About LMU

The Mountain Heritage Literary Festival
June 12-14, 2015

This tentative 2015 schedule is subject to change.

Friday, 12 June 2015

11 a.m.-2 p.m.  Registration —Abraham Lincoln Library & Museum (Museum)

Stop here to complete registration and to pick up residence hall keys.  Don't forget to sign up for the participant readings.  Time slots are limited.


2-2:30 p.m.  Official Welcome —Arnold Auditorium, Museum

Darnell Arnoult and Denton Loving open the festival with some instructions and thoughts to prepare you for the weekend.


2:45-3:35 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions (Choose one)

Session 1: Performances from the Playwright Intensive—Led by award-winning international playwright Lisa Soland, this session will include performances of monologues, 10-minute plays and selections from one-person autobiographical or biographical plays, performed by past and current participants of Lisa’s Playwright Intensive. —Avery 111


Session 2: New Fiction ReadingSheldon Lee Compton (Where Alligators Sleep), Robert Gipe (Trampoline) and David Joy (Where All Light Tends to Go) will read from their recent publications.  Darnell Arnoult will moderate a short Q&A afterwards, talking about their writing and publication processes.  —Avery 213


Session 3: The Self Not Mine but Ours*: An Exploration of Persona Poetry —Shake loose those bonds of self and autobiography and see the world through a new “I.” Pauletta Hansel will share some examples of how poems spoken through the masks (in Latin, personae) of living, historical and fictional characters have allowed their authors to uncover personal and societal truths as well as new layers of their own voices. Participants will be invited to take a field trip the LMU’s Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum for inspiration for their own persona poems; a handout of prompts and ideas for exploring persona poetry will be provided.  *From A.R. Ammons’ Poetics  —Arnold Auditorium, Museum


4:00-5:00 p.m.  Concurrent Master Classes

-Fiction with Michael Knight —Avery 203

-Fiction with Jessie van Eerden  —Avery 303

-Poetry with Maurice Manning  —Avery 114

-Poetry with Jane Hicks  —Avery 201

-Nonfiction with Sharon Hatfield  —Avery 102


5:15-6:15 p.m.  Front Porch Talk  —Arnold Auditorium, Museum

Readings by Sharon Hatfield, Jane Hicks, Michael Knight, Maurice Manning, Donald Ray Pollock and Jessie van Eerden. Followed by Q&A where you can ask the writers anything you'd like to know about their writing lives.


6:30-7:30 p.m.  Supper  —University Dining Hall

Join us for a traditional Appalachian supper. 


8-9 p.m.  Scott Miller in Concert —Arnold Auditorium, Museum

We’re thrilled to welcome one of our favorite musicians back to perform at LMU.  Scott’s lyrics include in-depth and specific references to his home, family, history, geography, writers and Appalachia. His trademark is the mule, and he has a degree in Russian lit from William & Mary. His performance is one you don’t want to miss.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

7-9 a.m.  Early Morning Hike

Meet your guide Tony Maxwell at the cafeteria parking lot. A van will be available to take hikers on a short two-mile drive to the Daniel Boone trailhead where you'll start a peaceful, easy hike to the saddle of the Cumberland Gap on the actual Wilderness Road, cut by Daniel Boone in the late 1700s. This quiet and inspirational walk is perfect for awakening you to the natural beauty of the Cumberland mountains. If time permits, the morning will include a visit to the Pinnacle Overlook.  Breakfast bags will be provided. (Rain or shine).


8:15-8:45 a.m.  Breakfast  —University Dining Hall

A full Southern breakfast.  Come hungry.


9:45 -11:45 a.m.  Concurrent Master Classes

-Fiction with Michael Knight —Avery 203

-Fiction with Jessie van Eerden  —Avery 303

-Poetry with Maurice Manning  —Avery 114

-Poetry with Jane Hicks  —Avery 201

-Nonfiction with Sharon Hatfield  —Avery 102


12:15-1:15 p.m.  Awards Dinner  —University Dining Hall

Join us for a delicious lunch topped off by our contest award announcements.  Awards will be given for the short story, poetry, essay, and children's writing contests that are sponsored every year by the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival.


