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Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa and Magic City Books announce Tulsa LitFest 2019

Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Tulsa LitFest brings together diverse writers and readers to inspire and enrich the Tulsa community

Tulsa Lit.Fest logo

The Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa and Magic City Books announce the second annual Tulsa LitFest. The festival is set for April 11-14, 2019. All events are free and open to the public.

This year’s headliners include Heid E. Erdrich, Stacey Abrams, Ron Silliman, Eileen Myles and Peter Carey.

“This year’s Tulsa LitFest, our sophomore effort, builds on the success of our first year with a few additions that further our goal of hosting the most thought-provoking and inclusive literary event in the region,” says Lindsey Smith, festival co-chair, director of the Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa and associate professor of English and American Indian studies. “It’s so exciting to see this festival grow into its own as Tulsa receives more national attention.”

Erdrich, an Ojibwe citizen enrolled at Turtle Mountain, is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media. Her landmark 2018 anthology, New Poets of Native Nations, collects poems by twenty-one Indigenous writers whose first books were published after 2000.

Abrams, recently a candidate for the Georgia governorship, is the author of eight novels, a memoir, and the forthcoming Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change.

Myles is a poet, novelist and art journalist with over twenty books published, most recently Evolution (2018). She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, four Lambda Book Awards and the Shelley Prize from the Poetry Society of America.

Silliman is the author of over thirty books, known for his association with the West Coast literary movement “language poetry.”

Carey is an Australian writer known for his surreal and historical short stories and novels, including Oscar and Lucinda (1998) and most recently, A Long Way from Home (2018). He is a two-time Booker Prize winner.

Oklahoma-based writers will be featured at events such as the flash prose series Seven Minutes in Heaven led by writer and Tulsa Artist Fellow Liz Blood, a poetry slam hosted by Living Arts, a reading with poet Don Stinson at Tulsa Community College and an event, Tulsa Reads: T-Town Poets and Writers, hosted by Nimrod and The Tulsa Voice.

Students in OSU-Tulsa’s new Writers in the Schools program will make their Tulsa LitFest debut, led by teaching artists Clemonce Heard and RJ Young. Writers in residence with the Tulsa Artist Fellowship will appear throughout the weekend, leading workshops, presenting readings and moderating discussions. A small press book fair will provide additional opportunities for networking and collaboration.

“In just a year's time since the first LitFest, the Tulsa literary community has grown leaps and bounds,” says Jeff Martin, festival co-chair and Magic City Books Founder. “This growth will only continue and flourish as new voices and organizations emerge. LitFest is here to bring everyone together, celebrate what we have, and give a glimpse at where we’re going.”

The small press fair will take place at the Greenwood Cultural Center on Saturday, April 13th from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. A panel discussion about submitting to literary magazines, with representatives from Cimarron Review, Nimrod International Journal and Mojo & Mikrokosmos, will kick off the fair at 10 a.m. A second publishing panel, on the topic of publishing for young readers, follows at 11 a.m. with Chad Reynolds and author Mariana Llanos of Penny Candy Books.

Additionally, works and publications from Tulsa Artist Fellowship authors will be available to purchase, along with new material from over a dozen participating presses and literary magazines.

The festival is curated by co-chairs Jeff Martin (Magic City Books) and Lindsey Smith (Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa). The advisory committee includes Liz Blood (Tulsa Artist Fellowship), Jessica Borusky (Living Arts Tulsa), Anthony Brinkley (Living Arts Tulsa), Grant Jenkins (University of Tulsa), Clemonce Heard (Tulsa Artist Fellowship), Allen Culpepper (Tulsa Community College), Shawn Crawford (Tulsa Library Trust), Carolyn Sickles (Tulsa Artist Fellowship), Barbara Thompson (Trabar Communications), Jezy Gray (The Tulsa Voice), and Ellis O’Neal (Nimrod International Journal).

Community partners include American Indian Quarterly Journal, Bob Dylan Archives, Booker T.  Washington High School, Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa, Oklahoma State University, Duet Restaurant + Jazz, Greenwood Cultural Center, Living Arts Tulsa, Magic City Books, Mainline Art Bar, Nimrod International Journal, PEN America, Tulsa Artist Fellowship, The Tulsa Voice , the Tulsa City-County Library, Tulsa Community College and University of Tulsa.

Find a full schedule of events, along with workshop pre-registration, at


Media Contact: Aaron Campbell | 918-594-8046 |