The 9th annual Burlington Book Festival will take place Sept. 20-22 in a variety of downtown venues. The Opening Ceremonies and Festival Dedication will take place Friday, Sept. 20 at The Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center. Organizers announced that this year’s celebration of the written word would be dedicated to internationally acclaimed author and writer in residence at Middlebury College, Julia Alvarez.
“Each year, the Festival is dedicated to a Vermont figure who has made a significant contribution in the areas of literature and literacy,” said Festival founder and director Rick Kisonak. “Julia’s selection is a ‘no-brainer’ given her distinguished and wide-ranging contribution to the literary arts.”
Alvarez will join Fran Stoddard, Bernie Sanders, and others at the Main Street Landing at 7 pm for opening ceremonies. Alvarez is regarded as one of the most critically and commercially successful Latina writers of her time. “How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents” was the first novel by a Dominican-American woman to receive widespread acclaim and attention in the United States.
“We feel honored to have a figure of her stature as a neighbor,” Kisonak added. “And are proud to dedicate the 2013 Festival to Julia Alvarez.”
This year’s Festival line-up also features a headlining appearance by internationally-acclaimed graphic novelist Chris Ware, author of “Building Stories” and other landmark works.
“He’s kind of mind blowing because usually one refers to a major award, maybe two, but Chris has won everything there is to win in his line of work,” said Kisonak when making the announcement. “Having him as part of this year’s lineup is a total coup. We couldn’t be happier about bringing him to Burlington in collaboration with the Center for Cartoon Studies! “His book “Building Stories” was released in October 2012 and was named one of the New York Times “10 Best Books of 2012.”
Three of Wind Ridge Books’ authors will also be featured at this year’s Festival. Vermont poet, memoirist, and UVM Professor Angela Patten will join the Women’s Work Reading Series Sunday Sept. 22 at the Phoenix Bookstore. Patten will read from her newly-released memoir, “High Tea at a Low Table,” a story of a shy young girl’s colorful childhood in Ireland, an all-American kidnapping, and the coming-of-age young woman and poet finding her voice.
At the Fletcher Free Library on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 2-3 pm, Saint Michael’s College Professor Dr. Dave Landers, will read and talk about his new book, “I Wish He’d Taught Me How to Shave,” a compilation of student essays from his gender studies course, “Men and Masculinities.” Join Landers discussion of how our fathers influence our defining views of a man.
Also on Saturday Sept. 21, Grandmother Goose, Shelburne resident, and children’s book author Marilyn Neagley will be at the Phoenix Bookstore in Burlington to read from her new book, “Loosie B. Goosie,” a charming tale of fate and kindness based on a true story about a rescued goose found at Shelburne Farms.
The Festival will take place Sept. 20-22 and will offers readings, signings, panels, workshops, demos, family activities, and special events featuring literary luminaries in downtown Burlington. All events are free of charge and open to the public.
The Burlington Book Festival is a coproduction of Burlington Magazine and The Stern Center for Language and Learning. For more information, please call 658-3328 or read all about it at burlingtonbookfestival.com.