Book lovers. The Nantucket Book Festival features a stellar line-up of authors and events

Book lovers. The Nantucket Book Festival features a stellar line-up of authors and events
Yareah Magazine

The Nantucket Book Festival, an event for book lovers of every stripe, features a stellar line-up of authors and events for its upcoming Festival.  From June 17-19, readers will gather in historic Nantucket venues for author readings, panel discussions, and social events that provide unique opportunities to engage with their favorite authors—a hallmark of the Festival.  Most events are free with the exception of the ticketed social events.

The Nantucket Book Festival

The Nantucket Book Festival

Among the author participants this year are 2015 Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings), the first Caribbean author to win the esteemed prize since V.S. Naipaul; legendary broadcaster Diane Rehm talking about her new book, On My Own; U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins; food blogger Michael Ruhlman (How to Sauté), celebrated author of 20+ cooking related works; Nantucket-based bestselling authors Nathaniel Philbrick (Valiant Ambition), Nancy Thayer (The Island House), and Elin Hilderbrand (Here’s to Us); Anthony Marra (The Tsar of Love and Techno); National Book Award winner Evan Osnos (Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China); and Diane Ackerman (The Human Age), who brings her unique insight into the natural world and our place in it.

Sebastian Junger (War, Tribe) will be a part of panel discussion of journalists and war heroes including Matt Gallagher (Youngblood), Emma Sky (The Unraveling), and J. Kael Weston (The Mirror Test) who will share their diverse perspectives on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Presentations by authors with special interest to Cape and Islanders will be held in the Atheneum Garden Tent on Friday from 10am-5pm, and on Saturday the Garden will feature local authors selling and signing their books from 10am-4pm.

Typewriter Rodeo, a quartet of Austin TX-based poets, will be appearing throughout the weekend, composing and typing free poems on demand on vintage typewriters for patrons on any subject requested.

Children’s programming includes breakfast with Newbery Medal winner Jack Gantos on Saturday morning at the Dreamland Theater (free for children, $10 for adults) and storytimes in the Atheneum Garden on Saturday morning (told in a variety of languages).

Poetry lovers will have plenty of choices this year with appearances by former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins, National Book Award winner Mark Doty, Belarusian rising star Valzhyna Mort, and Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA, Richard Michelson.

Festivalgoers will have an opportunity to mingle with some of the authors on Saturday evening at 10:00pm at the Breeze Bar at the Nantucket Hotel for a reprise of the popular “Authors in Bars” event.

Tickets are now on sale for author-hosted social events which include: Friday: breakfast with Alice Hoffman and Ann Leary; luncheon with Diane Ackerman; and for the first time, Meet the Authors Dinner, a fundraiser for the Festival.  On Saturday: breakfast with Jack Gantos; luncheon with Elin Hilderbrand and Nancy Thayer; lunch with Geraldine Brooks (sold out);  and a sauté culinary event with Michael Ruhlman.  Sunday activities feature a breakfast with Billy Collins; the annual Cisco Brewers Send-off featuring music, food, author mingling and of course brews; and a Book to Film Panel with Diane Ackerman, Marlon James and Nathaniel Philbrick wraps up the Festival in the evening.  Tickets are available for purchase at

The Nantucket Book Festival is a multi-day cultural event celebrating the rich literary history and community on Nantucket Island. Founded in 2012, The Festival seeks to create and renew enthusiasm for books, connect authors with readers, encourage a love of reading and writing in a younger generation, and raise funds for literary causes.

The Festival has a partnership with the PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools Program to bring celebrated authors to the Nantucket public schools.  Additionally, the Nantucket Book Festival hosts a Young Writer Contest, and the Young Writer Award will be presented during the course of the Festival weekend.

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