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2019 Juniper Literary Festival

Introducing audiences to the vibrant landscape of new poetry and fiction and exploring issues essential to the future of literature, the Juniper Literary Festival features readings with internationally known writers and UMass MFA alumni as well as programming from current students who have invigorated the event with performative readings, inventively curated displays, and publications of their work. The festival will also include the regional and national literary community through its renowned literary arts fair. The 2019 Juniper Literary Festival will be held April 12-13, 2019 on the UMass Amherst campus. All readings and panel discussions, as well as the literary arts fair, are free and open to the public.

Schedule of Events

Friday, April 12

7:00 pm - READING: Horacio Castellanos Moya, Old Chapel

8:00 pm - RECEPTION, Old Chapel

8:30 pm - LIVE LIT: MFA Student Reading, Old Chapel


Saturday, April 13

10:00am-4pm - LITERARY ARTS FAIR, South College

10:00am-4:00pm - AUDIO ARCHIVE OPEN HOUSE, South College W340

10:00am-11:15pm - WELCOME EVENT FOR ACCEPTED MFA WRITERS, South College

1:00pm-2:00pm - FIVE COLLEGE WRITERS: A READING BY FACULTY WRITERS FROM ACROSS THE VALLEY: Samuel Ace, Polina Barskova, Arda Collins, Shayla Lawson, and more, South College

2:30pm-3:30pm - EDITORS & PUBLISHERS PANEL: Katie Raissian, Matvei Yankelevich, and more, South College

4:00pm - READING BY UMASS MFA ALUMNI: Hannah Brooks-Motl, Andrea Lawlor, Arisa White & Jung Yun, Old Chapel

5:30pm - RECEPTION, Old Chapel

7:00pm - READING: Danez Smith, Old Chapel

Additional event details to come. Check back soon!


Presenters & Exhibitors


Journal & Book Fair Exhibitors

  • jubilat
  • Juniper Summer Institute
  • Massachusetts Review
  • Paperbark
  • additional exhibitors to come!

Community Workshops

Details to come!


About Presenters

Hannah Brooks-MotlHannah Brooks-Motl is the author of the poetry collections The New Years (Rescue Press, 2014), M (Song Cave, 2015), and EARTH (Song Cave, 2019). Her poetry and criticism have appeared in the Best American Experimental Writing, the Cambridge Literary Review, Modernism/modernity, and in edited collections, among other places. She earned an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is currently finishing a PhD at the University of Chicago, where she is the poetry editor of Chicago Review.

Andrea LawlorAndrea Lawlor teaches writing at Mount Holyoke College, edits fiction for Fence magazine, and has been awarded fellowships by Lambda Literary and Radar Labs. Their writing has appeared in various literary journals including Ploughshares, Mutha, the Millions, jubilat, the Brooklyn Rail, Faggot Dinosaur, and Encyclopedia, Vol. II. Their publications include a chapbook, Position Papers (Factory Hollow Press, 2016), and a novel, Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, a 2018 finalist for the Lambda Literary and CLMP Firecracker Awards. Paul, originally published by Rescue Press in 2017, will be reprinted in the US by Vintage/Knopf and published in the British Commonwealth by Picador UK in April 2019.

Horacio Castellanos MoyaHoracio Castellanos Moya is a writer and a journalist from El Salvador. He has published twelve novels, five short story collections, two essay books, and a diary. His novels have been translated into thirteen languages; six of them (Senselessness, The She-Devil in the mirror, Dance with Snakes, Tyrant memory, Revulsion and The Dream of My Return) are available in English. He was granted residencies in a program supported by the Frankfurt International Book Fair (2004-2006) and in the City of Asylum program in Pittsburgh (2006-2008). In 2009, he was guest researcher at the University of Tokyo with a fellowship granted by the Japan Foundation. The Government of Chile awarded him the Manuel Rojas Iberoamerican Prize for Fiction 2014, for his body of work. As a journalist, he was editor of news agencies, magazines and newspapers in Mexico, Guatemala and his own country for two decades. Currently he is associate professor in the Spanish Creative Writing MFA at the University of Iowa.

Danez SmithDanez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award; they also wrote [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Danez's work has been featured widely, appearing on platforms such as Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. Danez’s third collection, “Homie”, will be published by Graywolf in Spring 2020.  

Arisa WhiteCave Canem graduate fellow Arisa White received her MFA from UMass, Amherst, and is the author of Perfect on Accident, You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, Black Pearl, Post Pardon, A Penny Saved, and Hurrah's Nest. Her poetry has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, NAACP Image Award, California Book Award, and Wheatley Book Award. The chapbook “Fishing Walking” & Other Bedtime Stories for My Wife won Daniel Handler’s inaugural Per Diem Poetry Prize. She's the co-author of Biddy Mason Speaks Up, the second book in the Fighting for Justice series for young readers. Arisa serves on the board of directors for Nomadic Press and is an assistant professor of poetry at Colby College.

Jung YunJung Yun is the author of Shelter, which was long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and a finalist for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award. Her work has appeared in Tin House, The Massachusetts Review, The Indiana Review, and The Atlantic, among others. She has received an honorable mention for the Pushcart Prize and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Ucross Foundation, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the National Humanities Center. Currently, she is an assistant professor of English at the George Washington University.


Inaugurated in 2001 as the BigSmallPressFest, the Juniper Literary Festival showcases exciting new writing and explores issues vital to the literary arts, helping to ensure their vitality, plurality, and accessibility. The Juniper Festival is a program of the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA Program for Poets and Writers’ Juniper Initiative and made possible with generous support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Arts Council, College of Humanities & Fine Arts, Graduate School, and Office of the Provost.


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