Newburyport Literary Festival

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

Listed in alphabetical order

Alysia AbbottAlysia Abbott

Writing Hard Stories: Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma [br]— Saturday 10:30 AM Alysia Abbott is the author of Fairyland, A Memoir of My Father (W.W. Norton), winner of the ALA Stonewall Award and the Prix Madame Figaro and named one of the best books of 2013 by the San Francisco Chronicle, and Shelf Awareness. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Vogue, Real Simple, Slate, Psychology Today, Longreads, and elsewhere. She’s a graduate of the New School’s MFA writing program and was a recipient of a Ragdale Fellowship. Visit her online at

Tammy BottnerTammy Bottner

Among the Reeds: The True Story of How a Family Survived the Holocaust — Saturday 2:30 PM Tammy Bottner is a local physician, author, and mom of two young adult children. She is also the child and grandchild of Holocaust survivors. Her father was born in Belgium just three weeks before the Nazi occupation. Her young Jewish grandparents, determined to save her dad’s life, sent him into hiding alone when he was only two years old. In her book, Dr. Bottner recounts the incredible story of courage that led to her family’s survival. She also explores the fascinating topic of epigenetics: the inter-generational transmission of life experiences through the DNA. Dr. Bottner is the co-founder of Riverside Pediatrics in Newburyport, where she practices pediatric, adolescent and integrative medicine. This is her first book.

Melanie BrooksMelanie Brooks

Writing Hard Stories: Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma [br]— Saturday 10:30 AM Melanie Brooks is a freelance writer, college professor, and mother living in Nashua, New Hampshire with her husband, two children and yellow Lab. She’s the author of Writing Hard Stories: Celebrate Memoirists Who Shaped Art From Trauma (Beacon Press, 2017). Melanie received her master of fine arts in creative nonfiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program. She teaches at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, and Nashua Community College in New Hampshire. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Creative Nonfiction, Literary Hub, Brevity’s Nonfiction Blog, Bustle, The Manifest-Station, Hippocampus, the Huffington Post, Modern Loss, Solstice Literary Magazine, The Recollectors, the Stonecoast Review and Word Riot. Her almost-completed memoir explores the lasting impact of living with the ten-year secret of her father’s HIV disease before his death in 1995. Her writing is the vehicle through which she’s learning to understand that impact.

Kate ChristensenKate Christensen

The Bitch is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier — Saturday 9:00 AM Kate Christensen is the author of seven novels, including The Great Man, which won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction, and The Last Cruise, forthcoming from Doubleday in July 2018. She is also the author of two food-centric memoirs, Blue Plate Special and How to Cook a Moose, which won the 2016 Maine Literary Award for Memoir. Her essays have appeared in many periodicals, including Vogue, Elle, Bookforum, O, the Oprah Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Food and Wine. She lives with her husband in Portland, Maine. (Photo credit: Erin Little)

Sarah CrichtonSarah Crichton

The Bitch is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier — Saturday 9:00 AM Sarah Crichton has been, in various incarnations, a writer, a magazine editor and a book publisher. For the past fifteen years she has been publisher of Sarah Crichton Books, an imprint of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where her list of fiction and nonfiction includes Ishmael Beah’s memoir A Long Way Gone; Matthew Quick’s Silver Linings Playbook; Cathleen Schine’s The Three Weissmans of Westport; Terry Tempest Williams’ The Hour of Land; and John Leland’s recent bestseller, Happiness is a Choice We Make. She has co-authored several books, including Mariane Pearl’s account of the murder of Danny Pearl, A Mighty Heart. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Eric DolinEric Jay Dolin

Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America — Saturday 11:00 AM Eric Jay Dolin is the author of thirteen books, including Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America, which was chosen as one of the best nonfiction books of 2007 by the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe, and also won the 2007 John Lyman Award for U.S. Maritime History; and Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America, a national bestseller that was chosen by the Seattle Times as one of the best nonfiction books of 2010, and also won the James P. Hanlan Book Award, given by the New England Historical Association. He is also the author of When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail, which was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of 2012, and Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse, which was chosen by gCaptain and Classic Boat as one of the best maritime books of 2016. His new book — Black Flags, Blue Water: The Epic History of America’s Most Notorious Pirates — will be published in September 2018. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, where he received his Ph.D. in environmental policy, Dolin lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his family. For more information on his background and writing, please visit his website www.ericjaydolin. Photo by Penny Ann Dolin.

