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Ira Sukrungruang (Photo provided by Ohio University's website).

Internationally acclaimed authors bring perspective to creative writing

Last week, Ohio University’s Creative Writing program held the 2022 Spring Literary Festival. The weekend event featured three international writers who read from their work. The festival presented an opportunity for students and staff to come together to enjoy some of the best contemporary literature from around the world.

The three distinguished writers, Kim Addonizio, Lauren Groff and Ira Sukrungruang, delivered lectures and readings from their works in literature. These included stories, essays and poems that gave the students insight into the lives and work of these accomplished authors.

Books were also available for purchase after each program at the stall organized by Little Professors Book Center, 65 S. Court St.

"It's been a long year, it's been a hard year, but we're coming to the end of April with lots of things to celebrate." David Wanczyk, editor of New Ohio Review and coordinator for Special Programs, said. 

He also acknowledged the growth within the English department.

"The best part of his introduction will be when it draws to a close, when my words end and two chromosomes begin, a moment of transition and in-between when change is happening." Morgan Riedl, a fourth-year Ph.D. student studying English and creative writing, said as she welcomed Sukrungruang.

Riedl said Sukrungruang’s work wanders around a space that is exciting for human life. She compares the significance of two deltas in science and math and contorts it to outline the challenges faced by people.

Sukrungruang is a professor of creative writing at Kenyon College. Some of his famous works include This Jade World, Southside Buddhist and In Thailand it is Night: Poems. He is also the president of Sweet, a literary nonprofit organization.

Sukrungruang read a small snippet from his latest memoir, This Jade World.

"This is how things are negotiated,” Sukrungruang said as he read from his memoir. “A directness I am unaccustomed to, a command I never knew my mother possessed. To choose fruit is easy; to want fruit is to want pleasure and appeasement of the tastebuds. My mother wanted fruit. She got fruit."

Lauren Groff also shared an excerpt from her 2021 book, Matrix. Her book The Monsters of Templeton was a New York Times bestselling fiction.

“Well, honestly, all of my creative writing professors urged us to come to these (events) and so really just as a means of seeing … what it's actually going to be like to be a writer after I get this degree that I've been at for so long, and I think it's really interesting.” Emily Hinkle, a senior studying English creative writing, said. 

The event concluded with some refreshments and a quick stop at the Little Professor Book stall. 

“The fact that they (authors) were also willing and generous in answering questions, and then also just the sentiments that all of them offered in their lectures, were thoughtful, thought-provoking and very intelligent.” Amy Strieter, a first-year Ph.D. student studying English and creative writing, said. 


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