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14th annual Literary Festival is April 6-9

Tidewater Community College’s 14th annual Literary Festival celebrates the written word with writers and poets from Virginia. Presented by the Office for Intercultural Learning, the festival theme is “Changing America.”

The free, public festival begins with a keynote address by Jon Pineda on April 6 at 12:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre in the Academic Building on TCC’s Chesapeake Campus.

Pineda is the author of the novel “Apology,” winner of the 2013 Milkweed National Fiction Prize. His memoir “Sleep in Me” was a 2010 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Pineda also received recognition for his poetry collections, “The Translator’s Diary,” which won the Green Rose Prize, and “Birthmark,” winner of the Crab Orchard Award Series in Poetry Open Competition.  

Pineda’s latest work, “Little Anodynes,” was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. He is a recipient of a Virginia Commission for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship, and his work has appeared in numerous literary journals. Pineda is a core faculty member in the master of fine arts program at Queens University of Charlotte, N.C., and teaches creative writing at the University of Mary Washington.

In addition to Pineda, those appearing at the Literary Festival are

Sheri Reynolds, April 7 at 7 p.m. Joint-Use Library, Rooms L102 and L103, Virginia Beach Campus

Reynolds writes contemporary Southern fiction. She was born and raised in rural South Carolina and lives on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. She is the author of the novels “Bitterroot Landing,” “The Rapture of Canaan” (an Oprah Book Club selection and New York Times bestseller), “A Gracious Plenty” and “The Homespun Wisdom of Myrtle T. Cribb.” Her play, “Orabelle’s Wheelbarrow,” won the Women Playwrights’ Initiative playwriting competition for 2005. Reynolds recently completed her seventh novel, “The Cordial Grave.” She teaches creative writing and literature at Old Dominion University.

Jeff Hecker, April 7 at 7 p.m. Academic Building, Room 4311, Chesapeake Campus

Hecker was born in Norfolk. He is the author of “Rumble Seat” and the chapbooks “Hornbook,” “Instructions for the Orgy,” and “Before He Let Them Guide Sleigh.” Hecker’s recent work has appeared in Mascara Literary Review, Atticus Review, La Fovea, Zocalo Public Square, The Burning Bush 2, LEVELER, Spittoon and similar:peaks. He holds a bachelor’s from Old Dominion.

Tim Seibles, April 8 at 12:30 p.m. Building A, Room A101, Portsmouth Campus

Seibles, a member of ODU’s English faculty, is the author of numerous poetry collections, including “Hurdy-Gurdy,” “Hammerlock” and “Buffalo Head Solos.” His most recent release, “Fast Animal,” won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize and was one of five finalists for the 2012 National Book Award. Seibles has served as a workshop leader for Cave Canem, a writer’s retreat for African American poets and for the Hurston/Wright Foundation, dedicated to developing African American writers. His honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, as well as an Open Voice Award from the National Writers Voice Project.

Shelly Wagner, April 9 at 12:30 p.m. Student Center, 5th Floor, Norfolk Campus

Wagner’s first collection of poetry, “The Andrew Poems,” was written following the drowning death of her young son. Her poetry has since appeared in numerous journals, including Poetry East and Triquarterly, and her other written work has appeared in both literature and psychology textbooks.

Readings by TCC students and faculty are also scheduled on each campus as part of the Literary Festival:

April 7

  • Chesapeake Campus, 12:30 p.m., Academic Building, Black Box Theatre
  • Norfolk Campus, 12:30 p.m., Student Center, 5th Floor
  • Portsmouth Campus, 12:30 p.m., Building A, Room A101

April 9

  • Virginia Beach Campus, 12:30 p.m., Student Center, Room K304

For more information, call 757-822-1122.