This year’s festival begins Oct. 12
Three authors. Three nights. All free.
Great writers, readers, fans and friends will gather in-person and online for three Wednesday nights this October for the University of South Carolina Fall Literary Festival. Now in its twenty-third year, the festival continues to bring unique and inspiring literary voices to campus. And for the first time, we’re welcoming the illustrator of one of our guest author’s books.
This year, the festival welcomes fiction and non-fiction author Tiya Miles, poet Evie Shockley, poet and author Dianne Johnson-Feelings, whose children's and young adult fiction appears under the pen name Dinah Johnson, and artist April W. Harrison, who illustrated Johnson-Feeling’s latest book H is for Harlem.
They are part of a tradition that has brought more than 60 award-winning authors to campus for readings, book signings and other events – all free and open to the community.
The Fall Literary Festival is a partnership between University Libraries and the Department of English, supported by the generous legacy of Libraries’ friend Dorothy D. Smith. Mrs. Smith was a lifelong book lover who wanted to share her passion with others. This year the Dorothy D. Smith Charitable Foundation, the School of Information Science, Women’s and Gender Studies, the Center for Civil Rights History and Research and the University South Caroliniana Society have joined in supporting the 2022 Fall Literary Festival.
This year, the festival will be a combination of virtual only and in-person/virtual events.
"It's wonderful that this year's Fall Literary Festival will be offered in multiple formats,” says Sam Amadon, associate professor in the UofSC Department of English Language and Literature and a festival organizer. “The virtual presentation allows the Festival to continue to engage with a broader audience, and gives us the chance to hear Tiya Miles, who would otherwise not be able to participate this year, but I'm also excited to return to Hollings to hear Evie Shockley, Dianne Johnson-Feelings, and April Harrison in person."
The festival events begin at 6 p.m. on three consecutive Wednesdays in October.
Miles will read Wednesday, Oct. 12.
Tiya Miles is the author of six books including the prize-winning histories: The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits (2017), The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story (2010), and Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom (2005, 2015). Her book All That She Carried (2022) won the National Book Award. She has also published historical fiction, a lecture series on haunted plantations, a co-edited collection on Afro-Native studies, and various essays in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, CNN.com and other media outlets.
Evie Shockley will read Wednesday, Oct. 19.
Evie Shockley thinks, creates and writes with her eye on a Black feminist horizon. Her books of poetry include suddenly we (forthcoming 2023), semiautomatic, and the new black. Her work has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, has twice garnered the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and has appeared internationally. Her honors include the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry and the Stephen Henderson Award. Shockley is the Zora Neale Hurston Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University.
Johnson-Feelings and Harrison will read and discuss their work Wednesday, Oct. 26.
Dianne Johnson-Feelings says children’s literature is at the center of her life. Since 1990, she has been a professor of English at UofSC where she teaches courses in children’s and young adult literature, American autobiography and creative writing. Under the pen name Dinah Johnson, she is the author of picture books including H is for Harlem (Little, Brown, 2022), Indigo Dreaming (HarperCollins, 2022) and Black Magic (Henry Holt, paperback 2021). The biggest compliment she ever received was from a little girl who wrote to her saying, “You had made my heart sing.”
April W. Harrison, who has collaborated with Johnson-Feelings, is a self-taught artist and South Carolina native. She creates rich mixed-media paintings that reveal her unshakeable belief in the strength of faith, family and friendship. Her adept use of color and collaging with specialty paper and magazine prints, as well as her audacious re-purposing of found objects in her work, add a physical reality and a quilt-like quality that roots it firmly within an African American artistic tradition. Harrison has achieved a great measure of success and popular acclaim.
These events are free and open to everyone, but registration is required.