1:15-1:45 p.m.  James Still Lecture  —University Dining Hall

The History of Every Country:  Capturing Sense of Place.  MHLF Founding Director Silas House honors the legacy of LMU graduate James Still by presenting a craft lecture on sense of place, one of the elements that was most important to Still's work.  House will talk about why sense of place is more important than ever in literature, will offer tips on how to make our writing better by use of sense of place and will provide examples not only from the works of Still but also from MHLF 2015 staff members such as Lee Smith, Maurice Manning, Scott Miller and Jane Hicks, as well as from writers like Wallace Stegner, Willa Cather and others. 


2-2:50 p.m.  Concurrent Sessions (Choose one)

Session 1: Understanding Ron RashDr. John Lang will discuss the research he did and some of the discoveries he made in writing Understanding Ron Rash (University of South Carolina Press, 2014), the first book-length study of Rash's fiction and poetry.  He will also offer advice to those interested in pursuing their own literary-critical projects, from term papers and book reviews to journal articles and books —Avery 114


Session 2: New Poetry ReadingCatherine Pritchard Childress (Other), Denton Loving (Crimes Against Birds) and William Kelley Woolfitt (Beauty Strip) will read from their recent publications.  Shawna Kay Rodenberg will moderate a short Q&A afterwards, talking about their writing and publication processes  —Avery 203


Session 3: Publication Panel – (Description to come)   —Avery 111


3:10-4:50 p.m.  Stage Performace:  “Where Drunk Men Go”  —Arnold Auditorium, Museum

Richard Hague’s “Where Drunk Men Go” first appeared in Alive in Hard Country, winner of the 2004 Poetry Book of the Year from the Appalachian Writers Association.  “Drunk Men” is a poem of grief and ecstasy, at once celebrating the exhilarations of drinking and the crucifixions of addiction.  The high, lonesome style of traditional and gospel tunes by accompanist Michael Henson complement the poem’s themes, feeling and style.  Directed by John Ray.


5:00-6:00 p.m.  Participant Readings  —Avery 114

Those who signed up at registration will be able to read short pieces of their work at this optional event.


6:30-7:20 p.m.  Keynote Supper —University Dining Hall

Enjoy a delicious home-style supper.


7:20-8:00 p.m.  Keynote Address & Tribute Concert  —University Dining Hall

We’re honored for Lee Smith to deliver this year’s keynote address.  Lee Smith is the Appalachian region’s most well-known writer.  Her publications include Fair and Tender Ladies, On Agate Hill, and most recently, Guests of Earth.  In all, she has published 13 novels and four collections of short stories.  She is a recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the North Carolina Award for Literature, and a Southern Book Critics Circle Award.  Erin Fitzgerald, accompanied by Kate Larken, will perform this year’s keynote music.


8:15-9 p.m.  Writer's Market/Book Signing  —University Dining Hall

Bring your books or buy new ones from us. Lee Smith and all staff members will be available for our grand finale book-signing event, as well as some of our distinguished published authors and editors. While you wait, you can browse around George Brosi’s Appalachian Bookstore.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

8:45-9:30 a.m.  Light Breakfast/Checkout  —University Dining Hall

We'll have a light breakfast of fruits, pastries, juices and coffee near the festival tent.  Please return your room keys at this time.


10-10:30 a.m.  Singing in the Tent  —Festival Tent on the Quad

Kate Larken and Erin Fitzgerald will lead us in a closing fellowship of music and song to set us on our travels.

Before leaving the Cumberland Gap area, we suggest you explore the national park, where you can hike (easy trails close by or the lengthy and beautiful White Rocks Trail is about 10 miles away at Rose Hill, VA), spelunk at the Gap Cave or Sand Cave, go back in time at the Hensley Settlement, visit the museum and artisan store at the visitor's center, or view three states from the Pinnacle Overlook.  There is too much to do to pass it up.  For more information, visit www.nps.gov/cuga.

Lincoln Memorial University
Cumberland Gap Parkway
P.O. Box 2005
Harrogate, TN 37752

423.869.6432 or 800.325.0900, ext. 6432