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Lake Forest Literary Festival

The 2018 Lake Forest Literary Festival:
Cruel Histories


Novelist and essayist Evan Lavender-Smith reads his essay “Sleep Study” at the Lake Forest Literary Festival, March 26th, 2018.

Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer in Residence Christine Larusso reads from her winning poetry manuscript MAR, with an introduction by Plonsker Prize judge Carmen Giménez Smith, at the Lake Forest Literary Festival on March 27th, 2018.


Poet Carmen Giménez Smith reads from her work at the Lake Forest Literary Festival, March 27th, 2018.

Bruce Holsinger, historical novelist and scholar of medieval English literature, delivers his keynote lecture, “Plague, Pomp, and Poverty: Remaking Medieval London,” at the Lake Forest Literary Festival, March 28th, 2018.

Monday, March 26

Tuesday, March 27

Wednesday, March 28



Events sponsored by the Department of English, the Print and Digital Publishing Program, the Center for Chicago Programs, and the Department of Theater.

Previous Festivals

  • The thirteenth incarnation of the annual Lake Forest Literary Festival is a celebration of American stories, from the Thoreauvian story Mark Edmundson has to tell about the unfulfilled possibilities of American idealism to the literary horror of Brian Evenson and  the ghost stories of Lake Forest College alumna Emily Cappetini ’09, to the inventive feminist circus story told in the first novel of Meg Whiteford, this year’s Plonsker Prize winner, to the “novel you can walk through” of Alana and Lance Olsen.

  • This year’s festival included events with Second City’s Kelly Leonard, poet Quarysh Ali Lansana, and translator Stanley Lombardo.
  • The 2015 annual lit fest, themed “DIG IT!,” ran from March 23 through March 26 and included a visit from DIG actress and playwright Regina Taylor .