Schedule of Events

2018 Schedule of Events


Friday, April 27 — Opening Night Ceremony

Friday night beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Firehouse Center for the Arts, Newburyport.

Opening Night Ceremony: Ann Hood

Festival favorite, Ann Hood, popular and prolific fiction writer, is our honoree this year. Ann is the author of fourteen novels, three memoirs, a short story collection, a ten book series for middle readers and one young adult novel. For our opening ceremony she will be in conversation with her longtime friend, Andre Dubus, III about her life as a writer and the books that matter most to her.

Presenter: Ann Hood
Moderator: Andre Dubus III


Friday 7:30 PM
Masonic Lodge
31 Green Street

Join us for Dinner with the Authors!

  • Tickets $50.00 at the door or purchase here!
  • Buffet and cash bar.


Saturday, April 28

Poetry
Saturday 8:30 AM
Central Congregational Church Social Hall
Breakfast with the Poets

Join us for coffee, pastry, and poetry. Five of the locally-based, nationally-recognized Powow River Poets have published new books in the past year: Barbara Crane, David Davis, Jean L. Kreiling, James Najarian, and Deborah Warren.

Presenters: Barbara Crane, Jean L. Kreiling, James Najarian,
Deborah Warren
Moderator: David Davis


Fiction
Saturday 9:00 AM
Central Congregational Church Church Sanctuary

Stephen McCauley

My Ex Life by Stephen McCauley

Start your day with Stephen McCauley and his touching but laugh-out-loud funny new novel, My Ex-Life. David and Julie are a formerly married couple who haven’t seen each other in decades. David has spent the last twenty years as a gay man who helps spoiled San Francisco teens get into colleges, and Julie is, a now twice-divorced mom who has become a middle-aged pot-head and has turned her falling-apart house into a B&B to make ends meet. What happens when they find themselves living together again?

Presenter: Stephen McCauley


Nonfiction
Saturday 9:00 AM
Firehouse Center for the Arts
Two Writers Under One Roof

Can two writers live happily ever after? What are the advantages—and disadvantages—of sharing your home with a fellow wordsmith? Come listen in as two writer couples talk about collaborating, competing, and cohabiting.

Presenter: Robert W. Crawford, Midge Goldberg, Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough, Steve Yarbrough Moderator: Daniel Tobin


Nonfiction
Saturday 9:00 AM
Old South Church
The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir

Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley’s face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes―the moment she hears him speak of his crimes—she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case. Despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly familiar. As Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder, she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky’s childhood. And by examining the details of Ricky’s case, she is forced to face her own story; to unearth long-buried family secrets, and reckon with a past that colors her view of Ricky’s crime. Join Alexandria in conversation with Suzanne Dubus about a book that the New York Times describes as “complex and challenging…,” and that “push[es] the boundaries of writing about trauma.”

Presenter: Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich Moderator: Suzanne Dubus


Nonfiction
Saturday 9:00 AM
Old South Church – Social Hall

Tim Hayes

How and Why Horses Heal Humans

Horses have an extraordinary ability to transform the lives of men, women, and children — whether they are horse lovers or those suffering from deep psychological wounds. Riding Home—The Power of Horses to Heal is a book about the joy, wonder, self-awareness, and peace of mind that can come to anyone from a horse/human relationship. Author Tim Hayes has made “natural horsemanship,” or what has long been known as “horse whispering,” his life’s work. Join us for Tim’s book talk/signing and Q&A.

Presenter: Tim Hayes


Nonfiction
Saturday 9:00 AM
Unitarian Universalist Church
The Bitch is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier

More than a decade after the New York Times bestselling anthology The Bitch in the House spoke up loud and clear for a generation of young woman—and inspired the creation of the New York Times “Modern Love” column—nine of the original contributors are back, along with sixteen captivating new voices, sharing their ruminations from an older, stronger, and wiser perspective about love, sex, work, family, independence, body-image, health, and aging. In The Bitch is Back, those funny, smart, passionate contributors—today less bitter and resentful, and more confident, competent, and content—capture the spirit of post-feminism in this equally provocative, illuminating, and compelling companion anthology. Now in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, these “bitches”—bestselling authors, renowned journalists, and critically acclaimed novelists—offer their unique views on womanhood and feminism. Join anthology editor Cathi Hanaeur and contributors to the volume for a lively discussion about the critical flash points of women’s lives today.

