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OU's World Literature Today to host annual Neustadt Festival to celebrate literature, culture

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neustadt 2019

World Literature Today's annual Neustadt Festival will be held Oct. 1517 on OU's Norman campus.

OU’s World Literature Today magazine will continue its 15-year tradition of sponsoring an annual international literary and cultural festival on OU’s Norman campus tomorrow. 

The Neustadt Festival will be held Oct. 1517 and will feature various literature-based events that celebrate and reflect on international culture. Authors will host book readings and signings, and OU’s Contemporary Dance Oklahoma ensemble will perform adaptations of poems from Cuban-American author Margarita Engle’s "The Surrender Tree."

There will also be discussions and Q&A's about literature and multicultural trends. Authors such as Edith Campbell, J. L. Powers and Katherena Vermette will be there to answer the audience’s questions.

The festival will also feature award-winning author Margarita Engle, a collective of authors that make up the 2020 Neustadt Prize Jury and a variety of other visiting writers, artists and scholars. 

Engle was nominated by World Literature Today for the 2019 Nancy, Susan and Kathy Neustadt Prize for Children’s literature. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in the world of children’s and young adult literature, according to the Neustadt Festival website

“Margarita Engle is a writer near the pinnacle of young adult and children’s literature,” said Robert Con Davis-Undiano, executive director of World Literature Today. “I’m so proud that the NSK Neustadt Prize will be the award pushing her to the top in terms of recognition.”

The 2020 Neustadt Prize jury will also present a creative writer with the 2020 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Nominees are Emmanuel Carrère, Jorie Graham, Jessica Hagedorn, Eduardo Halfón, Ismail Kadare, Sahar Khalifeh, Abdellatif Laâbi, Lee Maracle and Hoa Nguyen.  

Awarded by the Neustadt family, the winner will receive $50,000, a replica of an eagle feather cast in silver and a certificate in recognition of their outstanding achievement in poetry, fiction or drama, according to the Neustadt Festival website

The festival, most of all, is meant to celebrate international books and culture.

“Literature is a powerful voice that teaches us about the world beyond ourselves,” Davis-Undiano said. “This truly international slate of finalists demonstrates once again that excellent literature knows no borders.”

The festival is free and will kick off with the story "Drum Dream Girl" with Margarita Engle at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Norman Public Library West, according to the festival's Facebook page. Free parking will be available on Wednesday at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. 

For more information regarding specific events, times and venues, see the events archive on the Neustadt Festival website

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