The 16th annual Mercyhurst Literary Festival has begun, but what is the Literary Festival, and what does it entail?
The Literary Festival was started at Mercyhurst by English professors Ken Schiff, Ph.D., who passed away last year, and Jeffrey Roessner, Ph.D.
Marnie Sullivan, Ph.D., associate professor of English, praised the festival’s ability to bring in renowned writers.
“We’ve been able to bring in internationally recognized writers, and it’s an amazing opportunity for our students,” said Sullivan.
Every year, the Literary Festival brings in a poet and a prose writer.
The poet for this year was Philip Metres.
Metres visited campus on March 1 to read from his various works and do signings.
The next visit from a writer is happening March 22.
On March 22 at 8 p.m., in the Taylor Little Theater, Jane McCafferty will be visiting campus. McCafferty is a professor of Creative Writing at Carnegie Mellon University.
She has written books such as “Director of the World and Other Stories” and “One Heart.”
Sullivan said that McCafferty will also assist students with their writings.
“McCafferty will do writing workshops along with her reading when she comes.”
The final event of the Literary Festival is the unveiling of the Lumen, Mercyhurst’s student-produced art magazine.
“The Lumen … contains every fine art we have on campus. That includes creative writing, but there is also things like dance and music,.” Sullivan said. “It is really impressive.”
There are plans to honor Schiff at this year’s Literary Festival and beyond.
“The fiction writer award will be funded in his name,” said Sullivan.
“We are also looking at having a place in the library and on campus dedicated to him. I would love to hear what students would want to do to honor him.”
Sullivan hopes that even students not involved with the English department will give the Festival a shot.
“Everyone should come and try it out, even if it is just for one time only,” she said.
The Lumen unveiling will take place April 19 at 8 p.m. in the Taylor Little Theater.