Lumen Literary Festival scheduled for April

Mercyhurst University is hosting a literary festival involving the visit of two published creative writers, the premier of a play, and finally Lumen unveiling a student awards presentation. All Four festival events will be free and open to the public with the exception of the play, The Laramie Project which has an admission fee.

“The Literary Festival is a great opportunity for students to hear award-winning poets and fiction writers read from and discuss their own works and for the creative writing students to meet with them in a small workshop setting.” Said Dr Ken Schiff, contact coordinator for the literary festival.

First on the schedule of the literary festival is the visit fiction writer Karen Joy fowler, to the Taylor Little theatre Thursday April, 3 8p.m. Author of six novels, Fowler is known for The Jane Austen Book Club which spent 13 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. In addition to speaking in the Taylor little theatre Fowler is also hosting a creative writing workshop earlier in the day for English majors and minors.

Next is the visit of associate professor of comparative literature and Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas, Mohja Kahf to the Taylor Little theatre to speak and read her work on Thursday April 10 8p.m. Kahf is known for her novel The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf and the poetry collection E-mails from Scheherazad.

The third event of the literary festival is the play named The Laramie Project. The play is by Moises Kaufman and other members of the Tectonic Theater Project and which displays several interviews and other methods to shed light on the community that brought about the infamous homophobic murder of Matthew Shepard. The play will be April 24-27 at 8p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for youths and students with their ID card.

The capstone and final event of the literary festival is the unveiling of Lumen May 1, at 8p.m. which awards first second and third place to the student contributors to the literary and fine arts magazine. First prize for the creative writing contest is 250 dollars and a certificate of award, the second prize is 150 dollars and third prize is 100 dollars.

The literary festival began as a Mercyhurst tradition in 2003 when English professors Dr. Jeff Roessner and Dr. Kennith Schiff renowned poet, Samuel Hazo to Mercyhurst and since then the school received several well-known writers such as Randall Silvis, Robert Bly, Grace Paley, Martin Espada and Marjorie Agosin.