Published March 18, 2022

Poets Annie Kim (Eros, Unbroken) and Shara McCallum (No Ruined Stone) call on historical personas in their most recent books. They speak through and speak to these figures, engaging their perspectives to better understand a modern predicament. In conversation with Erika Meitner.

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“In Eros, Unbroken, a work of both intellect and devotion, we read desire, ache, violence, grief, the body, music, memory, echoes. Here is charged beauty, the rich and generous consciousness in which nothing is forgiven, everything is laid bare. The lyrical and narrative genius of these poems interweaves two voices–one that’s contemporary and autobiographical and one in the persona of an eighteenth century castrato opera singer.” —Peg Alford Pursell, author of A Girl Goes Into the Forest

“Shara McCallum brings her gorgeous poetics to a story of slavery and colonialism, challenging the historical archive’s sheer, unyielding wall by going not over or around it, but fearlessly through. In musical, evocative language, her poems image the what-if-that-almost-was of Scotland’s best-love Bard, following Burns into the life he might have lived as a plantation overseer in Jamaica…” – Evie Shockley, author of the new black


Virginia Festival of the Book staff, volunteers, partners, and attendees appreciate all of our sponsors. It is their crucial support, along with individual donors, that allows us to present the 2022 Virginia Festival of the Book almost completely free of charge. We appreciate the generous commitment from our Premier Sponsor, The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, and these major sponsors: Michelle and David Baldacci, Dominion Energy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Learning Experience

Child Labor in Virginia

How might we determine when reforms are needed?

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With generous support from Michelle and David Baldacci

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