Russo’s success was another factor that drew Welch to him in her search for this year’s Marquand Prize recipient.
“I was looking for someone who is a popular writer and not ashamed to be so,” Welch said. “I was looking for a great storyteller, the way Anita Shreve is, the way my grandfather was.”
After eight works of fiction, Russo focuses on his own life in his latest book, “Elsewhere: A Memoir,” which he will read from Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Old South Church in Newburyport. He will also take part in Saturday night’s closing ceremony, which will include a panel discussion on the business of selling books.
Sunday’s presentation will take place at 4 p.m. in the Custom House’s Marquand Library. Russo will receive a reproduction of a Paul Revere bowl that Marquand donated to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, a Franklin Library edition of “The Late George Apley” and a cash prize.
If you go
What: Presentation of the John P. Marquand Prize for American Literature to Richard Russo
When: Sunday, 4 to 6 p.m.
Where: Custom House Maritime Museum, 25 Water St., Newburyport
How much: Free, but seating limited
Spotlight on poetry
Before the Marquand Prize presentation wraps up the Newburyport Literary Festival, the 12th annual Favorite Poem Project of Greater Newburyport will take place Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Firehouse Center for the Arts. Produced by Newburyport High School’s creative writing class and sponsored by EBSCO Publishing, the event will feature the reading of 24 poems selected from submissions by a broad spectrum of community members. Admission is free.