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ODU'S 34th Annual Literary Festival to Explore Poetry

Old Dominion University's 34th annual Literary Festival, Oct. 2-7, will bring together a wide range of artists and intellectuals to present poetry, plays, photography, essays, memoirs, music and fiction.

Critically acclaimed poet Billy Collins will headline the festival with a lecture at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6. The former U.S. poet laureate sees his poetry as "a form of travel writing" and considers humor "a door into the serious."

In 1925, artist Pablo Picasso wrote that "Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand." "The Lie that Tells the Truth" is the theme of this year's festival, whose aim is to allow writers and artists to present some of the truths they perceive. Playwright Young Jean Lee says her work is "about struggling to achieve something in the face of failure and incompetence and not-knowing." Journalist Megan Stack, in the hauntingly titled "Every Man in This Village Is a Liar," asks what is knowable and unknowable about war. Poet Naomi Shihab Nye describes poetry as "a way of sitting quietly with words and letting them lead us somewhere."

Among the other artists at this year's festival are New Yorker photographer Yola Monakhov, known for her evocative photojournalism of hot spots around the world; Iranian-born author Porochista Khakpour, author of the acclaimed debut novel "Sons and Other Flammable Objects"; noted American poet Mark Halliday, author of "Keep This Forever"; and critically acclaimed American fiction writer Joy Williams, author of "The Quick and the Dead."

Collins, whose work has appeared in a variety of periodicals including The New Yorker, The Paris Review and The American Scholar, is known for an intellectual and accessible style of poetry that appeals to the public and critics alike. He is the author of nine collections of poetry, including "Questions About Angels," "The Art of Drowning," "Picnic," "Lightning," "Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes," "Sailing Alone Around the Room: New & Selected Poems," "Nine Horses," "The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems," "Ballistics" and his most recent work, "Horoscopes for the Dead."

Collins has edited two anthologies of contemporary poetry: "Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry" and "180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Everyday." He also was the guest editor of "The Best American Poetry 2006" and edited "Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds," with paintings by David Allen Sibley. He is the recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He also has received the Oscar Blumenthal Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize, the Frederick Bock Prize and the Levinson Prize - all awarded by Poetry magazine.

Collins was appointed U.S. Poet Laureate for 2001-03. In 2004, he was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Poetry Foundation's Mark Twain Award for Humor in Poetry. He is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, as well as a Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College.

All Literary Festival events are free and open to the public; garage parking is free for all events. The complete schedule is as follows:

Sunday, October 2
2 p.m.
Reception for Yola Monakhov's
"Lebende Bilder"
Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries

Monday, October 3
2 p.m.
Young Jean Lee
Chandler Recital Hall, Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center

4 p.m.
Porochista Khakpour
Chandler Recital Hall, Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center
7:30 p.m.

"The Words and Music of Paul Bowles": lecture by Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno, music by Paul Bowles and the composers who influenced him.
Performers TBA
Chandler Recital Hall, Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center

Tuesday, October 4
12:30 p.m.
Yola Monakhov
Chandler Recital Hall, Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center

3 p.m.
Renée Olander
Gordon Galleries

7:30 p.m.
Mark Halliday
Chandler Recital Hall, Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center

Wednesday, October 5
12:30 p.m.
Elizabeth Searle
Virginia Beach Higher Education Center, Room 244A

2 p.m.
David Swerdlow
Chandler Recital Hall, Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center

3:30 p.m.
Claire Dederer
University Village Bookstore

7:30 p.m.
Naomi Shihab Nye
George M. and Linda H. Kaufman Theatre at the Chrysler Museum

Thursday, October 6
3 p.m.
Scott Heim
University Village Bookstore

7:30 p.m.
Billy Collins
President's Lecture Series
Webb University Center

Friday, October 7
2 p.m.
Indigo Moor and Adrian Matejka
Chandler Recital Hall, Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center

3:30 p.m.
Megan Stack
Chandler Recital Hall, Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center

7:30 p.m.
Joy Williams
Chandler Recital Hall, Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center

This article was posted on: October 7, 2011

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