Newburyport Literary Festival

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

Fiction | Nonfiction | Poetry | Moderators |

Listed in alphabetical order

Sara Johnson Allen

Sara Johnson Allen was raised (mostly) in North Carolina. Her first novel, Down Here We Come Up, is the winner of the 2022 Big Moose Prize and is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in August 2024. Her fiction has appeared in PANK magazine, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Reckon Review. In 2018, she was awarded the Marianne Russo Award for Emerging Writers by the Key West Literary Seminar for her novel-in-progress. In 2019, she received the Stockholm Writers Festival First Pages Prize. She has also been awarded MacDowell fellowships and an artistic grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. Photo Credit: Liz Linder.

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Sara J Allen Book
C.B. Bernard

C. B. Bernard

C.B. Bernard is the author of the novels Ordinary Bear and Small Animals Caught in Traps, and of Chasing Alaska: A Portrait of the Last Frontier Then and Now, a Publishers Weekly and National Geographic top pick and finalist for the Oregon Book Award in nonfiction. His fiction and essays have appeared in Catapult, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and elsewhere. A Merrimack Valley native, he called Alaska and Oregon home for much of his life but now lives on the Rhode Island coast with his wife, Kim, a retriever named Nessie, and the ghosts of a couple of dogs.

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C.B. Bernard Book
Adrienne Brodeur

Adrienne Brodeur

Adrienne Brodeur is the author of the novel Little Monsters and the memoir Wild Game, which was selected as a Best Book of the Year by NPR and The Washington Post and is in development as a Netflix film. She founded the literary magazine Zoetrope: All-Story with Francis Ford Coppola, and currently serves as executive director of Aspen Words, a literary nonprofit and program of the Aspen Institute. She splits her time between Cambridge and Cape Cod, where she lives with her husband and children. Photo credit: Tony Luong.
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Adrienne Brodeur Book
Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham’s most recent novel, Day, was published in November 2023. His other novels include A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, The Hours, Specimen Days, By Nightfall, and The Snow Queen, as well as a story collection, A Wild Swan and Other Tales, and a book of non-fiction, Land’s End: A Walk in Provincetown. The Hours won the PEN Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1999. In 2002 it was made into a film starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman, who received an Academy Award for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf.
The Hours was also the basis for an opera, composed by Kevin Puts, featuring Renee Fleming, Kelli O’Hara, and Joyce DiDonato, which debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 2022. It will be reprised at the Met, with the same cast, in May 2024. Cunningham’s essays and short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, New York Magazine, and other publications. He is a Professor in the Practice at Yale University. He lives in New York City.

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MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM Book
Daisy Florin

Daisy Alpert Florin

Daisy Alpert Florin is the author of My Last Innocent Year, which was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, a Washington Post staff pick, and an Indie Next pick. Daisy attended Dartmouth College and received graduate degrees from Columbia University and Bank Street Graduate School of Education. She was a recipient of the 2016 Kathryn Gurfein Writing Fellowship at Sarah Lawrence College and was a 2019–20 fellow in the BookEnds novel revision fellowship. A native New Yorker, she lives in Greenwich with her family.

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Daisy Florin Book
Julie Gerstenblatt

Julie Gerstenblatt

Julie Gerstenblatt holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Teachers College, Columbia University, and has taught everything from middle school to graduate school and indoor cycling. Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post and Grown & Flown, among others. When not writing, Julie is a college essay coach. A native New Yorker, Julie now lives in coastal Rhode Island with her family and one very smart poodle mix. She likes to say that she moved from New York to Rhode Island to get closer to Nantucket, where she has been vacationing since the 1970s. Daughters of Nantucket, which received a starred review from both Booklist and Shelf Awareness, is her debut novel.

