Newburyport Literary Festival

A Celebration of Literature, Readers, and Writers
• In-Person & Virtual Events • April 26–28, 2024

Listed in alphabetical order

Emerson BakerEmerson Baker

A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience [br] Saturday 11:00 AM Emerson “Tad” Baker is a professor of History at Salem State University. He is the award-winning author of many works on the history and archaeology of early New England, including The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England. Baker received his BA from Bates College, his MA from the University of Maine and his Ph.D. in History from William and Mary. He has served as an advisor and on-camera expert for the PBS series Colonial House, and has co-authored an iPhone app on the Salem witch trials. The Portland Press Herald says “By almost any measure, Emerson W. Baker’s new history, A Storm of Witchcraft, is a masterpiece.” He regularly tweets on the Salem witch trials and early New England history at @EmersonWBaker.

Michael BlandingMichael Blanding

Opening Night Ceremony — Friday 6:00 PM [br] The Map Thief by Michael Blanding — Saturday 2:30 PM Michael Blanding is a Boston-based investigative journalist whose work has appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, Slate, Salon, Consumers Digest, The Boston Globe Magazine, and Boston Magazine. His first book, The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World’s Favorite Soft Drink, was published by Avery/Penguin in 2010. His latest, The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps, was published by Gotham Books in June 2014 and named a New England Indie Bestseller by the New England Independent Booksellers Association. Blanding is currently a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and a staff writer at Harvard Business School. He has won multiple awards for his writing, including a 2012 Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications for best feature article and a gold medal in the 2011 EXCEL Awards from Association Media & Publishing.

Kate BolickKate Bolick

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick — Saturday 1:00 PM [br]Closing Ceremony — Saturday 7:00 PM Kate Bolick is a contributing editor for The Atlantic, freelance writer for ELLE, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal (among other publications), and host of “Touchstones at The Mount,” an annual literary interview series at Edith Wharton’s country estate, in Lenox, MA. Previously, she was executive editor of Domino, and a columnist for The Boston Globe Ideas Section. Her first book, SPINSTER: Making a Life of One’s Own, will be published by Crown in April 2015. Bolick has appeared on The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and numerous NPR programs across the country. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Vicki CrokeVicki Croke

Elephant Company — Saturday 11:00 AM [br]From Brainstorm to Bookshelf — Saturday 1:00 PM Award-winning journalist Vicki Croke has been exploring animal life for more than two decades—tracking the fossa in Madagascar, polar bears in the Arctic Circle, and Tasmanian devils in, of course, Tasmania. She reports for WBUR’s Here and Now, and hosts The Wild Life blog there. Her latest New York Times bestselling book, Elephant Company, explores the life of J.H. Williams and the company of elephants he led for the Allied Forces in WWII. Her stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Popular Science, and Discover magazine, among others.

Bethany Groff DorauBethany Groff Dorau

Taken by Sixty-four Guns: The Revolutionary Adventures of Captain Offin Boardman — Saturday 9:00 AM Bethany Groff Dorau is the author of A Brief History of Old Newbury (History Press), and the North Shore Regional Site Manager for Historic New England, based at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury. She serves on the boards of the Newburyport Preservation Trust and the North of Boston CVB. She was the recipient of the Pioneer in Preservation Award from the Essex National Heritage Commission in 2005 and the North of Boston CVB Leadership Award in 2007. She has an MA in History from the University of Massachusetts, and has published articles in the New England Quarterly and Historic New England Magazine. Bethany lives in Newburyport with her family. Photo credit: Eva Timothy.

Jean Foley DoyleJean Foley Doyle

Closing Ceremony — Saturday 7:00 PM Jean Foley Doyle, a lifelong resident of Newburyport, Massachusetts, is the mother of seven and grandmother of eleven children. She graduated from Newburyport High School (NHS) in 1947 and joined the ranks of her peers who married young and started their families after World War II, thus contributing to the baby boomer generations. She stayed at home for the next nineteen years. Finally able to achieve her dream of a college education, she graduated summa cum laude from Merrimack College in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in history. In 1972, she earned her master’s degree in history from the University of New Hampshire. Returning to her alma mater, Jean taught history and international relations for thirty years until her retirement in 1999. While teaching at NHS, Jean was responsible for implementing the highly successful community service program which allowed hundreds of students to get to know and contribute to the Newburyport community. Jean is the author of Life in Newburyport 1900 – 1950 and Life in Newburyport 1950 – 1985. An avid gardener, she lives in Newbury, Massachusetts.

