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Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books Releases Author Lineup, Opens Registration

/EIN News/ -- Pittsburgh, April 03, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, the Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books announced registration is open for its third annual event, happening on May 11, 2024 on the campus of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in East Liberty. Held each year to bring the magic of reading to people of all ages, the free Festival will offer a packed schedule of author talks, panel discussions, poetry readings, book signings and workshops – plus delicious food trucks, exhibitors with “bookish” fare and more.

“The spirit of this Pittsburgh literary tradition is all about connecting our community and making reading accessible to everyone, and a big part of that means planting the seed of a love for books,” said Andrew Medlar, President and Director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, which is a sponsor of the Festival. “For new and lifelong readers alike, we hope everyone will leave the Festival having discovered something new to read.”

Featured authors and poets
In the spirit of having “something for everyone,” the Festival will welcome over 70 writers spanning genres from romance to thriller, cozy mystery to horror and nonfiction to fantasy. This year’s featured writers include:

  • Ross Gay, author of four books of poetry including Be Holding, winner of the PEN American Literary Jean Stein Award; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Gay has also released three collections of essays, most recently The Book of (More) Delights in September of 2023.
  • Benjamin Herold, author of Disillusioned, who explores America's beautiful and busted public schools. His award-winning reporting has appeared in Education Week, PBS NewsHour, NPR, Huffington Post, WHYY, The Hechinger Report and the Public School Notebook.
  • Eloisa James, USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of over 30 historical romance novels, which have been translated into 26 languages and sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. As Mary Bly, she’s a Shakespeare scholar and Chair of the English Department at Fordham University.
  • Sebastian Junger, New York Times bestselling author of Tribe, War, Freedom, A Death in Belmont, Fire, and The Perfect Storm, and codirector of the documentary film Restrepo, which was nominated for an Academy Award. He is also the winner of a Peabody Award and the National Magazine Award for Reporting. Junger will be in conversation with NPR’s Steve Drummond, author of The Watchdog: How the Truman Committee Battled Corruption and Helped Win World War Two.

The Festival’s website has a full list of participating authors and poets.

Fun for the whole family
Youth of all ages can find something to enjoy at the Festival. For young children and their caregivers, the Festival will feature engaging, interactive storytimes with beloved children’s authors, including Erin Danielle Russell and Seoul Food, which takes readers on the journey of a young biracial girl who celebrates her Korean and Black cultures through cuisine. To bring storytime back home, attendees can explore a tent dedicated to Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s 2024 Best Books for Babies – a nationally recognized selection updated annually by local librarians and child development experts.

Older youth can attend panels on a range of topics, including “From Pittsburgh with Love,” featuring popular Pittsburgh young adult authors, and wife-wife writing team, Rachael Lippincott and Alyson Derrick.

Young readers looking for a summer of literary fun can pre-register for Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s 2024 READ-A-PALOOZA BOOK BOWL, its annual Summer Reading program, which will run from June 16 to August 11. The program, which challenges young readers to log at least five books during the two-month period, is designed to help combat the “summer slide” kids and teens may experience during the months out of school – all while diving into pages, dodging plot twists and sprinting through thrilling chapters.

The Festival will also feature workshops and hands-on activities for children and teens. Attendees can make their own zine with author-illustrator Sharee Miller (Don’t Touch My Hair!), create digital comics with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Makerspace and learn how to draw like an InvestiGator in S.U.I.T. with Pat Lewis. And just like in Brittany Thurman’s Forever and Always, guests can create friendship bracelets of their very own. 

Pittsburgh, Penn Hills and beyond
Specially planned this year, the event will focus a portion of its programming on stories about Pittsburgh – and the greater Pittsburgh area – by hometown authors. For example, in Disillusioned, Penn Hills native Benjamin Herold tells the story of a Black family’s experience in his childhood neighborhood, which was once predominantly white. Herold will speak alongside the local family he profiles in Disillusioned in a discussion moderated by another Penn Hills native and author, Damon Young.

Additionally, a lineup of Pittsburgh-themed panels will uncover little-known parts of the city’s history, discuss social justice in Pittsburgh, dig into Steel City true crime and more. Acclaimed screenwriter, producer and University of Pittsburgh lecturer Carl Kurlander will also moderate a panel of well-known Pittsburgh memoirists, including Lori Jakiela (They Write Your Name on a Grain of Rice) and JoAnne Klimovich Harrop (A Daughter’s Promise). A full schedule of events can be found here: ticketing.humanitix.com/tours/pghbookfest.

Hours, parking and how to show support
The Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 at 616 North Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh. Free parking will be available on the campus of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and across the street at the Obama Academy.

Those interested in having a hands-on role in making the day a success can register to volunteer by filling out the sign-up form on the Festival’s website.

Registration is encouraged, but not required, and space may be limited for select author sessions and panels. Registration can be found here: ticketing.humanitix.com/tours/pghbookfest.

The Festival is made possible thanks to support from sponsors including Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, The Jack Buncher Foundation, KDKA and others. Donations are being accepted to help further support festival programming.

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ABOUT THE GREATER PITTSBURGH FESTIVAL OF BOOKS:
The Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books is a nonprofit initiative committed to nurturing, celebrating and sharing Pittsburgh’s vibrant literary community with the greater region. With a strong emphasis on inclusion and eliminating barriers to literacy, the Festival is free for all and includes programming across several genres and age groups. To date, the annual Festival has welcomed a combined total of 5,000 adult registrants, 121 children’s and adult authors, 51 poets, 27 bookstores and 53 exhibitors. Learn more at pittsburghbookfestival.org and follow us on Instagram @pghbookfest and/or our Facebook page: Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books.

Attachments


Margo Fischgrund
                  Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books 
                  412.414.9960
                  Margo@mindfulkreative.com