Adapting literature for the screen was one of the themes of this year's Blackburn Literary Festival at Duke, which began February 27 with a special screening of the film The Hours, followed by an evening with Michael Cunningham, author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning book upon which the movie was based.
Cunningham met with students and took part in a reading, discussion, and book signing. He and members of the Duke faculty, including Erin Cressida Wilson, who wrote the screenplay for the movie Secretary, talked about film adaptation. Writers participating in the festival included Richard Ford, author of Independence Day; Robert Morgan, author of Gap Creek; and local poet Betty Adcock.
The Blackburn Literary Festival, founded in 1959 as the Archive Festival, traditionally includes a mix of writers from Duke and from across the country. The annual event brings together fiction writers, poets, and critics who share their work with students, faculty members, and the community at large. Past authors have included Toni Morrison, Michael Ondaatje, Maya Angelou, Joyce Carol Oates, John Irving, and Don DeLillo. The festival is a student-run event sponsored by the Undergraduate Publications Board at Duke. Some events are co-sponsored by Freewater Presentations, the English Department Undergraduate Advisory Board, and the Duke Institute for the Arts.