Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011 3rd Annual Chestertown Book Festival Planned

The 3rd Annual Chestertown Book Festival will take place Friday, September 9, and Saturday September 10.

Authors John Barth and Robert Day will open the Festival, Friday night at 7pm on the Washington College campus with a surprise tandem reading of each other's work—with much inspiring banter in between!  The venue will be announced soon. Saturday's Festival will take place at the newly restored Prince Theatre, in downtown Chestertown.  

Application materials and detailed information will be available at our web site at: http//

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another year, another festival

So we did it again. This year's festival has been deemed a success! We had slightly smaller crowd than last year (an estimated 643 non-unique visitors to all events), but we did have slightly fewer events. The variety of genres and interests embraced this year shows an enlarging of the idea behind the festival, though (and Kate B. definitely embraced a bit more with R. Crumb). Thanks again, everyone, for another great weekend of book-loving fun!

Here are a few other fun moments from the 2010 Chestertown Book Festival:

Pulitzer-prize-winning book critic Michael Dirda with Chestertown's favorite Idiots, Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr (photo courtesy of Andrea B. Neiman):

R. Crumb and R. Behr (photo courtesy of Peter Heck):

WRNR's Michael Buckley interviewing Fran Severn about the Arts on Delmarva for "Voices of the Chesapeake: Book Fest Radio:"

Student bookbinder Katrina Skefos shows off her portfolio of bookbinding experiments with the help of Master Printer (and storyteller) Mike Kaylor:

And our Faith & Inspiration panel discussion led by Terwana Brown. The panelists shown are (from left to right): Cathy Jones, Ciera McQueen, Alishia Louis, Betty Chambers, and LaDonna M. Smith:

In other news, this will probably be my last post on this blog because I am stepping down from my position as Committee Secretary. The amazing Kate Bursick is also stepping down from her office of Committee President. I think I can speak for both of us when I say that we are proud of all the work we have done with the rest of the Committee and the authors and the volunteers. But it's time for a new set of minds to take the reins of the Chestertown Book Festival (and they will certainly need some reins--this thing has taken on a life of its own, I think!). We welcome the new Committee President, Jim Dissette (who will probably be taking over the duty of blog-posting) and the new Vice President/Secretaries, Lucy Maddox and Carol Schroeder. Our steadfast Treasurer, Karin Cowperthwait, will be maintaining her position. I know that the festival is in creative and capable hands. I look forward to seeing how it will continue to grow and evolve.

Signing out,
Lindsay L.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Second Annual Chestertown Book Festival

It's finally here! The second annual Chestertown Book Festival begins tomorrow: Friday, October 8. We will begin with a classic: the Friends of the Kent County Public Library Used Book Sale will run from 10:00AM - 5:00PM at the Kent County Public Library. Then join us for the Festival Kick-Off event: An Evening with Michael Dirda from 7:00 - 9:00PM at Bookplate. And you'll want to get to sleep early Friday night so you can rest up for the full day of events we have scheduled for Saturday, October 9! We will have something for just about everyone: kids, animal-lovers, mystery-readers, devoted church-goers, history-buffs, radio-fans, the undiscovered-writer, even the comic-geek (that's a term of endearment, I assure you!). Please take a look at our full schedule of events for more details. You can have a look online or print it out. Either way, don't miss out on this weekend of book fun!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good to the Last Crumb

We here at the Chestertown Book Festival are equal-opportunity book lovers, but we'd be remiss if we didn't let you know about one event that we're particularly excited about.

Good to the Last Crumb
Saturday, October 9
Prince Theatre, 210 High Street, Chestertown, Maryland 21620

R. Crumb, founder of the underground comix movement, will be in conversation with Idiots'Books illustrator Robbi Behr. Crumb and Behr will discuss his life's work, the importance of the public library in a community, and field audience questions. Book sale and signing to follow.

Mr. Crumb has been nice to enough to agree to join us all the way from France for this special Chestertown Book Festival event in support of the Kent County Public Library. What a nice man. Robbi Behr of our local beloved Idiots'Books, has been nice enough to agree to engage Mr. Crumb, in public, with some questions on our behalf. What a nice lady. A spoil of illustrated riches!

We hope to see you all there!

-The ChesBookFest Committee

Friday, September 10, 2010

To print! To print!

