Poets and authors to descend upon Brattleboro for the literary festival

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BRATTLEBORO - The leaves are starting to turn and area book lovers know it is time to block off their calendars for the first weekend in October. Oct. 2 through 5 is when the Brattleboro Literary Festival will bring in dozens of authors, from international bestsellers to local and regional favorites, for a four-day free celebration of the written word. Join us for the opportunity to be up-close and personal with writers who have won some of the most prestigious literary awards in the country. This year, we are excited to be welcoming over 50 authors including Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning historian Joseph Ellis (Founding Brothers, American Sphinx), Pulitzer Prize and T.S. Eliot Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon, award-winning author and environmentalist Rick Bass (Why I Came West, Where the Sea Used to Be), award winning and best-selling fiction authors Andre Dubus III (House of Sand and Fog, Townie) Paula McLain (The Paris Wife), and Ann Hood (The Obituary Writer The Knitting Circle), NPR personality Ophira Eisenberg (Ask Me Another), and 2014 Golden Kite Award winner Tim Federle (Better Nate Than Never).

Festival events are both fun and free! Beginning Thursday evening, the Center for Digital Arts will present Words and Video, an exhibition of short films and video art projections that explore the intersection of language/text/poetry and moving images. Also on Thursday, Landmark College hosts a student poetry slam with guest judge Bianca Stone. Friday morning begins with a student event featuring Tim Federle and the afternoon will feature a story-telling event for children with Raouf Mama, an international, award-winning storyteller out of the African oral tradition who will also read on Saturday from his memoir. Friday evening NPR personality Ophira Eisenberg (Ask Me Another) will take the stage at the River Garden to read and discuss her memoir Screw Everyone followed by the international sensation Literary Death Match which marries the literary and performative aspects of Def Poetry Jam, rapier-witted quips of American Idol's judging (without any meanness), and the ridiculousness and hilarity of Double Dare and will feature an all-star cast of judges and readers.

Saturday morning begins with Pulitzer Prize and T.S. Elliot Prize-winning Irish poet and musician Paul Muldoon followed by a full weekend of over 40 events with something for everyone. Fiction for both adults and young adults will reign over the festival with over 20 authors whose books cover nearly everything - from historical fiction taking place from Colonial America to the Jazz Age to World War II to contemporary coming of age stories, from witches to Frankenstein; from Native American myth and magic to a dystopian future, from mysterious deaths and missing persons to family dramas, from fantasy to flash fiction-it will all be on the schedule.

History lovers will revel in the appearance of Joseph Ellis with his latest book A Revolutionary Summer; also award-winning biographer Fred Kaplan and Margaret Hogan will explore the subject of John Quincy Adams and his wife. Jay Parini will speak on his book Jesus:The Human Face of God and Leslie Jamison will read from her book of essays, The Empathy Exams. And poetry-in addition to Paul Muldoon, there will be ten other poets including Afaa Weaver (winner of the 2014 Kingsley Tufts Prize), Ocean Vuong (2014 winner of a 2014 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship) and Bianca Stone who is the granddaughter of the late poet and festival author Ruth Stone. Children will be treated on Sunday morning at the museum to Kids Living Green-a series of events featuring authors whose books are on the theme of sustainable living and nature. Tim Federle will read on Saturday along with Young Adult authors K.L. Going (Fat Kid Rules the World) and Blake Nelson (The Prince of Venice Beach) plus Vermont authors Tim Weed and Don Bredes. The Letters of Robert Frost will be discussed by a panel of Frost scholars. And there is more still! Vermont Antiquarian Bookseller's show and sale takes place at the Brattleboro Museum all day Saturday, Write Action will host an open reading and local author readings, publishers and book dealers will set up at the River Garden, and a free workshop on words and images at the River Gallery School! And as a bonus, on Wednesday evening, beloved award-winning Vermont author Katherine Paterson will appear at Brooks Memorial Library as part of the Vermont Humanities Council First Wednesday series.

"We love bringing these authors to Brattleboro. Beyond that, our goal really is to support the love of reading and conversation and to promote the absolute joy of the written word," said Sandy Rouse, organizer and co-founder of the festival. "We are an all-volunteer organization and we are excited to be able to present a fabulous festival every year that is free and open to the public - one that attracts 4,000-5,000 festival-goers to downtown Brattleboro"

The festival is presented by the a Downtown Alliance and is sponsored by Marlboro College, The Vermont Humanities Council and Vermont Public Radio. For a more information and a complete schedule of events, and to learn how you can donate or volunteer, please visit our website at www.brattleboroliteraryfestival.org.


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