Western Carolina University's Visiting Writers
Series, the oldest such series in North Carolina, has a
long tradition of bringing the best of both established
and emerging literary talent to the mountains of Western
North Carolina. While the area has a rich literary heritage
all its own, the festival seeks to secure that heritage's
place on the nation's literary stage by bringing local and
national writers together.
Over the years, the series has hosted such
distinguished local writers as Fred Chappell, Lee Smith,
Kathryn Stripling Byer, and R.T. Smith; well-known American
writers Li-Young Lee, Thomas Lux, Linda Hogan, Carolyn Chute,
Leslie Silko, Ntozake Shange, Karen Shepard, Luis Rodriguez,
Maxine Kumin, Sherman Alexie, and Clifton Taulbert; as well
as internationally renowned authors like Eavan Boland, Mirosalv
Holub, and Welsh poets Menna Elfyn, Iwan Llwydd, and Nigel
For the past eight years, WCU’s Visiting
Writers Series, the English Department, Lectures, Concerts,
and Exhibitions, and the Office of the Chancellor have sponsored
the Spring Literary Festival. This year, we also received
funding from the North Carolina Arts Council.
In addition, local organizations and businesses
work closely with festival coordinators to secure community
involvement, and WCU students have the opportunity to work
with nationally and internationally acclaimed authors on
their own writing.
The festival reflects Western's commitment
to providing the best Humanities education possible to its
students and to bringing the best of the Arts to the Mountains.