Presenters: Kate Christensen, Sarah Crichton, Ann Hood
Moderator: Cathi Hanauer


Fiction
Saturday 9:00 AM
Newburyport Art Association

Rachel Kadish

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

Set in London of the 1660s, and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

Presenter: Rachel Kadish


Nonfiction
Saturday 9:00 AM
City Hall

Nina Sankovitch

The Lowells of Massachusetts: An American Family

The Lowells of Massachusetts were a remarkable family. They were settlers in the New World in the 1600s, revolutionaries creating a new nation in the 1700s, merchants and manufacturers building prosperity in the 1800s, and scientists, activists, and artists flourishing in the 1900s. Though not without scoundrels and certainly no strangers to controversy, the family boasted some of the most astonishing individuals in America’s history, including Percival Lowell, who at the age of 68 sailed from England to settle in Newbury; Judge John Lowell, Newburyport lawyer who brought the first freedom suits for black men and women of Massachusetts, set up the privateering ventures that funded the American Revolution, and served on the Continental Congress, and Amy Lowell, enterprising 20th century poet who performed like a rock star and lived openly with her companion, the divorced former actress and Mormon, Ada Dwyer Russell. Come learn about these Lowells and more when Nina Sankovitch discusses her book, The Lowells of Massachusetts: An American Family.

Presenter: Nina Sankovitch


Nonfiction
Saturday 9:00 AM
Jabberwocky Bookshop

Tova Mirvis

The Book of Separation: A Memoir

The Book of Separation is the story of a woman who leaves her faith and her marriage and sets out to navigate the terrifying, liberating terrain of a newly mapless world. “Mirvis intimately chronicles her divorce and her separation from modern Orthodox Judaism in this bold memoir… Hers is a story of grief and rebirth. She is compassionate and judicious in her portrayal of Orthodox Judaism, even as she describes its repressive attitudes toward women… Her personal journey makes for an introspective and fascinating story.”
—Publishers Weekly

Presenter: Tova Mirvis


Children/Ages 4-8
Saturday 9:30 AM
Children’s Room, Newburyport Public Library

Kristine Lombardi

The Grumpy Pets

Billy’s not like the other kids. He’s a bit… grumpy. Hoping to cheer him up, his mom takes him and his sister to the animal rescue one Saturday morning. All the animals are cute and playful, but they’re a little too happy for Billy. Then Billy wanders into another section of the store, where the pets are all grouchy and scruffy. Will Billy find the perfect friend here? Author Kristine Lombardi reads from her book, The Grumpy Pets, and then helps kids create their own grumpy pet masks using paper plates, crayons, and construction paper. Don’t miss this fun and engaging session! All materials will be provided.

Presenter: Kristine A. Lombardi


Poetry
Saturday 10:00 AM
Central Congregational Church Social Hall
Night Vision and the Lighting of Candles

Beginning at least as far back as Homer, poets of the Western Tradition have felt compelled to speak of the underworld, for as Dante explained, “there was some good there.” John Foy, author of Night Vision, and the aptly-named Catherine Chandler (“maker of candles”), are worthy heirs of that tradition. Unafraid to consider things covered in darkness, they bring to light what might otherwise remain hidden, and find some good there.

Presenters: Catherine Chandler and John Foy


Nonfiction
Saturday 10:00 AM
City Hall

Tamara Plakins Thornton

Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed American Life

It was right here in Newburyport in 1802 that Nathaniel Bowditch published the first edition of what for decades remained the must-have manual for America’s sailors, the New American Practical Navigator. In her illustrated presentation, Tamara Plakins Thornton offers a fresh look at the man Thomas Jefferson celebrated as “a meteor of the hemisphere.” Yes, he was the author of a maritime bestseller, but he was also a mathematician and astronomer and a business executive whose devotion to systems that ran with clockwork precision and regularity shaped the faceless bureaucracies we associate today with modern life. Come meet this peppery Yankee, who voyaged around the globe, became a Fellow of London’s Royal Society, pioneered the business of trusts, shook up Harvard, and feuded with the man who (probably) burned down Newburyport in 1811.

