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Words of Hope for our Fragile Planet
All free, public invited

News Coverage:

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (Jan. 27, 2011) – Tidewater Community College’s 10th annual Literary Festival features an array of talented guests from a philosopher to a filmmaker to writers, poets and a journalist. Each will share ideas relevant to the festival’s theme, Words of Hope for our Fragile Planet (full schedule).

The free, public festival launches with Robert Hass, past U.S. Poet Laureate, who will give the keynote talk and reading at 7 p.m. on April 11 in the TCC Roper Performing Arts Center in downtown Norfolk.

Past U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass earned the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for his poetry collection, Time and Materials. While serving as Poet Laureate, Hass’ deep commitment to environmental issues led him to establish River of Words, an organization that promotes environmental and arts education in affiliation with the Library of Congress Center for the Book. Celebrated since 1973 when his volume of poetry, Field Guide, was chosen by Stanley Kunitz for the Yale Younger Poets Series, Hass continues writing, releasing in 2010 The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems. He serves as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, is a trustee of the Griffin Poetry Prize and works actively for literacy and the environment. Hass also teaches at the University of California at Berkeley.
Featured speakers: Marietta McCarty is passionate about philosophy and has introduced its life-affirming implications to school children across central Virginia and elsewhere for more than 20 years. Author of the national bestseller, Little Big Minds: Sharing Philosophy with kids, McCarty believes that mental clarity paves the way for good living. She holds a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia and spent many years teaching philosophy at Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville.
Bob Reiss, a former Chicago Tribune reporter and correspondent for Outside Magazine, has been published in The Washington Post Magazine, Smithsonian and Rolling Stone. Reiss has published 14 novels under his own name and an additional five under his pseudonym, Ethan Black. His most recent novel, Black Monday, chronicles the collapse of the world as we know it when a genetically engineered microbe destroys the world’s oil supply system. Black Monday has been optioned by Paramount and is being developed for a major motion picture.
The son of actors Timothy Hutton and Debra Winger, Noah Hutton spent much of his childhood on film sets, where he developed a passion for filmmaking.  After graduating from Wesleyan University, he directed his first major film, Crude Independence, a documentary that examines the impact of the largest oil discovery in the history of North America on the tiny North Dakota town of Stanley. The film won Best Documentary Feature at the 2009 Oxford Film Festival. Currently, Hutton is filming year one of a planned 10-year documentary  exploring The Blue Brain Project, an attempt to simulate an entire human brain, neuron by neuron, in a massive virtual simulation on IBM supercomputers.
Known for two decades to readers of the Virginian-Pilot, Earl Swift’s feature stories earned him a reputation for powerful and scrupulous narrative reporting.  An avid outdoorsman, Swift wrote about his treks through the Appalachian Trail, sea kayaking on the Chesapeake Bay and traveling the 435-mile length of the James River by foot, canoe and kayak. Swift expanded the 22 daily Virginian-Pilot dispatches from his James River odyssey into Journey on the James: Three Weeks through the Heart of Virginia, published in 2001. Swift has been a Fulbright fellow, PEN finalist, and five-time Pulitzer Prize nominee. His history of the interstate highway system, The Big Roads, is due out next spring.

B. H. (Bruce) Boston received his BA in English from Cal State University, Fresno, and his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California at Irvine. Nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2006, Boston’s work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies over the years. A book of his early poems, Only The Living, was published by Helix House Press. He is currently Poetry Editor and Consulting Managing Editor for Poetry International at San Diego State University. His latest book of poems By All Lights, is available through Tebot Bach Press.

TCC faculty, including published authors, and students will read from their works throughout the festival on TCC’s four campuses (Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach). The Literary Festival also unveils the best-of-student writing in ChannelMarker, an annual publication.

With an emphasis on offering community access to diverse writing and presentations, TCC’s Literary Festival is free and open to the public; seating is first come, first served. For more information, contact TCC’s Information Center, 822-1122. For campus maps and driving directions, visit the web: and type in Campus Maps. For more information, please see


Monday, April 11

Conversation with Marietta McCarty
10:30 a.m.
Room F-133, Pungo Building, Virginia Beach Campus

Faculty/Student/Staff Readings
11 a.m.
The Forum, Portsmouth Campus

Keynote Address by Robert Hass - reception and book signing follow
7 p.m.

TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center, Norfolk Campus

Tuesday, April 12

Faculty/Student/Staff Readings
12:30 p.m.
Location: TBD, Norfolk Campus

Faculty/Student/Staff Readings
12:30 p.m.
Room F-133, Pungo Building, Virginia Beach Campus

Faculty/Student/Staff Readings
12:30 p.m.
Room 2057 A & B, Chesapeake Campus

Reading by Bob Reiss
7 p.m.
Advanced Technology Center, Virginia Beach Campus

Wednesday, April 13  

Presentations by Noah Hutton
Film Showing
11 to 1 p.m.
Commodore Theatre
421 High Street
Portsmouth, VA 23704

Noah Hutton Talk
7 p.m.
The Forum, Portsmouth Campus

Thursday, April 14

Reading by Earl Swift
12:30 p.m.
TCC Roper Performing Arts Center, Norfolk Campus
Reception and book signing following

Reading by Bruce Boston
7 p.m.
Studio Theatre, Pass Building, Chesapeake Campus


Laurie White

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - topped 45,000 students in 2009-10. The 16th highest associate-degree producer in the nation, TCC offers more than 150 programs including business administration, culinary arts, general studies, modeling & simulation, network security, nursing, and automotive technology. Among the fastest-growing two-year institutions in the United States, TCC was founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System. The college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk’s theater district, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth, the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, and the Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-five percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit