Puterbaugh Festival

The Puterbaugh Lit Fest at the University of Oklahoma

A Tradition of Excellence in Literary and International Studies

J. G. Puterbaugh
J. G. Puterbaugh

The Puterbaugh Festivals of international literature and culture were made possible by a generous grant from the J. G. Puterbaugh Foundation of McAlester, Oklahoma, and sponsored by World Literature Today, the University of Oklahoma’s award-winning magazine of international literature and culture, founded in 1927. A rich tradition in support of literary and international studies at OU, the Puterbaugh Festivals would bring the world’s greatest authors—often a winner or a soon-to-be winner of the Nobel Prize—to the OU campus for a course built around the author’s work, an international symposium, public talks and performances, and engagement with students. From 1968 to 2018, the Puterbaugh series furthered the educations of thousands of OU students.

The Puterbaugh Festivals were a living tribute to J. G. Puterbaugh (1876–1965), an Oklahoma philanthropist, entrepreneur, and civic leader who loved poetry and believed it to be a source of cultural enlightenment and a means for understanding other cultures from around the world. He also believed in learning foreign languages as a primary channel of gaining insight into other cultures. The Puterbaugh Foundation continues to make grants to benefit Oklahoma education, health care, medical research, youth and children’s programs, and other projects that enhance the quality of life in Oklahoma.

The Puterbaugh program is currently on hiatus.

Puterbaugh Fellows

1968 Jorge Guillén (Spain)
1969 Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina)
1971 Octavio Paz (Mexico)
1973 Dámaso Alonso (Spain)
1975 Julio Cortázar (Argentina)
1977 Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)
1979 Yves Bonnefoy (France)
1981 Michel Butor (France)
1983 Carlos Fuentes (Mexico)
1987 Guillermo Cabrera Infante (Cuba)
1989 Edouard Glissant (Martinique)
1991 Manuel Puig (Argentina)
1993 Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe)
1995 Luisa Valenzuela (Argentina)
1997 J.M.G. Le Clézio (France)
1999 Czesław Miłosz (Poland)
2001 Kenzaburo Oe (Japan)
2002 Roberto Fernández Retamar (Cuba)
2003 J. M. Coetzee (South Africa)
2004 Nélida Piñon (Brazil)
2006 Orhan Pamuk (Turkey)
2008 Bei Dao (China)
2010 Sherman Alexie (United States)
2011 Dacia Maraini (Italy)
2012 Marina Carr (Ireland)
2013 Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia)
2014 Andrés Neuman (Argentina/Spain)
2016 Alain Mabanckou (Republic of the Congo/U.S.)
2018 Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany)