Literary festival comes to campus

Lindsay Buchanan, Senior Writer

Lovers of literature will gather at Francis Marion Nov. 4 and 5 to enjoy the fifth annual Pee Dee Fiction and Poetry Festival.

The event this year will showcase the talents of five nationally-known bestselling authors including Li-Young Lee, Silas House, ZZ Packer, Tracy K. Smith and FMU’s own Lynn Kostoff.

FMU Professor of English Kenneth Autrey said the ability to hold a festival like this is even more exciting this year during a time when budget cuts have become customary in most areas.

“The English faculty has worked hard to plan an exciting festival, and the FMU Office of Public and Community Affairs has been a tremendous help,” Autrey said.

Each author will participate in readings, lectures and panel discussions that are free and open to the public. The authors will also be on hand to provide book signings, an exciting way to speak to the authors individually.

The panel discussions have been a popular event in years past with students, faculty and members of the community crowding in to hear the authors’ opinions on a wide range of topics. The festival also serves as a way to educate the community about literature in the areas of fiction and poetry.

According to Autrey, students and faculty members should not miss the excitement of being able to interact with well-known and enjoyed authors.

“We have an outstanding group of writers coming for our fifth annual Pee Dee Fiction and Poetry Festival,” Autrey said. “I urge all students and faculty members to come out and hear from five nationally-known authors. Among them is novelist Lynn Kostoff, who teaches fiction here at FMU.”

Kostoff has written three novels including; “A Choice of Nightmares,” “The Long Fall” and “Late Rain.” Kostoff consults with local school teachers in the Florence community on creative writing projects and frequently makes visits to the schools to talk to the students. The author teaches introductory and advanced fiction courses at Francis Marion.