Special Collections of the ODU Libraries

Old Dominion University Literary Festival Collection, 1977-2019 | Special Collections and University Archives

By Special Collections Staff

Collection Overview

Title: Old Dominion University Literary Festival Collection, 1977-2019

ID: 17/RG 17-3A1

Primary Creator: Old Dominion University. Department of English

Extent: 7.6 Linear Feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The collection is sorted first by media type (i.e., printed materials, original video recordings, and digitized video) and then chronologically by year, date, and time.

Subjects: Creative writing, Festivals in literature, Old Dominion University--Dept. of English, Old Dominon University. Library, Writing

Languages: English


This collection contains material from the Poetry Jam and first Literary Festival in 1978 and chronicles the annual Literary Festival onwards to the present day. Additional material is added yearly. Materials consist of original and digitized brochures, flyers, and promotional documents; schedules; news clippings; photos; and original and digitized video, as available.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains material from the Poetry Jam and first Literary Festival in 1978 and chronicles the annual Literary Festival onwards to the present day. Additional material is added yearly. Materials consist of original and digitized brochures, flyers, and promotional documents; schedules; news clippings; photos; and original and digitized video, as available.

Collection Historical Note

In April 1978, the English Department held a Poetry Jam, featuring Richard Wilbur, W. D. Snodgrass, and Dave Smith. The success of the Poetry Jam andthe recent explosion of community interest in the literary, visual, and performing artsin Hampton Roads, led to the First Annual Literary Festival. It was called The Arts Reunion,and it coincided with the arrival of the Associated Writing Programs' national headquarters, the birth of ODU's creative writing program, and the establishment of a Distinguished Visiting Writer position (W. D. Snodgrass was our first). It was a heady time.

The enthusiasm has continued, sustained by ever-increasing university and community support. Each October the Hampton Roads, as well as the University, calendar reminds us that for about a week our area will be home to such writers as Robert Pinsky, Rita Dove, John McPhee, William Styron, Ann Beattie, Charles Johnson, Derek Walcott, and Gwendolyn Brooks.

The diversity of readers, panels, workshops, and community involvement is one of the Festival hallmarks. Every two years the Festival is redesigned by a different English department member. The themes change from year to year. Major writers, cultural diversity, international perspectives, and numerous other approaches have surprised increasingly sophisticated audiences.

Over the years, students from Old Dominion University, surrounding campuses, and high schools have been encouraged to attend the literary events. Few, around the country, have an opportunity to hear and mingle with so many major and aspiring writers. Since Hampton Roads is areader friendlyenvironment, the Festival has consistently attracted patrons of bookstores, libraries, museums, and arts events.

Many of the events have been recorded. Brochures and posters (provided by the University Publications Department), news articles, interviews, and reviews are now housed in the University Archives of the University's Perry Library. Future material will also be collected there.

Because of the importance of this annual event to the university and the community, the Library and English Department have collaborated to preserve and exhibit Festival materials through the Literary Festival Digital Project.

-- Phil Raisor (English Department) and Karen Vaughan (Library)


Poetry Jam, April 1978

First Annual Arts Reunion, September 25-29, 1978

Second Annual Literary Festival, October 1-4, 1979

Third Annual Literary Festival, September 29 - October 1, 1980

Fourth Annual Literary Festival, October 5-8, 1981

Fifth Annual Literary Festival, October 4-7, 1982

Sixth Annual Literary Festival, October 3-6, 1983

Seventh Annual Literary Festival, October 1-4, 1984

Eighth Annual Literary Festival, October 7-10, 1985

Ninth Annual Literary Festival, October 6-9, 1986

Tenth Annual Literary Festival, October 4-8, 1987

Eleventh Annual Literary Festival, October 3-6, 1988

Twelfth Annual Literary Festival, October 2-5, 1989

Thirteenth Annual Literary Festival: City of Words,October 2-4, 1990

Fourteenth Annual Literary Festival: Between the Lines. Fact or Fiction.October 8-10, 1991

Fifteenth Annual Literary Festival: Words at Play,October 4-8, 1992

Sixteenth Annual Literary Festival, October 4-7, 1993

Seventeenth Annual Literary Festival: Cultural Equities,October 3-6, 1994

Eighteenth Annual Literary Festival: World Voice,October 3-5, 1995

Nineteenth Annual Literary Festival: Forbidden Passage,October 10-15, 1996

Twentieth Annual Literary Festival: Fierce Minds at Work,October 14-17, 1997

Twenty-first Annual Literary Festival: Electric Voice. Coming of Age, October 6-9, 1998

Twenty-second Annual Literary Festival: The Spirit of the Word, October 11-15, 1999

Twenty-third Annual Literary Festival: A New World, October 2-6, 2000

Twenty-fourth Annual Literary Festival: Magic, Vision, & Transformation, October 1-5, 2001

