April 11-14, 2019

Tulsa LitFest brings together diverse literary artists and writers to collaborate and inspire, enriching the Tulsa community.




 2018 Tulsa LitFest Schedule of Events


Date/Time: Thursday, April 19; 6-8 p.m.

Location: Magic City Books, 221 E. Archer St., Tulsa 

Facilitated by creative writing students from the University of Tulsa, this interactive event encourages young writers ages 14-18 to find and develop their style in a workshop setting. RAW also aims to build community and foster a safe space for young people to have a voice.



Date/Time: Thursday, April 19; 7 p.m.

Location: OSU-Tulsa Auditorium, 700 N. Greenwood Ave., Tulsa 

Kick off a weekend of literary goodness with a free screening of the beloved classic “You’ve Got Mail” and a book talk with Erin Carlson, author of I’ll Have What She’s Having: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy. 
About Erin Carlson: Erin Carlson has covered the entertainment industry for The Hollywood Reporter and AP. Her work has appeared in Glamour, Fortune, and the LA Times. She compiled and wrote an oral history of “You’ve Got Mail” for Vanity Fair. She holds a masters in magazine journalism from Northwestern, and has been profiled in the New York Times.
Source: Hachette Book Group



Date/Time: Friday, April 20; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Location: OSU-Tulsa, Tulsa Room, 700 N. Greenwood Ave., Tulsa 

Tulsa LitFest workshops are free and open to the public. Designed to provide exceptional content, LitFest workshops provide an intimate learning and sharing opportunity for artists and writers. Workshop capacity is 25 with a required pre-registration. Additional registrants will be put on a waiting list. 

CLICK HERE for workshop descriptions and registration.


Date/Time: Friday, April 20; 5 p.m. 

Location: Mainline Art Bar, 111 N Main St., Tulsa

Seven Minutes in Heaven is a reading series of short fiction and nonfiction. Readers will dazzle you in seven minutes or less. Readers are Nicholas Claro, Jennifer Hope Davy, Simon Han and Cassidy McCants. For more information about the event and readers, click here.


Kevin Young


Date/Time: Friday, April 20; 7 p.m.

Location: OSU-Tulsa Auditorium, 700 N. Greenwood Ave., Tulsa 

About Kevin Young: Kevin Young was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. He studied under Seamus Heaney and Lucie Brock-Broido at Harvard University and, while a student there, became a member of the Dark Room Collective, a community of African American writers. He was awarded a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University and later earned an MFA from Brown University. He is the author of many books of poetry, including the recent collections Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015 and Book of Hours (2014). Three of Kevin Young’s books form what he calls “an American trilogy”: To Repel Ghosts (2001), which explores the paintings of Jean-Michel Basquiat; Jelly Roll (2003), a collection of blues poems; and Black Maria (2005), a film noir. His first book of poetry, Most Way Home (1995), was selected for the National Poetry Series by Lucille Clifton, who describes the collection as re-creating “an inner history which is compelling and authentic and American.” Reviewing Young’s work in 2007, critic Amy Guth largely agrees with Clifton, and adds, “Perhaps the most noticeable characteristic of Young’s work … is the musical quality so fundamentally ingrained and supplied to each piece.”

Young’s other collections of poetry include For the Confederate Dead (2007), which won the Quill Award in Poetry and the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Excellence; Dear Darkness (2008); Ardency: A Chronicle of the Amistad Rebels (2011), which won the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award; and Book of Hours (2014), winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. His nonfiction collection of essays, cultural criticism, and “lyrical chorus,” The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness (2012) won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was also shortlisted for the PEN Open Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Young is also the editor of the anthologies Jazz Poems (2006), John Berryman: Selected Poems (2004), Blues Poems (2003), and Giant Steps: The New Generation of African American Writers (2000).

Source: www.KevinYoungPoetry.com


Date/Time: Saturday, April 21, 2018; 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Location:  Greenwood Cultural Center; Goodwin/Chappelle Gallery, 322 N Greenwood Ave., Tulsa 

The LitFest Small Press Book Fair is an opportunity to celebrate print with small, regional presses, independent publishers, artists, designers, the literary-inclined and more. The first 25 fair attendees will receive a Tulsa LitFest tote bag. 

Current Tulsa LitFest Small Press Book Fair participants include: 

For fair inquiries, please email tulsalitfest@gmail.com



Date/Time: Saturday, April 21, 2018; 10 a.m.

