LITERARY FESTIVAL AND SIGNATURE EVENTS

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 2022 Speakers

January 27: Jericho Brown

7 PM

Jericho Brown is author of the The Tradition (Copper Canyon 2019), for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he is the winner of the Whiting Award. Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His third collection, The Tradition won the Paterson Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is the director of the Creative Writing Program and a professor at Emory University.

The poet Jericho Brown smiling

March 15: Emma Dabiri

7 PM

Emma Dabiri, our 2022 Charles A. Heimbold Jr. Chair in Irish Studies, is an Irish writer, academic, BBC broadcaster, and social media influencer who has written two very successful non-fiction books: Twisted (published as Don't Touch My Hair in Ireland) and What White People Can Do Next. Her work in the arts, fashion, and the media are complemented by her academic teaching and research in African Studies and Visual Sociology. She is currently completing her PhD at Goldsmiths University, London.

The writer Emma Dabiri smiling and looking at the camera

March 29: Camille Dungy

7 PM

Camille T. Dungy’s debut collection of personal essays is Guidebook to Relative Strangers (W. W. Norton, 2017), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is also the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017), winner of the Colorado Book Award. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019.

The writer Camille Dungy smiling and looking at the camera

April 21:  Tiphanie Yanique

7 PM

Tiphanie Yanique is a novelist, essayist, poet, and short story writer. She is the author of the poetry collection, Wife, which won the 2016 Bocas Prize in Caribbean poetry and the United Kingdom’s 2016 Forward/Felix Dennis Prize for a First Collection.

Tiphanie is also the author of the novel, Land of Love and Drowning, which won the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Award from the Center for Fiction, the Phillis Wheatley Award for Pan-African Literature, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, and was listed by NPR as one of the Best Books of 2014. Land of Love and Drowning was also a finalist for the Orion Award in Environmental Literature and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.

The writer Tiphanie Yanique smiling at the camera

Villanova University
Department of English
St. Augustine Center
Room 402

Department Chair
Professor Heather Hicks