The 2013 Words and Art Music Festival (WAMFEST) focuses on the Appalachian heritage with a three-day festival (October 28–30) featuring Grammy Award-winning artists Rosanne Cash, Loudon Wainwright III and Tony Trischka, as well as poet C.D. Wright, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. The free musical performances, conversations, presentations and a film screening will be hosted by Wesley Stace (aka John Wesley Harding), songwriter, performer, novelist and WAMFEST artist-in-residence.

Each event will have some tie to the theme and is designed to celebrate the contributions to Appalachia to American culture past and present, highlighting the need to protect the heritage and mountains that gave birth to these arts. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and Robert Pures, BS’67, University trustee, and Patricia Pures, with additional funding from Investors Bank and Gourmet Dining.

Monday, October 28, 2013

“The Origins: A Conversation and Performance,” with legendary banjo player Tony Trischka, guitarist Tim Stafford of the Grammy-nominated group Blue Highway and NEA Heritage Fellow Jesse McReynolds (pending final confirmation) from 7 to 9 p.m. in Wilson Auditorium, Dickinson Hall, Metropolitan Campus. Carol Beaugard, radio host of WFDU-FM’s bluegrass show “Lonesome Pine RFD” and Wesley Stace will moderate the event.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

“A Part of History: A Screening of Drector John Sayles’ Oscar-nominated ‘Matewan’” will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. in Screening Room 125, Dreyfuss Building, College at Florham. It will be followed by a discussion with producer Maggie Renzi and production designer Nora Chavooshian.

Also on October 29, award-winning journalist Bob Hennelly will interview environmental advocate Joe Lovett, co-founder and executive director of Appalachian Mountain Advocates, about “The Politics of Coal” from 7 to 9 p.m. in Lenfell Hall, Hennessy Hall, College at Florham.

Lovett’s presentation will be followed by “The Folk Song: A Conversation and Performance with Loudon Wainwright III.”

October 30, 2013

“Two Voices, Singing: A Historic Conversation and Performance” with Rosanne Cash, a Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, and C.D. Wright, MacArthur “Genius” prize-winning poet, will be held from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Dreyfuss Theater, Dreyfuss Building, College at Florham.

Also on October 30, “Songs and Stories and All That Jazz: The Tradition Continues” will be held from 5 to 5:45 p.m. in Lenfell Hall, Hennessy Hall, College at Florham. It will feature a conversation with Tomi Lunsford, grandniece of Bascom Lamar Lunsford, folklorist known as the “Minster of Appalachia,” and David Olney, celebrated songwriter/storyteller.

Immediately following, from 5:45 to 8 p.m., “An Applachian Music Gathering and Open-Jam” will be hosted by The Folk Project, featuring a number of special guests.

WAMFEST is an annual series hosted by FDU’s Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences and its creative writing programs. It brings successful artists of various genres and media to the campus to inspire and inform students who hope to one day follow in these artists’ creative footsteps. The festival is designed to celebrate the literary qualities of popular music and to break down the barriers between the community and academia, bridging the gap between the literature of universities and the literature of the people.

All WAMFEST events are open to the public, but reservations are recommended due to limited space. For the schedule and performers bios, visit WAMFEST’s blog at . To register via Eventbrite go to . For information contact David Daniel, creative writing and WAMFEST originator, at