Presenter: Tamara Plakins Thornton


Children Ages 8-12
Saturday 10:00 AM
Program Room, Newburyport Public Library
Middle-Grade Reading in the Digital Age

When it comes to high-quality fiction, middle-grade readers have a variety of choices. Today’s novels are filled with feisty, unforgettable characters who are dealing with real-world issues such as broken families, illness, poverty, and the search for love and identity. There are dark fantasies and humorous journeys; magic, danger, laughs, and tears. In addition to a wide range of subject matter, there are print and digital formats to consider. In this fun and lively session, four New England-based authors team up with Nock/Molin librarian Ellen Menesale and local 8th graders to talk about Reading in the Digital Age.

Presenters: Tami Charles, MarcyKate Connolly, Kimberly Newton Fusco, Elinor Teele
Moderators: Ellen Menesale, Lila Gridley, Nolan Elrott


Fiction
Saturday 10:30 AM
JCentral Congregational Church Sanctuary

Tom Perrotta

Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta

Tom Perrotta is back with a timeless examination of sexuality, identity, parenthood, and the big clarifying mistakes people can make when they’re no longer sure of who they are or where they belong. Mrs. Fletcher is sharp, witty, and provocative. The New York Times Book Review calls Mrs. Fletcher “The sweetest and most charming novel about pornography addiction and the harrowing issues of sexual consent that you will probably ever read.”

Presenter: Tom Perrotta


Nonfiction
Saturday 10:30 AM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Stephen Greenblatt

Stephen Greenblatt’s The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

Deemed his most ambitious book yet, Stephen Greenblatt’s The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve explores the enduring story of humanity’s first parents. Comprising only a few ancient verses, the story of Adam and Eve has served as a mirror in which we seem to glimpse the whole, long history of our fears and desires, as both a hymn to human responsibility and a dark fable about human wretchedness. Tracking the tale into the deep past, Greenblatt uncovers the tremendous theological, artistic, and cultural investment over centuries that made these fictional figures so profoundly resonant in the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worlds and, finally, so very “real” to millions of people even in the present. Join the Pulitzer Prize– and National Book Award–winning author of The Swerve and Will in the World as he shares images and stories from his most recent masterpiece.

Presenter: Stephen Greenblatt


Fiction
Saturday 10:30 AM
Old South Church
Crime, Punishment, and the Gray Areas In Between
in Young Adult Literature

Kidnapping, identity theft, drug trafficking, human trafficking, murder: tough topics for young adult literature. But these authors know how to tackle them in ways that engage their audience — and keep pages turning — without simplifying or sensationalizing. Join young adult authors Francisco X. Stork and Kim Savage in conversation with the Horn Book’s executive editor, Elissa Gershowitz.

Presenters: Kim Savage, Francisco X. Stork
Moderator: Elissa Gershowitz


Fiction
Saturday 10:30 AM
Old South Church – Social Hall

Jennifer McMahon

Burntown: A Novel

Burntown is an edge-of- your-seat thriller set in a quaint New England town that Booklist calls “A stunning genre blend of thriller and fantasy.” Join New York Time’s best-selling author of The Winter People, Jennifer McMahon, in her first Newburyport Literary Festival appearance!

Presenter: Jennifer McMahon


Nonfiction
Saturday 10:30 AM
Unitarian Universalist Church
Writing Hard Stories: Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma

What does it take to write an honest memoir? And what happens to us when we embark on that journey? Those were just two of the difficult questions Melanie Brooks faced when she began writing her family’s painful story. To help her find answers, Melanie talked with other writers whose memoirs had moved her. The result is the anthology, Writing Hard Stories: Celebrated Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma. Join Melanie and three of the writers featured in her book for this fascinating discussion about trekking through the darkest of memories—and finding the courage to put words to your story.

Presenters: Alysia Abbott, Mark Doty, Andre Dubus III
Moderator: Melanie Brooks


Fiction
Saturday 10:30 AM
Newburyport Art Association

Jessica Keener

Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener

Annie and Will move to Budapest from Boston with their infant son shortly after the fall of the Communist regime. For Annie, it is an effort to escape the ghosts that haunt her past, and Will wants simply to seize the chance to build a new future for his family. Eight months after their move, their efforts to assimilate are thrown into turmoil when they receive a message from friends in the United States asking that they check up on an elderly man, a fiercely independent Jewish American WWII veteran who helped free Hungarian Jews from a Nazi prison camp. They soon learn that the man, Edward Weiss, has come to Hungary to exact revenge on someone he is convinced seduced, married, and then murdered his daughter. “A provocative novel about the power of the past–and our interpretations and misinterpretations of it–to haunt the present.” –B.A. Shapiro, author of The Muralist

