The Boston Book Festival offers a cornucopia for readers, listeners
Saturday 10 a.m. â€“ 6 p.m. at Copley Square venues
The inaugural one-day Boston Book Festival will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Boston Public Library, Old South Church, Trinity Church and outdoors in Copley Square. Festival events will include presentations and panels featuring 90 writers, scholars, critics, and commentators; a focus on technology as it relates to reading; programming for children, teens and families; writing workshops and competitions; and spoken word and music performances.
Outdoors, on the plaza in Copley Square, there will be dozens of exhibitor booths, childrenâ€™s activities and music. Berklee College of Music bands will perform throughout the day. Exhibitors include the Childrenâ€™s Museum, E-Ink and 826 Boston. Legal Sea Foods will provide free samples from its Chowder Truck and Green Mountain Coffee will give out free coffee samples.
Unless otherwise noted, all events will be free and open to the public and will run approximately one hour. The schedule is subject to change without notice, and updates will be posted at bostonbookfest.org, as well as at twitter.com/bostonbookfest. Complete author biographies are available there now. An alphabetical list of authors appearing is available at bostonbookfest.org/index.php/presenters.
In addition to the events listed here, Boston Out Loud, a special kick-off event with music and readings, will take place in the evening on Friday.
Main Locations: Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.; Old South Church, 645 Boylston St.; Trinity Church, 206 Clarendon St. the festival is being sponsored by State Street Corporation.
Jumpstart Your Writing: Trinity Church, Ferris Library, 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Pre-registration required at bostonbookfest.org. 2:30 session is full. Join one of Grub Street Writersâ€™ award-winning instructors for an hour of innovative and inspiring prompts that will have aspiring writers brainstorming ideas for new stories and writing new scenes. The morning session will be led by Grace Talusan, who teaches writing at Tufts University and contributes regularly to The Rumpus, an online culture magazine. The afternoon session will be led by Stace Budzko, writer-in-residence at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Sponsored by Grub Street.
StoryPlace â€“ Boston Public Library Mezzanine Conference Room, 10 a.m.â€”4 p.m. featuring Grace Lin, Alicia Potter, Scott Magoon and more. There will be story time and fun for children all day long. Hear the latest from childrenâ€™s authors including Alicia Potter (Fritz Danced the Fandango), Katherine Roy (A Kidâ€™s Guide to Bostonâ€™s Freedom Trail), Scott Magoon (Mystery Ride) and Grace Lin (Where The Mountain Meets The Moon). Meet Curious George, The Man in the Yellow Hat, Madeline, dancers from The Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker and others. Sponsored by State Street Corporation.
Worth 1,000 Words: A Tribute to Chris Van Allsburg â€“ Boston Public Library Rabb Lecture Hall, 10:30 a.m.â€¨featuring Chris Van Allsburg with host Brian Lies. This session celebrates the achievements of beloved author/illustrator Chris Van Allsburg. Sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Ties that Bind â€“ Old South Church Sanctuary, 11 a.m. featuring Richard Russo, Michael Thomas, Elinor Lipman with host Bret Anthony Johnston. Two generations of academics are drawn to Cape Cod in Pulitzer Prize-winner Richard Russoâ€™s new novel, That Old Cape Magic. In Man Gone Down, Michael Thomas plumbs the brilliant mind of a black man who came of age during Bostonâ€™s busing era, marries a white woman, and has an existential crisis in Brooklyn. Modernizing the classic Manhattan screwball comedy, Elinor Lipman surrounds The Family Manâ€“here a sensible gay dadâ€“with a paparazzi-stalked daughter and a needy, newly widowed ex-wife. Hosted by Bret Anthony Johnston, Director of Creative Writing at Harvard and author of Corpus Christi: Stories.
Teen Spoken Word Showcase â€“ Old South Church Mary Norton Hall, 11 a.m.â€¨with host Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo. Young Bostonians perform original works as well as those of well-known published poets.
Documenting History â€“ Boston Public Library Rabb Lecture Hall, 11:30 a.m. featuringâ€¨Ken Burns, Scout Tufankjian â€¨with host Jared Bowen. Documentarians work to answer the question, â€œWho are we?â€ Ken Burns, lauded as â€œthe country's most famous documentarianâ€ by the Los Angeles Times, shows clips and talks about his latest film and book, The National Parks: Americaâ€™s Best Idea. Journalist Scout Tufankjian tells how she reluctantly drove to New Hampshire in 2006 to cover a long-shot candidate named Obama. She stayed and became the only independent photojournalist to cover the entire campaign, chronicled in her book Yes We Can.
