Grit & Grace

In these times of heightened strife and violence, vulnerability and threat, the news is constantly filled with quarrelsome noise; with stories of seas rising and cities in quarantine, with the heavy climate of doom and gloom.

But even as we know and are burdened by this knowing, we also marvel at those individuals among us who immediately turn to the best resources they have to rally and inspire, to encourage others, and to help stave off the anxiety and paralysis that can set in when the world feels too overwhelming.

Many are leaders of social change: philanthropists, economists, technological innovators, scientists and environmental activists; philosophers, teachers, educators, community organizers.

Among them are artists and writers whose work is so important—They are the ones who stand with us in the grit of everyday life, and help us find grace again even as we continue facing our most challenging realities.

As our current US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo reminds us: "Bless the poets, the workers for justice, the dancers of ceremony, the singers of heartache, the visionaries, all makers and carriers of fresh meaning—We will all make it through, despite politics and wars, despite failures and misunderstandings. There is only love." [From Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems]

~ Luisa A. Igloria & Katherine Jackson, 2020 ODU Literary Festival Co-directors

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Hanif Abdurraqib, 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, Hanif Abdurraqib

Nishat Ahmed, 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, Nishat Ahmed

Omoiyari: A Musical Conversation with Kishi Bashi, 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, Kishi Bashi

MFA Thesis Reading, 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, James Beardsley, Lyzzie Golliher, David Jacobson, Raoul Lobo, Bhavika Sicka, Hannah Trammell, and Nina White

Rebecca Bengal, 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, Rebecca Bengal

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Joanna Eleftheriou, 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, Joanna Eleftheriou

Luisa A. Igloria, 43rd Annual Literary Festival, Luisa A. Igloria

Marie Mutsuki Mockett, 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, Marie Mutsuki Mockett

Daniel Mueller, 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, Daniel Mueller

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Suzanne Strempek Shea 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, Suzanne Strempek Shea

Jake Skeets, 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, Jake Skeets

Maggie Smith, 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, Maggie Smith

Grace Talusan, 43rd Annual ODU Literary Festival, Grace Talusan