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Literary Festival Collection

Collection ID: RG 17-3A1

Scope and Contents

This collection contains material related to the Literary Festival held at Old Dominion University. Included in the collection are original and digitized brochures, flyers, and promotional documents; schedules; news clippings; photographs; and original and digitized video, as available.


  • 1977-2019, undated



7.60 Linear Feet

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, and the holder of the copyright, if not Old Dominion University Libraries.

Biographical or Historical Information

In April 1978, the English Department held a Poetry Jam, featuring Richard Wilbur, W. D. Snodgrass, and Dave Smith. The success of the Poetry Jam and the recent explosion of community interest in the literary, visual, and performing arts in Hampton Roads, led to the First Annual Literary Festival. It was called The Arts Reunion,and it coincided with the arrival of the Associated Writing Programs' national headquarters, the birth of ODU's creative writing program, and the establishment of a Distinguished Visiting Writer position (W. D. Snodgrass was our first). It was a heady time. Some of the writers speaking at the Literary Festival over the years have included Robert Pinsky, Rita Dove, John McPhee, William Styron, Ann Beattie, Charles Johnson, Derek Walcott, and Gwendolyn Brooks. The diversity of readers, panels, workshops, and community involvement is one of the Festival hallmarks. Every two years the Festival is redesigned by a different English department member. The themes change from year to year. Major writers, cultural diversity, international perspectives, and numerous other approaches have been implemented over the years. Over the years, students from Old Dominion University, surrounding campuses, and high schools have been encouraged to attend the literary events. Few, around the country, have an opportunity to hear and mingle with so many major and aspiring writers. Since Hampton Roads is areader friendlyenvironment, the Festival has consistently attracted patrons of bookstores, libraries, museums, and arts events.

Note written by Phil Raisor (English Department) and Karen Vaughan (Library)

Language of Materials



This collection contains material from the Poetry Jam and first Literary Festival in 1978 and chronicles the annual Literary Festival onwards to the present day. Materials consist of original and digitized brochures, flyers, and promotional documents; schedules; news clippings; photos; and original and digitized video, as available.

Arrangement Note

The collection is organized into three series: Series I: Brochures, Clippings, and Memorabilia; Series II: Video Tapes; and Series III: Digitized Video.

Source of Acquisition

Gift of Philip Raisor

Method of Acquisition

Various transfers.

Accruals and Additions

Future accruals are expected.

Related Materials

Information from past Literary Festivals, including brochures and video, came be found in the Old Dominion University Libraries Digital Collection.

A Guide to the Literary Festival Collection
Special Collections and University Archives Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the ODU University Archives Repository

3000 Perry Library
4427 Hampton Blvd.
Norfolk VA 23529 US