The Virginia Festival of the Book Hits Charlottesville March 16-20

VaBookFestival2016-OrigCharlottesville has a rich literary tradition, influenced by both the personal libraries of men like Jefferson and Madison, the University of Virginia’s vast collection, and the presence of authors like Charles Wright, Rita Dove, and John Grisham. The Virginia Festival of the Book is an annual testament to the social and communal power of literature. For the 22nd year, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities will bring authors and readers together to celebrate the best things about literary culture. The festival has a wide range of programs, from panels with authors, a celebration of local Pulitzer Prize winners (it’s the Pulitzer’s 99th anniversary), an exploration of Charlottesville’s changing demographic makeup through the lens of literature, and the StoryFest series for the children. Much of the action is concentrated in the downtown mall area, at places like the Paramount Theater, the Central Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, Champion Brewery, and the Omni Hotel. There’s also a smattering of events at UVa, most notably at the Culbreth Theater. If you have kids, chances are there’s an event going on at their school, no matter how small.

One of the best things about the Virginia Festival of the Book is the opportunity to come face to face with some truly esteemed writers. One such opportunity will present itself on 6:30pm on Friday, March 18th at UVa’s Culbreth Theater. It’s a celebration of Pulitzer Prize-winning poets Rita Dove, Vijay Seshardi, and Greg Pardlo. Each of the poets will read their award-winning selections and discuss their work. Dove is an esteemed poet, the first African American Poet Laureate, and a professor at UVa. On the 19th at the Central Jefferson-Madison Regional Library on Market Street, two authors, Martha Wolfe and Mary Lyons (author of The Virginia Blue Ridge Railroad) will host a discussion about the Piedmont region and localized history about land in central Virginia. Author Leanna Joyner will highlight Civil War sites situated on the Appalachian Trail; Joyner wrote a book called Hiking Through History: Civil War Sites on the Appalachian Trail. The StoryFest has great offerings for kids, like a celebration of the TV show Arthur’s 20th birthday at the Paramount Theater or the opening ceremony which celebrates literacy in Virginia with Secretary of Education Anne Holton, also at the Central JMRL. There are countless other programs and exhibitions at a variety of locations around the Charlottesville area. Click the link above or get in touch with us at Gayle Harvey Real Estate for more information!