Author to visit WCU for Literary Festival

Poster courtesy of WCU English Deptartment, Spring Literary Festival.

Award-winning author Maurice Carlos Ruffin will visit WCU to present at the 22nd annual Literary Festival at 7:30 April 3.

Ruffin will host a talk and reading of his work for students and community members.

The Literary Festival will hold three sessions at noon, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. April 1-4. Noon sessions will offer panel discussions, the creative writing contest and a live recording of “Read Appalachia” podcast. Two other sessions offer individual author talks and allow for audience questions. A full schedule of authors and events is available online.

The Literary Festival events will be held in the UC theater. The events are free and there is no pre-registration. Students will earn DegreePlus credit for attending sessions. City Lights Bookstore will sell copies of the presenting authors’ books. Authors will sign copies of their books after their sessions.

“Personally, I’m excited to share stories that have gone untold. I always get happy when a writer shares something new and thought-provoking,” Ruffin said.

Stories that have gone untold are a key part of Ruffin’s writing.

Photo from Maurice Carlos Ruffin.

Ruffin is the author of “The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You,” “We Don’t Cast a Shadow” and “The American Daughters.” In addition to writing, Ruffin is a professor of creative writing at Louisiana State University. Ruffin received the 2023 Louisiana Writer Award and the Black Rock Senegal Residency, a multidisciplinary program for artists to live and work together.
Much of Ruffin’s work relates to growing up in New Orleans, LA, which he brings life to through his work. Ruffin calls New Orleans “a working-class city of service industry workers.”

His short story collection, “The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You,” reflects his experiences through a diverse assortment of characters.

When writing, Ruffin’s goal is “to tell stories in unexpected ways for readers who want to be entertained and challenged.” He achieves this goal in his 2024 novel, “The American Daughter,” which tells the story of an enslaved girl growing up in New Orleans during the Civil War, according to Ruffin’s website.

The Calliope Stage Company will give a special performance at noon on April 5 to conclude the festival. The Calliope Stage Company is a Sylva-based theater group. They will be presenting a reading of “WEB,” a play by Sharon Mathis.

“The festival brings out lovers of literature to interact with a variety of talented writers. I look forward to meeting people who love stories as much as I do,” Ruffin said via email.