Silas House Joining Mountain Heritage Literary Festival June 4-5


silashousestandingThe Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Mountain Heritage Literary Festival will take place virtually June 4-5 featuring bestselling author Silas House as the keynote speaker and a gifted staff for workshops in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and oral storytelling.


“We are thrilled to welcome back Silas House on this 15th year of the festival he helped create,” said Director Patrick Wensink. “House is one of the most inspirational and important voices in American literature today and is certain to fill our attendees with inspiration.”


House is The New York Times bestselling author of six novels --Clay's Quilt, 2001; A Parchment of Leaves, 2003; The Coal Tattoo, 2005; Eli the Good, 2009; and Same Sun Here (co-authored with Neela Vaswani) 2012, and Southernmost (June 2018)--as well as a book of creative nonfiction--Something's Rising, co-authored with Jason Howard, 2009; and three plays. His writing has appeared recently in The Atlantic, Time, Ecotone, The New York Times, Garden and Gun and many other places.  His work has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Fiction, twice shortlisted for the Southern Book Critics Circle Prize, has won the Storylines Prize from the New York Public Library/NAV Foundation, The Nautilus Award, the Appalachian Book of the Year, The EB White Award, the Intellectual Freedom Prize from the National Council of the Teachers of English, the 2020 Governor's Award for the Arts and many other honors.  In 2015 he was invited to read at the Library of Congress.


House serves as the NEH chair at Berea College and on the fiction faculty at the Spalding School of Creative Writing. He is a former commentator for National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, host of the popular podcast On the Porch, and the founder of the MHLF at LMU.  As a music writer he has worked with artists such as Jason Isbell, Kacey Musgraves, Lucinda Williams, Kris Kristofferson and many others. He is a native of Eastern Kentucky and now lives in Lexington.


This year’s MHLF faculty of celebrated writers includes winners of the Southern Book Prize, a National Poetry Award nominee, Lambda Award nominees and the West Virginia State Folklorist. Their work has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, Oxford American, Buzzfeed and countless other publications.


“I am honored to be the new director of the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival,” Wensink said. “I am eager to keep building on the community, inspiration and creativity that has made us one of the premier writing festivals in the South. I am also eager to find new ways to welcome and celebrate the diverse voices that make Appalachia the unique place it is.”


Wensink is the bestselling author of seven books, including Fake Fruit Factory, which NPR named one of the best books of 2015. His nonfiction appears in The New York Times, Oxford American, Esquire and many others. He is also the author of two children’s books. He lives in Harrogate, Tennessee, and teaches creative writing at Lincoln Memorial University.


Scholarships are available to cover the registration cost. To apply, simply write a short essay (1-2 pages) about why you want to come to the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival. (There is no need to explain why financial assistance is required, but applicants should be writers who find the festival difficult to afford.) A name, email address, full address and phone number are also required with the essay and should be sent by email to: [email protected]. The subject line of the email should be “scholarship.” The deadline to apply is May 21, 2021. 


Visit the MHLF website to learn more and register:


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or email at [email protected].


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