SMU presents Dallas Literary Festival

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Nikole Hannah-Jones
Nikole Hannah-Jones Photo courtesy of Nikole Hannah-Jones

SMU’s Dallas Literary Festival is back with discussions from more than 100 acclaimed national and local authors as well as literary events across the city. Authors representing relevant and diverse voices will converge at a series of in-person events.

Headlining the festival is the 2020 Pulitzer Prize-winner Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story and 2021 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work-Nonfiction.

The festival’s theme, resilience, was chosen when organizers expected to be looking back at how the country survived the turbulence of 2020 and 2021, said Sanderia Faye Smith, Dallas Literary Festival executive director, SMU creative writing faculty member, and author of the award-winning novel, Mourner’s Bench.

The event will also feature National Book Award finalist, David Treuer and scholar, poet and author DeMaris Hill. Truer’s The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is a new narrative that demonstrates how Native Americans have maintained their culture and civilization through dark years, while Hill’s Breath Better Spent: Living Black Girlhood is a narrative in verse that takes a personal and historical look at the experience of Black girlhood.

Two full days of author panel discussions, readings and interviews follow. Panelists and speakers include journalist and author Jelani Cobb discussing the state of American journalism, former SMU and NFL running back Eric Dickerson discussing his life and new autobiography, and Dawnie Wilson, author of the acclaimed debut novel The Final Revival of Opal and Nev.  Also featured will be national award-winners, memoirists, scholars, romance writers, poets, historical fiction writers and other authors.

Event Details


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Fair Park
1121 1st Ave.
Dallas, TX 75210

Dallas Hall
3225 University Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75205