Concord Literary Festival Events at the NHSL

What do novelist Katherine Towler, Moose of Humor Rebecca Rule, journalist Kevin Flynn, and New Hampshire Poet Laureate Walter Butts have in common? They have all had books featured as books-of-the-week on this blog. This outstanding group of New Hampshire authors will all be reading at the NH State Library on Saturday, October 23, 2010 as part of the Concord Literary Festival. Thanks to Gibson's Bookstore --a festival partner--we expect to have books by our readers available for sale at the event.

The Center for the Book began featuring a book-of-the-week on its blog in January 2007 and has included novels, history, biography, poetry, children's and young adult literature, cookbooks, and various other books that struck my fancy in the nearly 200 weeks since then. When the New Hampshire Writer's Project asked us to be part of the Concord Literary Festival it seemed like a great opportunity to bring the book-of-the-week out of cyberspace and into the library with a group of featured authors reading from their recent work. The writers who were invited to read are all local authors and were chosen to show the diversity of book-of-the-week titles as well as to complement the other programs that are planned as part of the Festival, many of which also feature authors whose books have been books-of-the-week (John Walters and Marty Kelley, for example.)

Katherine Towler will read beginning at 10am. She is author of the novels Snow Island, Evening Ferry, and Island Light. This trilogy of novels set on a fictional New England island chronicles the lives of two generations in two island families and the impact of the wars of the twentieth century on the island community. Praised by the Boston Globe as "luminous and moving," Snow Island was chosen as book-of-the-week #52 in 2007. Katherine Towler currently teaches graduate students in the low residency MFA Program in Writing at Southern New Hampshire University and works as a freelance writer specializing in publications and promotional materials for schools and non-profits. She lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Rebecca Rule will read beginning at 11am. Her newest release, Headin' for the Rhubarb! A New Hampshire Dictionary (well, kinda) will set you straight on the correct meaning of New Hampshire's native expressions and how to pronounce them, to boot. Two of Becky’s previous books, Live Free and Eat Pie: A Storyteller's Guide to New Hampshire, and Could Have Been Worse: True Stories, Embellishments and Outright Lies have been books-of-the-week. A New Hampshire native, she has published two other collections of short stories. The Best Revenge was named Outstanding Work of Fiction by the NH Writers Project. For seventeen years she wrote a column on NH books and writers, “Bookmarks,” that appeared in various New Hampshire newspapers.

At noon Kevin Flynn will be reading from Our Little Secret with his wife and co-author Rebecca Lavoie. In 2010 Wicked Intentions: The Sheila LaBarre Murders was the selected as book-of-the-week #22. This was his first book and was the story that he has described as changing his life. Kevin Flynn is a native of Holyoke, MA and currently lives in Hopkinton, NH. He got his start in journalism at the age of 19 working as a news writer for News Radio WHYN-AM. In the subsequent twenty years, Kevin has become an award-winning journalist working in radio and TV and a respected author. Flynn and Lavoie are collaborating on another true crime book, due in stores January 2012.

New Hampshire Poet Laureate Walter Butts will read beginning at 1pm. Walter is the author of several poetry collections, including Sunday Evening at the Stardust Café, and the chapbooks What to Say if the Birds Ask, Sunday Factory, White Bees, and A Season of Crows. He has received two Pushcart Prize nominations and a Massachusetts Artists Foundation Award, and has taught in poetry workshops at the University of New Hampshire. He is a member of the faculty of the BFA in Writing Program at Goddard College, and his poems appear frequently in such magazines as Atlanta Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Cider Press Review, Cimarron Review, Mid-American Review, and Poetry East, and have been anthologized in numerous publications including Under the Legislature of Stars: 62 New Hampshire Poets (2009 book-of-the-week #13).

The Concord Literary Festival is sponsored by the New Hampshire Writers’ Project and thirty community partners, including the Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library. Events will be held throughout the downtown area on October 21-23, 2010 and include author readings and book signings, poetry readings and slam performances, workshops, films, a New Hampshire horror story reading, plays and First Amendment discussions.

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