UIC writers at Lit Fest this weekend

Luis Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea speaks Saturday with Colum McCann and Sting. Photo: AlDiFranco/UIC Photo Services (click on image for larger file size)

Update: poet Sterling Plumpp, professor emeritus of English and African American studies, will appear Sunday.

Four faculty members will be among the featured presenters at the Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest June 8 and 9 in Chicago’s Printers Row neighborhood.

Luis Alberto Urrea, professor of English and LAS distinguished professor, will be in a conversation with Irish novelist Colum McCann and singer/musician Sting at noon Saturday at the Auditorium Theater, 50 E. Congress Parkway. Tickets are required for this event.

Urrea and McCann are co-founders of Narrative 4, a group of writers, artists, musicians, educators, students and activists dedicated to social change through storytelling. Sting is a Narrative 4 honorary committee member. They will discuss the launch of the organization and its “How to Be a Man” initiative.

Christina Pugh

Poet Christina Pugh will read from her work Sunday.

Urrea, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of numerous literary awards, is the author of 14 books, including The Devil’s Highway, The Hummingbird’s Daughter, Into the Beautiful North and Queen of America.

S. Jay Olshansky, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, will be among three panelists discussing the implications of the rising median age in the developed world at “The Age of Aging,” 1:45 p.m. Saturday at University Center, multimedia room, 525 S. State St.

Olshansky, who studies changes in life expectancy for human populations, is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation grant to study the longevity dividend. He has authored several books, including The Quest for Immortality.

Sterling Plumpp

Blues poet Sterling Plumpp reads from new work Sunday.

Blues poet Sterling Plumpp, professor emeritus of English and African American studies, will read from Home/Bass, his new work based on the music of Chicago bluesman Willie Kent, at 1:30 p.m. at the Arts and Poetry Stage, near Polk and Dearborn streets.

Jay Olshansky

S. Jay Olshanky participates in a Saturday panel discussion.

Plumpp, who retired from UIC in 2001 after winning $1 million in the Illinois lottery, will also participate in a panel discussion on “The Intersection of Music and Poetry” with other authors from Third World Press.

Christina Pugh, associate professor of English, will give a reading at 4:45 p.m. Sunday at the Arts and Poetry Stage, near Polk and Dearborn streets.

Pugh is the author of Restoration and Rotary, which won the Word Press First Book Prize, and Grains of the Voice.

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