May 29, 2023

Professors at Book Festival

Four University of Mary Washington faculty authors will speak at the 17th annual Virginia Festival of the Book, to be held March 16 through 20 in Charlottesville. Professors Claudia Emerson, Jeffrey McClurken, Debra Schleef and Steve Watkins will participate in readings and panel discussions.

Jeffrey W. McClurken will present his book “Take Care of the Living: Reconstructing Confederate Veteran Families in Virginia” (2009) as part of the panel discussion and session “Civil War: Going to War and Its Aftermath” at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16 at the University of Virginia (UVA) Bookstore at 400 Emmet Street South. McClurken is associate professor and chair of history and American studies.

Debra J. Schleef will participate in the reading and panel discussion during the session “Political and Social Trends in the South” at noon on Saturday, March 19 at the UVA Bookstore. Schleef, associate professor of sociology and chair of sociology and anthropology, is author of “Latinos in Dixie: Class and Assimilation in Richmond, Virginia” (2009).

Steve Watkins will read and serve on the discussion panel titled “Fiction: Young Adult Novels—Great Reading for All Ages!” at noon on March 19 at the Village School at 215 East High Street. Watkins, professor of English, is author of the Golden Kite Award-winning “Down Sand Mountain” (2008) and the 2011 novel “What Comes After.” Watkins will sign his books at the Children’s and Young Adult Author Dessert Reception at 7 p.m. Friday, March 18 at Charlottesville Catholic School.

Claudia Emerson will read and moderate the session “Best New Poets 2010” at 4 p.m. on March 19 at the UVA Bookstore. Emerson, professor of English and Arrington distinguished chair of poetry, is author of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning “Late Wife” and “Figure Studies” (2008).

All programs at the festival are open to the public and, with the exception of a few ticketed events, are free of charge. The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities produces the festival, which is described as the largest gathering of authors, writers and readers in the state. For more information, visit or call (434) 924-7548.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.