Twenty-fifth Annual Literary Festival: The Creative Moment, September 30 - October 5, 2002

Twenty-sixth Annual Literary Festival: Sounds that Mean, September 29-October 3, 2003

Twenty-seventh Annual Literary Festival: Creative Migrations, October 4-8, 2004

Twenty-eighth Annual Literary Festival: Crossings, October 3-7, 2005

Twenty-ninth Annual Literary Festival: Colonial Encounters, October 16-20, 2006

Thirtieth Annual Literary Festival: Tradition and the Individual Voice, October 1-4, 2007

Thirty-first Annual Literary Festival: The Call of Stories, September 23-26, 2008

Thirty-second Annual Literary Festival: Writers in Peace and War, October 6-9, 2009

Thirty-third Annual Literary Festival: Hard Times in America, October 4-8, 2010

Thirty-fourth Annual Literary Festival: The Lie that Tells the Truth, October 3-7, 2011

Thirty-fifth Annual Literary Festival: Words With Teeth, September 30-October 5, 2012

Thirty-sixth Annual Literary Festival: Migrations, October 7-11, 2013

Thirty-seventh Annual Literary Festival: The Hungry Heart is Telling You, October 6-10, 2014

Subject/Index Terms

Creative writing
Festivals in literature
Old Dominion University--Dept. of English
Old Dominon University. Library

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives

Accruals: Materials are donated annually by the ODU Literary Festival committee and the ODU English Department.

Alternate Extent Statement: 1 box, 1 Hollinger flip-top box, 1 Hollinger VHS-C box, 6 Hollinger VHS boxes, 7 Hollinger CD boxes

Access Restrictions: The materials in the literary festival collection are available for use in research, teaching, and private study. For these purposes, you may link to or use materials from the Literary Festival website without prior permission, on the condition that you provide a citation to the original source (Old Dominion University Libraries, Annual Literary Festival Web site: http://www.lib.odu.edu/litfest/).

Use Restrictions: The materials may not be altered or amended in any way. If you wish to use these materials for anything other than "fair use", we require that you contact the University Librarian in advance.

Acquisition Source: Original materials were donated by Philip Raisor

Acquisition Method: Additional materials were donated by James McNally, Michael Pearson, Tim Seibles, and other members of the ODU English Department.

Related Materials:

For more information about the Literary Festival, please visit the Annual Literary Festival website which contains digitized video, schedules, and additional information on Literary Festival speakers and directors.

Literary Festival display materials from a University Library display may be also found in the Library Exhibit Archives in the Perry Library Special Collections.

For more information please see http://www.lib.odu.edu/litfest/.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], Old Dominion University Literary Festival, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Brochures, Clippings, and Memorabilia, 1977-2019],
[Series II: Video Tapes, 1978-2002],
[Series III: Digitized Video, 1978-2003],

Series I: Brochures, Clippings, and Memorabilia, 1977-2019
Sub-Series A: Printed Material, 1977-2019
Includes brochures and pamphlets, flyers, news clippings, metadata sheets for digitized materials, and other such printed materials.
Box 1
Folder 1: Brochures, 1977-1989
Folder 2: Brochures, 1990-1998
Folder 3: Brochures, 1999-
Folder 4: Drawing, 9 October 1991
Folder 5: Metadata for Digitized Brochures and Photos
Folder 6: Metadata for Digitized Video: 1st, 15th, and 18th Festivals
Folder 7: Metadata for Digitized Video: 20th - 25th Festivals
Folder 8: Metadata for Digitized Video: 26th - Festivals
Folder 9: News Clippings, W. D. Snodgrass, 1977-1978
Folder 10: News Clippings, 1979-1980
Folder 11: 15th Annual Literary Festival, 1992
Folder 12: Poetry Jam I, April 1978
Folder 13: Poetry Jam II, April 1978
Folder 14: Poetry Jam, April 1979
Folder 15: Flyers
Folder 16: Miscellaneous
Sub-Series B: Digitized Brochures and Photos on CD's, 1978-2001
Digitized brochures and photos in tiff and jpeg format stored on compact discs.
Box 2
Item 1: Literary Festival Photos
Item 2: Brochures, 1978-1982
Item 3: Brochures, 1983-1986
Item 4: Brochures, 1987-1991
Item 5: Brochures, 1992-1994
Item 6: 1995-1998
Item 7: 22nd Litfest brochure Tiffs, 1999
Item 8: 23rd Litfest Brochure, and Photo Tiffs, and Author Jpegs, 2000
Item 9: 24th Litfest Brochure, Photo, and Author Tiffs, 2001
Sub-Series C: Oversize, 1982-2019
This sub-series contains posters and oversize clippings for the annual Literary Festival.
Oversize Box 17

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Brochures, Clippings, and Memorabilia, 1977-2019],
[Series II: Video Tapes, 1978-2002],
[Series III: Digitized Video, 1978-2003],

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