Contact: Jenni Smith
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650


February 21, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Southern Methodist University's Literary Festival will feature two award-winning poets Carl Phillips and Mary Jo Bang at 8 p.m. Monday, March 4, in the theater of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, 3140 Dyer St. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a reception and book signing outside the theater.

Carl Phillips is the author of Pastoral (2000); From the Devotions (1998), a finalist for the National Book Award; Cortege (1995), a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Lambda Literary Award for gay men's poetry; and In the Blood (1992), winner of the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize.

He also has received awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress, and The Academy of American Poets. Phillips has taught at Harvard University, Boston University and the Iowa Writers Workshop. He is currently associate professor of English and of African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University, St. Louis.

Mary Jo Bang is the author of The Downstream Extremity of the Isle of Swans (2001), winner of the University of Georgia Contemporary Poetry Series Competition; Louise in Love (2001), winner of the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award; and Apology for Want (1997), which won the Bakeless Poetry Prize.

Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The New Republic, The Yale Review, and The Paris Review. She has been awarded a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University and served as poetry editor for The Boston Review. She earned her Masters of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University and currently teaches at Washington University, St. Louis.

SMU's LitFest has been an annual celebration of writing for the past 26 years. This year, it has changed its format, featuring one author per month instead of several authors all presenting their work during one week of literary events.

Past participants in SMU's LitFest include John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Walker, Norman Mailer, Robert Pinsky and Mark Strand. The SMU LitFest is one of the oldest student-run literary events in the country and gives the community a unique opportunity to interact with major literary figures.

For more information, visit the Web page at, call student LitFest chair Alison Harper at (214) 768-4466, or send an e-mail to