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Jessica Blau Book
Julia Glass

Julia Glass

Julia Glass is the author of the novels Vigil Harbor, A House Among the Trees, And the Dark Sacred Night, The Widower’s Tale, The Whole World Over, and the National Book Award–winning Three Junes, as well as the Kindle Single “Chairs in the Rafters.” I See You Everywhere, a collection of linked stories, won the 2009 SUNY John Gardner Fiction Award. Julia’s personal essays and short stories have been widely anthologized, and she has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She is a cofounder of Twenty Summers, a nonprofit incubator for arts and ideas in Provincetown, a member of the Provincetown Book Festival Committee, and a Senior Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emerson College.

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Julia Glass Book
Ann Hood

Ann Hood

Ann Hood is the author of over a dozen novels, including the bestsellers The Knitting Circle, The Obituary Writer, and The Book That Matters Most. Her debut novel, the bestseller Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine, has been in print since 1987. She has also written five memoirs, including Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, which is the story of the death of her five-year-old daughter Grace from a virulent form of strep in 2002. The book was a NYT Editors’ Choice and was named one of the top ten non-fiction books of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly. Her essays and short stories have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Food and Wine, Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, and many more.

She has won two Pushcart Prizes, two Best American Food Writing awards, a Best American Travel Writing award, and a Best American Spiritual Writing award. Hood’s most recent book is her memoir, Fly Girl, which is about her eight years as a TWA flight attendant from the late 70s to the mid-80s, spanning the Golden Age of Flying through deregulation and the beginning of vast system wide changes.

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Ann Hood Book
Vanessa Lillie

Vanessa Lillie

Vanessa Lillie is the USA Today bestselling author of Blood Sisters, which was a Target Book Club pick and GMA Book Club Buzz Pick, as well as a Best Mystery of the Year from The Washington Post and Reader’s Digest. Her other bestselling thrillers are Little Voices, For the Best and she’s the creator and coauthor of the Young Rich Widows series set in Providence, R.I., where she lives. Originally from Miami, Oklahoma, she is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

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Vanessa Lillie Book
Celestine Martin

Celestine Martin

A native of New Jersey, Celestine Martin writes whimsical romance that celebrates the beauty of everyday magic. She’s inspired to write happily ever afters and happy-for-now endings starring the people and places close to her heart. When she’s not drinking herbal tea and researching her next project, Celestine, with her husband, spoils their daughter in New York on a daily basis. Photo credit: Lauren Bieker.
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Celestine Martin Book
EA Neeves

E.A. Neeves

E.A. Neeves grew up in New England, where she spent many summers lifeguarding at an idyllic lake, and occasionally catching snapping turtles. She enjoys tea, swimming, and board games that take entire evenings to play. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found spending time with her family at their (probably not haunted) home in Salem, Mass. After You Vanished is her YA debut.

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EA Neeves Book
Ed Park

Ed Park

Ed Park is the author of the novels Same Bed Different Dreams, named a Top Ten Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly and a New York Times Notable Book of 2023, and Personal Days, which was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. He has written for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Bookforum, and other publications, and is a founding editor of The Believer. Born in Buffalo, Park lives in Manhattan with his family and teaches at Princeton University. Photo credit: Sylvia Plachy.
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Ed Park Book
Namrata Patel

Namrata Patel

Namrata Patel is an Indian American writer who resides in Boston. The author of The Candid Life of Meena Dave, she examines diaspora and dual-cultural identity among Indian Americans in her writing and explores this dynamic while also touching on the families we’re born with and those we choose. Namrata has lived in India, New Jersey, Spokane, London, and New York City and has been writing most of her adult life. Photo Credit: Andy Dean.

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Namrata Patel Book
Kathleen Rooney

Kathleen Rooney

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and a founding member of Poems While You Wait. The author of Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk and Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey, her most recent novel is From Dust to Stardust, based on the life and work of silent film star Colleen Moore. She lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay, and teaches at DePaul University.
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Kathleen Rooney Book
Lyra Selene

Lyra Selene

Lyra Selene was born under a full moon and has never quite managed to wipe the moonlight out of her eyes. She grew up on a steady diet of mythology, folklore, and fantasy, and now writes tall tales of twisted magic, forbidden romance, and brooding landscapes. Lyra lives in New England with her husband and daughter, in an antique farmhouse that probably isn’t haunted. She is the author of the young adult duology Amber & Dusk. A Feather So Black is her adult debut.

