Friday, August 31, 2007

Brattleboro Literary Festival: Watch for Changes!

The Sixth Annual Brattleboro Literary Festival is a three-day celebration of those who read books, those who write books, and of the books themselves. Located in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont, the Festival includes readings, panel discussions, and special events, featuring emerging and established authors. All events are free.

And if that sounds familiar, even kind of "the same as before," don't believe it -- almost everything in the 2007 schedule is different from "the way it's always been." For instance: Don't count on attending the event that features award-winning children's author Lois Lowry unless you contact the festival folks NOW -- it's been scheduled at 1 p.m. on Friday Sept. 28 and the theatre will be packed with children, by prearrangement. There are few (if any) seats available for adult visitors. Check the site and see:

Next, although Vermont's noted Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Galway Kinnell gives a reading, and so does New York Times best-selling author Augusten Burroughs (Running With Scissors), that may not match the previously "expected" headliners -- no John Irving, no Saul Bellow. Instead, the festival organizers have spread their funding over more of a mid-list selection of authors, with some biographers, some novelists, poet Laure-Anne Bosselaar (whose name is not yet a familiar one to many mainstream readers). Actually that should be a great "plus" for readers and listeners: less massive crowds, more attentive audiences.

There's less commotion in each time slot, so it will be a bit easier to pick where you're going. And on Sunday, when the festival has traditionally wound down, it will instead coalesce into a major food-related panel and tasting. Hmm, a delicious way to draw a fresh audience or hold on to the folks who've been there for the other two and a half days already!

In fact, the more I prowl through the schedule, the more it feels like getting ready to attend First Night on New Year's Eve -- opportunities to meet new faces, new books, new opinions. And a laid-back length of time to fill, all the way up to the final hour. I like it!

2007 Schedule of Events


Lois Lowry Latchis Theatre
Augusten Burroughs & Haven Kimmel Latchis Theatre


11:00am - 12:00pm
Galway Kinnell Centre Congregational Church
11:00am - 12:00pm
Matt Tavares Hooker-Dunham Theater
12:30pm - 1:45pm
Randall Kenan & Colum McCann Centre Congregational Church
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Ibtisam Barakat Centre Congregational Church
2:00pm - 3:15pm
Laure-Anne Bosselaar & Ellen Dudley Hooker-Dunham Theater
3:30pm - 4:30pm
Deirdre Bair & Sven Birkerts Centre Congregational Church
3:30pm - 4:30pm
Zak Smith Brattleboro Museum & Arts Center
5:00pm - 6:15pm
Ann Beattie & Joshua Harmon Centre Congregational Church
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Write Action Reading The Mole's Eye


11:00am - 12:00pm
John Crowley The River Garden
11:00am - 12:00pm
Wayne Carhart Brooks Memorial Library
11:00am - 12:00pm
Leda Schubert Hooker-Dunham Theater
12:30pm - 1:30pm
Jon Clinch Hooker-Dunham Theater
12:30pm - 1:30pm
Allen Shawn Brooks Memorial Library
2:00pm - 3:15pm
Kurt Brown & Martha Rhodes Hooker-Dunham Theater
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Debby Applegate Brooks Memorial Library
3:30pm - 5:00pm
Food Panel: Eating Close to Home The River Garden
5:00pm - 6:00pm
Closing Reception and Local Cheese Tasting The River Garden

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