The second annual Provincetown Book Festival is a weekend of literary events for readers, writers, and book lovers of all kinds, on Friday and Saturday, September 15 and 16. All events are free and open to the public. All events take place at the Provincetown Public Library, with one exception. This year we will have a closing party, optimistically entitled “Buy an Author a Drink,” at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night at the Harbor Lounge, 359 Commercial Street. All are invited.
The highlight of the 2017 Provincetown Book Festival will be a reception for Sebastian Junger, recipient of the Rose Dorothea Literary Award (Click Here for Tickets), on Friday evening, September 15 at 6:00 p.m.
Reservations for all other Festival events can be made at Eventbrite.com. All events are free.
National Book Award winner Julia Glass and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo will close the Festival on Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. A special Writer’s Voice Café at the Festival features novelist and memoirist Ann Hood in conversation with food writer Michael Ruhlman at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Other featured authors include Cape Cod’s own Anne LeClaire and Lauren Wolk; Provincetown’s William Mann; Thoreau biographer Laura Dassow Walls; poets Olga Broumas, Andrea Cohen and Fred Marchant; novelists Tim Murphy, Joe Okonkwo and Justine Torres; and short story writer Mecca Jamilah Sullivan. A full schedule of all Festival participants and events is available here. More information about all featured authors is available here. On Saturday, local authors will be selling and signing their books at a Book Sale on the Lawn outside the library from 11:30 to 4:00. On Saturday at 10:00 a.m., six local authors will read from their work in “Reading Local,” a special program curated by a well-known Provincetown author.
About the Festival
The Provincetown Book Festival is a program of the Provincetown Public Library. It is organized by Nan Cinnater, Lead Librarian, with help from the entire Provincetown community as well as many members of the Northeast literary community. We are supported by the Provincetown Board of Library Trustees and the Library staff. Our sponsors include the Bay State Cruise Co., Board of Library Trustees, and Cape Air.
Thanks are due to all the Festival supporters and sponsors, and especially to the 2017 Advisory Committee, who put in many hours of work and put up with way too many emails. The Committee members are:
- Elizabeth Bradfield, a Provincetown-based poet and naturalist, author of three books, who appeared at the Festival last year.
- A.C. Burch, author of two books and founder of the local Provincetown publisher Homeport Press.
- Jeannette de Beauvoir, author of many novels, most recently Death of a Bear and Our Lady of the Dunes.
- Julia Glass, author of many novels, most recently A House Among the Trees. Our Chair Emeritus, she served on the Advisory Committee last year.
- Dian Hamilton, founder of the Writer’s Voice, a great organization that offers open mic and author programs at the Provincetown Library.
- Deborah Karacozian, representing the Provincetown Bookshop, our official bookseller.
- Jerome Murphy, Undergraduate Program Manager of the Creative Writing Program at NYU.
- Tim Murphy, author of the novel, Christodora. He appeared at the Festival last year.
- Clayton Nottleman, on the staff of Provincetown Library and was charge of logistics and travel for the Festival.
- Sophia Starmack, Writing Coordinator at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.
Meet the Authors
M. T. Anderson
M. T. Anderson has written picture books for children, adventure books for young readers, and several books for older readers, both teens and adults. His satirical novel Feed was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the L.A.Times Book Prize. The first volume of his Octavian Nothing series won the National Book Award and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Prize. He has published stories for adults in literary journals. His latest book is Landscape with Invisible Hand.
Elizabeth Bradfield is the author of the poetry collections Once Removed, Approaching Ice, and Interpretive Work. Her poems and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, West Branch, Orion and many anthologies. She has been awarded a Stegner Fellowship, the Audre Lorde Prize, and was a finalist for the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Founder and editor-in-chief of Broadsided Press, she lives on Cape Cod, works as a naturalist locally as well as on expedition ships, and teaches creative writing at Brandeis University.
Jamie Brenner (The Wedding Sisters) first visited and fell in love with Provincetown in the spring of 2015, an experience that inspired her bestselling novel The Forever Summer (Little, Brown). People magazine calls The Forever Summer “A captivating tale of family secrets and strong women.” Her next novel, The Husband Hour (Little, Brown), will publish in April 2018. She lives in New York City with her family.
