Apply Now

Chikaskia Literary Festival set for Oct. 8-9

The 7th Annual Chikaskia Literary Festival will be held inside the Renfro Center at Northern Oklahoma College Oct. 8-9.

Featured readers include Maryann Hurtt, Paul Juhasz, and Ken Hada.  There are other readers scheduled to read as well as student readers.

Ken Hada is the author of nine books of poetry, including his two latest: Contour Feathers (Turning Plow Press, 2021) and Sunlight & Cedar (Vacpoetry, 2020). His work received the SCMLA Prize for Poetry and the 2011 Wrangler Award from the National Western Heritage Museum. His work has also been named finalist for the Spur Award by Western Writers of America. Five of his books have been finalists for the Oklahoma Book Award, and his poetry has been featured four times on the NPR program, The Writer’s Almanac. Ken has offered 150-plus podcast programs on “The Sunday Poems with Ken Hada.” In 2017, Ken was honored with the Carlile Distinguished Service from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. He is a professor at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma where he directs the annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival. Contact for readings, workshops, reviews and much more at: .

Maryann Hurtt aspired to be a rodeo clown while growing up in Livermore, California. By the time she was in 6th Grade in Arlington, Virginia, she recorded in her diary that she wanted to be a “storyteller (a good one).” She now lives in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine and is retired after thirty years working as a hospice RN. She spends her time hiking, reading, biking, and writing.

Hurtt’s poetry has been published in a variety of print journals, online, and anthologies including Verse Wisconsin, Poetry Hall, Ariel, Stoneboat, Verse-Virtual, Wisconsin People & Ideas, Blue Heron Review, Halfway Down the Stairs, Snapdragon, Cancer Poetry Project II and others. Her chapbook, River, came out in 2016. She also co-authored with Cynthia Frozena, Hospice Care Planning: An Interdisciplinary Guide. Her most recent book of poetry, Once Upon a Tar Creek: Mining for Voices, was published by Turning Plow Press in 2021.

Paul Juhasz, living what could be charitably called a nomadic life, was born in western New Jersey, grew up just outside New Haven, Connecticut, and has spent appreciable chunks of his life in the plains of central Illinois, in the upper hill country of Texas, and in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania. Most recently seduced by the spirit of the red earth, he now lives in Oklahoma City. He has worked at an Amazon fulfillment center, manned a junk truck, and driven for Uber, material he’s drawn on for his poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. He has read at dozens of conferences and festivals across the country, including Scissortail and the Woody Guthrie Festival. His work has appeared in bioStories, Red River Review, Red Earth Review, Voices de la Luna, Windward Review, Oklahoma Review, Dragon Poet Review, Tejascovido, Concho River Review, Insurrection: Anthology, Ain’t Gonna Be Treated This Way, Speak Your Mind, and Bull Buffalo and Indian Paintbrush (The Poetry of Oklahoma). His first book, Fulfillment: Diary of a Warehouse Picker was published by Fine Dog Press in July, 2020.

The following is the schedule for the 7th annual festival and is subject to change.

Friday, Oct. 8

Morning Session

9:30 a.m. – Book Table and Conversation

10 a.m. – Introductions and Welcome

10:15 a.m. — Cullen Whisenhunt, Noah Milligan, Markham Johnson, Richard Dixon

Afternoon Session

1:30 p.m. – Featured Reader, Maryann Hurtt

2:30 p.m. – Ky George, Bill McCloud, Sharon Martin

3:30 p.m. – Robert L. Dean, Julie Chappell, Ron Wallace

4:30 p.m. – Open Mic

5:30 p.m. – Featured Reader, Paul Juhasz

Saturday, Oct. 9

9:30 – Coffee and Light Breakfast

Morning session:

10 a.m. – Joey Brown, Yvonne Carpenter, Kathleen Kelly

11:15 a.m. – Alumni Showcase (Katy Anderson, Melissa Cottle, Phillip Hudson, Holly Mayfield, Alisha Karee McClelland, Mary Means, Susy Smith, and Julie Tate)

12:30 p.m. – Lunch

1:45 p.m. — Featured Reader, Ken Hada