There is Science. That great institution of grand theory and starched collars, stepping boldly with a keen mind and nerdy glasses into the new frontier of the “unknown”. There is Fiction. That great and playful deceiver, using lies and mimicry in the name of art to stir our passions and spin our yarns; lives laid bare quite literally before our eyes. And then there is Science Fiction. Hmmm…. The lines get a little fuzzy on both ends as this topsy-turvy marriage mixes its plethora of offspring into the shelves. Neither textbook nor high prose, often we are left staring at a small and helpless paperback with a broken spine and an equally broken plotline. But let not the evils (the many, many evils) of this union spoil our concept of the mystery meld of written fantasy. This year’s UofL Axton Literary Festival will throw back the curtains on reality and cordially invites you to “time travel” with the work of contemporary authors who re-envision with the 2012 theme, The Time Machine.
The University of Louisville’s 2012 Axton Literary Festival, running this week, Wednesday, April 11th through Friday, April 13th, will examine the work of those modern writers who have used their pen to re-draw history, envision the future or sway the gentle fabric of time itself. Offering a host of free public readings, discussions and a film screening – as well as student workshops – the Festival will give readers a thorough opportunity to explore the reaches of alternate-universe writing.
Axton’s time travel itinerary will kick off with a screening of “Nostalgia for the Light” on Wednesday, April 11th at 3pm. The film by Patricia Guzman delves into the treatment of Chile’s political history and will feature a discussion afterward led by Manual Medina, associate professor of Classical and Modern Languages. The show will take place in the Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium.
Wednesday’s line-up also features some off-campus shenanigans with “A Wrinkle in Time: Women Writers Envision the Future” at The Rudyard Kipling. Starting at 6pm, “A Wrinkle in Time” will present poetry, fiction and nonfiction readings from the work of female authors with a flair for the futuristic, as well as a performance of a short play by Nancy Gall-Clayton. Drinks and food will be available for purchase to make the time travel journey just that much more the merrier.
Following the action at The Rudyard (so try not to travel too far), Thursday will delve into writing historically in fiction and poetry with the seminar/reading: “The Past in Prose and Poetry: Matthew Salesses and Shane McCrae”. The writers will read from their work: Salesses offering excerpts from his novella, The Last Repartriate – telling the story of a prisoner of war returning home to a changed country – and McCrae readings selections from his poetic work, In Canaan, the true story of escaped slave, Margaret Garner. With discussion to follow, the readings start at 7:30pm, taking place in the Bingham Poetry Room at the Ekstrom Library. Salasses and McCrae will also round out the Festival with a quiet finish on Friday, leading student workshops in fiction and poetry, respectively.
Pick your favorites (my money’s on The Rudyard), grab your friends and get some time travel trek and festivus for free – no telephone booth or DeLorean required (although, admittedly, it would be cool if they had those on hand).
For more information about the 2012 Axton Literary Festival, contact Alyssa Knickerbocker – UofL’s Axton fellow in fiction – at [email protected]
The University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus is located at 2301 South Third Street; The Rudyard Kipling can be found at 422 West Oak Street (ladies should go in pairs at least, just FYI).
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