Presenter: Jessica Keener


Fiction
Saturday 10:30 AM
Jabberwocky Bookshop

Peter Swanson

All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson

From the acclaimed author of Her Every Fear and The Kind Worth Killing comes a diabolically clever tale of obsession, revenge, and cold-blooded murder. Harry Ackerson has always considered his stepmother Alice to be sexy and beautiful, in an “otherworldly” way. Days before his college graduation, Alice calls with shocking news. His father is dead and the police think it’s suicide. Devastated, Harry returns to his father’s home in Maine.Shortly after he arrives, Harry meets a mysterious young woman named Grace McGowan. Though she claims to be new to the area, Harry begins to suspect that Grace may not be a complete stranger to his family. But she isn’t the only attractive woman taking an interest in Harry. The sensual Alice is also growing closer, coming on to him in an enticing, clearly sexual way. Mesmerized by these two women, Harry finds himself falling deeper under their spell. Yet the closer he gets to them, the more isolated he feels, disoriented by a growing fear that both women are hiding dangerous—even deadly—secrets, and that neither one is telling the truth

Presenter: Peter Swanson


Poetry
Saturday 11:00 AM
Central Congregational Church Social Hall
Carrying Over, Carrying On: A Panel on Translating Poetry

How difficult it is to make ourselves understood, even in small matters, even when speaking to those who are closest to us. How much more difficult to communicate matters of the heart, as a poet must. And how nearly impossible to translate such communication from one language to another! Acclaimed poet, anthologist, and essayist Daniel Tobin chairs this panel of miracle workers who have enriched English poetry with translations from a range of languages extending from Middle Welsh to Haitian Creole.

Presenters: Rhina Espaillat, A.M. Juster, Aidan Rooney, Daniel Tobin, Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough


Nonfiction
Saturday 11:00 AM
City Hall

Eric Dolin

Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme,” Herman Melville proclaimed, and this Leviathan demonstrates that few things can capture the sheer danger and desperation of men on the deep sea as dramatically as whaling. Eric Jay Dolin’s slide show and presentation begins with Captain John Smith’s botched whaling expedition to the New World in 1614. He then chronicles the rise of a burgeoning industry — from its brutal struggles during the Revolutionary period, to its golden age in the mid-1800s when a fleet of more than 700 ships hunted the seas and American whale oil lit the world, to its decline as the twentieth century dawned. This sweeping social and economic history provides rich and often fantastic accounts of the men themselves, who mutinied, murdered, rioted, deserted, drank, scrimshawed, and recorded their experiences in journals and memoirs. Join Eric for a wild ride through history!

Presenter: Eric Jay Dolin


Children/Ages 4 – 8
Saturday 11:00 AM
Children’s Room, Newburyport Public Library

Jennifer Morris

Maud the Koala

Maud the koala knows a visit to the doctor will help keep her healthy—so why is she so afraid? Join author Jennifer Morris as she reads from her engaging series, Maud the Koala. Afterward, she helps kids create their own koala stick puppets. All materials will be provided.

Presenter: Jennifer E. Morris


Poetry
Saturday 1:00 PM
Central Congregational Church Social Hall
Flair

That “extra dash of style” that Duy Doan so admires in outstanding athletes figures largely in the poetry of Jenna Le and in his own. Endlessly inventive poets whose work moves across cultures, Doan and Le deftly work in forms as varied as the Malaysian pantoum, the Persian ghazal, the Asian tanka and haiku, the Italian sonnet, and a world of other varied and even hybrid forms to explore the nuances of individual and collective memory, and the uneasy intersection of a Vietnamese heritage with an American upbringing.

Presenters: Duy Doan and Jenna Le


Fiction
Saturday 1:00 PM
Central Congregational Church Sanctuary

Ann Hood

The Book that Matters Most by Ann Hood

When her 25-year marriage falls apart, Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading, but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group’s goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Alternating with Ava’s story is that of her trou-bled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava’s mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.

Presenter: Ann Hood


Nonfiction
Saturday 1:00 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts

Page Turners: Writing the Suspense Novel

The authors on this panel spin character-driven tales filled with obsessions, secrets, tragedy, and murder. How do they keep the twists and turns coming and leave us guessing until the very end? Join four of today’s hottest stars in suspense fiction as they talk about creating stories that keep us on the edge of our seats.

