Luther College to host Writers Festival

September 18, 2018

Celebrating the rich diversity of contemporary imaginative writers, Luther College is hosting the Luther College Writers Festival Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29.

The weekend includes keynote addresses, featured writers, readings, panels, a book sale and more. To register for the event and view the complete schedule, visit

Two keynote speakers will be featured at the festival. Julie Schumacher will open the festival at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall. Schumacher is the author of nine books. Her national bestseller, “Dear Committee Members,” won the Thurber Prize for American Humor, making her the first woman to win this award. “The Body is Water,” her first novel, was an American Library Association Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Her essays and short stories have appeared in many publications, including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Schumacher is a professor of English and creative writing at the University of Minnesota.

Jasmin Darznik will give the closing plenary talk at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, in the Center for Faith and Life Recital Hall. Her novel, “Song of a Captive Bird,” was chosen as a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice.” It was also named one of 2018’s “Best Books” by Vogue, Ms. and Newsweek. Darznik’s essays have been published in copious periodicals, including the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. Darznik is a professor of English and creative writing at California College of the Arts.

David Gonzalez is the featured writer. He will give a performance featuring poetry, music and stories at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Luther’s Jewel Theatre. He’ll also give a workshop in the Center for the Arts Rooms 119 at 3 p.m. Saturday. The workshop focuses on bringing written works to life. Gonzalez will also host a poetry/story slam at 7 p.m. in Jewel Theatre. Gonzalez is an award-winning storyteller, musician, poet and playwright. He’s the author of many plays and one-man shows and is currently the artistic director for Crisalida Communications.

Alumna Jill Osier, Luther class of 1996, is returning to campus to give a festival reading. She is the author of three chapbooks of poems, including “from,” the winner of the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award in 2018.

Poet and storyteller Ari Satok is one of the featured authors on the weekend. Following graduation from Princeton University in 2014, he traveled to four continents to interview students from dozens of countries. His book, “The Architects of Hope,” tells 16 student stories through poetry. His appearance is being co-sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement.

Other featured writers include Ron A. Austin, Yasmina Din Madden, Adrianne Finlay, Vomce Gotera, Katherine Hannigan, Gwen Hart, Geoff Herbach, Debra Marquart, Jennifer Morales, Sheila O’Connor, Jim O’Loughlin, Kathryn Savage, Kaethe Schwehn, Erika Wurth and Luther’s own Amy Weldon.

Saturday will also feature the book sale. Hosted by the Luther College Book Shop, the sale includes all the featured writers and will be held in the Valders Hall of Science concourse from 10:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The 2018 Luther College Writers Festival is the fifth edition. The tradition began in 2007 and is now a biennial event. The Festival’s mission is to “explore the deep and diverse ways in which highly crafted literature in all genres explores the human condition and illuminates the spiritual and moral imagination of readers.”

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A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,050, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website: