Prison Book Program, Part I: Books, Connection, and Community
On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and one Saturday a month, volunteers gather in Quincy to sort books to send to incarcerated members of society. Volunteer with the Prison Book Program and its social media editor Katie Vhay describes the work the volunteers with the PBP do in our newest article, and shares responses from the recipients of the books - and how not just a book but the human connection involved in giving the book can change lives.
Boston Book Festival Announces Two-Day Expansion
After ten years of the Boston Book’s Festival’s one day event in and around Copley Square, they announced that this October’s event will be a two-day literary affair. Saturday, October 19 will be held in Copley Square as usual, and with added programming in Dudley Square in Roxbury on Sunday, October 20. Visit their website for more information. In the meantime, get ready for the Lit Crawl on June 6, and learn more about the application for BBF Unbound programming.
Boston Book Festival’s Lit Crawl Returns June 6
One of our more unique literary events, Lit Crawl, returns on Thursday, June 6 for its third year. Imagine strolling around the Back Bay and stopping into various shops and establishments to find literary events - from straight readings to local authors playing Balderdash to Poe-inspired improv, and more. And yes, drinks are provided! The full schedule is now available. We’ll see you there!
WriteBoston Holds Pros&Conversation on May 9
On Thursday, May 9, WriteBoston will host its annual fundraiser, Pros&Conversation, in order to support WriteBoston’s "teacher training and free student writing programs.” The evening will feature Danielle Allen, Joshua Foer, Meredith Goldstein, and Marjan Kamali, as well as WriteBoston student journalists. Find more information and tickets at their website.
Raising a Reader Holds Dinner with an Author on May 8
Raising a Reader of Massachusetts will host Dinner with an Author on Wednesday, May 8, a fundraising for the organization whose mission is "to end the cycle of low literacy in high-need communities in Massachusetts.” Featured authors include Ace Atkins, Marianne Leone, Claire Messud, William Martin, Ben and Tonya Mezrich, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and more. Tickets are still available at their website.
New Opera The Handmaid’s Tale Open at Boston Lyric Opera
A new opera of The Handmaid’s Tale, staged by the Boston Lyric Opera, opens on Sunday, May 5, running for four performances to Sunday, May 12. Directed by theater icon Anne Bogart and led by conductor David Angus, the score will combine traditional opera and contemporary musical themes, and it will be set at the Lavietes Pavilion at Harvard (next to “the football stadium…where they hold the Men’s Salvagings”), a gymnasium reminiscent of the Red Center.
They’re offering friends of the Boston Book Blog a 30% literary discount on tickets! Simply enter the promo code BOOKS at checkout for any one of the performances. You can find more information and tickets at the BLO website.
826Boston Hosts Night of 1,000 Stories May 2
826Boston will be hosting its annual fundraiser, Night of 1,000 Stories, on Thursday, May 2 at the Royal Sonesta. The gala event for the nonprofit that supports youth writing and publishing will feature Stephen King and 826Boston students for “an evening of showcases and surprises.” Tickets are still available, and you can find more information at their website.
ArtWeek Write-In at the Boston Athenæum
On Wednesday, May 1, the Boston Athenæum will be partnering with GrubStreet and the Boston Literary District for a first-ever ArtWeek Write-In at the historic library. Led by Denise Delgado, this free session will give writers the chance to explore story and craft while meeting in the halls where Emerson, Hawthorne, and Alcott frequented. Find more information and registration at the Athenaeum website below. (Want to get the chance to explore the Athenaeum closer? Their open house happens May 4.)
31st Annual Literary Lights to be Held on April 28
The Associates of the Boston Public Library’s annual black tie event, Literary Lights, will be celebrating its thirty-first year on Sunday, April 28 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. The event, which seeks to "honor outstanding writers from the Northeast and to celebrate their contributions to literature,” will have Dan Brown as the keynote, with John Grogan, Jennifer Haigh, Jeff Kinney, Min Jin Lee, and Jeffrey Toobin honored. Tickets are still available; you can purchase them and learn more about the work of the Associates of the Boston Public Library, here.