Presenters: Cate Holahan, Jennifer McMahon, Kate Moretti,
Peter Swanson
Moderator: Dyke Hendrickson


Nonfiction
Saturday 1:00 PM
Old South Church

Cheryl Richardson

Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife

Waking Up in Winter is the candid account of how at midlife, Cheryl Richardson found renewed contentment and purpose through a heroic, inward journey. The unfolding story follows Richardson from the first, gentle nudges of change to a thoughtfully reimagined life – a soulful, spring awakening. With an experienced coach’s intuition and an artist’s eye, Richardson reexamines everything – her marriage, her work, her friendships, and her priorities – gracefully shedding parts of the self that no longer serve along the way. Join New York Times best-selling author and life coach Cheryl Richardson in this thought-provoking look at midlife transformation.

Presenter: Cheryl Richardson


Nonfiction
Saturday 1:00 PM
Old South Church – Social Hall

Ian Thomsen

The Soul of Basketball: The Epic Showdown Between LeBron, Kobe, Doc, and Dirk That Saved the NBA

The Soul of Basketball tells the story of an NBA prodigy, his league and their sport in the throes of crisis during the pivotal 2010-11 season. It began with The Decision, that infamous televised moment when uber-star LeBron James revealed that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to pursue his first championship with his former opponents on the Miami Heat. In the cultural tradition of Moneyball and Friday Night Lights, veteran NBA writer Ian Thomsen portrays the NBA as a self-correcting society in which young LeBron James is forced to absorb hard truths inflicted by his rivals Kobe Bryant, Doc Rivers, and Dirk Nowitzki, in addition to lessons set forth by Pat Riley, Gregg Popovich, Larry Bird, David Stern, Joey Crawford, and many more.

Presenter: Ian Thomsen


Fiction
Saturday 1:00 PM
Unitarian Universalist Church
Flash Fiction and the Art of Vulnerability

Short-form writing can be a powerful response to cultural movements. In this thought-provoking panel, three flash fiction authors explore how current conversations such as #metoo and the underrepresentation of marginalized voices have impacted their writing, leading them to examine their personal experiences in a new light, and inspiring them to take more risks.

Presenters: Kat Gonso, Hannah Harlow, CatherineParnell
Moderator: Myfanwy Collins


Nonfiction
Saturday 1:00 PM
Newburyport Art Association

Ramie Targoff

Renaissance Woman: The Extraordinary Life and World of Vittoria Colonna

Vittoria Colonna has long been celebrated by scholars of Michelangelo as the artist’s best friend―the two of them exchanged beautiful letters, poems, and works of art that bear witness to their intimacy―but she also had close ties to Charles V, Pope Clement VII and Pope Paul III, Pietro Bembo, Baldassare Castiglione, Pietro Aretino, Queen Marguerite de Navarre, Reginald Pole, and Isabella d’Este, among others. Vittoria was the scion of an immensely powerful family in Rome during that city’s most explosively creative era. Art and literature flourished, but political and religious life were under terrific strain. Personally involved with nearly every major development of this period―through both her marriage and her own talents―Vittoria was not only a critical political actor and negotiator but also the first woman to publish a book of poems in Italy, an event that launched a revolution for Italian women’s writing. Vittoria was, in short, at the very heart of what we celebrate when we think about sixteenth-century Italy; through her story the Renaissance comes to life anew.

Presenter: Ramie Targoff


Nonfiction
Saturday 1:00 PM
City Hall

Following Eben: A Newburyport Marine and a Year of Discovery

Eben “Bunny” Bradbury, son of two ancient Newburyport families, joined the United States Marine Corps just days after the declaration of war in April 1917. Everyone in the city knew him, and his sudden death a year later in the Battle of Belleau Wood in France was commemorated with a public monument. A century later, a chance encounter brought a local historian and distant cousin to ask about his monument, leading to the discovery of intimate letters, personal diaries, photographs, and military records, held by people across the world who had not forgotten Eben. Dorau reveals a story that goes far beyond a tragic battlefield death and uncovers a rich and complex American family, rooted deeply in a truly American city.

