34th Annual Literary Festival at ODU: October 3-7,2011

The Lie That Tells the Truth

Among the myriad reasons why we read, we do so in search of truth: historical truth, emotional truth, philosophical truth. Yet the artist Pablo Picasso wrote in 1925 that “Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

In the foundry of creation, ideas are melted and recast in shapes that fit an artist’s vision. This process adds to and subtracts from the world; it both magnifies and excludes. As Picasso says, it tells lies. Sometimes the lies can soothe us by affirming what we believe; at other times they disturb us by homing in on truths we struggle to deny.

The writers and artists at Old Dominion University’s 34th Annual Literary Festival, by means of poetry, plays, photography, essays, memoirs, music and fiction, will present some of the truths they perceive. Playwright Young Jean Lee says her work “is about struggling to achieve something in the face of failure and incompetence and not-knowing.” Journalist Megan Stack, in the hauntingly titled Every Man In This Village Is A Liar, asks what is knowable and unknowable about war. Poet Naomi Shihab Nye describes poetry as “a way of sitting quietly with words and letting them lead us somewhere.”

We invite you to be led toward knowing, toward truth, by this year’s world-class lineup of writers and artists.

~ John McManus and Michael Pearson, 2011 Festival Directors

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Brochures

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Brochure: 34th Annual Literary Festival, 2011: The Lie That Tells the Truth, Shara Weber

Billy Collins, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Billy Collins

Claire Dederer, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Claire Dederer

Mark Halliday, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Mark Halliday

Scott Heim, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Scott Heim

Porochista Khakpour, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Porochista Khakpour

Young Jean Lee, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Young Jean Lee

Adrian Matejka, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Adrian Matejka

Yola Monakhov, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Yola Monakhov

Indigo Moor, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Indigo Moor

Naomi Shihab Nye, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Naomi Shihab Nye

Renée Olander, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Renée Olander

Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno

Elizabeth Searle, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Elizabeth Searle

Megan K. Stack, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Megan K. Stack

David Swerdlow, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, David Swerdlow

Joy Williams, 34th Annual ODU Literary Festival, Joy Williams