Writers and literary enthusiasts alike will gather for readings, celebrations of literature, and literary trivia during the Slash Pine Writers Festival on Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, in venues around Tuscaloosa including the University of Alabama and Downtown Tuscaloosa. The Slash Pine readings and events are free and open to the public.
Among the writers reading this year are JoAnna Novak, Erin J. Mullikin, and Carlo Matos, winners of the 2015 Slash Pine chapbook competition.
Also featured are Aubrey Hirsch, professor of Creative Writing at Georgia College; Sandra Simonds, winner of the Akron University Poetry Prize; Lauren Slaughter, fiction editor of the magazine DIAGRAM; Kimbilio fellow Andy Johnson; and University of Alabama professor Robin Behn.
"The festival is a celebration of not only good writing, but Tuscaloosa as a whole--there are a lot of extremely talented writers living in our town and we feel as if the festival is a fun way to bring our writing community together: from undergraduate students at the University, to Masters in Fine Arts students and instructors, to local artists, to out-of-towners experiencing our city for the first time,” said Brian Oliu, Director of Slash Pine Press. “Writing is an extremely isolated and personal act, but it is also very public too: the festival is a nice way to gather writers and readers together to enjoy some excellent and exciting work."
The first Slash Pine event will be a celebration of Undergraduate Creative Writing with readings from University of Alabama students and contributors to The New College Review, Dewpoint, and Marr’s Field Journal. It will be held on the Gorgas House Lawn on the University of Alabama campus at 3:30 p.m.
At 6 p.m. on Friday, the Slash Pine interns will host a night of literary trivia along with a silent auction at Green Bar in downtown Tuscaloosa.
The readings for Saturday include: Morning Reading at the Birch Gazebo on the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk at 10 a.m., the Afternoon Reading at 3 p.m. at the Mildred Warner Westervelt Transportation Museum, and the Evening Reading at 7 p.m. at the Opera Theater in Bryant-Jordan Hall.
Founded in 2009, Slash Pine Press publishes chapbooks of poetry and mixed-genre work. Slash Pine Press is housed in UA’s English department, part of The College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships, and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.
Support for the Slash Pine festival comes from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, The Alabama Writers Forum, Creative Campus, Department of English, the Creative Writing Program, The UA College of Arts and Sciences, and the UA Office of the Provost.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.