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LITERARY FESTIVAL "COLONIAL ENCOUNTERS" OPENS OCT. 16

Poetry and prose born from conquest, the melding of peoples and cultures in
the wake of colonization, is the theme of this year's Old Dominion
University Literary Festival.

Titled "Colonial Encounters," the university's 29th annual festival will
bring 19 authors to campus for readings and lectures Oct. 16-20.
According to festival director Tim Seibles, associate professor of English,

"It is impossible to think about 'colonial encounters' without confronting
the idea of colonization, a word that can easily be understood as a
euphemism for conquest."

He adds, "From among the subjugated, came those who mastered the words, who
used English as a vehicle for transformation. They told the stories and
wrote the poems that helped to decolonize the minds of the subjugated, that
also helped to open the eyes of those who had enjoyed the privileges of
power."

Noting that the 2006 festival will feature a wide variety of authors, from
novelists to poets to spoken word artists, Seibles said, "It is my hope
that, through our encounters with the authors ... some significant aspect
of our own wakefulness will be re-energized."
Four of the visiting authors are profiled below. For complete profiles of
all the authors and the festival schedule, go to www.lib.odu.edu/litfest.

• Bernard Cooper - fiction/non-fiction author of two collections of
memoirs, "Maps to Anywhere" and "Truth Serum," as well as a novel, "A Year
of Rhymes," and a collection of short stories, "Guess Again." He will read
at 8 p.m. Oct. 17 in the Diehn Center's Chandler Recital Hall.

• Dagoberto Gilb - fiction author/ essayist, who was born in Los Angeles
and spent many years in El Paso. His most recent book, "Gritos," an essay
collection, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for
Criticism. He is also the author of "Woodcuts of Women," "The Last Known
Residence of Mickey Acuña" and "The Magic of Blood. He will read at 8 p.m.
Oct. 18 in Chandler Recital Hall.

• Queen Sheba - performance poet and lecturer whose works have been
published in several anthologies and periodicals, including "Skipping
Stones Anthology of Hampton Roads Poets" (2004, 2005). She is currently on
the second-ranked poetry slam team in the country and was the Red Bull Word
Clash champion in 2005-06. She has appeared on BET and VH1 and is an Apollo
favorite. Sheba will perform at noon on Wed. Oct 18th in the Webb Center Cafeteria.

• Rebecca Solnit - essayist, historian and activist with a particular
interest in geography, landscape, slowness, insurrection, photography,
indirect routes and subjects that escape category. The author of 10 books,
including her most recent, "A Field Guide to Getting Lost" and "Hope in the
Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities, she will read at 8 p.m. Oct. 19
in the Mills Godwin Jr. Building auditorium.

For more information please contact Tim Seibles at 683-5120.

This article was posted on: October 6, 2006

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