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Words Renewed, Worlds Reimagined

The University of Dayton Department of English’s 17th annual LitFest will celebrate professor emeritus Herbert W. Martin, a nationally known poet, performer and scholarly expert on the late Dayton native Paul Laurence Dunbar — one of the first African-American poets to gain national recognition.

This year’s LitFest theme is “Words Renewed, Worlds Reimagined.” The literary arts festival April 5-6 on the University campus features workshops, readings and performances. All events are free and open to the public.

Martin is the editor of The Complete Novels of Paul Laurence Dunbar, Selected Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar and In His Own Voice: Dramatic and Other Uncollected Works of Paul Laurence Dunbar. He also is the author of eight volumes of poetry. His latest work, The Shape of Regret, will be published in September by Wayne State University Press.

Martin will open LitFest 2019 on Friday, April 5, with a reading in the Jesse Philips Humanities Center’s Sears Recital Hall. The event includes a “meet and greet” reception with light refreshments at 6:30 p.m., followed by the reading at 7:30 p.m. After the reading, Martin will sign books in the center’s lobby.

On Saturday, April 6, LitFest will host three morning and afternoon workshops in flash fiction, poetry and slam poetry in the Philips Humanities Center.

Department of English lecturer Adam Williams will host an open mic reading event at 5 p.m. in the McGinnis Room of the new Adele Center. The event is co-hosted by Orpheus, the University’s student-run art and literature magazine.

LitFest will close with its most popular event, a poetry slam hosted by the Dayton Poetry Slam, at 8 p.m. in the Adele Center’s McGinnis Room.

For more information, including the full schedule, please visit the LitFest page on the University Calendar or contact Albino Carrillo at

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