Olga Broumas is a poet, translator, and recent professor emerita at Brandeis University. Her books include Beginning with O, a Yale Younger poets selection; Rave: Poems 1975–1998; Perpetua; & three translations of Odysseas Elytis, most of which are collected in Eros, Eros, Eros. Her newest collaborative book with poet & multimedia artist T Begley, Sappho’s Gymnasium 2017, has just been published by Nightboat books; it includes many new poems, a resfreshed order of the 1997 edition, & a long tender essay by Kazim Ali, Rapture. Olga teaches a gentle meditative yoga at the Yoga Center of Cape Cod in North Dennis, & has been a devoted massage therapist since her move to the Cape in 1982. She lives & yardens in Brewster.
Andrea Cohen’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. Her most recent book of poems is Unfathoming (Four Way Books 2017). Other books include Furs Not Mine, Kentucky Derby, Long Division, and The Cartographer’s Vacation. Cohen directs the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, MA and the Writers House at Merrimack College.
Brandy Colbert is the author of the critically acclaimed debut young adult novel Pointe, as well as short fiction and essays that have been published in several anthologies. Her most recent novel, Little & Lion, has received three starred reviews, is a Junior Library Guild selection, and was named an August 2017 Book of the Month Club selection. Brandy lives and writes in Los Angeles.
Julia Glass is the author of five previous books of fiction, including the best-selling Three Junes, winner of the National Book Award, and I See You Everywhere, winner of the Binghamton University John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Other published works include Chairs in the Rafters and essays in several anthologies. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Glass is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at Emerson College. She lives with her family in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
Ann Hood’s new memoir, Morningstar: Growing Up with Books, was published in August 2017. She is the author of the bestselling novels The Book That Matters Most, The Knitting Circle, The Obituary Writer, The Red Thread, and Somewhere Off The Coast Of Maine. Her memoir, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, in which she shares her personal story of losing her 5 year old daughter Grace in 2002, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and named one of the top 10 non-fiction books of 2008 by Entertainment Weekly. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
A former actor, print journalist and radio broadcaster, Anne LeClaire is a memoirist and the critically acclaimed, best-selling author of eight novels published in twenty-four countries. Her latest novel is The Halo Effect. Anne has taught creative writing workshops in the United States and in a variety on international venues. She has been a visiting lecturer at Mt. Holyoke College, the University of Tennessee, and Columbia College. In 1992, Anne began a formal practice of silence, meaning that for the past eighteen years she has not spoken on the first and third Mondays of every month. Out of this practice came her memoir, “Listening Below the Noise: The Transformative Power of Silence” (Harper Collins, 2009) which was named one of the 50 best spiritual books of the year in 2009. Anne is a licensed pilot and yoga student. She lives on Cape Cod.
William J. Mann
William J. Mann is a bestselling author of several books, including his most recent, The Wars Of The Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise Of America’s Greatest Political Family (Harpercollins). He won the 2015 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime for Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine And Madness At The Dawn Of Hollywood (Harpercollins), which is being developed as a television series by f/x. Mann’s other books Include Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn (Henry Holt), called “definitive” by The Times Of London and named a New York Times notable book, and Wisecracker: The Life And Times Of William Haines (Viking), winner of the Lambda Literary Award for best biography. He’s also written several novels. Mann is a professor of history at Central Connecticut State University and a regular commentator for Turner Classic Movies. He lives in New York and Provincetown.
Fred Marchant’s new collection of poetry, Said Not Said (Graywolf Press) has been called “a sublime and subtle collection” (Booklist), and “a collection of sonically and architecturally precise poems” (Publisher’s Weekly, starred review). He is the author of four other books of poetry, including Full Moon Boat and The Looking House (both from Graywolf Press). His first book, Tipping Point, was reissued by The Word Works in a twentieth anniversary second edition, with an introduction by Nick Flynn. Marchant is also the co-translator (with Nguyen Ba Chung) of From a Corner of My Yard, poetry by Tran Dang Khoa, and Con Dau Prison Songs, by Vo Que, both books published in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. He is the editor of Another World Instead: The Early Poems of William Stafford, 1937-1947 (Graywolf Press, 2008), a selection that focuses on the work done while he was a conscientious objector during World War II. Professor Emeritus of English and Founding Director of The Poetry Center at Suffolk University in Boston, Marchant continues to teach poetry workshops in various places across the country, including the summer and online programs sponsored by the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.