Our schedule of events for the second annual Chestertown Book Festival is completed! We will begin printing them this weekend and both a web-friendly and print-friendly version will be posted to the festival website by early next week. Keep your eyes peeled!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Getting it together

We are now just 39 days away from the second annual Chestertown Book Festival! By Friday, September 10, we will have a complete schedule of events ready and then we will print them in a tri-fold style brochure and set them loose around the region. In about a week and a half, you will see our colorful posters on bulletin boards and in shop windows, and stacks of festival schedules on the countertops. We have also been working on a billboard to help announce the imminence of this year's festival, as seen in the adjacent photo. But don't worry! We have the logo artist, Paul Hostetler, coming to paint our illustration onto the board. It will look much prettier soon!

In the meantime, here are a few of the events we're especially excited about:

2010 Chestertown Book Festival Kick-Off:

An Evening with Michael Dirda

Author, Washington Post Book World Columnist, Pulitzer prize-winner and general bibliophile, Michael Dirda, opens the festival with an intimate talk about the finer details of a reading and reviewing life. To be followed by wine and cheese reception.

Literary Picture Books for Adults (and Maladjusted Children): The Provocative Space Between Language and Image
Robbi Behr and Matthew Swanson of Chestertown-based small press Idiots'Books will read from their catalog of illustrated volumes while discussing the pleasures and challenges of combining pictures and words. Topics will include running a small press, interactive storytelling techniques, and the critical role of the reader in confronting the confounding space between language and image.

Steelworks on the Chesapeake

Sparrows Point was the only American steelworks built on tidewater. Deborah Rudacille, author of Roots of Steel: Boom and Bust in an American Mill Town (Pantheon), talks about the impact of 120 years of steelmaking on the Bay.

Good to the Last Crumb

R. Crumb, founder of the underground comix movement, in conversation with Idiots’Books illustrator and admirer, Robbi Behr. Crumb and Behr will discuss his life's work, the importance of the public library in a community, and field audience questions. Book sale and signing to follow.

Voices of the Chesapeake: Book Fest Radio

Michael Buckley, author of Voices of the Chesapeake and host of “The Sunday Brunch” broadcast on 103.1FM (WRNR), will be recording interviews with Book Festival authors including Ginger Doyel (with the Hon. Lynne A. Battaglia), Vince Gisriel, Jr, Deborah Rudacille, Lenny Rudow, and Fran Severn. Join us to be a part of the live studio audience!

Faith & Inspiration panel discussion:

Finding the Words Through God

Author Terwana Brown will moderate this panel discussion with authors whose books focus on their faith in God and how that faith has inspired them, transformed their lives and their writing. Betty Chambers, author of On the Inspirational Side of Poetry, books I & II. Cathy Jones, author of Unpredictable Stories of Life Experiences Expressed in Poetry. Alishia Louis, author of Woman, Will Thou Be Made Whole: Healing from the Wounds of Divorce. Ciera McQueen, local author of Standing Still. J.L. Price, author of Poetry to Glorify the Father. LaDonna M. Smith, author of I Married Satan.

Humane Habits of Reading

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” –Groucho Marx. The Humane Society of Kent County and author Cynthia P. Gallagher present a discussion of dog breeds based on Gallagher’s books. Gallagher will be donating $5 from every book sold at this event to the Humane Society. Come buy a good book and adopt a good dog!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reviews and Previews

It's now official: author, The Washington Post Book World columnist, Pulitzer-prize winner and general bibliophile Michael Dirda will be opening our second annual Chestertown Book Festival. His most recent title is Classics for Pleasure, but he has also written a memoir: An Open Book: Chapters from a Reader's Life and four other books of literary criticism and recommendation: Bound to Please: An Extraordinary One-Volume Literary Education; Book by Book: Notes on Reading and Life; Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments; and Caring for Your Books. A Ph.D. graduate of Cornell University in comparative literature, he has been on the Advisory Council for "The Big Read," a program from the National Endowment for the Arts addressing America's need to read: "inspiring people across the country to pick up a good book," since 2006; and a National Council Member for The Atlantic Center for the Arts since 1999. You could call him a professional reader, with more experience, honors, awards and publications than I can possibly list here.

Michael Dirda will join us for an evening all about books: he will have a conversation with us about his work as a reviewer and the world of literary journalism. In many ways, he does what we attempt to do with this festival: celebrate books and writers (not indiscriminately, of course) by drawing the attention of an entire community and telling them why such works deserve our attention and appreciation (although, I must admit, our community is just a bit smaller than his). His medium is mostly newspaper and books themselves. Ours is more along the lines of getting authors and readers in the same physical space to share words, wine and cheese: more of a social medium. To connect with each other about one of our most solitary activities. But on Friday evening (October 8), Dirda will be engaging in a little of both.

Among Dirda's many qualifications, he also has a soft spot for our lovely little town. We plan to return the sentiment.

Photo credit: Amelia Beamer, Locus Publications 2009