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Reading Ahead: the 10th Annual Burlington Book Festival


Published September 17, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

Katherine Paterson
  • Katherine Paterson

The emphasis is on local at this weekend's Burlington Book Festival, though attendees will spy luminaries from afar, too: Don't miss the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry, Brooklynite Vijay Seshadri, on Saturday afternoon.

The BBF's Friday evening opening ceremonies start with a dedication to Katherine Paterson in the fest's new primary home: the Fletcher Free Library. The renowned Vermont kids' author will read from her new memoir, Stories of My Life, which attendees can buy a month ahead of its official release date. After fellow children's writer Tanya Lee Stone delivers a tribute to Paterson, Adirondack poet Chase Twichell — half of a literary power couple with novelist Russell Banks — will take the stage (see story below).

For those interested in new local titles, though, the BBF actually kicks off on Thursday, when Shelburne's Wind Ridge Books launches releases from four authors, including poet Stephen Cramer's From the Hip: A Concise History of Hip Hop (in sonnets) (see story, page 38).

Saturday's busy reading schedule includes Shelburne nature writer Laurel Neme, novelist Jennifer Haigh, political cartoonist Jeff Danziger, novelist and essayist Leslie Jamison, poet and fiction writer Kim Addonizio, and Brattleboro poet Diana Whitney, among others. The evening features parties thrown for new publishing imprint Champlain Books and for Mud Season Review, the new journal of the Burlington Writers Workshop.

Sunday's programming highlights children's authors and the Young Writers Project's showcase of Millennial Writers on Stage. Want to publish yourself or others? Come "Learn From Our Digital Adventures (and Misadventures)" with the folks from the Champlain College Publishing Initiative.

The day also offers more for poetry fans, including the NEK's own Leland Kinsey and New Hampshire State Poet Laureate Alice B. Fogel. Lovers of Lovecraft can geek out at a panel discussion called "Fantastic Vermont," presented by Geek Mountain State and featuring local genre writers.

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