Location: Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N Greenwood Ave., Tulsa 

We will kick off the small press book fair with a panel discussion focused on publishing today. The panel will be moderated by Tulsa Literary Arts Fellow Daniel Musgrave

ABOUT AWST PRESS: Awst Press, based in Austin, TX, features impressive work from diverse voices. Awst endeavors to support authors through each project and beyond by increasing their respective audiences, playing an active role in the editorial and publishing process of all projects, promoting their activities well past their publication with Awst via the website and social media, and seeking ways to compensate them for their efforts including generous royalties and identifying grants for which they might be eligible.

ABOUT DEEP VELLUM PUBLISHING: Deep Vellum Publishing is a not-for-profit literary arts organization that seeks to enhance the open exchange of ideas among cultures and to connect the world’s greatest writers with English-language readers through publishing international literature in translation, while fostering the art and craft of translation, and promoting a more vibrant literary community in the Dallas community and beyond.

ABOUT GRAYWOLF PRESS: Graywolf Press is a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of twenty-first century American and international literature.

ABOUT SIBLING RIVARY PRESS: Sibling Rivalry Press, one of the country’s premier independent presses focusing on LGBT literature and poetry, is based in Little Rock, Arkansas, with a mission to publish work that disturbs and enraptures. Its books, authors, interior design, cover art, and overall vision have been honored by the Lambda Literary Foundation, the American Library Association, and the Library of Congress, who, by special invitation, houses SRP’s entire catalog in its Rare Book and Special Collections Division. 

Kiese Laymon


Date/Time: Saturday, April 21, 2018; noon 

Location: Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N Greenwood Ave., Tulsa 

About Kiese Laymon: Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA in Fiction from Indiana University. Laymon is currently a Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi and a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Nonfiction at the University of Iowa.  Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, the UK edition released in 2016. Laymon has written essays, stories and reviews for numerous publications including Esquire, McSweeneys, New York Times, ESPN the Magazine, Colorlines, NPR, LitHubThe Los Angeles Times, The GuardianPEN Journal, Fader, Oxford AmericanThe Best American Series, Ebony and Guernica. He is a contributing editor of Oxford American.

Long Division was named one of the Best of 2013 by Buzzfeed, The Believer, Salon, Guernica, Contemporary Literature, Mosaic Magazine, Library Journal, Chicago Tribune and the Crunk Feminist Collective. It was also short-listed for the Believer Book Award, the Ernest Gaines Award and the Morning News Tournament of Books. Long Division won the 2014 Saroyan International Writing Award on November 10th. Three essays in How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America have been included in the Best American series, the Best of Net award, and the Atlantic’s Best Essays of 2013. He was selected a member of the Root 100 in 2013 and 2014 and Ebony Magazine Power 100 in 2015.

Kiese Laymon has two books forthcoming, including a memoir called Heavy and the novel called And So On which can be expected in 2017 and 2018, both from Scribner.

Source: www.kieselaymon.com


Date/Time: Saturday, April 21; 1 p.m.

Location: Magic City Books, 221 E. Archer St., Tulsa 

Join us for an afternoon celebrating Oklahoma’s own Jim Thompson with acclaimed writer Robert Polito. Jim Thompson was one of the greatest crime novelists ever, leaving behind a legacy of hard-boiled classics like The Killer Inside Me, The Grifters and The Getaway. Robert Polito wrote the definitive biography of this brilliant American original and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography.

Robert Polito

About Robert Polito: Poet and scholar Robert Polito was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned his PhD from Harvard and has served as director of Creative Writing at The New School for two decades. Polito served as president of the Poetry Foundation from July 2013 through June 2015.

Polito’s collections of poetry include Hollywood & God (2009) and Doubles (1995). His poetry blends narrative and lyric impulses, drawing on both American pop culture and literary tradition. Polito’s scholarly works include A Reader’s Guide to James Merrill’s The Changing Light at Sandover (1995), and Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson (1996), for which he received the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Polito’s interest in mid-century American culture, especially the crime novel and film noir, has also led him to such editing projects as Farber on Film: The Complete Film Writings of Manny Farber (2009); The Selected Poems of Kenneth Fearing (2004); Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1930s and 1940s (1997) and Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950s (1997); and editions of Dashiell Hammett and James M. Cain for Everyman Library. He has contributed a catalog essay to About Face (1985), a retrospective of Manny Farber’s paintings; an essay on the Kinks for This is Pop: In Search of the Elusive at Experience Music Project (2004); an essay on Bob Dylan to Studio A: The Bob Dylan Reader (2005); and an essay on Allen Ginsberg to “Howl”: Fifty Years Later (2006).

