The UNC Charlotte Center City Literary Festival will be an opportunity to celebrate how stories are told, with participants able to join in nearly a day full of activities for all ages.
“Whether you are a UNC Charlotte student looking for a way to relax during finals week or a Charlotte-area resident with a love and appreciation for literature, this festival is for you,” said Mark West, festival creator and chair of UNC Charlotte’s English Department, which is sponsoring the festival, along with UNC Charlotte Center City.
The festival will be Saturday, May 6, at UNC Charlotte Center City (located at 320 E. 9th St.). During the day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be readings by children’s authors Shelby Bach, Tia Capers and Janeka Lewis and fun literary projects for children.
Starting at 5 p.m., the festival will be geared toward adults, with readings from Nikky Finney, Eduardo Corral, Dustin Hoffman and Bryn Chancellor. There will be book signings by the authors and a reception.
Public pay parking will be available at lots at the corners of 7th and Brevard and 8th and College, the 7th Street Station Parking Deck and at metered spaces on Brevard Street. Only UNC Charlotte permit holders can park in lots at 319 E. 9th St. and 422 E. 9th St.
Bach is author of the “Ever After” series, which includes “Of Giants and Ice,” “Of Witches and Wind,” “Of Sorcery and Snow” and “Of Enemies and Endings.” A Charlotte resident, Bach grew up reading every book she could find and writing stories in battered notebooks.
Capers is a North Carolina native who grew up in Miami. She is an award-winning poet and author of “Delicious Rainbow Thoughts,” “The Soul of a Butterfly,” “Nadia’s Jewelry Box,” “Nadia’s Loose Tooth” and “Nadia’s Green Day Festival,” the last to be released in her “Nadia’s Adventures” series of children’s books.
Lewis, an assistant professor of English at UNC Charlotte, is author of the children’s books “Bold Nia Marie Passes the Test” and “Brown All Over.” Her research interests include African American literature of the 19th century and African American women’s writing.
Finney has authored four books of poetry: “Head Off & Split,” “The World Is Round,” “Rice” and “On Wings Made of Gauze.” As the John H. Bennett Jr. Chair in Creative Writing and Southern Letters at the University of South Carolina, Finney also wrote “Heartwood,” edited “The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South” and co-founded the Affrilachian Poets.
Corral is a poet and the son of Mexican immigrants. His first book “Slow Lightning” was selected by Carl Phillips as the 2011 winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets competition. He has been the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the “Discovery”/The Nation Award, the J. Howard and Barbara M. J. Wood Prize from Poetry Magazine and the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University.
Hoffman is the author of the story collection “One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist” (University of Nebraska Press), winner of the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. His stories have appeared in “Black Warrior Review,” “Phoebe,” “Puerto del Sol,” “Fourteen Hills,” “Witness,” “Quarterly West,” “The Journal,” “Gargoyle,” “Fifth Wednesday Journal,” a “Indiana Review and many other notable places.
Chancellor’s debut novel “Sycamore” is forthcoming from Harper. Her story collection “When Are You Coming Home?” (University of Nebraska Press) won the 2014 Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and her short fiction has appeared in “Gulf Coast,” “Blackbird,” “Colorado Review,” “Crazyhorse,” “Phoebe” and elsewhere. Chancellor is a UNC Charlotte assistant professor of English and co-organizer of the festival.