English Department Hosts Writers’ Festival

Siloam Springs, Ark. (March 8, 2007) — – The John Brown University English Department will host “Giving Voice: A Festival of Writing,” March 29-30. The festival has grown out of the department’s “Contemporary Writers Series,” which has featured writers such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Chaim Potok, Donald Hays, and Barry Hannah. The festival will feature established writers Patty Kirk, writer in residence and adjunct professor at JBU; Tom Noyes, a professor in the bachelor of fine arts program at Penn State Erie, Erie, Penn.; Diane Glancy, a playwright and professor of Native American Literature and Creative Writing at Macalester College, St. Paul, Min.; and Scott Cairns, a professor at the University of Missouri, who will offer public readings and teach creative writing workshops on campus. Cairns opens the festival on Thursday, March 29, by speaking in chapel at 10:30 a.m. about being a writer of faith. He has authored six collections of poetry, and is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an award that helps further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field and in creation in any of the arts. Several activities will take place throughout Thursday including a luncheon, workshops, a question and answer time (open to the public) in Bynum Theater at 4:30 p.m. with Kirk, Glancy, and Noyes, and a public reading and signing at the Sager Creek Arts Center in Siloam Springs at 7 p.m. The workshop is open only to JBU students in the Creative Writing class, but the Q&A, reading and book signing are open to the public. A special opportunity will be open to area high school students in the “Gifted and Talented” and “Advanced Placement” programs on Friday. Students can attend a creative writing workshop of their choice in the morning, share in a luncheon and reading by the keynote writer and participate in an open mic reading after lunch. For questions or more information, contact Brad Gambill at (479) 238-8746. John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked sixth by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 2,000 students from 40 states and 45 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges & Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.