Old Dominion University’s 38th Literary Festival kicked off with ODU alumnae January Gill O’Neil. The Salem State Professor read from her books Misery Islands, Underlife, as well as new work, as she captivated the audience with a blend of heart wrenching and life affirming poetry about, family, children, and divorce.
In the afternoon, Cornelius Eady took the stage. This semester’s visiting poet at ODU read just a few of his poems; before the Cave Canem founder, Pulitzer nominated, and National Book Award finalist brought on Rough Magic. Cornelius and the band performed a forty-minute set of songs based on his lyrics, and lyrics adapted from other poet’s work.
Garrison Keillor of The Prairie Home Companion fame capped the day off. The Grammy and Peabody winning author and humorist regaled the audience with his unique brand of earnest insight and earthy humor. Afterwards he visited with fans and well-wishers for nearly two hours.
This amazing first day will be hard to top but the lineup of authors and artists may give it a run.
More updates to follow.