Writers! Readers! Slammers! Unite!

Photo: Glenn Moody

Photo: Glenn Moody

It’s literary festival season—the grand gatherings of writers, critics, publishers and—most importantly—readers. There are two extraordinary festivals taking place in September–both within reach by NCPR audiences.







burlingtonbooklogoFirst up, the 9th annual Burlington Book Festival, Three Days of Authorized Activity, running from September 20-22.

This year’s festival features a great mix of artists from all genres. There’s poetry, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith and Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea; there’s a graphic novel summit; readings and conversations with a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction writers; and all kinds of special events including a New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest sponsored by Phoenix Books; a presentation by writer/artist Tim Brookes about his endangered alphabets project; and a literary pub crawl. Events take place in multiple locations around Burlington. Check out the festival website for details.



The following week, the action moves to Kingston, Ontario, from September 25-29 at the Holiday Inn on the Kingston waterfront.


Margaret Atwood, courtesy Kingston Writers Fest webpage.


The Kingston Writers Fest , now in its fifth year, has once again mustered a remarkable line up of renowned and emerging writers–fiction, non-fiction, young adult, poetry, memoir. Headlining the International Marquee presentation on September 26, Margaret Atwood uses the occasion to MaddAddam, the final book in her speculative fiction trilogy.

Each year, I discover at least one new author thanks to this festival. Last year, it was Teju Cole, whose novel, Open City, was the book I loved to share to friends all of last winter.

This year, I plan to check out, among others, Joseph Boyden, whose new novel, The Orenda, explores the Jesuit missionary days among the Mohawk.

NCPR’s Betsy Kepes will be covering many of the festival events. Keep checking here for her reports and reviews.

  1. left

    when i lived in a big city
    i would put 20 or so poems
    in a plastic bag and sell them
    at the writers book store

    in grad school
    i made staple-bound books
    and put them on the shelf
    somewhere in the pn section

    or take one or two poems
    and slide them into a book
    of a poetry i admire

    now i have the internet and
    scattered poems in various places
    and spaces

    my carbon footprint gets smaller
    wider and thinner

    productivity is placed in so many

    and i remain
    with time
    to write


  2. Mr. Wakiki says:

    10/25/2013 night

    snap cold
    tonight with a pure
    adirondack sky

    the night that feels my breath
    alone the spine of the milky way

    pixie stars scatter across the pitch
    twinkling like there should be
    a children’s song about them

    and if night needed a texture
    like if a kiss needed a tactile delight
    it would be sensual dust on your lips

    as night has found this october night

    my mind dances
    to new amsterdam

    and counts etchings that
    could be stars connected
    by henry miller

    the stars are for you as well
    if you were here to feel the excitement
    on your milky way

  3. Mr. Wakiki says:

    the danger of the internet

    think about a sailboat with your panties
    hanging from the boom

    needless to say, when i challenged
    the batboy to a fight, i thought he
    had something to do with baseball

    so many people have misunderstood
    the beautiful part
    in bbw

    wait, is that a guy falling off a skateboard
    onto his crotch

    guy gets girl
    girl gets it

    so i move the lawn mower and
    there is this frog, like a black frog and
    it isn’t like I was planning on mowing the grass

    i googled romance

    there is a reason your panties are
    hanging from the boom