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BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Literary Festival invites all to join in at 5 p.m. Aug. 12 when a Literary Cocktail Hour presents Colleen Kinder, Jacquelyn Mitchard and Peter Orner with “Letter to a Stranger,” the book where 65 writers grapple with this mystery: How can an ephemeral encounter with a stranger leave such an eternal mark?

Kinder put out a call for authors to write a letter to a stranger about an unforgettable encounter. The responses began pouring in. These short essays are organized around such themes as gratitude, wonder and farewell and guide readers across the globe and through the mysteries of human connection.

Letter addressees include a first responder after a storm, a gambler encountered on jury duty, a waiter in Istanbul, a taxi driver in Paris, a roomful of travelers watching reality TV in La Paz and dozens of others.

All are invited to write their own letters. This virtual event is free and open to the public.

The event will be followed Aug. 17 with a live letter-writing workshop at Brooks Memorial Library hosted by area writer Barbara Morrison.

Register for the Literary Cocktail Hour at bit.ly/ LitCocktail23.

To donate to Brattleboro Literary Festival, visit brattleborolitfest.org/ donate-now.

Order “Letter to a Stranger” at bookshop.org/shop/antidotebooks.