Philip Gerard to be Featured Author at UMO Literary Festival

Philip Gerard to be Featured Author at UMO Literary Festival

MOUNT OLIVE- The University of Mount Olive English Department and Sigma Tau Delta will hold the 14th annual UMO Literary Festival and poetry slam on March 18 and 19. The event, which is open to the public as well as students, provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase the literary talents of the university and to promote the importance of writing and the English language.


On March 18, Philip Gerard will appear as the featured guest author for the festival. Gerard grew up in Newark, Delaware, and received his B.A. in English and anthropology at the University of Delaware. After he graduated in 1977, he lived in Burlington, Vermont, where he wrote freelance articles before returning to newspaper work in Delaware. He earned his M.F.A. in Creative Writing in 1981 at Arizona State University. Gerard also taught for a brief time at Lake Forest College in Illinois before migrating to Whiskey Creek, North Carolina, where he and his wife currently reside.


Gerard’s decorated career includes numerous books, teaching, and working as a co-editor of Chautauqua, the literary journal of the Chautauqua Institution. A few of his books include Down the Wild Cape Fear (2013), Creative Nonfiction: Researching and Crafting Stories of Real Life (2004), and Writing a Book That Makes a Difference (2002). Cape Fear Rising is his most known novel.  Gerald won the Gold Medal Independent Publishers Book Awards for his book of essays, Patron Saint of Dreams.

Currently, Gerard teaches in the M.F.A. program of the Professional and Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Gerard, an avid musician, incorporates bluegrass, folk, country, and original compositions into his readings to create a unique and memorable experience. During the Literary Festival, Gerard will have the opportunity to work with aspiring writers and UMO professors through workshops and readings.


The Poetry Slam, which showcases UMO students, will take place on March 19. Students wishing to participate in the slam must register in advance. There is an entrance fee of $1 to enter the contest. The winner will receive a $100 cash prize.


The event will be held at 7PM both nights in the Southern Bank Auditorium. For more information, or to register for the poetry slam, please contact Lenard Moore at or 919-658-7846.


The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit