1998 Blackburn Literary Festival (Mar. 2-11, 1998)

Duke Creative Writing Faculty
March 2, 7:30pm
Thomas Room of Lily Library
Duke’s creative writing faculty–Reynolds Price, James Applewhite, Deborah Pope, George Eliot Clarke, Elizabeth Cox and Melissa Malouf–read from their works

Margie Piercy
Wednesday, March 4, 6:30pm
Museum of Art’s North Gallery
Piercy reads from her latest book of poetry, “What Are Big Girls Made Of,” and other works

Michael Ondaatje
Friday, March 6, 6:30pm
Reynolds Theater
Ondaatje reads poetry from one of his volumes, “The Cinnamon Peeler,” selections from one of his memoirs, “Running in the Family,” unpublished poetry, and passages from “The English Patient.”
“Author of English Patient visits Duke,” The Chronicle, 3/9/98

Michael Ondaatje Q&A Session
March 6, 10am
Griffith Film Theater

Duke University faculty and students dramatic reading
Monday, March 9, 8 p.m.
East Duke Building Parlors

Lucille Clifton and Philip Shabazz
Tuesday, March 10, 6:30pm
Mary Duke Biddle Rare Books Room

Jim Seay and Alan Shapiro
Wednesday, March 11, 6:30pm
Mary Duke Biddle Rare Books Room

Duke University faculty and students open mic w/ live jazz piano
Wednesday, March 11, 8:30pm
Duke Coffeehouse

The Spring 1998 Festival welcomed famed authors Michael Ondaatje and Marge Piercy to Duke. The events opened with a rare joint reading by the six creative writing faculty members as a tribute to William Blackburn in the Oriental Reading Room of Lilly Library. The festival continued with a reading by Marge Piercy in the Duke University Museum of Art, which included candid, elegant political and personal poems from many of her twelve books of poetry.

Michael Ondaatje read poems from The Cinnamon Peeler and excerpts from The English Patient for an audience of 500 in his silvery Ceylonese accent. Events also included a night of joint faculty and student dramatic readings in the East Duke Parlors featuring Ariel Dorfman and his son Roderigo Dorfman. Cherished African-American poets Lucille Clifton and Philip Shabazz read together in the crowded Mary Duke Biddle Rare Book Room. The following evening, North Carolina poets Jim Seay and Alan Shapiro read in the Rare Book Room; and the entire Festival concluded with a faculty and student open-mic poetry reading in the Duke Coffeehouse with live jazz piano music.

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