Sexiest Vegetarian Alive: Alicia Silverstone â€“ 11:30 a.m., Boston Public Library Popular Reading Room with host Billy Costa.
Book Worms and Net Crawlers â€“ Trinity Church Forum, 11:30 a.m. featuring Ben Mezrich, Ethan Gilsdorf, David Pogue with host Jeffrey Howe of Wired Magazinbe.. An examination of the ubiquitous internet and the explosion of social media.
Boston Roots â€“ Boston Public Library Abbey Room, 11:30 a.m.â€¨featuring Jane Kamensky, Jill Lepore, John Pipkin, Kathleen Kent with host Megan Marshall. Discover the stories behind three riveting historical novels set in and around Boston.
John Hodgman Interviewed by Tom Perrotta â€“ Old South Church Sanctuary, 12:30 p.m.â€¨ The novelist Tom Perrotta made his reputation through attention to craft, with novels including Election, Little Children, and The Abstinence Teacher. His one-time student John Hodgman took a more improbable route to notoriety: by depicting a PC in the â€œGet a Macâ€ ads, providing commentary as a â€œresident expertâ€ on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and writing the books The Areas of My Expertise and More Information Than You Require.
Matters of Faith â€“ Boston Public Library Popular Reading Room, 1 p.m.â€¨featuring Cornel West, Harvey Cox, Mary Gordon with host Christopher Lydon. Cornel West is one of Americaâ€™s most gifted, provocative, and important public intellectuals and author of the bestsellers Race Matters and Democracy Matters. Harvey Cox is the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard, and the author of The Secular City, which has sold more than one million copies, and most recently, The Future of Faith. Acclaimed novelist Mary Gordon leads the reader on a very personal journey through the Gospels in her new book, Reading Jesus.
The Future of Reading: Books Without Pages? â€“ Boston Public Library Rabb Lecture Hall, 1:30â€”3 p.m.â€¨featuring Steve Haber of Sony, Neil Jones of Interead, Mary Lou Jepsen of Pixel Qi, Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive with host David Pogue. Join New York Times personal technology columnist David Pogue for a look at how reading and books will be experienced in the future. New technology will be showcased by Steve Haber of Sony, Neil Jones of Interead, and Mary Lou Jepsen, founder of Pixel Qi. Digital librarian Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive will add a big picture perspective on how digitization may change everything. This session will also feature a musical interlude by host David Pogue.
We Are The Champions â€“ Trinity Church Forum, 1:30 p.m.â€¨featuring Jackie MacMullan, Glenn Stout, Larry Tye with host Bill Littlefield. Veteran sports commentator and host of WBURâ€™s â€œOnly A Game,â€ Bill Littlefield chats with fellow sportswriters about their love of the game. Jackie MacMullan, long a Boston Globe sports section fixture, is co-author with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson of When The Game Was Ours. The series editor of The Best American Sports Writing since its inception, Glenn Stout is the author of numerous bestselling books including Red Sox Century and his latest, The Young Woman and the Sea. Larry Tye, formerly of The Globe, is the author of Satchel, a new biography of baseball icon Leroy â€œSatchelâ€ Paige.
Guided Open Mic â€“ Boston Public Library Abbey Room, 1:30 p.m.â€¨with host Hank Phillippi Ryan. Writers read their work to an eager audience and any guest authors, editors or literary agents who drop in. To participate, bring a three-minute excerpt of original fiction, poetry or non-fiction (no more than 400 words), and sign up for a reading slot on arrival. Sponsored by Grub Street.
Spinning a Tale â€“ Old South Church Mary Norton Hall, 2 p.m.â€¨featuring Irene Smalls, Jay O'Callahan with host Brian Oâ€™Donovan.
Jay Oâ€™Callahan, author of the new picture book Raspberries, grew up telling stories to his younger siblings in Brookline and since then has performed for audiences in Africa, Lincoln Center, NASA, and on public radio. He will be joined by historian and storyteller Irene Smalls, author of Jonathan and His Mommy and the force behind the Literacise exhibition now open at the Boston Public Library. Sponsored by State Street Corporation.
The Times They Are A' Changin'?
Boston Public Library Popular Reading Room, 2 p.m.
