The Archive Literary Festival began life as the Blackburn Literary Festival. Professor William Blackburn began teaching Elizabethan poetry and creative writing at Duke University in 1932. With his inimitable wit and brooding temperment, he inspired generations of young authors and scholars. His office and his house became gathering places for students with whom he shared ideas, criticism, and cups of tea. Fred Chappell, William Styron, Reynolds Price, Jim Applewhite and Anne Tyler were all among the students who left Blackburn’s tutelage to create names for themselves through their writing. Today, the annual Archive Literary Festival seeks to continue this spirit of sharing and love for literature.