In previous years, we’ve hosted such literary standouts as Carmen Maria Machado, Ben Marcus, Lily Hoang, Douglas Kearney, Jami Attenberg, and Wayne Koestenbaum. Our readers have been finalists for the National Book Award, Pushcart Prize winners, Guggenheim fellows, and recipients of the prestigious Whiting Award.
Read on to learn more about the rich history of our fast-growing festival.
To contact us, email deltamouthfestival [at] gmail [dot] com.
Delta Mouth History By Year
Coming April! Reviving the festival after a year break, 2018’s Delta Mouth will be directed by Jason Christian and Raquel Thorne.
Katie Boland & M.K. Brake directed Delta Mouth, which included a “Writing and Publishing the Short Story” panel with Carmen Maria Machado and Alexander Lumans; a “Poetry, Performance, and Activism” panel with Tracie Morris, Monica McClure, Rodrigo Toscano; and readings by Jami Attenberg, Peter Cooley, Carmen Maria Machado, Tracie Morris, Monica McClure, Baton Rouge’s WordCrew, Rodrigo Toscano, Alexander Lumans, and Ben Fama.
Dylan Krieger directed the three day festival, inviting Brooke Champagne, Brock Guthrie, Angus Woodward, Mel Coyle, Maurice Ruffin, Mona Lisa Saloy, Corina Copp, Jenn Marie Nunes, Brad Richard, Megan Volpert, Desiree Dallagiacomo, and Buddy Wakefield to read locations throughout in Baton Rouge.
Anna Wilson directed the Festival, extending the experience from three to four days and inviting16 readers, making for the biggest Delta Mouth Literary Festival so far. This year’s experience included international musicians, performance artists/poets, academics, nonfiction anthologists and two former alumni of LSU’s creative writing program. The initiatives for fundraising, included a massive Scrabble Tournament over four nights. Kickstarter’s nationwide blog was used (as it had been in 2013). Performers included cris cheek, Olivia Cronk, Donald Dunbar, Rachel Springer Dunbar, Irakli Kakabadze, Wayne Koestenbaum, Dorthea Lasky, Paul Legault, Ben Marcus, Alissa Nutting, Abe Smith, Shelly Taylor, and Jenny Zhang.
Jackie Kari & Min Kang were the first organizers to create t-shirts and banners to heighten publicity, to host several fundraising events, and seek other means of support in what were especially lean years. Their Delta Mouth brought Harmony Holiday, Cathy Park Hong, Aaron Kunin, Hoa Nguyen, Feng Sun Chen, Jai Arun Ravine, Abe Smith, Jennifer A. Howard, Ben Kopel, Monica Mody, and LSU alum and previous Co-Coordinator Kim Vodika to LSU to perform their creative work.
Adam Atkinson & Kim Vodika became Co-Coordinators, the first combined directorship in the history of Delta Mouth Literary Festival. Top priority for invitations to perform at the Festival this year, in the words of Atkinson, “centered on well-regarded, virtuoso readers.” The linup for this particular year included Lilian-Yvonne Bertram, Christian Bök, Lonely Christopher, Kate Durbin, Lily Hoang, Douglas Kearney, Paul Killebrew, Selah Saterstrom, Chris Shipman, and LSU alum and former Festival Director Jennifer Tamayo.
Under John David Harding, the most performance-based Festival in the history of Delta Mouth: Cara Blue Adams, Kate Bernheimer, Blake Butler, Frank Giampietro, Johannes Göransson, Jen McClanaghan, Joyelle McSweeney, and Ronaldo V. Wilson.
This Delta Mouth Literary Festival, directed by Jennifer Tamayo, broadened the scope from four readers to eight in total, with artists at 2010’s Festival including Laurie Drummond, Akilah Oliver, Chancellor “Xero” Skidmore, Andrew Ervin, Marthe Reed, Peggy Shiner, Susana Chaves-Silverman, and Ariana Reines.
Founded by LSU M.F.A. alumnus Benjamin Lowenkron, Delta Mouth Literary Festival began as a way for New Delta Review, Louisiana State University’s literary publication, to become more involved locally in Baton Rouge. The readers for the one day event included four in total: Joseph Riippii, Megan Volpert, David Madden, and Chancellor Xero Skidmore. As founder and first organizer, Benjamin Lowenkron is honored as the visionary who saw the need for the festival and who has been important to the continued development of Delta Mouth Literary Festival over the past seven years.