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October 25, 2012

An evening of reading

Literary Fest fundraiser celebrates autumn

The Newburyport Literary Festival may be several months away, but organizers are already preparing for the springtime event that celebrates literature and reading.

And, of course, they are doing so with a celebration of literature and reading.

Tomorrow night, an event will be held in Newbury, which both celebrates autumn and benefits the festival, which draws thousands of bibliophiles to Newburyport each April.

Dubbed “It Was Night in the Lonesome October,” the fall-themed program will include readings by three authors and poets who will share selections of their favorite works.

Newbury poet and author Alfred Nicol, who was honored during last year’s festivities, will read Edgar Allan Poe’s “Ulalume: A Ballad” — the oem that inspired the evening’s theme — and award-winning Newburyport poet Rhina P. Espaillat will read from “The Boarded Window by Ambrose Bierce.”

Stoneham author Steve Yarbrough will also read an excerpt from Mark Twain’s autobiography. Yarbrough’s most recent novel, “Safe from the Neighbors,” was released in 2010 and was named a finalist for both the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for fiction and the Massachusetts Book Award. His book, “The End of California,” which was released in 2006, was also a finalist for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award.

The evening will be catered by The Grog, organizer Vicki Hendrickson said, and the members of the festival’s steering committee are supplying an assortment of homemade desserts.

“It’s just a fun night, it’s a little different,” Hendrickson said.

The committee typically hosts two programs each year to raise funds for the festival, which can draw as many as 80 authors and 3,000 attendees. All genres of writers — nature, fiction and nonfiction, short story, children’s, biographers, critics, screenwriters, poets, novelists and journalists — gather in the city to spend the day holding discussions and readings.

The fundraiser will begin at 7 p.m. at 27 Green St. in Newbury at the home of Phyllis and Nicholas Orem. Tickets are $50 must be purchased in advance. To purchase, visit

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