Monday, November 15, 2010

Somerville News Writers Festival

If you were not at the Center for Arts at the Armory in Somerville, MA, on Saturday night, you missed out on something special. The 8th Somerville News Writers Festival took place with a book fair during the day and readings in the evening--the event did not disappoint. Organized by Doug Holder and Tim Gager, it was a terrific night of poetry and fiction.

Boston’s poet laureate, Sam Cornish, received a lifetime achievement award from Ibbetson Street Press.

(Sam Cornish)

Other highlights for me included picking up Steve Almond’s third self-published book, Bad Poetry; hearing Dan Sklar read a poem called “October,” of which he said that Robert Frost’s daughter enjoyed his poem about October more than her fathers’; and hearing poetry and fiction from Martha Collins, Rusty Barns, and many other talented authors.

(Martha Collins)

(Malachy McCourt)

And then there's Malachy McCourt, who, like his brother Frank, published his first book in his mid-60s. He’s a colorful character to say the least. I can see why his books are so popular.

The Somerville News Writers Festival is a feel-good night of words, just a nice way to showcase authors with ties to the city. Hats off to Doug and Tim for turning this community event into something bigger, while keeping the heart of the event intact.

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