Local authors to be featured at 2012 Burlington Book Festival

The eighth annual Burlington Book Festival promises to be yet another year of world-class literary programming right here in Chittenden county. This year’s gathering of readers and writers kicks off Friday, Sept. 21 in a variety of downtown Burlington locations, with events running through Sunday afternoon. The 2012 celebration of the written word will offer readings, signings, panels, workshops, demos, family activities, and special events featuring literary luminaries from around the globe—and just around the corner.

The Festival has been steadily growing since 2004. This year’s headliners include Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings, graphic novelist Alison Bechdel, Newbery Medalist Paul Fleischman, Vermont Poet Laureate Sydney Lea, Emily M. Danforth, Bill McKibben, and winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Tracy K. Smith. The Festival also highlights many local writers, including three from Shelburne’s Wind Ridge Publishing: Rick Peyser, Bill Mares, and Peter Gilbert.

Bill Mares, left, and Rick Peyser

On Saturday, Sept. 22, from noon to 12:30 pm, Rick Peyser and Bill Mares will read from and discuss their new book, “Brewing Change: Behind the Bean at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters,” which tracks the rise of the sustainability movement within the specialty coffee industry. During his 24 years at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Peyser has been a persistent voice advocating for better quality of life in coffee-farming communities. He teamed up with Mares to tell the story of his career and of his travels throughout the coffee lands of Latin America and East Africa. The reading will take place in the Black Box Theater on the third floor of Main Street Landing’s Performing Arts Center.

Peter Gilbert

Later on Saturday afternoon, from 2-2:30 pm in the Great Room on the third floor of Main Street Landing’s Performing Arts Center, Peter Gilbert will read from his new release, “I Was Thinking…Travels in the World of Ideas,” a collection of his popular VPR commentaries. “In what appears to be a paradox, Americans may have become more opinionated and yet less confident in their capacity to think for themselves,” Gilbert observes in the introduction to his book. “Could that be in part because Americans are reading less? And engaging less with the world of ideas?” The 2012 Burlington Book Festival promises to be a lively way to engage with the world of writers, readers, and thinkers—and their ideas—without having to travel very far.

All events will be free of charge and open to the public. For more information on the Burlington Book Festival, and the full schedule of events, visit www.burlingtonbookfestival.com.

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