Boston is a pretty bookish town, what with all the universities, libraries, and bookstores around. But until the creation of the Boston Book Festival in 2009, it had been years since the city hosted an annual event celebrating books and the work of great writers.
In three short years, the Festival has become quite an event. To me it is a reminder of the best of city life and culture, a gathering of authors, readers, booksellers, publishers, and those who support them. This year’s Festival was held on Saturday, October 15, with a preview event the night before.
No grand editorial point here, just a celebration with some pictures and words:
This year’s Festival kicked off on Friday night with a panel discussion featuring actors, writers, and consultants for The Wire, HBO’s deservedly acclaimed urban crime drama set in Baltimore. After the panel, cast members Tray Chaney (“Poot”), Robert Chew (“Prop Joe”), and Jamie Hector (“Marlo Stanfield”) were among those who stayed around for a book and poster signing. They couldn’t have been more friendly or gracious toward their fans.
(For a link to a podcast of the event, go to the Boston Phoenix newspaper site here.)
(For a related post, see Work on TV: HBO’s “The Wire.”)
My favorite writers panel was on the Civil War. This was an all-star lineup of Civil War authors, and each one gave an excellent talk. They captured the heart of their work and brought it to life for the audience. I went home with copies of their books.
The events were inside various buildings surrounding Copley Square, with vendors’ booths lining the Square itself. At the center was this information booth, which also served as a signing place for some of the featured authors.
Most of the vendors were booksellers, literary journals, publishing companies, and colleges offering writing programs. Here’s the Brattle Book Shop booth, one of Boston’s legendary used bookstores, and a favorite of mine.