He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Ingram Merrill Foundation. A contributing editor to both BOMB and the Boston Review, Polito’s poetry and criticism have been published widely. He is at work on a new book titled Detours: Seven Noir Lives.

Source: PoetryFoundation.com



Date/Time: Saturday, April 21; 2-4 p.m.

Location: Woody Guthrie Center (Auditorium), 102 E. M.B. Brady St., Tulsa 

From the big screen to the stage, Harjo and Nagle will be offering insight into the challenges and obstacles in crafting, producing, and presenting Native stories in the United States.

Workshops require pre-registration with limited capacity. CLICK HERE to register. 


Date/Time: Saturday, April 21; 4 p.m.

Location: Tulsa Artist Fellowship (Refinery), 109 N. Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd., Tulsa 

Longtime Vanity Fair editor David Friend explores a sexual history of the 1990s when the Baby Boomers took over Washington, Hollywood, and Madison Avenue. A definitive look at the captains of the culture wars — and an indispensable road map for understanding how we got to the Trump Teens.

About David Friend: David Friend joined Vanity Fair as editor of creative development in 1998, after serving as Life magazine’s director of photography. Friend is the author of Watching the World Change: The Stories Behind the Images of 9/11 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006) and recently published The Naughty Nineties, about the culture wars of 1990s and the sexual history of the Clinton years (for Twelve Books, an imprint of Hachette). Friend has won Emmy and Peabody awards as an executive producer of 9/11, a CBS documentary that aired in 140 countries, and served as executive producer of the CNN documentary The Flag, about the banner raised at Ground Zero by three firefighters on September 11, 2001. Friend has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Lebanon, and throughout the Middle East. He has mounted photography exhibitions on three continents. Along with Graydon Carter, Friend has edited nine Vanity Fair books, including Vanity Fair 100 Years (Abrams). He coordinated the magazine’s initial forays into books, e-books, television, and the Web, launching VanityFair.com. Friend’s poetry has appeared in The New Yorker.

Source: VanityFair.com

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish



Date/Time: Saturday, April 21; 7 p.m.

Location: OSU-Tulsa Auditorium, 700 N. Greenwood Ave., Tulsa 

About Jeanetta Calhoun Mish: Jeanetta Calhoun Mish is a poet, writer and literary scholar; in 2009, she earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Oklahoma. Jeanetta is the 2017-2018 Oklahoma State Poet Laureate.

Mish’s most recent books are a poetry collection, What I Learned at the War (West End Press, 2016) and Oklahomeland: Essays, (Lamar University Press,  2015). Her first poetry book, Tongue Tied Woman, won the Edda Poetry Chapbook Competition for Women in 2002. Her second poetry collection, Work Is Love Made Visible (West End Press, 2009), won the 2010 Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry, the 2010 Western Heritage Award for Poetry from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum and the 2010 WILLA Award for Poetry from Women Writing the West. Find out more here.

Source: JeanettaCalhounMish.com

About Poetic Justice: Poetic Justice is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization operating in Oklahoma jails and prisons offering restorative writing workshops to incarcerated women emphasizing voice, hope, and power to change. Students use transformational communication skills to lead restored, meaningful lives.



Date/Time: Saturday, April 21; 9 p.m.

Location: Living Arts Tulsa

An evening of conversation, music, and fun with your hosts, Grant Jenkins and Tony B. Bring a poem for the open mic! Cash bar. 

Date/Time: Sunday, April 22, 2018; 1-3 p.m. 

Location: Tulsa Botanic Garden, 3900 Tulsa Botanic Dr. 

Poets have always sought out nature as inspiration for their poems and as a place in which to write them. As a celebration of National Poetry Month and as part of the first-ever Tulsa LitFest, join Nimrod International Journal at the Tulsa Botanic Garden as we explore the connections between poetry and nature at Green Writing: Celebrating the Earth with Poetry. 

