Dallas Literary Festival Returns

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Southern Methodist University will present the Dallas Literary Festival March 26-28. The theme of the weekend-long event: Turbulence.

“I thought that was a really appropriate theme for the revitalization of this event considering where we are in this country right now,” said Sanderia Faye Smith, Executive Director of the festival and SMU assistant professor. “I want the people to see how the community has come together to bring people these well-renowned and prized authors.”

The weekend’s events will include panel discussions, virtual readings and author interviews featuring:

  • Charles M. Blow, New York Times columnist, author of "The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto."
  • Joy Harjo, the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States, author of the memoir "Crazy Brave."
  • Tyehimba Jess, winner of Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, author of "Leadbelly and Olio."
  • Yiyun Li, author of "Where Reasons End" and "Must I Go."
  • Ben Moser, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography "Sontag: Her Life and Work."

“We will also have Trevor Pryce there. He used to play in the NFL and is the author of 'An Army of Frogs,' a middle-grade book series. The animated Netflix series is based on those books. He will join 80 nonfiction and fiction writers, poets, editors, agents, cookbook authors and illustrators who will serve on panels and read from their works,” Smith said.

Smith, who is also an author, wrote "Mourner's Bench," which has received national recognition of its own.

"It's a coming of age story set in rural Arkansas during the height of the civil rights movement. [The lead character] is traveling through a turbulent time in the united states. Not only did it do well in the literary realm, but it also resonates with people," Smith said.

NBC 5’s Laura Harris will moderate a discussion with Julie Lythocott-Haims called “What it means to be an adult.” Haims is the New York Times bestselling author of the anti-helicopter parenting manifesto “How to Raise and Adult.” Her TED Talk on that subject has more than five million views.

The all-virtual festival will open with welcomes from Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Smith.

The Dallas Literary Festival is free and open to the public. Registration is now open.

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