2015 Archives

Kimbilio Litfest to introduce African-American fiction writer’s organization to Dallas, SMU

Oct. 15 event will feature readings, book signings and Q&A sessions with five writers

October 6, 2015

DALLAS (SMU) — Budding authors or fans of the literary arts will be introduced to an African-American fiction writer’s organization at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, when SMU hosts the latest leg of the inaugural Kimbilio Litfest tour.

The tour is an offshoot Kimbilio, which hosts an annual retreat at SMU-in-Taos

“This is our first opportunity to introduce Kimbilio to Texas,” says SMU Professor and Creative Writing Director David Haynes, who started Kimbilio as an African-American fiction writer’s group in 2012. “These are some really extraordinary writers and readers, and we’re really excited to present this emerging national organization to Dallas and the SMU community.”

The Kimbilio readings are being held in different cities around the country and features up-and-coming authors and fellows of Kimbilio. The writers read excerpts from their upcoming books, participate in book signings and answer audience questions during the evening. 

The event is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required.

Kimbilio Litfest to introduce African-American fiction writer’s organization to Dallas, SMU

This October’s guest authors are:

  • Reginald Dwayne Betts is the author of two books and one poetry collection. Jailed at a young age, Betts spent his late teen years in solitary confinement. While in prison, he corresponded with any poet who would write him back. Once released, he earned an undergraduate degree from Maryland and then a Masters degree in writing from Warren Wilson College. He’s now in his third year at Yale Law.
  • Sanderia Faye is a Kimbilio Fellow and author of Mourner’s Bench (University of Arkansas Press, September 2015). Her work has appeared in various literary journals and in Arsnick: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas. Faye is also a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas.
  • Ravi Howard is the author of two novels, Driving the King (Harper, 2015) and Like Trees, Walking (Amistad, 2007).  Like Trees, Walking received the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and was a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction. Howard has recorded commentary for NPR’s All Things Considered, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Massachusetts Review, and Salon.
  • Latoya Watkins is a Kimbilio Fellow who has has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and Kimbilio Fiction. Her stories have appeared in online and print publications, including Joyland Magazine, Lunch Ticket: Antioch, Los Angeles, Kweli Journal, Ruminate Magazine and Potomac Review. Most recently, she was awarded a 2015 Pushcart Prize for short fiction.
  • Rosalyn Story is a Kimbilio Fellow, classical violinist, journalist and author of both fiction and non-fiction. A member of the violin section of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in Fort Worth, she divides her time between performing and writing magazine and journal articles on the visual and performing arts, and has penned three books.

At a Glance

What: Five African-American fiction and poetry authors read excerpts from their upcoming novels, sign books and answer audience questions during Kimbilio Litfest

When: 6–8:30 p.m., Thursday, October 15

Where: SMU’s Dedman Life Sciences Building, Room 131, 6501 Airline Court

Media RSVP: Contact Kenny Ryan at khryan@smu.edu or 214-768-7641

Sponsor: The English Department



SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.



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