Literary Festival to be hosted by Department of English

Marketing and Communications staff
shelves of books

The second Fredonia Literary Festival, to celebrate all things literary, is slated for Friday, April 26, at SUNY Fredonia.

The event is slated for noon to 4:30 p.m. in the Williams Center Blue Lounge and Multipurpose Room, is free and the public is invited to attend.

Three panels will feature the importance of student creative publications, promote the work of regional and alumni professional writers, and host area librarians discussing threats from recent book bans, especially on young readers. The festival will also include an open mic session, and conclude with a memorial reading, hosted by ENGL 400 Senior Seminar students, to honor department faculty who have passed. 

Vendors featuring creative and book arts for sale will join representatives from campus publications and writing-based groups; signed books will be available for sale by our guest and faculty writers. Fredonia’s Next Chapter Bookstore will also have a table of gently used books for sale. Vendors, book sales and signings and other tabling will be held in the Williams Center Multipurpose Room. 

Light refreshments will be available. 

All panels and special events will be held in the Williams Center’s Blue Lounge. Events include:

  • Noon to 1 p.m. A Student Literary Magazine panel discussion with moderator Rowan Potzler and Trident (Fredonia's student literary magazine) editors, and student editors of Epoch (Cornell University) and Gandy Dancer (SUNY Geneseo).
  • 1 to 2 p.m. “Encouraging Young Readers in an Age of Book Bans,” a panel discussion with local/regional librarians. Moderators include members of the Sigma Tau Delta English honor society and guest panelists include Megan Hegna, director of the Patterson Library in Westfield, NY; SUNY Fredonia alumnus Dan Lewandowski, Youth Services librarian for the Buffalo and Erie County (NY) Public Library, and SUNY Potsdam alumna Kerrie Wilkes, director of Fredonia’s Reed Library. 
  • 2 to 3 p.m. Local/Regional Authors panel discussion. Moderators include members of Writers’ Ring, Fredonia's student literary society. Panelist Jesse Sherwood grew up in Silver Creek, NY., earned a B.A. and M.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia, and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. He has been published in The Saturday Evening Post, Guernica, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency, among others. His novel, tentatively titled, “Day Zero,” is out with publishers, and he is working on a new work about grief, America, and the Internet. He lives in New York City. Panelist Paul Corrigan is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton, where he was the recipient of the Foundation Award in Creative Writing (1974). He received an Academy of American Poets Award while at Brown University, and a selection of his poetry was awarded New York State's Creative Artist Public Service Award (CAPS). His book of poetry, “At The Grave Of The Unknown River Driver,” was published by North Country Press. He has had a career as a poet/teacher, traveling upstate New York's highways while visiting the public schools as a member of the Alternative Literary Programs in the Schools (ALPS). He now writes essays and is hard at work on a book about teaching poetry to young people all across New York State. Panelist Rachel Spangler is the author of 24 sapphic romance novels. A perennial favorite on the LGBTQ international best seller charts, they writes romances because they believe love is the most profoundly transformative of all human experiences, and that queer readers deserve to see their lives and relationships reflected on the page. The New York Times Book Review has noted, “Spangler writes fights and misunderstandings with heart-breaking precision,” and Autostraddle has dubbed them “the undisputed heavyweight champion of sports romances.” Now a winner of five Golden Crown literary awards, two independent publishing silver medals, and four Lambda Literary finalists, Spangler is also the recipient of the Alice B Readers award for lifetime achievement and an inductee into the Illinois State University Steve and Sandy Adams Legacy Hall of Fame. Known to friends simply as “Rey,” they live with their wife and son in Western New York and always make time for a good romance, whether reading it, writing it or living it.
  • 3 to 3:30 p.m. Open mic
  • 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Memorial Readings by ENGL 400 Senior Seminar students and Department of English faculty In memory of faculty including Shannon Jonas, Dr. Stephen Warner, Dr. Regina Reed, Dr. George Sebouhian, Tom Craig, Dr. Malcolm Nelson, Dr. Albert Dunn and Dr. Robert Schweik.

The festival is sponsored and funded primarily by the Department of English and its Mary Louise White Fund established with the Fredonia College Foundation, with additional support from Fredonia's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta English honor society and the Next Chapter Bookstore (Literacy Volunteers) in Fredonia.


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