Margaret Atwood Joins Kenyon FestivalGAMBIER, Ohio (October 22, 2007) The Kenyon Review honors author Margaret Atwood on November 8 in New York City, and Atwood shares her work with the Kenyon community the following days in Gambier.
The international Literary journal named Atwood the winner of its sixth annual Literary Achievement Award, which will be celebrated at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York during an event that raises money as well as the journal's profile.
The Review then unveils its first Literary Festival in Gambier, a two-day celebration of the written word crowned by the "Denham Sutcliffe Memorial Lecture: An Evening with Margaret Atwood" in Rosse Hall. Atwood will also spend time with Kenyon students during her visit.
Atwood was selected for the honor by the journal's board of trustees because of the luminous nature of her art and an unswerving commitment to her own voice.
"The Kenyon Review trustees continue to honor writers who, over a period of decades, have produced bodies of work that are both of the highest merit and represent voices that are brave and resist commercial devaluation," said David Lynn, Review editor. "Margaret Atwood sends that message loud and clear."
Atwood, of Toronto, Canada, writes fiction, criticism, poetry, and children's books. She is best known for her novels, including The Handmaid's Tale, The Robber Bride, and The Blind Assassin. The Kenyon Review trustees noted her "lyrical, spare prose, graceful intelligence, and razor-sharp wit."
The Literary Festival kicks off at 6:00 p.m. on November 9 with an all-local-ingredients Stone Soup Supper followed by the Writers Harvest, a public reading coordinated by the Kenyon Review student associates to raise hunger awareness and money for local charities. Events on the festival's second day open at 10:00 a.m. with the Council of Literary Magazines & Presses Midwest Literary Magazine Fair and Used Book Sale, followed by a day rich with panel discussions, seminars, and readings. A Canadian film festival closes both days.
Those interested in tips on getting published, in masters of fine arts programs, in the history of the Kenyon Review, and in picking the fertile minds of literary-journal editors will find opportunities during the festival. Children can enjoy their poetry with cocoa.
As the Kenyon Review has enjoyed continuing success, its resources allowed for development of a literary festival that ties New York literati to students and a society event to social awareness. "This is something I've wanted to do from the start," Lynn said. "I wanted this to benefit the community."
Seeds for the festival were planted in September when Knox County residents were urged to read Atwood's 2003 novel Oryx and Crake and then join community discussions about the book and its author. Deborah Laycock, associate professor of English, will discuss Atwood's sense of place at noon on November 7 at the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County in Mount Vernon.
All Literary Festival events are free and open to the public, with most events in the Gund Ballroom. Details are available at http://www.kenyonreview.org/programs/litfest.php . The Kenyon Review staff will answer questions via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Atwood's Saturday night appearance is already filled to capacity.