The Dallas Literary Festival returns this month with a series of events exploring the theme of resilience. Led by local author Sanderia Faye, the four-day festival will bring together writers from North Texas and beyond.
The series kicks off March 18 with an introductory conversation between author David Treuer, an Ojibwa Indian who has written extensively on Native American topics, and DeMaris Hill, whose first book, A tied woman is a dangerous thingfocuses on the incarceration of African American women.
Other speeches will include a discussion of issues facing American journalists today and a conversation with NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson, whose memoir, Look at my smokelooks back on his football career.
The closing speaker will be Nikole Hannah-Jones, correspondent for The New York Times Magazine well known for spearheading the 1619 Project, which examines the legacy of slavery in the United States. Hannah-Jones will give a lecture on America’s racial history.
Now in its second year, the Dallas Literary Festival is a revival of the long-running SMU Literary Festival. The festival’s new name reflects the increased presence of writers and organizations from Dallas and the surrounding area. Faye, the organizer, is an assistant teacher at the school.
Several events will center on the experiences of Black Americans, told through fiction and non-fiction. There will also be a panel on the importance of black writers serving as mentors for other black writers.
Of particular interest to local readers, a panel will discuss Jim Schutze Accommodation, a story of race and racism in Dallas that has come out of obscurity in recent years. Out of print for decades, it was reissued by Deep Vellum Publishing in September. Deep Vellum will also be co-hosting a citywide book reading in the fall.
Panels and conversations will also touch on the writing business, including how to self-publish and how to find the right agent. Workshops organized by the Dallas Public Library will allow participants to write poems and stories.
Featured writers from the D-FW region will include Ben Fountain, Kathleen Kent, Simon Han, David Searcy and Rosalyn Story. The winners of a teen short film competition will also read their creations.
Events will take place at Southern Methodist University, the African American Museum in Dallas and other locations in the D-FW area. Events are free, but attendees must pre-register online at dallasliteraryfestival.org.