Hold onto your reading glasses. Greensboro Bound, Greensboro’s first large-scale literary festival, is underway, with an opening event on Thursday, May 17, at UNC Greensboro.

Throughout the weekend, more than 80 authors within a wide variety of genres will take part in panels and readings in downtown locations. Around two dozen UNCG faculty and alumni are presenting, and many others have played a large role, from selecting authors for the program to securing funding to coordinating volunteers.

UNCG creative writing instructor Julia Ridley Smith, a member of the festival steering committee, has helped curate the festival’s panels and readings, with inclusivity and diversity as a priority.

“It’s an opportunity to support new and different voices,” she said, “as well as a way to connect readers with writers. And it’s truly been a community-driven effort.”

Greensboro Bound kicks off at UNCG’s Weatherspoon Art Museum, with an introduction from former North Carolina Poet Laureate and MFA Writing Program Professor Emeritus Fred Chappell and a reading by author, filmmaker and UNCG alumnus Brett Ingram.

From May 18 through 20, Greensboro Bound events will take place at the Cultural Center, Triad Stage, the Greensboro Central Public Library, the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, Scuppernong Books, Greensboro Project Space, the Greensboro History Museum, First Christian Church and N.C. A&T State’s Harrison Auditorium.

Events range from fiction and poetry readings to an original opera, to a blues panel to live llamas to a puppet show – there’s something for everyone, including several events for children.

As part of the festival, UNCG Libraries will host a table sharing information about the North Carolina Literary Map, a UNCG-created online resource that highlights the literary heritage of the state. Through the searchable online map, bookworms and educators alike can familiarize themselves with the geographic locations that played roles in the lives and books of North Carolina authors. The North Carolina Literary Map table will be on the South Lawn of the Cultural Arts Center on Saturday and Sunday.

View the complete Greensboro Bound Festival schedule here and Campus Weekly’s post of UNCG highlights.  All events are free and open to the public.

Story by Susan Kirby-Smith, University Communications
Composite visual by Martin W. Kane