WEST HARTFORD – Novelist Alice Mattison, gardening expert Tovah Martin, and science fiction writer Ronald L. Mallett are among more than 30 Connecticut authors scheduled to join Honorary Chair Wally Lamb at the first Connecticut Book Festival
on May 21 and 22.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the University of Connecticut Greater Hartford campus.
The free, family-friendly festival is open to the public, to promote and celebrate books, reading, and the state’s bountiful and diverse literary community. Authors of fiction and nonfiction for adults and teens will offer presentations, panel discussions, readings, and book signings. (Pictured is the Connecticut Book Festival Committee).
Scheduled authors include:
· Essayist Sam Pickering, an English professor at the University of Connecticut and the model for the film "Dead Poets Society."
· Mystery writer Rosemary Harris, nominated for the Agatha and Anthony awards for her first book, "Pushing Up Daisies."
· Food writer Nancy Freeborn, co-author of the book "New Haven Chef’s Table: Restaurants, Recipes, and Local Food Connections" and manager of the Chester Farmers’ Market.
· Bessy Reyna, author of two bilingual books of poetry and a former winner of the Outstanding Latina Cultural Arts, Literary Arts and Publications Award; she will moderate a panel of Latino authors.
There will be performances by the dance troupe dancEnlight, and State Troubadour Chuck E. Costa, as well as roving characters from the Mystic Paper Beasts Theatre Company. Both the New Haven and the Hartford symphony orchestras are bringing their “instrument petting zoos.” The Children’s Activities Tent, sponsored by Connecticut Humanities Council and the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection, will offer a chalk drawing competition—led by Hartford Art School Professor Bill Thomson, author of Chalk—among its attractions.
The festival is a partnership of Connecticut Center for the Book at Hartford Public Library, Connecticut Commission on Culture &, Tourism, Connecticut Humanities Council, Connecticut Library Association, Connecticut State Library, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, UConn Co-op Bookstore, and the University of Connecticut, Greater Hartford Campus.
Food will be available from area restaurants and specialty food purveyors. Exhibitors and vendors will include book-based nonprofits, academic institutions, cultural organizations, and artisans of book-related items. Connecticut Poets Society, Connecticut Valley Calligraphers, and Grayson Books are among the exhibitors confirmed at this time. UConn Co-op will sell books written by festival presenters.
The UConn Greater Hartford campus is located at 85 Lawler Road in West Hartford.