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Villanova University’s 18th Annual Literary Festival Welcomes Renowned Authors to Campus

2015 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Poetry to Visit Campus January 28

All events free and open to public

Villanova University’s 18th Annual Literary Festival Welcomes Renowned Authors to Campus

VILLANOVA, Pa. – For the 18th consecutive year, award-winning authors and poets will visit Villanova’s campus during the semester-long Villanova University Literary Festival.  The event, which is sponsored by the Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will kick off January 28 with a visit from Gregory Pardlo, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Throughout the spring 2015 semester, prominent authors and poets will present lectures and readings to the Villanova community. All events start at 7 pm and are free and open to the public. Each presentation will be followed by a reception and book signing.

The following is a full schedule of events:

January 28: Gregory Pardlo

Gregory Pardlo's poetry collection​ Digest (Four Way Books) won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Digest​ was also shortlisted for the​ 2015 NAACP Image Award and is a current finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His other honors​ include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection Totem was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. Pardlo's poems have appeared in The Nation,PloughsharesTin HouseThe Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American PoetryBest American Poetry, and elsewhere. Pardlo will speak at the Cinema in Connelly Center.

February 11:  Daniel Torday

Daniel Torday is the author of the novel The Last Flight of Poxl West. His novella, The Sensualist, won the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for debut fiction. Torday's stories and essays have appeared in Esquire Magazinen+1, The New York TimesThe Paris Review Daily and Tin House. A former editor at Esquire, Torday serves as an editor at The Kenyon Review. He is Director of Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College. Torday will speak at the Speaker's Corner in Falvey Library.

February 23:  Jean Valentine

A longtime resident of New York City, Jean Valentine was named the State Poet of New York in 2008. Her first book of poems, Dream Barker and Other Poems, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award in 1965. Subsequent collections of poems include The River at Wolf (1992), Little Boat (2007), and Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems, 1965–2003, which won the National Book Award in 2004. Valentine will speak at the Radnor/St. David's Room in Connelly Center. 

March 17: Glenn Patterson

Born in Belfast, Ireland, Glenn Patterson holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia where he studied under Malcolm Bradbury and Angela Carter. He is the author of eight novels and two works of non-fiction. His plays and stories have been broadcast on Radio 3 and Radio 4 and articles and essays have appeared in The Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times, Independent, Irish Times, and Dublin Review. He has been writer-in-residence at Queen's University Belfast, Creative Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia and writer-in-residence at University College Cork. He has also presented numerous television documentaries and an arts review series for RTE, Ireland’s national television and radio broadcaster. At Villanova, he is the 2016 Heimbold Chair in Irish Studies. Patterson will speak at the President's Lounge in Connelly Center. 

April 14: Asali Solomon

Asali Solomon is the author of the novel Disgruntled (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)She received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award for her stories collected in Get Down, her first book; the volume was also a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. In 2007 she was named one of the National Book Foundation's “5 Under 35.” Solomon teaches English at Haverford College. She lives in Philadelphia. Solomon will speak at the Speaker's Corner in Falvey Library.

Villanova offers a new minor in Creative Writing available to all undergraduates. As part of the minor, which launched this past fall, students take the Literary Festival Workshop, which offers students the opportunity to meet and learn from the authors appearing in the Literary Festival. The Literary Festival is co-sponsored by Villanova University’s Irish Studies Program, Gender and Women’s Studies Program, Africana Studies Program, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Falvey Memorial Library, the Honors Program, and the Villanova Writing Center.

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 challenged and changing world.  With 39 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.