Writers Without Margins 4th Annual Journal Contributor Reading April 25
Local non-profit Writers Without Margins will be hosting its 4th Annual Journal Contributor Reading on Thursday, April 25 at the Old South Church on Boylston Street. The organization’s mission is "to expand access to the literary arts for unheard and under-resourced communities in Greater Boston,” with a focus on "those isolated by the challenges of addiction recovery, trauma, poverty, disability, and mental illness.” Learn more about their work at their website, and visit their Eventbrite page to RSVP (for free) to their April 25 event. Can’t make it? Purchase the journal online.
Metro Boston Bookstore Day Returns Thursday, April 27
Metro Boston Bookstore Day - a local focus of the national Independent Bookstore Day - celebrates its second year on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Bookstores will be hosting authors, having special games and activities, selling exclusive merchandise, and more. Learn more about the day, what’s new for this year (think trolleys), and why bookstores are as important as ever, in our interview with the two organizers, Clarissa Murphy and Katie Eelman.
Porter Square Books New Literary Salon Series Announced
In addition to their stellar line-up of in-store events, Porter Square Books has announced that they will be hosting some events off-site as well, in a new Salon-style reading series. The Salon series will feature “an up-close-and-personal evening where you'll have a chance to meet, mingle and hear from an author over light refreshments in a local Porter Square Books community member's own home.” RSVP, of course, is required. The first event will be with Jessica Francis Kane on May 15.
Newburyport Literary Festival Begins April 26
Beginning on Friday, April 26, the Newburyport Literary Festival returns for its fourteenth year to various spots around the North Shore. There is a stunning list of authors speaking at the Festival, including Jenna Blum, Andre Dubus III, Louise Miller, William Martin, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Major Jackson, and more. The event kicks off on Friday night with a ceremony honoring Elaine Weiss. Find a schedule of events, a map, and tickets, at their website.
Porter Square to Be the Bookstore at GrubStreet’s New Narrative Arts Center
It was announced officially at GrubStreet’s The Muse and the Marketplace conference last weekend that Porter Square Books will be the bookstore partner of the new Narrative Arts Center. Opening on Liberty Wharf in the Seaport sometime next Spring, GrubStreet’s Narrative Arts Center will feature a first-floor bookstore and cafe, which will sell wine and beer in the evenings. The first floor will also feature a stage and space for literary events. The second floor will feature classrooms and offices. Mass Poetry will also be a partner in the venture. You can find more information on GrubStreet’s website.
Half Half Half Half Half Marathon April 11
It's Boston Marathon time, when thousands of brave runners pound out 26.2 miles. Not up to running that far, but still want to support a good cause? 826 Boston will be holding its annual Half Half Half Half Half Marathon next Thursday, April 11 in Boston Common. Come out to run .826 (get it?) miles to raise money for 826 Boston's free writing and publishing programs for kids and teens. Their fundraising goal is $40,000, so even if you can't participate, be sure to donate. Registration is still open, and you can learn more at their website. "Break a light sweat for literacy."
Boston Literary District Announces Writer-in-Residence Program
The Boston Literary District has announced its first writer-in-residence program, in partnership with Emerson College. Open to writers from New England, the residency offers an apartment in the heart of the city, interaction with Emerson MFA students, and other opportunities. The residency runs July 15 - August 15, and applications are due April 15. Find out more information here.
Mass Poetry Evening of Inspired Leaders on Monday, March 25
On Monday, March 25, Mass Poetry will be hosting its annual fundraiser, Evening of Inspired Leaders. The event, which will be held at the Huntington Theater, “highlights the power of poetry to inspire and delight while showcasing an all-star field of leaders,” with local community leaders, authors, artists, and more, reflecting on their favorite literary works. The event will be emceed by WBUR’s Meghna Chakrabarti. Tickets are still available.
Year in the Life: The Silver Unicorn Bookstore Turns One
Head northwest out of Boston up the incline of Route 2, pass where Thoreau spent his two years at Walden Pond, and in the next town you’ll find The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, which celebrates its one year anniversary on March 24. We talked with owner Paul Swydan to learn more about how the store came to fruition, its first year in business, and the array of events planned for the anniversary, in our newest article.