University News

UMass Amherst MFA for Poets and Writers Hosts 2022 Juniper Literary Festival

The University of Massachusetts Amherst’s MFA program for Poets and Writers announces the 2022 Juniper Literary Festival, April 1-2 in Old Chapel. Inaugurated in 2001, the Juniper Literary Festival showcases exciting new writing and explores issues vital to the literary arts, helping to ensure their vitality, plurality and accessibility.

NEWS Juniper Festival poster 2022

This year, the Festival returns to an in-person event. Readings and receptions are free and open to members of the Five College community with a valid school ID and the general public with proof of vaccination. Events are wheelchair accessible. Registration for each event is required.

Friday, April 1, 6 p.m.: The MFA will host a reading by prose writer Mona Awad and poet Mai Der Vang. Previously a recipient of the Amazon Best First Novel Award and the Colorado Book award, Awad’s newest book, “All’s Well,” is a searing indictment on society’s collective refusal to witness and believe female pain. Vang’s “Yellow Rain,” a 2022 PEN America Literary Award finalist, is a work of documentary, poetry and collage that calls out the erasure of a history, and the silencing of Hmong refugees. A book signing and reception will follow the reading.

The revival of the long-standing student reading series Live Lit—hosted by and featuring current MFA students—will close out the evening at 8 p.m. Register for Friday evening readings.

Saturday, April 2, 4 p.m.: The MFA will welcome back four distinguished alumni for a reading and conversation: Emily Hunt (MFA ‘13), author of “Dark Green;” Robin McLean (MFA ‘11), author of “Pity the Beast;” Wendy Xu (MFA ‘14), author of “The Past;” and Jung Yun (MFA ‘07), author of “O Beautiful.” Register for the alumni reading.

The 2022 Juniper Literary Festival is a program of the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA for Poets and Writers’ Juniper Initiative and made possible with generous support from Mass Cultural Council; UMass Arts Council; Office of the Provost; Office of Research and Engagement; Graduate School; College of Humanities and Fine Arts; Department of English; Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures; Women of Color Leadership Network; and Arts Extension Service.