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Lyra Selene Book
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma’s novel about astronomy and science, Digging Stars, was published by W. W. Norton in 2023. Her first novel, House of Stone (W. W. Norton, 2019), won the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award and the Bulawayo Arts Award for Outstanding Fiction, and was listed for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Balcones Fiction Prize and the Rathbones Folio Prize. A recipient of a Lannan Foundation Fellowship, Tshuma has taught graduate fiction at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently teaches at Emerson College.
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Novuyo Rosa Tshuma Book
Beatriz Williams

Beatriz Williams

Beatriz Williams is a New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction. A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA in Finance from Columbia University, Beatriz worked as a communications and corporate strategy consultant in New York and London before she turned her attention to writing novels that combine her passion for history with an obsessive devotion to voice and characterization. Beatriz’s books have won numerous awards, have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and appear regularly in bestseller lists around the world. Born in Seattle, Washington, Beatriz now lives near the Connecticut shore with her husband and four children, where she divides her time between writing and laundry.

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Beatriz Williams Book
Annie Weatherwax

Annie Weatherwax

Annie Weatherwax spent her early career as an artist sculpting superheroes and cartoon characters for entities including Nickelodeon, DC Comics, and Pixar. Winner of the Robert Olen Butler Prize for Fiction, her debut novel All We Had was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award and is now a major motion picture from Tribeca films. In 2017, she received The Hamilton Life Achievement Award for individuals with dyslexia. She was the inaugural fellow at the late New Yorker cartoonist James Stevenson’s Lost and Found Lab residency. Most recently, character sketches and stories from her collection “Odd Balls and Relationships” appear in the winter 2023/24 issue of Ploughshares magazine.

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Annie Weatherwax Book
Lauren Willig

Lauren Willig

Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty-five works of historical fiction, including Band of Sisters, The Summer Country, the RITA Award–winning Pink Carnation series, and five novels co-written with Beatriz Williams and Karen White. Her books have been chosen for the Book of the Month Club, the American Library Association’s annual list of the best genre fiction, and the Historical Novels Review Editors’ Choice. An alumna of Yale University, she has a graduate degree in history from Harvard and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She lives in New York City with her husband, two young children, and vast quantities of coffee. Photo credit: Amanda Suanne.

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Lauren Willig Book
Cynthia Zarin

Cynthia Zarin

Cynthia Zarin is the author of five books of poetry, most recently The Ada Poems and Orbit, as well as five books for children and two essay collections, Two Cities and An Enlarged Heart: A Personal History. Her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, the Peter I. B. Lavan Younger Poets Award, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award for Poetry, and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry. A longtime contributor to The New Yorker, she teaches at Yale University and lives in New York City. Photo credit: Sara Barrett.
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Cynthia Zarin Book
Meg Mitchell Moore

Meg Mitchell Moore

Meg Mitchell Moore is the national bestselling author of seven novels and a proud member of the Festival programming committee. Her eighth novel, Summer Stage, is forthcoming in May 2023. She is not a Newburyport native, but she likes to pretend she is, as she’s lived in Newburyport longer than she’s ever lived anywhere else. She enjoys all the North Shore has to offer with her husband, three daughters, and two golden retrievers.

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Meg Mitchell Moore Book
Peter Orner

Peter Orner

PETER ORNER is the author of the novels The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo and Love and Shame and Love and the story collections Esther Stories, Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge, and Maggie Brown & Others. His previous collection of essays, Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. A three-time recipient of the Pushcart Prize, Orner’s work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Granta, McSweeney’s, and has been translated into eight ­languages. He has been awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a two-year Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship, the California Book Award for fiction, the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish fiction, as well as a Fulbright in Namibia. He is the director of creative writing at Dartmouth College and lives with his family in Norwich, Vermont.
Photo Credit: Katie Crouch.

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Peter Orner Book