Last week, Ohio University’s Creative Writing Program hosted the 2022 Spring Literary Festival. The weekend event brought together three international writers who read excerpts from their work. The festival was an opportunity for students and staff to come together to enjoy the best contemporary literature from around the world.
The three distinguished writers, Kim Addonizio, Lauren Groff and Ira Sukrungruang, gave lectures and readings of their literary works. These included stories, essays and poems that gave students insight into the lives and work of these accomplished authors.
Books were also available for purchase after each program at the booth organized by Little Professors Book Center, 65 S. Court St.
“It’s been a long year, it’s been a tough year, but we come to the end of April with a lot to celebrate.” David Wanczyk, New Ohio Review editor and special programs coordinator, said.
He also acknowledged the growth within the English department.
“The best part of his introduction will be when it comes to an end, when my words end and two chromosomes begin, a moment of transition and in between when the change happens.” Morgan Riedl, a fourth-year Ph.D. student of English and creative writing, said welcoming Sukrungruang.
Riedl said Sukrungruang’s work wanders into an exciting space for human life. She compares the importance of two deltas in science and math and twists it to describe the challenges people face.
Sukrungruang is a professor of creative writing at Kenyan College. Some of his famous works include This jade world, South Side Buddhist and In Thailand it is night: Poems. He is also president of Sweet, a non-profit literary organization.
Sukrungruang read a small excerpt from his last memoirs, This jade world.
“That’s how things are traded,” Sukrungruang said as he read his memoir. “A candor I’m not used to, an order I didn’t know my mom had. Choosing fruit is easy; wanting fruit is wanting pleasure and soothing the taste buds. My mom wanted fruit. She got fruit.
Lauren Groff also shared an excerpt from her 2021 book, Matrix. His book Templeton’s Monsters was a New York Times bestselling fiction.
“Well, honestly, all of my creative writing teachers have been urging us to come to these (events) and so really just as a way to see…what it’s going to be like to be a writer after I get this degree that I I’ve had it for so long, and I think it’s really interesting,” Emily Hinkle, a senior English creative writing student, said.
The event ended with some refreshments and a quick stop at the Little Professor Book booth.
“The fact that they (the authors) were also willing and generous in answering questions, and the feelings they all expressed in their lectures, were thoughtful, thought-provoking and very intelligent.” Amy Strieter, first-year doctoral student. student studying English and creative writing, said.