Lake Forest Literary Festival

The 2019 Lake Forest Literary Festival: Dialogues

March 25 through March 29, 2019 

The annual Lake Forest Literary Festival welcomes writers, artists, filmmakers, and other creative thinkers to the College for readings, workshops, and student discussions.

Since 2004, we’ve welcomed everyone from John Waters to Shelley Jackson to William Gass. Add in the the annual Plonsker Prize winner, and you’ve got an annual recipe for wonderful word soup, dynamic literary entrees, and the best dessert of all: the time to listen, read, and think.

Friday, March 22nd

7 pm: Screening of The Commitments, based on the novel by Roddy Doyle. McCormick Auditorium, Lillard Science Center.

Monday, March 25th

4 pm: Reading by poet E’mon Lauren. Lillard Science Center 044 (lower level).

7 pm: Reading by fiction writer Roddy Doyle. McCormick Auditorium, Lillard Science Center.

Tuesday, March 26th

4 pm: Reading by emerging fiction writer J.D. Scott, Plonsker Writer-in-Residence. Meyer Auditorium, Hotchkiss Hall.

Wednesday, March 27th

7 pm: Reading by poet Sandra Simonds. Meyer Auditorium, Hotchkiss Hall.

Friday, March 29th

7 pm: Reading and open mic sponsored by the members of INK, the Department of English’s literary club. The Chapel.

Enjoy some of the experience from 2018:

Novelist and essayist Evan Lavender-Smith reads his essay “Sleep Study” at the Lake Forest Literary Festival, March 26th, 2018.

Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer in Residence Christine Larusso reads from her winning poetry manuscript MAR, with an introduction by Plonsker Prize judge Carmen Giménez Smith, at the Lake Forest Literary Festival on March 27th, 2018.


Poet Carmen Giménez Smith reads from her work at the Lake Forest Literary Festival, March 27th, 2018.

Bruce Holsinger, historical novelist and scholar of medieval English literature, delivers his keynote lecture, “Plague, Pomp, and Poverty: Remaking Medieval London,” at the Lake Forest Literary Festival, March 28th, 2018.

Previous Festivals

  • 2017 Lake Forest Literary Festival
    The thirteenth incarnation of the annual Lake Forest Literary Festival is a celebration of American stories, from the Thoreauvian story Mark Edmundson has to tell about the unfulfilled possibilities of American idealism to the literary horror of Brian Evenson and  the ghost stories of Lake Forest College alumna Emily Cappetini ’09, to the inventive feminist circus story told in the first novel of Meg Whiteford, this year’s Plonsker Prize winner, to the “novel you can walk through” of Alana and Lance Olsen.
  • This year’s festival included events with Second City’s Kelly Leonard, poet Quarysh Ali Lansana, and translator Stanley Lombardo.
  • The 2015 annual lit fest, themed “DIG IT!,” ran from March 23 through March 26 and included a visit from DIG actress and playwright Regina Taylor.

2019 Literary Festival Events

Events sponsored by the Department of English and Creative Writing, the Print and Digital Publishing Program, the Center for Chicago Programs, and the Department of Theater.

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