Andre Dubus IIIAndre Dubus III

Opening Night Ceremony: Ann Hood — Friday 6:00 PM [br]Writing Hard Stories: Memoirists Who Shaped Art from Trauma [br]— Saturday 10:30 AM Andre Dubus III ‘s books include the New York Times’ bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His most recent book, Dirty Love, was a New York Times “Notable Book” selection, a New York Times “Editors’ Choice”, and a Kirkus “Starred Best Book of 2013”. His new novel, Gone So Long, will be published in October 2018. Mr. Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and is a recipient of an 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.

June ErlickJune Carolyn Erlick

Colombians Converge on Peace: A Cultural, Literary Look at a Long Process — Saturday 2:30 PM June Carolyn Erlick is the editor-in-chief of ReVista, the Harvard Review of Latin America at Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard. She also teaches journalism at Harvard Extension and Summer Schools and serves as internship and capstone supervisor for the Master’s in Journalism program there. She is the author of Telenovelas in Pan-Latino Context (Routledge, 2018), as well as A Gringa in Bogotá: Living Colombia’s Invisible War (University of Texas Press, 2010) and Disappeared: A Journalist Silenced, the Irma Flaquer Story (Seal Press, 2004), both of which have also been published in Spanish. Erlick lived and worked in Latin America and Germany as a foreign correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, the Miami Herald and Time Magazine. She has received two Fulbright Fellowships, one to Guatemala (2000) and the other to Colombia (2005-2006). She is a chairwoman of the Maria Moors Cabot Awards at Columbia University and a member of the Media Awards Committee of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). As editor-in-chief of ReVista, she received the New England Council on Latin American Studies Multimedia Award in November 2017.

Stephen GreenblattStephen Greenblatt

Stephen Greenblatt’s The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve — Saturday 10:30 AM Stephen Greenblatt is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. He is the author of thirteen books, including The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve; The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (winner of the 2011 National Book Award and the 2012 Pulitzer Prize) and Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. He is General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature and of The Norton Shakespeare, has edited seven collections of criticism, and is a founding coeditor of the journal Representations. He was named the 2016 Holberg Prize Laureate. His honors include the MLA’s James Russell Lowell Prize, the William Shakespeare Award for Classical Theatre, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Distinguished Humanist Award from the Mellon Foundation. He was president of the Modern Language Association of America and has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Philosophical Society.

Bethany Groff Dorau

Following Eben: A Newburyport Marine and a Year of Discovery [br]— Saturday 1:00 pm Bethany Groff Dorau is the author of A Newburyport Marine in World War I: The Life and Legacy of Eben Bradbury (June 2018, History Press), A Brief History of Old Newbury (History Press), and a primary contributor to the Defining Documents in American History Series. She is the North Shore Regional Site Manager for Historic New England, based at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury, and a recipient of the Pioneer in Preservation Award from the Essex National Heritage Commission and the North of Boston CVB Leadership Award. Bethany sits on the boards of the North of Boston CVB, the Newburyport Preservation Trust, and the planning committee of the Newburyport Literary Festival. She has published articles in the New England Quarterly, the Encyclopedia of American History, and Historic New England Magazine. She holds an MA in History from the University of Massachusetts, and lives in West Newbury with her family.

