, FADER, The Awl, Hazlitt, and Catapult, where he wrote a column called “Bayou Diaries”. He’s also a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 winner, and the recipient of an O. Henry Award.

Bryan Washington

April 8: Robin Coste-Lewis

A Digital Event, 7 PM

Robin Coste-Lewis is the poet laureate of Los Angeles. In 2015, her debut poetry collection, Voyage of the Sable Venus (Knopf) won the National Book Award in poetry––the first time a poetry debut by an African-American had ever won the prize in the National Book Foundation’s history, and the first time any debut had won the award since 1974. Lewis’s writing has appeared in various journals and anthologies, such as Time Magazine, The New Yorker, the New York Times, The Paris Review, Transition, and Best American Poetry.

Robin Coste-Lewis

April 15:  Hannah Khalil

A Digital Event, 5 PM

Palestinian Irish writer and playwright Hannah Khalil holds the Charles Heimbold Chair of Irish Studies for Spring 2021 at Villanova University.
Hannah's current work includes a new play for the students of Central School of Speech and Drama called The Censor or How to Put on a Political Play without being arrested. Hannah was writer on attachment at the Bush Theatre as part of Project 2036 from 2016-2017. She was awarded The Arab British Centre's prize for Culture 2017, she is under commission to The Kiln, Golden Thread in San Francisco, Shakespeare's Globe and Chichester Festival Theatre.

Hannah Kalil
Copyright Phylis Christopher 2010

Villanova University
Department of English
St. Augustine Center
Room 402

Department Chair
Professor Heather Hicks