Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Slash Pine Festival features more than 60 writers

A crowd of writers will spend the weekend in Tuscaloosa for the 3rd annual Slash Pine Writers Festival. Today through Saturday, writers from across the United States, as well as the UA and Tuscaloosa community, will share their literary works with the public at a variety of venues.

The Slash Pine Writers Festival started Wednesday with eight writers visiting two correctional facilities to read their work and teach writing. Wednesday’s event was closed to the public, but the rest are open for public attendance Thursday through Saturday.

The first open event will be Thursday night from 6 to 8 in Room 301 of Morgan Hall. There will be a colloquium panel consisting of eight poets discussing how to start a small press and its benefits.

Friday will consist of an undergraduate exchange reading at the Gorgas House from 3 to 5 p.m. The exchange program sends UA students and other participating students to other universities’ reading and writing programs.

Slash Pine Press will host exchange undergraduate writers from Flagler College, Ball State University and Stillman College.

Five Stillman College undergraduate readers will begin the reading event, said Brian Morrisson, an English instructor and event coordinator. In addition, PieLab will offer free pie at the reading.

“The University of Alabama and Stillman rarely work together,” Morrisson said. “Some people don’t even know where it is. I think they should know more about it, and we hope to work with Stillman College next year.”

Following the reading at the Gorgas House, there will be a reading at the Children’s Hands On Museum in downtown Tuscaloosa. The reading will feature nine writers and their work from 8 to 11 p.m.

“It’s always nice to have events on campus, but since there has been a movement to revitalize downtown, we have incorporated downtown venues for our readings,” said Brian Oliu, a UA English instructor and partner of Slash Pine Press.

The festival will conclude on Saturday with four venue readings that, together, will span the entire day from morning to midnight. The first reading will be held at Gorgas Library from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The second reading will be at the Green Bar from 2 to 5:30 p.m. The third reading will be at Stillman College’s Stinson Auditorium from 6 to 9 p.m. and will end with a midnight reading at the Bama Theatre from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

“It’s nice to work with the community to bring poetry to Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama,” Oliu said. “The work is always great, and it’s good to be exposed to different writers.”

Slash Pine Press started at the University as a small publisher for chapbooks, small pamphlets of literature. The founders decided to begin holding readings and eventually launched the festival. The original name was Slash Pine Poetry Festival, but was changed last year to the Slash Pine Writers Festival.

Oliu said that using the word “writer” instead of “poet” allowed work to range from poetry and short fiction to non-fiction, and everything in between.

Writers appearing at the festival are from Colorado, Illinois, Washington, Tennessee, Indiana and Alabama.

“This is an incredibly unique event,” Morrisson said. “Sixty-plus writers gather together to share their work. I know of no other comparable event.”

All events are open to the public and free to attend, and Slash Pine Press encourages the community to come out and support the writers.

“We had huge crowds at last year’s festival,” Morrisson said. “You can hear a wide array of voices, but what is so great is the audience can understand the link between the writer, the voice and the place.”

For more information about the event and writers who will perform, visit


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