Poets and authors share stories at Little Grassy Literary Festival

By Diamond Jones

Up-and-coming authors and poets are scheduled to share their published works with the university community during this year’s Little Grassy Literary Festival.

The festival, which features artists from around the country, runs Wednesday through Friday in Morris Library. The events are designed to connect students with award-winning authors and spark an interest in literature across the university, said Anna Knowles, president of SIU’s Graduate Writers Forum.

Budget cuts were “the main obstacles during planning this year,” Knowles said. Organizers had to hold their own fundraisers because the program received less money.


But Knowles said, despite the budget cuts, the festival is “going to be exactly as [we] envisioned it.”

“It’s a festival for everyone, not just for writers,” Knowles said. “This is for anyone who is curious about self expression and wants to be inspired.”

Knowles said this year’s festival highlights the university’s student diversity. She said the music department wanted to give students with different backgrounds the opportunity to connect and voice their literary opinions.

“We’re grateful that we can bring in these authors at this time,” Knowles said. “Freedom of expression seems to be under attack right now, and it’s unique to have these authors here to fight that.”

The graduate students have organized panel discussions, readings and book signings where experienced writers can share their work during the festival.

The authors, writers and poets who are scheduled to speak include Brian Barker, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Abby Geni, Allison Joseph, Aja Monet, Carl Phillips and David Winter.

“They’re all equally amazing and different,” Knowles said. “There’s different genre options and, regardless of what reading or event you go to, you’ll have an inspiring experience.”


The Little Grassy Literary Festival is free for students and open to the public.

Campus reporter Diamond Jones can be reached at [email protected], 618-536-3325 or on Twitter @_dimewrites.

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