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Creative Writing Festival

Department of Literature and Language

Festival History

Past Presenters  

Ishion HutchinsonIshion Hutchinson published two poetry collections, Far District and House of Lords and Commons, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Born in Port Antonio, Jamaica, Hutchinson moved to the U.S. in 2006 for graduate studies. He's the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, a Lannan Writing Residency, and the Larry Levis Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Ilya Kaminsky describes him as "without a doubt one of the most gifted poets of my generation." He lives in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches in the graduate writing program at Cornell University.


Lisa Alther is the author of six novels -- Kinflicks, Original Sins, Other Women, Bedrock, Five Minutes in Heaven, and Washed in the Blood. She haLisa Althers also written a memoir (Kinfolks), a novella (Birdman and the Dancer), a collection of short stories (Stormy Weather and Other Stories) and a narrative history of the Hatfield-McCoy feud (Blood Feud). These books have been published in seventeen languages and have appeared on bestseller lists worldwide. Alther was born in Kingsport, Tennessee, in 1944. She currently lives in Tennessee, Vermont, and New York City.


Jeff Daniel MarionJeff Daniel Marion has published nine poetry collections, four poetry chapbooks, and a children’s book. Ebbing & Flowing Springs: New and Selected Poems and Prose, 1976-2001 won the 2003 Independent Publisher Award in Poetry and was named Appalachian Book of the Year by the Appalachian Writers Association. His collection Father received the 2009 Quentin R. Howard Poetry Prize, and in 2011 he was awarded the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South by the Fellowship of Southern Writers.


Stephanie PruittStephanie Pruitt is a Nashville, TN-based poet and social practice artist who has taught arts education and creative writing at Vanderbilt University, Sewanee Young Writers Conference, and as a visiting artist in over one hundred K-12 and community settings. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and Essence Magazine named her one of their “40 Favorite Poets.”

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