Clemson Libraries; College of Arts and Humanities

Clemson Literary Festival readies for 17th year


Mojave American Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natalie Diaz is headlining the 17th annual Clemson Literary Festival scheduled for March 13-15.

The festival is organized by students in the Clemson University Department of English. It celebrates Clemson’s rich literary scene with a book fair and readings from students, faculty and visiting writers.

Natalie Diaz poses for a picture in front of stone paneling.
Natalie Diaz is headlining this year’s Clemson Literary Festival. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 2020.

“This year marks the 17th anniversary of the Clemson Literary Festival, a unique town and gown cultural event, free and open to all people,” festival director John Pursley said. “The festival, spanning three days, is the only entirely student-run literary festival in the U.S. As we enter our 17th year, the festival continues to seek to attract the most relevant authors and poets in print today, thereby exposing the surrounding community to a unique gathering that blends the familiarity of local venues with the culture of the literary world.”

Diaz is the author of the poetry collections “Postcolonial Love Poem” (2020), for which she won the Pulitzer Prize, and “When My Brother Was an Aztec” (2012). She has also been awarded the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry from Bread Loaf, the Narrative Poetry Prize and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. Diaz is an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community and teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.

For me, writing is kind of a way for me to explore why I want things and why I’m afraid of things and why I worry about things. And for me, all those things represent a hunger that comes with being raised in a place like this.


Diaz’s headliner reading will be held on Thursday, March 14, at 8 p.m. in the Humanities Hall Auditorium. A full schedule of festival activities is continually being updated and can be viewed here.

Other authors scheduled to hold readings include Dan Albergotti, Melissa Crowe, Eugenia Leigh, Sabrina Orah Mark, Harrison Scott Key, Claire Jiménez, David Joy, Claire Luchette and Marream Krollos.

A book fair to support the festival will be held in the main lobby of the Robert M. Cooper Library from 9 a.m. to noon from March 13-15.

Sponsorship opportunities for the event are also currently available. Inquiries may be sent to Pursley at

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