Giving Voice:  A Festival of Writing and the Arts

September 20-22, 2017


Gene Luen Yang, Graphic Novelist



Gene Luen Yang is National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, the first writer who works primarily in graphic novels to be named ambassador. Yang's first graphic novel, American Born Chinese, was the first-ever graphic novel ever to be named a finalist for the national Book Award. The book went on to win the Printz Award, the ALA's award for the best young adult book published that year. After speaking out against the lack of diversity in the casting of the Avatar: The Last Airbender movie, Yang was asked to write the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics, which he does to this day, as well as writing Superman (with John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, and Howard Porter) for DC Comics.



David Bowden, Spoken Word Poet



David Bowden is an author, preacher, and spoken word poet from Oklahoma City. He is the author of When God Isn’t There: Why God Is Farther than You Think, but Closer than You Dare Imagine. David is the co-founder of Kleer Series, a video curriculum for post-church young people in the UK. He has produced three poetry albums, three DVDs, and one book of poetry. David has been married to his wife Meagan for seven years and serves as the Artist in Residence at Bridgeway Church. 



Lisa Ohlen Harris, Nonfiction Writer



       Lisa Ohlen Harris is the author of The Fifth Season: A Daughter-in-Law’s Memoir of Caregiving and the Middle East memoir, Through the Veil. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, River Teeth, Brevity, and elsewhere. Lisa teaches online for Creative Nonfiction Magazine and is a nonfiction thesis advisor for Southern New Hampshire University.



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