[ skip to content ]


Old Dominion University's 29th annual literary festival, titled "Colonial Encounters," will bring 19 authors to campus for readings and lectures Oct. 16-20. The festival has the theme of poetry and prose born from conquest and will highlight the melding of peoples and cultures in the wake of colonization.

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 more information about the festival, go to www.lib.odu.edu/litfest, and for a complete schedule visit http://www.lib.odu.edu/litfest/29th/schedule.htm.

• 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.

This article was posted on: October 2, 2006

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.