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2019 Poets & Writers Festival

Join professional and established writers alongside students and faculty for a semester of creative writing, readings, workshops—and all things literature.

Now in its 23rd year, the Festival offers special thanks to the partners who help us celebrate written arts, including the Free Library of Philadelphia’s One Book, One Philadelphia program; the President’s Council on Diversity and the Diversity Book Club; the Office of Student Engagement; the Division of Liberal Studies; the English Department; International Festival; and the Center for International Understanding. All events are held at Community College of Philadelphia.

A Conversation with Author Jesmyn Ward: A One Book, One Philadelphia Event

Thursday, January 17, 2019 | 1 to 2:15 p.m. | Winnet Student Life Building, Great Hall (Room S2-19) 

Join us as we kick off the 23rd Annual Poets and Writers Festival! The event will feature a reading and moderated discussion by the author, circling around the theme of her National Book Award-winning novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing. All are invited to hear her perspective on incarceration and its effect on families, as well as the writing process required to create an award-winning novel. A book signing will follow the event.

Reading and Question & Answer (Q&A) with Wes Matthews and Raquel Salas Rivera

Thursday, January 31, 2019 | 1:30 p.m. | Pavilion Building, Klein Cube

Please join us for a reading and Q&A with Philadelphia's Youth Poet Laureate, Wes Matthews and Philadelphia's Poet Laureate, Raquel Salas Rivera. 

This event is sponsored by Community College of Philadelphia's Diversity Council and is in partnership with the City of Philadelphia's Poet Laureate program, managed by the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Everyday People & Everyday Truths: Conversations with National Book Honored Authors, Nafissa-Thompson Spires and Adam Haslett

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 | 1 to 2:30 p.m. | Winnet Student Life Building, Great Hall (Room S2-19) 

Stories about everyday Americans might seem mundane on the surface—banal compared to heroic epics or sweeping romances. But with humor and sharp insight, these two National Book Awards–honored authors illustrate the everyday lives of their characters with great depth and significance. Join 2018 National Book Awards author Nafissa Thompson-Spires (Heads of the Colored People) and two-time National Book Awards nominee Adam Haslett (You Are Not a Stranger Here and Imagine Me Gone) as they discuss the vitality of stories that reflect the lives of everyday people, the struggles they face, and how humor can work to reveal deeper truths.

The Faculty Showcase

Monday, April 8, 2019 | 6 p.m. | Winnet Student Life Building, Room S2-3

Come hear the creative work of our faculty as they share their writing with the College community in this annual celebration of faculty writing.

Room Locations

  • The Winnet Student Life Building is located on 17th Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets. The Great Hall is on the second floor.
  • The Klein Cube is located on the second floor of the Pavilion Building on 17th Street between Spring Garden and Callowhill streets.
  • The Center for Business & Industry is at the corner of 18th and Callowhill streets.
  • Photo IDs are required for guests entering Vollege buildings (student IDs, a work ID, a driver’s license, etc.).
  • For visiting high school students, College tours can be arranged through our Welcome Center.

Check the Campus Map for Event Locations.

For more information, visit “Spring Poets & Writers Festival – Community College of Philadelphia” on Facebook. Poets & Writers Festival events are sponsored by the Office of Student Life and coordinated by faculty members Kelly McQuain and Jeff Markovitz.