Winter Wheat Festival celebrates literary camaraderie

“Winter Wheat: The Mid-American Review Festival of Writing” celebrates its 17th anniversary Nov. 2-4. “Winter Wheat” is a celebration of literary camaraderie among writers and readers, and remains the only festival/conference of its kind in the region.

The festival will draw 300 students, faculty, alumni, community members and other writers from Ohio and beyond. It also is being held in conjunction with the annual conference of the International Symposium for Poetic Inquiry (ISPI).

The conference will take place on the Bowling Green campus and will include guest readings, nearly 50 writing workshops, question-and-answer sessions with authors, a book fair of literary journals and presses, and an open mic opportunity. The Thursday night (Nov. 2) reading will be held in Prout Chapel; on Friday and Saturday, the festival moves to the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Special readers for the conference include Mary E. Weems, a poet, playwright and social/cultural foundations scholar; Colette Arrand, founding editor of The Wanderer and nonfiction editor of Heavy Feather Review; and Theresa Williams, author and longtime BGSU creative writing faculty member (and BGSU alumna). Winter Wheat participants also will have the opportunity to hear author and poet Kimberly Dark, who will on campus Friday, Nov. 3, as the ISPI keynote speaker.

Writing workshops encompass literary topics that range from “Yoga for Poets” and “Collaborative Brainstorming” to “Can-Do Tips for Writing a Play” and “Beginnings. Where and How Does Your Story Start?”

“Winter Wheat” was so named because it offers writers time to plant the seeds of creative productivity. Workshops cover special topics like inspiration from photographs, meditating practice and memoir, breaking literary taboos, and crafting handmade books.

Mid-American Review (MAR), a literary journal housed at BGSU’s Department of English, hosts the festival each year. MAR publishes twice a year and includes poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, reviews and translations. The journal is distributed internationally and headed by Abigail Cloud and the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program.

“Winter Wheat” is open to the public; there is a suggested donation, but events are free for all participants. See all the festival plans and register. Look for festival updates on Twitter @WinterWheatFest and on Facebook.