BIG STONE GAP — The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation has announced the annual John Fox Jr. Festival will be held April 24 in the college’s Goodloe Center, located in Phillips-Taylor Hall.
This year’s literary festival will feature writers Robert Morgan and Ted Olson, as well as the announcement of the 2012 poetry and short-story contest winners.
Morgan is a prolific writer of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Published works include eight collections of poetry, a novella, five novels, and two collections of stories. His novel “Gap Creek” was released in 1999 and was selected for the Southern Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 2000.
“Gap Creek” became an Oprah Book Club and New York Times best seller. His most recent books include a biography, “Boone,” in 2007, and a history, “Lions of the West,” in 2011. He currently serves as the Kappa Alpha Professor of English at Cornell University, and his next book, “The Road From Gap Creek,” is due to be released next year.
Olson is a musician, poet, author and editor of 15 books including “The Bristol Sessions: Writing About the Big Bang of Country Music,” “A Tennessee Folklore Sampler,” “Blue Ridge Folklife” and “Breathing in Darkness: Poems.”
Olson is a professor of Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University and was recently nominated for two Grammy awards for his work on “The Bristol Sessions, 1927-1928.”
The festival will begin at 10 a.m. and will be followed by a reservations-only luncheon with the guest speakers at the John Fox Jr. Museum. Tickets for the luncheon are $20 per person, and reservations may be made by calling the MECC Foundation office at (276) 523-7466.
The public is invited to participate in the 25th annual Lonesome Pine Short Story Contest sponsored by Lonesome Pine Arts and Crafts Inc. and the eighth annual poetry contest. Categories include adults, high school students in grades 9-12, and middle school students in grades 5-8.
The deadline for submissions is 4:30 p.m. on March 23. Contact Tina Willis at (276) 523-7466 for more contest details.
Also, the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park will host a tour of many of the locations to be discussed by the Fox Festival authors. “Adventures in History: Wandering the Wilderness Bus Tour” will be guided by Dr. Lawrence Fleenor Jr. from 8 a.m. through 6:30 p.m. on April 25.
The tour will begin at the Anderson Blockhouse and conclude at Cumberland Gap. The cost is $20 per person, and seating is limited to 14. Call (276) 523-1322 to make reservations prior to April 10.