Monday, October 19, 2009

The Inaugural Boston Book Festival

Boston, MA--The inaugural Boston Book Festival takes place on Saturday, October 24, and is set to kick off the area’s first in many years with shock and awe (for bookworms anyway). Drawing some of the biggest names of the literary world--and other places like Hollywood--the Boston Book Festival (BBF) is gearing up for a truly remarkable first go at what Founder and President Deborah Z. Porter says will be “an annual world-class event.”
Porter may not have overstated this as the festival will host over thirty events in multiple locations including the Boston Public Library, Old South and Trinity Churches, and Copley Plaza. The speakers, performers, and panelists span the spectrums of respect and talent from this year’s keynote speaker, Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, to actress Alicia Silverstone who will share insights from her book on veganism, The Kind Diet. Adding to the mix of quirky entertainment with literary clout are panelists such as novelist Tom Perrotta (Election, Little Children), who will be interviewing his former student, John Hodgman--a correspondent for The Daily Show with John Stewart, but who is best known as the Mac guy’s counterpart, PC, in Apple computer commercials.

Also from Hollywood, Heroes creator Tim Kring will give a visual-based lecture on “transmedia storytelling.” Kring’s exploration in franchise growth through multiple media sources, such as television, the internet, traditional glued paper books, ebooks, and even the new “vooks.” Recognizing the important influence of technology, organizers have scheduled speakers, such as Kring, who are versed on the rapid changes occurring within the book industry and other media. 
For poetry fans, there is Poetry As Music with Boston University professor and poetry editor of Slate magazine, Robert Pinsky; Spoken Word Showcase featuring local teens who will read their own work as well as that of “well-known published poets”; and Guided Open Mic hosted by Emmy award winner Hank Phillipi Ryan.
But the festival is set to host presentations on a variety of writing genres such as thrillers and science fiction, children’s books and folks tales, and fiction and non fiction. There are various workshops and other ways for local writers to show their stuff. Including Writer Idol, where attendees can submit up to 250 words, which will be read aloud by a trained actor, and judged by a panel of experienced writers and critics. However, this event comes with a disclaimer: “Though all excerpts will be evaluated anonymously, this session is not for the faint-hearted or thin-skinned! While judges will be respectful of the work, laughter and even scorn from the audience is to be expected.”
The festivities start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 23 at Trinity Church in Copley Square with Boston Out Loud--a night of music and inspired readings by local celebrities. Emceed by WBUR’s Robin Young and headlined by singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor, the evening will also include Mayor Thomas Menino who will read passages from his favorite book, and a performance by the Boston Children’s Choir. This is the only attraction that requires paid tickets, which are $12 and can be purchased at the BBF website
All other events, which take place on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., are free to the public. Presentations will happen simultaneously at each location, so check out the BBF website for a complete list of venues and times to help map out the day.

Public domain image embedded from

No comments:

Post a Comment