FEATURING: Kurt Andersen, Callie Crossley. HOST: Walter Isaacson
Keen observers of the historical moment discuss the tenor of our times and how this may or may not be a pivotal moment in American culture. Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein: His Life and Universe and head of the Aspen Institute, leads the discussion. Joining him are Callie Crossley, Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker and a regular panelist on WGBH's "Beat The Press," and Kurt Anderson, host of the radio show â€œStudio 360â€ and author of Reset: How This Crisis Can Restore Our Values and Renew America.
And Now For Something Completely Different â€“ Trinity Church Forum, 2:30 p.m.â€¨featuring Paul Tremblay, R. Sikoryak, Jessica Anthony with host Jennifer Haigh.
Jessica Anthony is the winner of McSweeneyâ€™s Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award and the author of the new novel, The Convalescent. Artist R. Sikoryak delivers comic book adaptations of literary classics in Masterpiece Comics. Paul Tremblayâ€™s debut novel, The Little Sleep, is a neo-noir mystery.
The Examined Life: Memoir â€“ Boston Public Library Abbey Room, 3 p.m.â€¨featuring Leslie Gilbert-Lurie, Michael Greenberg, Michael Patrick MacDonald, Nancy Rappaport with Alicia Anstead
Leslie Gilbert-Lurie writes about her motherâ€™s experience as a child Holocaust survivor in Bending Toward The Sun. Michael Greenberg tells of his teenage daughter's descent into bipolar mania in Hurry Down Sunshine and life as a writer in Beg, Borrow and Steal. Ten years after publication, Michael Patrick MacDonald's searing memoir, All Souls: A Family Story from Southie, is required reading in many schools. In Her Wake is child psychiatrist Nancy Rappaportâ€™s story of her motherâ€™s suicide.
Tea with Catie Copley â€“ Fairmont Copley Plaza, 138 St. James Avenue, 3 p.m.
(pre-registration required) featuring Deborah Kovacs. Jared Williamsâ€¨ Catie Copley has a very special job as canine ambassador at the Fairmont Copley Plaza. She lives with Jim, who also works at the hotel, and spends her days in the lobby, sleeping, greeting people, chasing balls, and sleeping some more. Join Catie for juice and cookies at the Fairmont Copley Plaza and meet Deborah Kovacs, the author, and Jared Williams, the illustrator, of Catieâ€™s newest picture book adventure, Catie Copleyâ€™s Great Escape. Space is limited.
Digital Inclusion â€“ Boston Public Library Rabb Lecture Hall, 3 p.m. featuring Nicholas Negroponte and Iqbal Quadir. Be inspired by Nicholas Negroponteâ€™s One Laptop Per Child, an initiative to bring a laptop to the worldâ€™s poorest children and by Iqbar Quadir, who connected millions of the rural poor in Bangladesh through Grameenphone cell phones and now supports MIT students whose start-ups will have a positive impact on developing countries. Sponsored by Verizon.
Beyond the Margins and Between the Lines â€“ Old South Church Sanctuary, 3:30 p.m.â€¨featuring Reif Larsen, Tim Kring with host Scott Kirsner. Two innovators talk about employing a variety of narrative strategies to tell a story. Tim Kring, developer and executive producer of the blockbuster NBC show Heroes, will give a visual presentation about his use of transmedia storytelling. Reif Larson, whose The Collected Works of T. S. Spivet follows a long tradition of child narrators (think Holden Caulfield) and an even longer tradition of the bildungsroman (think Huck Finn), talks about how his quirky marginalia and drawings add to his stories. Hosted by Boston Globe technology columnist Scott Kirsner, whose new book is Fans, Friends, and Followers. Sponsored by Liberty Mutual.
Writer Idol â€“ Old South Church Mary Norton Hall, 3:30 p.m. Writers bring the first page of unpublished fiction or non-fiction manuscript to this freewheeling session to have a professional actor perform it live before a panel of three experienced agents and editors. The judges will indicate when theyâ€™d stop reading and then offer suggestions to the anonymous author. While the judges will be respectful of the work, expect laughter and even scorn from the audience, so this is not for the thin-skinned! Submissions must be 250 words maximum, double-spaced, titled, with the genre marked at the top; not all submissions will be read aloud owing to time constraints. Pages should be submitted at the event between 3:15 and 3:30. Sponsored by Grub Street.