Andre Dubus IIIAndre Dubus III

Essays by Andre Dubus III — Saturday 11:00 AM Andre Dubus III is the author of six books: The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, Bluesman, and the New York Times bestsellers, House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days (soon to be a major motion picture) and his memoir, Townie, a #4 New York Times bestseller and a New York Times “Editors Choice”. His work has been included in The Best American Essays and The Best Spiritual Writing anthologies, and his novel, House of Sand and Fog was a finalist for the National Book Award, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. His new book, Dirty Love, was published in the fall of 2013 and has been listed as a New York Times “Notable Book”, a New York Times Editors’ Choice”, a 2013 “Notable Fiction” choice from The Washington Post, and a Kirkus “Starred Best Book of 2013”. Mr. Dubus has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, Two Pushcart Prizes, and a 2012 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children.

Margo HowardMargo Howard

Eat Drink and Remarry: Confessions of a Serial Wife — Saturday 4:00 PM After starting as a feature writer for the Chicago Tribune, then becoming a syndicated columnist based at the Chicago Daily News, Margo Howard began writing for such diverse publications as the New Republic, the Nation, People, TV Guide, and Good Housekeeping. She returned to her familial roots when she became “Dear Prudence” at Slate. After eight years she moved her advice column to Yahoo News as “Dear Margo.” Until 2013, that column was syndicated in 200 newspapers and online at Her most recent book is Eat, Drink and Remarry: Confessions of a Serial Wife. She lives in Cambridge, MA, with Mr. Right #4.

Carl LittleCarl Little

The Art of the Animal — Saturday 2:00 PM CANCELLED A native New Yorker, Carl Little holds degrees from Dartmouth, Middlebury and Columbia. He is the author of more than 20 books on art, including Edward Hopper’s New England, The Watercolors of John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer and the Sea. Among his most recent art books are Nature & Culture: The Art of Joel Babb, Irene Hardwicke Olivieri: Closer to Wildness and William Irvine: A Painter’s Journey. His book Eric Hopkins: Above and Beyond won the first John N. Cole Award from Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance in 2012. He edited his brother David Little’s first book, Art of Katahdin. He lectures widely, with talks presented at the Bates College Museum of Art, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Ogunquit Museum of American Art, and the Acadia Summer Arts Program. Prior to joining the staff at the Maine Community Foundation in 2001 as director of communications and marketing, Little directed the public affairs office at College of the Atlantic and oversaw the Ethel H. Blum Gallery. He lives and writes on Mount Desert Island on the coast of Maine. Photo Credit: Gabe Souza.

Joyce MaynardJoyce Maynard

The Art of Authentic Memoir (and does a person still get invited to Thanksgiving dinner if she writes one?) — Saturday 10:00 AM Joyce Maynard is the New York Times bestselling author of fifteen books, including the novel Labor Day, recently adapted for a film directed by Jason Reitman, and the memoir At Home in the World, which has been translated into fifteen languages. Her recent novel, After Her, was published in 2013. Her new novel, Under the Influence, will be published by Morrow in May 2015. Her essays have been published in numerous collections. In addition to writing, Maynard performs frequently as a storyteller with The Moth in New York City. She runs the Lake Atitlan Writing Workshop, at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, and is a regular instructor with the Maine Media Workshop, where her particular focus and love is assisting other writers in telling their stories. Joyce estimates that she has taught the art of making pie to over a thousand baking students. More about Joyce Maynard, and her work, can be found at

David McCullough Jr.David McCullough, Jr.

You Are Not Special: And Other Encouragements — Saturday 11:00 AM A graduate of Lafayette College and the Bread Loaf School of English, David McCullough, Jr. taught for sixteen years at Punahou School in Honolulu, and since 2002 at Wellesley High School near Boston. His 2012 commencement speech there quickly went viral and became something of an international sensation. In April he published the best-selling You Are Not Special and Other Encouragements, an elaboration on the speech in book form for teenagers and anyone with an interest in them—which has been published in Asia and Europe as well. He has written for The Boston Globe, Newsweek and other publications, and appeared on CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox, PBS and NPR. Son of the acclaimed historian, McCullough lives with his wife Janice and their four children in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

Caleb NobleCaleb Noble

Premiere – Voices from the Newburys: Oral History Interviews — Saturday 2:00 PM Caleb Noble has worked in the news industry for WMUR News 9, as well as Comcast Sports Network taking lead roles in field producing, shooting, and editing. Currently, he is the Executive Director of Media for the Town of Newbury Comcast Channel 9. As well as owner of Noblesteed Productions. Caleb loves to tell a story with pictures (video). He believes that everybody has a story to tell and that with his talents and experience he can get the full potential out of a person and their story. He has a passion for oral histories because you can always learn something new no matter how much you know about a subject. He wants to capture as many people on camera so current and future generations can hear our areas histories not just read them. When Caleb is not behind the camera or the computer screen, he enjoys running his 5th generation family farm, going fishing on his boat, and playing in his band.