We’ll feature a day of poetry readings at the Tulsa Botanic Garden on Sunday, April 22nd from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. This special event will let you take in the beauty of spring as you explore the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Floral Terraces and the Children’s Discovery Garden. Readers stationed throughout the Terraces will perform their favorite nature- and environmentally-inspired poetry, as well as work from the pages of Nimrod, and readers stationed in the Children’s Garden will perform kid-friendly nature poems about crawly worms, muddy puddles, shining rainbows, and more. You can also get your own creative juices flowing by adding a haiku to our haiku tree for the chance to win free passes to the Garden. The food truck Coffee House on Your Street will also be onsite with specialty coffees, tea, and baked goods for purchase from 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.

In the event of inclement weather, cancellation information will be posted on Nimrod’s Facebook and Twitter pages by 12:00 p.m. on the day of the event.

The first 40 people to mention the Tulsa Litfest at the Garden’s admission desk get in for free! After that, garden admission is free for Garden members, $8 for ages 13+, and $4 for ages 3–12. Children 2 and under are free. Green Writing: Celebrating the Earth with Poetry is free with your admission to the Garden.  

For directions to the Garden and maps, visit http://www.tulsabotanic.org/location. For more information, contact the Garden at 918-289-0330 or Nimrod at 918-631-3080 or nimrod@utulsa.edu.



Frances Mayes


Date/Time: Sunday, April 22, 2018; 2 p.m.

Location: Congregation B’nai Emunah Synagogue, 1719 S. Owasso Ave., Tulsa 

Enjoy an afternoon with bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun. Written with Frances Mayes’s trademark warmth, heart, and delicious descriptions of place, food, and friendship, Women in Sunlight is the story of four American strangers who bond in Italy and change their lives over the course of an exceptional year. Local food/travel writer Sasha Martin will moderate this event. 

About Frances Mayes: Twenty years ago in Under the Tuscan Sun, Frances Mayes introduced readers to a wondrous new world when she bought and restored an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. With her signature evocative language and vivid sensory descriptions, she described the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy, inspiring generations to embark on their own journeys–whether that be flying to a foreign country in search of themselves, tasting one of the book’s dozens of delicious seasonal recipes, or simply engaging in the armchair travel for which Frances’s writings are famous. Now, with a new afterword from the Bard of Tuscany herself, a whole new crop of readers is poised to discover the tastes and passions of Italian living in the 20th anniversary edition.

A widely published poet and essayist, Frances Mayes has written numerous books of poetry, including Sunday in Another Country, After Such Pleasures, The Arts of Fire, Hours, The Book of Summer, and Ex Voto. Her text The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems is widely used in college poetry classes. Formerly a professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University, where she directed The Poetry Center and chaired the Department of Creative Writing, Mayes now devotes herself full time to writing.  She and her husband divide their time between North Carolina and Tuscany.

Source: www.francesmayesbooks.com


Date/Time: Sunday, April 22; Chat begins at 4 p.m. 

Location: Woody Guthrie Center, 102 E. M.B. Brady St. 

A collection of unseen manuscripts, ephemera and unique editions from this Bob Dylan Archive. 

ABOUT THE BOB DYLAN ARCHIVE: The Bob Dylan Archive highlights the unique artistry and worldwide cultural significance of Bob Dylan. Housed at The University of Tulsa’s Helmerich Center for American Research, the archive includes decades of never-before-seen handwritten manuscripts, notebooks and correspondence; films, videos, photographs and artwork; memorabilia; personal documents; unrecorded song lyrics and chords.

Source: BobDylanArchive.com


Jeff Martin, Magic City Books

Lindsey Smith, Center for Poets & Writers at OSU-Tulsa

Shawn Crawford, Tulsa Library Trust



Liz Blood, The Tulsa Voice

Jessica Borusky, Living Arts Tulsa

Anthony Brinkley, Living Arts Tulsa

Michael Chaiken, Bob Dylan Archives

Grant Jenkins, University of Tulsa

Eilis O’Neal, Nimrod Journal 



Bob Dylan Archives

Center for Creativity | Tulsa Community College 

Center for Poets & Writers at OSU-Tulsa

Congregation B’nai Emunah

Greenwood Cultural Center

Living Arts Tulsa

Magic City Books

Nimrod International Journal 

OSU Center for Africana Studies 

Tulsa Artist Fellowship

The Tulsa Voice

University of Tulsa

Woody Guthrie Center 



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