Cathi HanauerCathi Hanauer

The Bitch is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier — Saturday 9:00 AM Cathi Hanauer is the New York Times bestselling author of three acclaimed novels (Gone, Sweet Ruin, and My Sister’s Bones) and editor of two anthologies: The Bitch in the House (2002), which sold in sixteen countries, and The Bitch is Back, which was an NPR Best Book of 2016. She’s published articles, essays, and criticism in The New York Times, Elle, O, Real Simple, and many other magazines, and is the co-founder, along with her husband, Daniel Jones, of the New York Times “Modern Love” column. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and New York City. Find her at, or watch her 2017 TED talk, “How to Avoid Becoming The Bitch in the House and The Bastard on the Couch.” (Photo credit: Phoebe Jones)

Tim HayesTim Hayes

How and Why Horses Heal Humans — Saturday 9:00 AM Tim Hayes is the author of RIDING HOME ~ The Power of Horses To Heal ~ Foreword by Robert Redford and an Adjunct Professor of Behavioral Science at Northern Vermont University teaching courses in Equine Therapy. He is an internationally recognized Natural Horsemanship Clinician and with conducts clinics throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Mexico. In addition to his Natural Horsemanship Clinics, Hayes is available and donates his time giving Benefit Fundraising Events to Equine Therapy Organizations in the U.S. and Canada. They include Talks, Horse Demonstrations and Q&A about Equine Therapy and how and where people can get help. To learn more and Contact Tim Hayes go to:

Ewa Hryniewicz-YarbroughEwa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough

Two Writers Under One Roof — Saturday 9:00 AM [br]Carrying Over, Carrying On: A Panel on Translating Poetry — Saturday 11:00 AM [br]Objects of Affection by Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough — Saturday 4:00 PM Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough was born in Poland and came to the United States in 1984 on an academic exchange program. She is an essayist and a literary translator. Her essays were published in journals such as Agni, Ploughshares, The American Scholar, The Threepenny Review, and TriQuarterly. One of her pieces was selected for inclusion in The Best American Essays 2012; five others were listed among Notable Essays for 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. Objects of Affection, her collection of essays, published by Braddock Avenue Books in January, 2018, deals with 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.

Michael LaRosaMichael J. LaRosa

Colombians Converge on Peace: A Cultural, Literary Look at a Long Process — Saturday 2:30 PM Michael J. LaRosa is associate professor of history at Rhodes College in Memphis. A native of Braintree, (MA) LaRosa — for the past three decades — has focused on the history of Colombia and published, in 2017, Colombia: A Concise Contemporary History (2nd ed.) with Colombian historian German R. Mejia. [br] [clearboth]

Alexandria Marzano-LesnevichAlexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir — Saturday 9:00 AM A 2014 National Endowment for the Arts fellow, Alexandria has received a Rona Jaffe Award and has twice been a fellow at both MacDowell and Yaddo. Her essays appear in the New York Times, Oxford American, and the anthologies TRUE CRIME and WAVEFORM: Twenty-first Century Essays by Women, as well as many other publications. Her first book, The Fact of a Body, was met with wide acclaim upon its publication, from Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, and Buzzfeed among others. She received her JD from Harvard, her MFA at Emerson College, and her BA from Columbia University. She now lives in Boston, where she teaches at Grub Street and in the graduate public policy program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Tova MirvisTova Mirvis

The Book of Separation: A Memoir — Saturday 9:00 AM Tova Mirvis is the author of The Book of Separation, a memoir, and three novels: Visible City, The Outside World, and The Ladies Auxiliary, a national bestseller. Her essays have appeared in various publications, including The New York Times, the Boston Globe Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Poets and Writers, and her fiction has been broadcast on NPR. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts. (Photo © Aynsley Floyd)

Tamara Plakins ThorntonTamara Plakins Thornton

Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed American Life — Saturday 10:00 AM Tamara Plakins Thornton is Professor of History at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is also the author of Cultivating Gentlemen: The Meaning of Country Life among the Boston Elite, 1785-1860, published by Yale University Press in 1989, as well as Handwriting in America: A Cultural History, published by Yale University Press in 1996. Nathaniel Bowditch & the Power of Numbers received the 2017 Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize, the 2016 John Lyman Book Award of the North American Society for Oceanic History and was a 2017 finalist for the New England Society Book Award of the New England Society in the City of New York.