Emily Jeanne Miller
Emily Jeanne Miller is the author of The News form the End of the World, a novel set on Cape Cod. She was born and raised in Washington, DC. She attended the National Cathedral School and then Princeton University, where she studied comparative religions. She lived in Missoula, Montana, where she co-edited an anthology of writing from the Clark Fork River basin (The River We Carry With Us, Clark City Press, Livingston, MT, 2002), and earned a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Florida. Her short fiction has been published in the North American Review and The Portland Review. She has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, Vermont Studio Center, The MacDowell Colony, Aspen Words, and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and has taught creative writing and literature at several high schools and Universities. She currently lives on Cape Cod, with her husband, daughter, and dog.
Tim Murphy is the author of Christodora (Grave Atlantic, 2016), a panoramic novel of artists, AIDS, and activists in New York City over the last thirty years. Tim is a journalist on LGBT issues, especially dedicated to reporting on HIV/AIDS. He’s written on the subject for Out, Advocate, and New York Magazine, where his cover story on the new HIV-prevention pill regimen PrEP was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Magazine Journalism. He also covers arts, pop culture, travel, and fashion for publications including the New York Times and Conde Nast Traveler.
Joe Okonkwo‘s debut novel Jazz Moon, set against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and glittering Jazz Age Paris, was published by Kensington Books in 2016. It won the Publishing Triangle’s Edmund White Award for debut fiction and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. His short story “Cleo” was a Pushcart Prize nominee. His stories have been published in Shotgun Honey, Best Gay Stories 2015, Cooper Street, and Storychord. Upcoming work will appear in The New Engagement and Chelsea Station. Joe serves as Prose Editor for Newtown Literary and Editor of Best Gay Stories 2017 published by Lethe Press. He lives in Queens, New York.
Michael Ruhlman is an author, journalist, writer and food blogger. His book Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in American was published in May 2017. Other books include Ruhlman’s Twenty; The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Chef’s Craft for Every Kitchen; and The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America; as well as several cookbook collaborations, some non-food, non-fiction books and two novels.
Richard Russo is the author of nine novels, most recently the best-selling Everybody’s Fool and That Old Cape Magic, and the memoir Elsewhere. In 2002 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls and in 2016 the Indie Champion Award from the American Booksellers Association. He lives in Portland, Maine.
Justin Torres‘ first novel We the Animals, a national best seller, has been translated into fifteen languages and is currently being adapted into a feature film. He has published short fiction in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Tin House, The Washington Post, Glimmer Train, Flaunt, and other publications, as well as non-fiction pieces in publications like The Guardian and The Advocate. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and a Cullman Center Fellow at The New York Public Library. The National Book Foundation named him one of 2012’s 5 Under 35. He has been the recipient of a grant from the National Endownment for the Arts, a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.
He lives in Los Angeles, where he is Assistant Professor of English at UCLA.
Laura Dassow Walls
Laura Dassow Walls is William P. & Hazel B. White Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, where she teaches courses in 19th-century American and environmental literature. Her most recent book, Henry David Thoreau: A Life (Chicago 2017), is the first comprehensive biography of Thoreau in over fifty years. Her earlier books include studies of Thoreau and science, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America (Chicago 2009), awarded the James Russell Lowell Prize by MLA and the Merle Curti Award by the Organization of American Historians.
After graduating from Brown University with a degree in English literature, Lauren Wolk worked at the St. Paul American Indian Center, writing a book on how best to assist battered women in the Native American community. She then worked as a senior editor with an educational publisher in Toronto before starting a family and a business as a freelance writer and editor in 1988. In 1999, Random House published her first novel, Those Who Favor Fire. Her second novel, Forgiving Billy, was twice nominated for the Pushcart Editor’s Book Award and won the 2006 Hackney Literary Award. She became Associate Director of the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in 2007. In 2016, Dutton published her novel Wolf Hollow, which was named a 2016 New England Book Award winner, a 2017 Newbery Honor Book, and a 2017 Jane Addams Honor Book and was shortlisted for the 2017 New York Historical Society Children’s Book Prize, the 2017 Waterstones Book Prize, the 2017 Carnegie Medal, and other awards. In May 2017, Dutton published Wolk’s new novel, Beyond the Bright Sea. Wolk’s poetry has appeared in roger, Nimrod, Off the Coast, Naugatuck River Review, and other literary journals.
