Acclaimed Authors Speaking, Teaching at 41st Annual Writers’ Festival

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Three noted authors—poet Joy Harjo, author Benjamin Percy and playwright and Agnes Scott College alumna Jacqueline Goldinger ’00—will be on campus March 29-30 for Agnes Scott’s 41st Annual Writers’ Festival, the oldest continuous literary event in Georgia.

Jacqueline GoldfingerHeld annually since 1972, Agnes Scott’s Writers’ Festival brings nationally acclaimed writers to campus in an atmosphere of community with student writers from the colleges and universities of Georgia. Past visiting writers to the festival include Eudora Welty, Julia Alvarez, Anita Desai, Junot Diaz, Suzan-Lori Parks, Percival Everett, Paul Muldoon, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Wilbur, Michael S. Harper and Marsha Norman ’69x, H’05.

While on campus, distinguished authors give public readings, award prizes in the festival’s statewide literary competition and conduct workshops for finalists in the competition. Each year, student writers from Georgia colleges and universities submit their fiction, poetry, personal essays and one-act plays to the Writers’ Festival contest. The college received a record breaking 523 entries this year from about 150 students and also received entries from students representing a record number of colleges (21). Winners will be announced during the festival.

Harjo, born in Tulsa, Okla., is an internationally known poet, performer, writer and saxophone player of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation. Her seven books of poetry include such well-known titles as How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky and She Had Some Horses, all published by W.W. Norton. Her poetry has garnered many awards including the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas, 1998 Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.
Joy Harjo
She wrote the award-winning children's book The Good Luck Cat (Harcourt) and in 2009 she published a young adult, coming-of-age-book, For a Girl Becoming, which won a Moonbeam Award and a Silver Medal from the Independent Publishers Awards. A memoir, Crazy Brave, is due out from W.W. Norton in 2012.

In addition to a reading and book signing during the festival, Harjo will also be working with Writers’ Festival finalists and teaching an evening course with Agnes Scott students this month.

Percy is the author of a novel, The Wilding (Graywolf Press, 2010), winner of the Society of Midland Authors Award for Fiction; and two books of stories, Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf, 2007) and The Language of Elk (Carnegie Mellon, 2006). His fiction and nonfiction have been read on National Public Radio, performed at Symphony Space and published by Esquire, where he is a regular contributor, Men's Journal, Outside, the Paris Review, Tin House, Chicago Tribune, Orion, GQ, Men's Health, The Wall Street Journal, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train and many other magazines and journals.
Benjamin Percy
His honors include a National Endowment for the Arts, a Whiting Award, the Plimpton Prize, a Pushcart Prize and inclusion in Best American Short Stories. He is at work on his second novel, a psychological thriller titled Red Moon. He teaches in the M.F.A. program in creative writing and environment at Iowa State University.

Goldfinger is a dramaturgy and award-winning playwright from Tallahassee, Fla. She holds a M.F.A. in screen and television writing from the University of Southern California. Her plays include “Slip/Shot” (Nominee 2010 Weissberger Award, National NewBorn Festival, InterAct Theatre Company), “The Oath” (Off-Off Broadway Maieutic Theatre Works, Penobscot Theatre, Theatre Exile, Ion Theatre), “The Burning Season” (Winner National Plays for the 21st Century Competition, Philadelphia Dramatists Center, New Village Arts, Blank Theatre Company) and “the terrible girls” (New York International Fringe Festival, Moxie Theatre Company, Azuka Theatre Company). Her commissioned adaptations include “Little Women” (North Coast Repertory Theatre), “A Christmas Carol” (North Coast Repertory Theatre) and “The Ghost's Bargain” (Playscripts). Her works have been published by Playscripts, Smith & Krauss and Theatre Communications Group (forthcoming).

Goldfinger returns to Winter Theatre, one of her favorite haunts as a student and president of Blackfriars at Agnes Scott, to offer insights on playwriting and discuss her work. Her session will feature current students performing monologues personally selected by the author for the Writers’ Festival.

Schedule of events:

Tuesday, March 27

4-5:30 p.m. Agnes Scott student Writers’ Festival finalists read their works (sponsored by the Center for Writing and Speaking)
Luchsinger Fireplace Lounge

Thursday, March 29

4 p.m. Reading by Benjamin Percy
Winter Theatre, Dana Fine Arts Building

5 p.m. Percy reception and book signing
The Dalton Gallery, Dana Fine Arts Building

8 p.m. Reading by Joy Harjo (free, ticket required for entrance)
Gaines Chapel, Presser Hall

9:30 p.m. Harjo reception and book signing
Katharine Woltz Reception Room, Rebekah Scott Hall

Friday, March 30

1–2 p.m. Reading by Jacqueline Pardue Goldfinger ’00 and student performances
Winter Theatre, Dana Fine Arts Building

2 p.m. Goldfinger reception and book signing
The Dalton Gallery, Dana Fine Arts Building

* Photo of Benjamin Percy © Jennifer May

Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.