Authors Nikki Giovanni, John Pipkin and George Singleton will be the featured readers at Radford University's Fifth Annual Highlander Literary Festival on Thursday, April 4, on campus.
Giovanni is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech. Her extensive critically acclaimed body of work includes poetry collections, edited anthologies, prose and children's books.
Pipkin teaches at Spalding University in Louisville, Ky. His award-winning novel "Woodsburner" explores a little-known incident in the life of Henry David Thoreau, recreating a time before Walden.
Singleton teaches fiction writing and editing at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts. Through his short and long fiction, he blends comedy and tragedy. As a critic in The Georgia Review stated, "No American story writer better depicts the zany and, at the same time, often-tormented realities of both adolescence and adulthood."
This year's panel discussion question is, "How have your scholarship and creative work affected your and others' perspectives on local, national and global issues?" Moderating the discussion will be Jeanne Larsen, director of the Jackson Center for Creative Writing at Hollins University. A poet, novelist, critic and teacher, Larsen has won numerous awards and residency fellowships, including the prestigious Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.
RU English instructor April Asbury is coordinating the festival with author and instructor Jim Minick. The readings and panel discussion will be free and open to the public at 8 p.m. in McGuffey Auditorium.
"Giovanni, Singleton, Pipkin and Larsen are authors of several books each and have garnered many awards," Asbury said. "All four are powerful role models, eloquent speakers and experienced in their craft. Their works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry encourage readers to analyze their lives and consider how our understanding of the world has been shaped by history."
Sponsoring groups are the RU English Club, the RU Quality Enhancement Program, the RU Club Programming Committee, the Department of English, the Honors Academy and the Appalachian Regional and Rural Studies Center.