Presenter: Bethany Groff Dorau


Fiction
Saturday 1:00 PM
Jabberwocky Bookshop

Steve Yarbrough

The Unmade World by Steve Yarbrough

Set against a backdrop of the current political and cultural upheaval in the United States and Eastern Europe, The Unmade World is a thoughtful, literary novel with a dose of suspense that moves from Poland to California to the Hudson Valley and back to Poland. “This many-layered novel is a thriller, a love story, a travelogue full of richly observed scenes, a morality tale replete with betrayal, remorse and lust for revenge, and a hilarious comedy. The tight control Yarbrough exercises over the ten-year span of the story kept me turning the pages and left me full of admiration.” – Colm Toibin

Presenter: Steve Yarbrough


Children/Ages 4-8
Saturday 1:00 PM
Children’s Room, Newburyport Public Library

Carol Schwartz

The Exquisite Insect Game

Join author Carol Schwartz as she takes us on a journey to show how art is created for a picture book. She’ll reveal how research uncovers surprising facts that enrich nonfiction books, and share fun discoveries about insects that she studied for her illustrations in The World Never Sleeps and My Busy Green Garden. Learn how to create a variety of creatures and use your imagination to draw your own crazy creepy crawlers in a fold, sketch, and exchange activity called the Exquisite Insect Game.

Presenter: Carol Schwartz


Poetry
Saturday 2:00 PM
Central Congregational Church Social Hall
The Yoking of Love and Loss

Rachel Hadas and Mark Doty are both fabulously erudite and widely acclaimed poets, but do not expect to hear anything showy or new-fangled from either of them. They are both essentially love poets; they write about love and loss, that inseparable pair— time-honored poetic themes central to the human condition. You get the sense that these two are poets-by-accident; they only set out to be human beings. “We are passing through the world. / This is some of what it does to us.”

Presenters: Mark Doty and Rachel Hadas


Nonfiction
Saturday 2:30 PM
Central Congregational Church Sanctuary

Tammy Bottner

Among the Reeds: The True Story of How a Family Survived the Holocaust

When her son was born, Tammy Bottner experienced flashbacks of being hunted by the Nazis. The strange thing is, these experiences didn’t happen to her. They happened to her grandmother decades earlier and thousands of miles away in Belgium. Newburyport author Tammy Bottner recounts the unthinkable choices her grandmother Melly made to save her family during WWII, which included sending her two-year-old son, Bottner’s father, into hiding in a lonely Belgian convent. Did the trauma that Tammy’s predecessors experience affect their DNA? Did she inherit the “memories” of the war-time trauma in her very genes?

Presenter: Tammy Bottner


Fiction
Saturday 2:30 PM
Old South Church

Traveling Abroad: Novels Set in Distant Places

London. Budapest. Krakow: Setting serves as more than just an exotic backdrop in the most recent novels of Rachel Kadish, Jessica Keener, and Steve Yarbrough; rather, it becomes an integral part of the story and the characters in it. What inspired these authors to set their tales in distant cities? How did they navigate the challenges of writing about different cultures? Join us for this lively discussion with journalist Leslie Hendrickson.

Presenters: Rachel Kadish, Jessica Keener, Steve Yarbrough
Moderator: Leslie Hendrickson


Nonfiction
Saturday 2:30 PM
Old South Social Hall

Emily Twarog

Politics of the Pantry: Housewives, Food, and Consumer Protest in Twentieth Century America

The history of women’s political involvement has focused heavily on electoral politics, but throughout the twentieth century women engaged in grassroots activism when they found it increasingly challenging to feed their families and balance their household ledgers. Politics of the Pantry examines how working- and middle-class American housewives used their identity as housewives to protest the high cost of food. With a focus on food consumption rather than production, Twarog looks closely at the ways food–specifically meat–was used by women as a political tool. Engaging in domestic politics, housewives both challenged and embraced the social and economic order as they sought to craft a unique political voice and build a consumer movement focused on the home.

Presenter: Emily E. LB. Twarog


Nonfiction
Saturday 2:30 PM
Unitarian Universalist Church
Colombians Converge on Peace: A Cultural, Literary Look at a Long Process

June Carolyn Erlick and Michael J. LaRosa will discuss the Colombian path to peace by considering recent trends in journalism and culture (soap operas), along with historic/literary movements. Policy makers, politicians, and insurgent leaders forged part of the path to peace; but changing the cultural consciousness of Colombians happened gradually, at the grassroots level, as a war-weary nation committed to peace starting with the 2016 “Agreement” between the Santos Government and FARC insurgency.