JDennisRobinson-SJ. Dennis Robinson

Case Closed on the 1873 Smuttynose Murders — Saturday 1:00 PM J. Dennis Robinson is the author of a dozen entertaining books about American history. He writes from a hideaway office in historic Portsmouth, NH near the swirling Piscataqua River. A popular and sometimes irreverent columnist and lecturer, he operates the award-winning website His latest book, MYSTERY ON THE ISLES OF SHOALS, is a thrilling nonfiction study of the infamous 1873 ax murders on Smuttynose Island. Yankee Magazine editor Judson Hale calls it “a superb piece of work” and Library Journal says “recommended for all true crime collections.” His other page-turning history books focus on privateering, Jesse James, Strawbery Banke Museum, archaeology, Victorian hotels, Lord Baltimore, child labor, and more. As Robyn Dennison, the author has begun a genre-busting series of e-book novellas. The first, KILL ALL THE VAMPIRE WRITERS is available from Kindle Direct Publishing.

BobRyan-SBob Ryan

Scribe: My Life in Sports — Saturday 9:00 AM [br]From Brainstorm to Bookshelf — Saturday 1:00 PM Bob Ryan is a sportswriter for the Boston Globe who has been described as “the quintessential American sportswriter” and a “basketball guru.” After the conclusion of the 2012 Olympic Games he announced his official retirement after forty-four years of sports writing, although he remains a columnist emeritus. He is also an occasional guest host on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, a panelist on The Sports Reporters, and a contributor to Around the Horn. In addition to radio and sports columns, Ryan is the author of many sports books, including Wait Till I Make the Show, Forty-Eight Minutes, The Road to the Super Bowl, When Boston Won the World Series, and others. He was named National Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association four times, he was named the Associated Press National Sportswriter of the Year in 2000, and he received the Dick Schaap Award for Outstanding Journalism in 2006. Ryan’s new book is Scribe: My Life in Sports, which Kirkus calls “a terrific memoir with lessons for young journalists, sports fans and anyone who shares the love of the games.”

Eve SchaubEve Schaub

Year of No Sugar — Saturday 1:00 PM Eve Schaub is the author of Year of No Sugar (Sourcebooks 2014), a memoir chronicling her family’s experience of cutting added sugar from their diets for 12 months. She has written for various publications including Vermont Life and Vermont Magazine. During her family’s year of no sugar, Schaub blogged regularly and was often a guest on WAMC, NY’s NPR affiliate, as well as a regular visitor to Vermont Public Radio. She lives in Vermont with her family.

Jason SokolJason Sokol

All Eyes are Upon Us by Jason Sokol — Saturday 10:00 AM Jason Sokol is an American historian. He grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of basketball. Jason attended Oberlin College, then received his Ph.D. in History from UC-Berkeley. He is the recipient of fellowships from Harvard, Penn, and Cornell. His book, All Eyes Are Upon Us was named one of the best books of the year about the 1960s by the Daily Beast. The New York Times Book Review calls All Eyes Are Upon Us “a prescient book…Ambitious, engrossing, analytically lucid.” Jason is currently an Assistant Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire and lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Ghlee E. WoodworthGhlee E. Woodworth

Urban Renewal: Demolition or Restoration – Newburyport’s Story [br]  Saturday 3:00 PM Ghlee E. Woodworth, a local historian, is the creator and author of Newburyport’s Clipper Heritage Trail, a series of self-guided history tours of Newburyport in the 1700s and 1800s accessed via a website – The website offers 125 different locations of historical points of interest with over 200 images on 12 tours. The Clipper Heritage Trail is an American Association for State and Local History Merit Award winner 2014. In May a mobile version will be launched. Ghlee’s first publication Tiptoe Through the Tombstones, Oak Hill Cemetery, won awards from the New England (2009) and New York (2010) Book Festivals and was one of the top 75 nationwide finalists of the American Association for State and Local History (2010). Having trained in gravestone restoration Ghlee has lead volunteers in repairing over 1,200 gravestones during the past three years in local cemeteries.