By Britain Miethe
Lee University will continue its Writer’s Festival Jan. 30-31 featuring Jenn Blair and Jessie van Eerden, as well as Lee faculty Drs. Kevin Brown and William Woolfitt. The readings will take place in the Rose Lecture Hall, which is located in the Helen DeVos College of Education.
“Lee’s Writer’s Festival aims to provide examples of quality writing and inspiration to students and members of the community who have a passion for the written word,” said Woolfitt, assistant professor of English at Lee.
On Thursday, the Writer’s Festival will kick off with readings from Brown and Woolfitt. On Friday, the festival will continue with readings from Blair and van Eerden.
Brown, professor of English at Lee, has published two books of poetry, “A Lexicon of Lost Words” and “Exit Lines,” as well as two chapbooks, “Abecedarium” and “Holy Days: Poems.” He also has a memoir, “Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again,” and a book of scholarship, “They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels.”
Woolfitt teaches writing and American literature at Lee. He is the author of two chapbooks, “The Salvager’s Arts,” co-winner of the Keystone Prize, and “The Boy with Fire in His Mouth,” winner of the Epiphany Editions contest.
Woolfitt’s poems and stories appear in such publications as Shenandoah, Michigan Quarterly Review, Threepenny Review, New Ohio Review, Appalachian Heritage, The Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Ninth Letter, River Styx, Virginia Quarterly Review’s Instapoetry Series, and Tin House’s Flash Friday series. Most recently, Woolfitt was named as the runner-up in the 2013 Gold Line Press Fiction Chapbook Competition.
Blair’s chapbook “All Things Are Ordered” is out from Finishing Line Press. She has published poems, short stories, and essays in Rattle, Cold Mountain Review, Tusculum Review, Copper Nickel, Superstition Review, Tulane Review, New South, South Loop Review, And/Or, Montreal Review, and Stone Table Review, among others.
Van Eerden is the director of West Virginia Wesleyan’s MFA in creative writing program. She is author of the novel “Glory¬bound,” winner of the 2012 ForeWord Reviews’ Editor’s Choice Fiction Prize. Her personal essays, short stories, and poems have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The Oxford American, Bellingham Review, Rock & Sling, The Literary Review, Waccamaw, The River Teeth Reader, and others.
Van Eerden’s prose has also been included in “Best American Spiritual Writing” and “Red Holler: An Anthology of Contemporary Appalachian Literature.” A three-time Pushcart nominee, van Eerden received the Milton Fellowship from Image and Seattle Pacific University for work on her debut novel, and she was an Edwin Ford Piper Memorial Scholar at the University of Iowa, where she received her MFA in nonfiction.
"Students, professors, and community members are welcome to attend the readings,” said Woolfitt. “Readings are always entertaining, thought-provoking, and inspiring.”
All readings in the Writer’s Festival will begin at 7 p.m.
For more information on Lee’s Writer’s Festival, please email Woolfitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423-614-8230.