Cheryl RichardsonCheryl Richardson

Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife [br]— Saturday 1:00 PM Cheryl Richardson is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of several books including: Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace, The Art of Extreme Self Care, and You Can Create an Exceptional Life (with Louise Hay). Her work has been covered widely in the media including The Today Show, CBS This Morning, New York Times, USA Today, Good Housekeeping, and O Magazine. Cheryl was also the team leader for the Lifestyle Makeover Series on the Oprah Winfrey Show and she accompanied Ms. Winfrey on the “Live Your Best Life” nationwide tour. You can visit her at as well as on Facebook at:, and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram under the user name: coachoncall

Nina SankovitchNina Sankovitch

The Lowells of Massachusetts: An American Family — Saturday 9:00 AM Nina Sankovitch is the author of the bestselling memoir Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading, and two histories, Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing, which explores the history of letter writing, and her latest book, The Lowells of Massachusetts: An American Family, a multi-generational biography of one of New England’s most influential families. In its review of The Lowells of Massachusetts, the Washington Post described the Lowells as “American’s Most Extraordinary Family… By the final pages of this volume, one feels deeply attached to the individual Lowells, while also exhilarated at having experienced this grand sweep of American history.” The Wall Street Journal heralded The Lowells of Massachusetts as a “stirring saga…vivid and intimate…a compelling contribution to Massachusetts and American History.” Nina Sankovitch worked as an environmental lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council and later served as President and Executive Director of Save the Sound, an environmental group based in Connecticut. She has written for the New York Times and Huffington Post (among other publications) and serves as a judge for the Book of the Month Club. She lives in Connecticut with her family.

Ramie TargoffRamie Targoff

Renaissance Woman: The Extraordinary Life and World of Vittoria Colonna — Saturday 1:00 pm Ramie Targoff is a professor of English, the co-chair of Italian studies, and the Jehuda Reinharz Director of the Mandel Center for the Humanities at Brandeis University. She is the author of Common Prayer: The Language of Public Devotion; John Donne, Body and Soul; and Posthumous Love: Eros and the Afterlife in Renaissance England. She lives with her husband and son in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Ian ThomsenIan Thomsen

The Soul of Basketball: The Epic Showdown Between LeBron, Kobe, Doc, and Dirk That Saved the NBA — Saturday 1:00 PM Ian Thomsen has been writing about sports in America and around the world for three decades on behalf of the Boston Globe, The National Sports Daily, the International Herald Tribune, Sports Illustrated and He was courtside for the three NBA Finals of Magic Johnson versus Larry Bird, and in Barcelona when they joined with Michael Jordan on the original Dream Team. Since 2000 he has been focusing exclusively on the NBA from his base in Boston, Massachusetts. His new book, The Soul of Basketball, is the compelling story of the last decade of the NBA, as seen through the lens of the unforgettable 2010–2011 season.

Emily TwarogEmily E. LB. Twarog

Politics of the Pantry: Housewives, Food, and Consumer Protest in Twentieth Century America — Saturday 2:30 PM Emily E. LB. Twarog is an assistant professor of history and labor studies at the University of Illinois’ School of Labor and Employment Relations – Labor Education Program and Director of the Regina V. Polk Women’s Labor Leadership Conference. She earned her doctorate in American History at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master’s in Labor Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Labor Resource and Research Center. Her book Politics in the Pantry: Housewives, Food, and Consumer Protest in 20th Century America (Oxford University Press, 2017) examines the ways in which housewives in America used food protests as political tools to gain political influence both locally and nationally.