All of the events at the Provincetown Book Festival are free and open to the public. The Festival is produced by the Provincetown Public Library on a shoestring, with wonderful, mostly in-kind support from local businesses and the Provincetown community. We welcome your contribution of any amount to these events!
Donate Online: Support the Book Festival using the Library Online Shop’s super easy donation feature!
Donate at the event: Give cash or a check made out to Provincetown Public Library to ticket takers at the door.
Donate now: Send a check to Provincetown Public Library/ Attn: Book Festival/ 356 Commercial St. / Provincetown, MA 02657.
Donations are tax-deductible in full. If you provide us with your mailing address, all donations over $5.00 will receive a letter of thanks for tax purposes.
On the Lawn
Book Sale and Author Signings
Saturday, September 16
11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Rain or Shine!
Join us on the front lawn of the Provincetown Public Library to meet more than a dozen local authors and small publishers, and browse our large Library book sale, accompanied by surprise music and entertainment. The readers from our 10:00 a.m. program, Reading Local, will also be available to say hello and sign their books.
Friday, September 15
10:00 a.m. Writing Local: Fiction on Cape Cod
Jamie Brenner (The Forever Summer)
Emily Jeanne Miller (The News from the End of the World)
Moderated by A.C. Burch
11:30 a.m. Fiction, Families, and Digging Deep
Anne LeClaire (The Halo Effect)
Justin Torres (We the Animals)
1:00 p.m. Not Just for Young Adults
M.T. Anderson (Landscape with Invisible Hand)
Brandy Colbert (Little and Lion)
Lauren Wolk (Beyond the Bright Sea)
2:30 p.m. 20th Century Gay Lives: Imagined, Remembered
Joe Okonkwo (Jazz Moon)
Tim Murphy (Christodora)
6:00 p.m. Rose Dorothea Award
Ceremony and Reception with Sebastian Junger (Tribe)
Saturday, September 16
On the Lawn
11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Book Sale and Author Signings
Inside the Library
10:00 a.m. Reading Local
A curated reading of local and small press authors, with special guest, poet Jerome Murphy.
11:30 a.m. American Icons: Writing Biography
William Mann (Wars of the Roosevelts)
Laura Dassow Walls (Henry David Thoreau: A Life)
2:00 p.m. Writer’s Voice Café at the Festival
Ann Hood (Morningstar)
Michael Ruhlman (Grocery)
Moderated by Dian Hamilton
4:00 p.m. Poetry in the 21st Century
Olga Broumas (Sappho’s Gymnasium)
Fred Marchant (Said, Not Said)
Andrea Cohen (Unfathoming)
Moderated by Elizabeth Bradfield
6:00 p.m. Julia Glass and Richard Russo in Conversation
Julia Glass (The House Among the Trees)
Richard Russo (Trajectories)
8:00 p.m. Buy an Author a Drink!
Closing party at the Harbor Lounge, 359 Commercial Street
You too can be part of the Provincetown Book Festival! Volunteer to be an ambassador for a visiting author, or to welcome audience members to the Festival programs. We also need anyone who can point and shoot to video the Festival programs; and others to help out at the book sale on the lawn.
Whether you’re a book lover or just a celebrity lover, there’s a place for you at the Festival! Your only reward will be the fun and satisfaction of being in the middle of the action – and possibly a free T-shirt.
To volunteer, contact Lead Librarian Nan Cinnater at the Provincetown Library, 508-487-7094 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many Thanks to our Sponsors and Donors:
Bay State Cruises
Board of Library Trustees
Cape Cod 5
Carpe Diem Guesthouse
Surfside Hotel and Suites
Mary Alice Wells and Cass Benson
The White Porch Inn