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Villanova University’s 20th Annual Literary Festival Kicks Off with Pulitzer Prize Winner

Villanova University’s 20th Annual Literary Festival Kicks Off with Pulitzer Prize Winner

VILLANOVA, Pa. – For the past two decades, the Villanova University Literary Festival has brought award-winning novelists, poets and playwrights to campus. The semester-long event, co-sponsored by the Department of English and the Creative Writing Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, kicks off Jan. 30 with a visit from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tyehimba Jess.

Throughout the spring 2018 semester, prominent writers will present lectures and readings to the Villanova community. All events start at 7 p.m. 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:

Jan. 30: Tyehimba Jess, Connelly Center Cinema
Tyehimba Jess won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry with his collection Olio, an interactive, multi-voiced, multi-narrative chronicle of the lives of 19th century African-American artists and entertainers. His first collection, Leadbelly, an exploration of the blues musician Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter’s life, won the 2004 National Poetry Series.

Feb. 15: Leslie Nneka Arimah, Speaker’s Corner, Falvey Library
Lesley Nneka Arimah is the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection, What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, winner of the 2017 Kirkus Prize.

March 15: Collette Bryce, Presidents’ Lounge, Connelly Center
Colette Bryce is an award-winning poet from Northern Ireland and the author of four poetry collections. Her most recent collection is titled Selected Poems.

April 5: Zinzi Clemmons, Speaker’s Corner, Falvey Library
A Philadelphia local, Zinzi Clemmons is the author of What We Lose, which The Atlantic calls “A striking novel about filial grief.” She is co-founder and former publisher of the journal Apogee and contributing editor to

April 24: Ariel Levy, Speaker's Corner, Falvey Library
A staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, Ariel Levy is author of the acclaimed memoir The Rules Do Not Apply, a New York Times bestseller, as well as Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture.