, Newburyport, MA


April 12, 2013

The write kind of day

Literary Festival celebrates young adult, children's authors


Below are some of the many presentations and speaker panels at this year's Newburyport Literary Festival: FRIDAY, APRIL 26 6 p.m., Firehouse Opening ceremony honoring Matthew Quick The opening night ceremonies celebrating this year's theme, "Imagination Soars!," will honor Massachusetts author Matthew Quick, whose "Silver Linings Playbook" earned eight Oscar nominations, highlighting mental health issues and injecting them into the national dialogue. Quick will talk to Newburyport High English chairman Tom Abrams, some of his students, and the audience about the joys and challenges of the writing life. SATURDAY, APRIL 27 9 a.m., Old South Church "The Power of Family, The Power of Words" Mira Bartok and Carolyn Roy-Bornstein discuss their memoirs. Bartok will discuss growing up with a mentally ill mother as seen through the prism of her own traumatic brain injury, and Roy-Bornstein will share the story of her son's traumatic brain injury, suffered at the hands of a drunken driver and her own journey as a pediatrician-mom. 9 a.m., First Religious Society "Necessary Evils: A Conversation about the Writing Life" Mystery authors Linda Barnes and Barbara Shapiro will talk about the process of writing for this genre, their latest novels and how their friendship helps them navigate the worlds of writing and publishing. 9 a.m., Newburyport Public Library Clay Creations Sculpting Workshop For more than 20 years, Newburyport artist Ann McCrea has engaged children in Clay Works programs designed to enliven reading themes. As McCrea reads her "Sophia, the Spotted Turtle," based on MacArthur "genius" award winner David Carroll's "The Year of the Turtle" and "Swampwalker," kids will hear how Sophia emerges from hibernation, uses the sun to refuel her energy, hunts for food in a vernal pool, plays the mating game with two rival males, then provides for the next generation as she digs to bury her eggs. After a brief sculpting demonstration, kids will create terra cotta clay turtles that they can later paint at home. 10 a.m., The Book Rack John Harrison Smolen reads from his latest novel, "Quarantine." 10:30 a.m., Newburyport Library Young listeners can hear author Jane Sutton read from her picture book "Don't Call Me Sidney," about an earnest, big-hearted pig who decides to become a poet. 11 a.m., Firehouse Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz reads from his new collection of stories about love and longing. Told from the point of view of New Jersey Dominicans, "This is How You Lose Her" is steeped in the language and the rhythms of working-class Latino life. 11 a.m., Newburyport Library Christine Brodien-Jones, author of middle-grade fantasy novels, will lead readers on a fantastic trip through her imagination, illustrating how her ideas take flight and become books. 11:30 a.m., Newburyport Library Young audiences can join storyteller Irene Smalls as she presents from her books "Irene and the Big Fine Nickel," "Jonathan and His Mommy," "The Johnankus" and "Dawn and the Round To-It." 1 p.m. First Religious Society Sneak Preview: "Dirty Love" with Andre Dubus III Be among the first to hear Andre Dubus III read from his upcoming book, "Dirty Love," a collection of linked novellas due out in the fall of 2013. 1 p.m., Old South Church, Social Hall Annual Youth Poetry Slam Youth have a limited amount of time to impress judges with their performance. The young poets should bring at least two poems to sign up and compete in this open slam. Unaffiliated audience members may be invited to judge the event. -- For a complete schedule of events and speakers, visit

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