Presenters: June Carolyn Erlick, Michael J. LaRosa
Moderator: Drew Hendrickson


Fiction
Saturday 2:30 PM
Newburyport Art Association

Meg Mitchell Moore

The Captain’s Daughter

Local favorite Meg Mitchell Moore presents this emotionally gripping novel about a woman who returns to her hometown in coastal Maine and finds herself pondering the age-old question of what could have been. Filled with humor, insight, summer cocktails, and gorgeous sunsets, The Captain’s Daughter is a compassionate novel about the life-changing choices we make and the consequences we face in their aftermath.

Presenter: Meg Mitchell Moore


Fiction
Saturday 2:30 PM
Jabberwocky Bookshop

Laura Harrington

A Catalog of Birds by Laura Harrington

Laura Harrington is back with a portrait of a family in the midst of recovery, the mysterious disappearance of a young woman, and of a brother and sister whose love of the natural world just might save their lives. “One of the great pleasures of reading A Catalog of Birds is that it’s as impossible to categorize as it is to put down” – The Washington Post

Presenter: Laura Harrington


Children/Ages 4-8
Saturday 2:30 PM
Children’s Room, Newburyport Public Library

Michelle Cuevas

Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow

Smoot the shadow has been living a yawn-filled life for years. His boy never laughs and never leaps, so Smoot never does either . . . until the day he pops free, and decides to hit the road in search of the life he dreams about. Join author Michelle Cuevas as she reads from her popular picture book, Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow. Afterward, Michelle helps kids imagine what their own shadows might look like—How are they shaped? What color are they?—and then bring those shadows to life on paper with crayons and pencils.

Presenter: Michelle Cuevas


Poetry
Saturday 3:00 PM
Central Congregational Church Social Hall
Beloved Mentors: Erica Funkhouser and Evan Dalton Smith

Erica Funkhouser has had only one of her poems sand-blasted into the wall of the Davis Square MBTA Station, but her entire body of work is made to endure. Her life in poetry has been a model of artistic and emotional integrity for both her students and her peers. Next generation poet Evan Dalton Smith —an exciting new local voice—counts Lucie Brock-Broido, Richard Howard and Marie Howe among his own mentors.

Presenters: Erica Funkhouser and Evan Dalton Smith


Fiction
Saturday 4:00 PM
Newburyport Art Association

Christopher Irvin

Ragged: or, The Loveliest Lies of All

In a feral twist on crime fiction, Cal, a mutt with a criminal past, must avenge the death of his wife and protect his pups from the inherent darkness of nature and the cold cruelness of the looming winter. Step inside this unforgettable anthropomorphic tale of love and revenge, as Wind in the Willows meets Fargo and Irvin’s signature slice-of-life crime takes on a whole new realm.

Presenter: Christopher Irvin


Nonfiction
Saturday 4:00 PM
Jabberwocky Bookshop

Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough

Objects of Affection by Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough

Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough arrived in the United States from Poland in 1984, bringing memories of life under a totalitarian regime, where the personal was always political. In essay after essay in Objects of Affection, her remarkable debut, Hryniewicz-Yarbrough shows the immigrant’s double perspective, exploring a “bi-polar” world of displacement and rootlessness, geography and memory, individual and family history, always with an acute awareness of losses and gains that accompany adaptation to a new language and culture and the creation of a new identity.

Presenter: Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough


Saturday 7:00 PM
Firehouse Center for the Arts
Closing Ceremony:
Women’s Voices – Four Fiction Writers Discuss Their Work

We are pleased to honor four greater Newburyport authors who will be in conversation about the challenges and rewards they face as fiction writers. The publishing and marketing world continue to move away from long-established norms. For many authors, in addition to sharing compelling stories, charting their career path requires an additional level of creativity. Holly will lead the conversation that will include everything from discussing writing habits to following the muse. These lively women offer their own insights into how to get to the writing when other forces are tugging for attention.

Presenters: Anne Easter Smith, Aine Greaney, Meg Mitchell Moore
Moderator: Holly Robinson


Newburyport Literary Festival, A Project of the Newburyport Literary Association
PO Box 268 Newburyport, MA 01950
(978) 465-1257