The Obama Year â€“ Boston Public Library Rabb Lecture Hall, 4 p.m.â€¨featuring Michael E. Porter, David Gergen, Jack Beatty, Lani Guinier with host Tom Ashbrook of WBURâ€™s On Point program. Harvard economist and business guru Michael E. Porter, pundit and adviser to presidents past David Gergen, Harvard Law professor Lani Guinier, and Atlantic Monthly senior editor Jack Beatty mix it up with a frank assessment of the presidentâ€™s progress on his new agenda.
Thrillers and Killers â€“ Boston Public Library Popular Reading Room, 4 p.m.â€¨featuring Stephen Carter, Andre Dubus III, Joseph Finder with host Jessica Stern. Jerichoâ€™s Fall, the fourth of Yale Law Professor Stephen Carterâ€™s highly regarded novels, unravels the secrets of a former CIA chief. Joe Finderâ€™s latest thriller, Vanished, delves into the murky world of corporate espionage, while Andre Dubus III probes the mind of a terrorist in The Garden of Last Days. Session host Jessica Stern is a top terrorism expert, Academic Director of the Program on Terrorism and the Law at Harvard Law School and a former member of the National Security Council.
Poetry as Music â€“ Trinity Church Forum, 4 p.m. featuring Robert Pinsky with Rakalam Bob Moses and Andrew Urbina. Experience the intersection of poetry and music with jazz aficionado and former National Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. Robert will give a music-inflected reading, with back-up from jazz musicians Rakalam Bob Moses and Andrew Urbina.
Eat Your Words â€“ Boston Public Library Abbey Room, 4 p.m. featuring Barbara Lynch and Sheryl Julian with host Corby Kummer.
James Beard Award-winning superstar chef-owner Barbara Lynch runs seven Boston restaurants including No. 9 Park and B&G Oysters. She is the author of the new cookbook Stir: Mixing It Up in the Italian Tradition. Boston Globe Food editor Sheryl Julian trained at the Cordon Bleu and is the editor of The New Boston Globe Cookbook. Corby Kummer is the acclaimed food writer and blogger for the Atlantic Monthly and author most recently of The Pleasures of Slow Food: Celebrating Authentic Traditions, Flavors and Recipes.
KEYNOTE â€“ Orhan Pamuk: The Museum of Innocence â€“ Old South Church Sanctuary, 5 p.m.â€¨featuring Orhan Pamuk with host Christopher Lydon. Recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature, Orhan Pamuk has written, â€œI regret that I have not been able to shake off the enlightenment utilitarian idea that books exist to prepare us for life.â€ Pamukâ€™s new novel, The Museum of Innocence, his first since winning the Nobel Prize, is described as â€œa stirring exploration of the nature of romantic attachment and the mysterious allure of collecting.â€ Pamuk talks about literature, love and life. Co-sponsored by PEN New England and the New York Review of Books.
Boston Noir Launch â€“ Boston Public Library Rabb Lecture Hall, 6 - 9 p.m.â€¨featuring Russ Aborn, Brendan DuBois, Dana Cameron, Jim Fusilli, Lynne Heitman with host Dennis Lehane. Tickets are $15 and available now at bostonbookfest.org. Celebrate the launch of the new short story collection Boston Noir with contributing author and master of the art of noir, editor Dennis Lehane. Boston Noir features 11 Boston neighborhoods and nearby communities in stories by contributors including Brendan DuBois, Dana Cameron, Jim Fusilli, Lynne Heitman and Russ Aborn, who will attend the launch event. Limited space. Sponsored by The Boston Phoenix.
Additional Sponsors â€“ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, The Boston Foundation, Verizon, Rodale, Hachette Book Group, Liberty Mutual, and E-Ink. Media sponsors include WBUR, New England Cable News, The Boston Globe, The Boston Phoenix, Mix 104.1, Oldies 103.3, WGBH, The New York Review of Books, and The Boston Parents Paper. Partners include Mayor Thomas M. Menino; The Mayorâ€™s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events; The City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department; ReadBoston; Arts Boston; Boston Public Library; the Boston AthenÃ¦um; PEN New England; Grub Street; Trinity Church; Old South Church; Boston Childrenâ€™s Museum; New Center for Arts and Culture; 826 Boston; Berklee College of Music; Emerson College; Harvard Bookstore; Brookline Booksmith, Jamaicaway Books; Porter Square Books; and Newtonville Books.