The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Literary Festival celebrates the joy of reading

Authors+Shannon+Cain+and+Dean+Bakopoulos+both+took+part+in+the+SMU+Lit+Fest.
Photos courtesy of Sarah Proll and Dean Bakopoulos
Authors Shannon Cain and Dean Bakopoulos both took part in the SMU Lit Fest.

Authors Shannon Cain and Dean Bakopoulos both took part in the SMU Lit Fest. (Photos courtesy of Sarah Proll and Dean Bakopoulos )

Southern Methodist University’s annual Literary Festival was Thursday through Saturday.

Wednesday night was the kick off for the festival, in which high school students from more than a dozen area schools performed readings.

The festival, held in DeGoyler Library, included readings from several different authors, student conferences, receptions, books signings and Q&A sessions for the authors.

Although held on campus, the Literary Festival is free and open to the public. The three-day event has been an SMU tradition since the 1980s. The festival aims to bring together reputable writers, interested students and other individuals from Dallas’ literary community.

David Haynes, director of creative writing at SMU, enjoyed the Literary Festival because it offers students and aspiring writers a lot of opportunities.

“It gives students the opportunity to meet with important working writers,” Haynes said.

Kalen Lewis, an SMU freshman, was not very familiar with the authors at the reading Thursday evening. She came because she was interested to see what the festival had to offer.

“It introduces students to a wider variety of other written art forms,” Lewis said.

This year’s festival featured prize-winning authors such as Dean Bakopoulos, Shannon Cain, Eduardo Corral, Amina Gautier, Tyehimba Jess, Krys Lee, Corey Marks and Martha Rhodes.

On Thursday evening, authors Shannon Cain and Corey Marks made an appearance at the event. Each author read excerpts of their work to an intrigued crowd.

Marks recited several poems from his collections including “Portrait of a Child,” “Three Bridges, Dumb Luck” and a few more. Marks read his eloquently written poems in a mellow and somber tone encompassing the emotions that his poems possess.

After Marks’ recital, Cain spiced things up with some of her short stories, including “Nigerian Princes.”

The excerpts Cain read were comical and laced with crude humor that brought laughter to the crowd.

Lewis appreciates the festival because it gives students the opportunity they wouldn’t normally have to meet the featured authors, and it gives more literary notoriety to SMU as a university.

Haynes also believes that the annual festival enhances the reputation of SMU on a local and national scale.

Not only does the Literary Festival direct attention toward SMU, according to Taurean Hill a student at Collins College, it also promotes the importance of literacy. 

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