11 Things You Can Reasonably Expect at the 2017 Harrisburg Book Festival
The Triangle recently got to interview Midtown Scholar manager, Alex Brubaker, one of the director’s of Harrisburg’s 2017 Book Festival. He gave us some of the inside scoop on what attendees of Book Fest can expect during the four days of festivities taking place October 12th through October 15th.
One) Witness A Local Musical Talent Rip It – Oct 12th @ 7 pm
Right off the bat, the 2017 book festival leads off Thursday October 12th with three phenomenal poets: Safiya Sinclair, Joshua Bennett, Shara McCallum will each share from their recent poetry collections. Introducing and concluding their performance will be Harrisburg’s own Shawan Rice. Her sound has been compared to Billie Holiday and Amy Winehouse, Shawan’s set is definitely one you don’t want to miss. She opens and officially commences the festival at 7pm!
Two) Demolish Myths of Post-Racial America – Oct 13th @ 7 pm
The 2017 Book Festival’s Keynote Speaker is none other than 2016 National book award winner Ibram X. Kendi. The youngest ever winner of the National Book Award for non-fiction, Kendi’s second book, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America breaks new ground on the subject of racism while engaging a broad audience of readers. Alex told us that he’s excited to see Kendi’s unrelenting and unafraid on style on the Scholar mainstage.
Three) Score an Exclusive Early Release – Oct 14th @ 10 am-12 pm
Illustrator Lauren Castillo’s, A Boy, A Mouse, and A Spider: The Story of E.B. White will be available for purchase before it’s October 24th release date. Not only will Castillo read her story aloud at 10 AM, she’ll be joined by illustrator Jonathan Bean who will read aloud his illustrated story Real Cowboys. Both illustrators will have copies of their books for purchase and signing after their read aloud sessions. Following the read-alouds Harrisburg’s own Gamut Theatre Group Popcorn Hat Players will perform an interaction rendition of Aesop’s Fables from 11:00 am to 11:30 am.
Four) Impress with a Letterpress – Oct 14th @ 11 am-5 pm
What’s the one thing a book lover can always use other than more books? A custom pressed bookmark could always come in handy. Stop using receipts, dollar bills, flattened gum wrappers, dried tangerine skins and use a bookmark worthy of your reading material by printing a special edition 2017 Harrisburg Book Festival with Megan Zettlemoyer of Lancaster’s Typothecary Letterpress and Design.
Five) Crack Inside a Critic’s Skull – Oct 14th @ 2 pm
Figuratively, of course! The Harrisburg 2017 Book Festival is gathering together four critics, Harrisburg’s own Harvey Freedenberg, as well as Susan Coll, Bethanne Patrick, and Marion Winik to discuss how the role of critic has evolved in the digital age. The four critics will have an round-table discussion about everything from the ethics of book reviewing to what you should be fitting into your reading list for 2017.
Six) Uncover the Secrets of the Creative (Writing) Spark – Oct 14th @ 4 pm
Ever wondered what your favorite author goes through to produce those novels, poems, or stories you love so much? Saturday Oct. 14th 4 PM Joe Fassler, author of Light in the Dark: Writer’s on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process, will sit down with #FridayReads founder and author Bethanne Patrick to talk about what authors like Junot Diaz, Stephen King, and Roxane Gay have to say about tapping into their creative inspiration. Definitely a talk local writers will want to sit in on for perspective on just how different each writer’s process can be.
Seven) Discuss the Art of the Novel with Two Acclaimed Authors – Oct 14th @ 6 pm
Saturday Oct 14th at 6 pm authors Jennifer Haigh and Liz Moore will take the Midtown Scholar’s main stage for an intimate conversation discussing their critically-acclaimed new novels, Heat & Light and The Unseen World. Both novels were favored for Book of the Year from publications such as The New Yorker, New York Times, NPR, and The Washington Post. Their conversation will be moderated by Lancaster-based author Meghan Kenny whose debut novel The Driest Season will release in 2018.
Eight) Welcome Home a Local Writer – Oct 15th @ 2 pm
Celebrations! Sunday Oct. 15th at 2pm Midtown Scholar welcomes Central Pennsylvania’s 2016 One Book, One Community winner Elizabeth Wein back to Harrisburg to discuss her historical fiction novel, Rose Under Fire. The Harrisburg native intends to share what work goes into the art of writing historical fiction, and the influence of Scotland on her latest book, The Pearl Thief.
Nine) See the Story Behind Inkblots – Oct 15th @ 3:30 pm
It’s not hard to imagine that the Swiss Psychiatrist behind the famous Roscharch inkblot test was a firebrand in his field. For the first time ever the charismatic and fascinating life and mind of Hermann Rorschach has been captured in a biography by Damion Searls. The Inkblots: Hermann Rorschach, The Iconic Test, and The Power of Seeing. Sponsored by the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, author Damion Searls will talk on Roscharch himself, the story behind the infamous test, and what role they play in the modern world of psychiatry and popular culture.
Ten) Solidify Shirley Jackson’s Place in the Literary Canon – Oct 15th @ 5 pm
It’s a rare soul who hasn’t at one time in their life, whether through school or recommendation from a friend, read Shirley Jackson’s story, “The Lottery.” Author Ruth Franklin provides insight on how Jackson’s experience and upbringing influenced her gothic horror style in her biography, Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life. Franklin will be at Midtown Scholar on Sunday October 15th at 5pm to round out the 2017 Harrisburg Book Festival. Besides Jackson’ own haunted life, Franklin’s discussion will explore the author’s place as a major artist in the literary canon.
Eleven) Fuel Up on Caffeine, Books, New Ideas, and Fresh Perspectives!
Midtown Scholar hasn’t won ‘Simply the Best’ Independent Bookstore in the region for 14 years running. The bookstore is housed within a renovated 1920s movie theater which became first level department store in the 1950s and is now an independent bookstore which extends over two buildings and includes over 200,000 new, used, and discounted books for readers of all ages.
The Scholar’s cafe features award-winning Counter Culture Coffee and over 30 varieties of loose leaf teas from Rishi Tea. An in-store partnership with P&R Bakery ensures if you’re hungry you can grab breakfast, lunch or just a sweet treat for while you’re reading. The four day book festival is the best chance to take it all in with crowds of friendly like-minded passionate readers and writing enthusiasts.
Midtown Scholar’s address and parking recommendations can be found on the Midtown Scholar website.
The Triangle is thrilled to partner with Midtown Scholar as a community sponsor for the 2017 Harrisburg Book Festival.