Enjoy a new twist on one of the region’s most inspiring literary variety shows. Founded by the late Caden Blincoe, a devoted Boone County, Kentucky Enquirer reporter and literacy advocate, the Inside-Outloud Festival on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2022, is being hosted on Zoom from 2-4 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
To celebrate the Outloud Festival’s 30th year, Thomas More University writers will share their original literature and offer “inside” reflections about the transformative power of reading and writing in our region. To emphasize the value of literary apprenticeship, talented student writers will participate in this historical literary occasion. Community members are invited to enjoy a high energy, memorable interpretation of the expressive literary arts which includes regionally-awarded Thomas More Artists-in-Residence Dick Hague and Pauletta Hansel. Hansel, who served as Cincinnati’s first poet laureate, was recently named the Public Library of Cincinnati’s Writer-in-Residence. Also taking part are Thomas More English professors Sherry Cook Stanforth, Ph.D., Candace Grissom, Ph.D., and Jerome Stueart, Ph.D., with History Professor/Dean Emeritus Raymond Hebert, Ph.D., sharing stories and memories inspired by Caden Blincoe’s legacy. Thomas More student readers include Margaret Dredger, Sammie Kleier, Alyssa Dowdell, Annabel Clayton, Risa Guarasci, and Anissa Bradley. “This living tradition is inspired by the value that literary storytelling is a building block of genuine community. Caden started this program with a deep care for people who may not read or have access to books. Like him, we believe that literature sustains people across geographies, cultures, careers, and generations,” says Stanforth, who serves as Thomas More’s Creative Writing Vision program founder/director and managing editor of the regional literary journal “Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel.”
Blincoe threaded his dedicated commitment to journalism throughout the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati communities, reporting for both the Post and Enquirer news operations. He also freelanced for other papers and shared a love of literature with his friends and audiences. He was an active member of the Northern Kentucky Adult Reading Council (NKARC), the Cincinnati Writer’s Project, the Cincinnati Editor’s Association, and the Big Bone Lick Reading Society. With support from the NKARC, Blincoe launched the first Outloud Festival in 1991 at Big Bone Lick State Park, promoting a relaxed literary celebration that blended great Kentucky authors such as James Still, George Ella Lyon, and Ed McClanahan with local writers and an appreciative audience.
The event gained regional appreciation quickly and Thomas More invited the Outloud Festival to relocate to its campus in 1993. The event was renamed after its founder, and included Hansel and Hague as among the “Caden Favorites.” Stanforth’s traditional music sparked Blincoe’s appreciation in the late ’90s and she joined this group of Outloud regulars to support Blincoe’s mission shortly before her employment at Thomas More. Serving as the Outloud’s first director, Hebert generated a loyal camaraderie around the event, featuring a reunion-style spirit among beloved Kentucky authors and the local community. In the past decade, the Caden Blincoe Outloud Festival has grown to reflect an expanded regional reach that has included other prominent authors such as Frank X Walker, Cathy Smith Bowers, Marc Harshman, Crystal Wilkinson, Stephen Holt, Richard Taylor, Manuel Iris, Cathy Smith Bowers, and Robert Gipe. “We are incredibly proud to sustain this meaningful gesture of love for the community. Caden’s work reflects the spirit of our University’s mission,” Stanforth says. “That seed planted by Caden so many years ago still grows to inspire lasting friendships and literary curiosity for so many people. We honor that effort every year, but in this 30th year, the Thomas More family will extend its special gratitude.”
The Inside Outloud Festival is free and open to the public but does require pre-registration. Please visit tmuky.us/outloud or email firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 19 to register and receive the Zoom link needed to attend.
To view the event on Thomas More’s YouTube channel, please click here.
About Thomas More University: For 100 years, Thomas More has created a university for the student who wants to Be More, Do More, Seek More, Win More, Achieve More, and Create More. Since its founding in 1921, Thomas More has provided a mission-driven, liberal arts education that is based in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. Students learn to harness the power of human reason to solve problems and discover truth, which allows them to begin the journey to become the person they were created to be. Entering into the second century, it’s time for More. Serving more than 2,000 students, Thomas More aspires to be the premier Catholic university in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region, to build upon the #1 ranking for long term gain in Kentucky (2019 Georgetown study) and share with this generation the transformative power of the Thomas More experience. To find out more, visit thomasmore.edu.