Inaugural Providence Book Festival will connect readers with writers April 26-27

The inaugural Providence Book Festival comes to the heart of the creative capital on April 26–27, 2019.

Over 75 award-winning fiction, nonfiction, children/young-adult authors and poets from around the nation will converge on the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel, RISD Museum of Art, the Rhode Island State House, Brown University’s John Hay Library, AS220 and the Providence Athenaeum to celebrate books, literature and the boundless power of words to inspire and transform.

Honorary Co-chairs of this year’s festival are bestselling author Ann Hood and Rhode Island Poet Laureate Emerita Lisa Starr. Among the authors scheduled for the two-day event are such nationally known writers as Pulitzer Prize (Fiction) winner Richard Russo (author of Empire Fallsand Nobody’s Fool), National Book Award (Fiction) winner Alice McDermott (The Ninth Hour); acclaimed fiction authors Helen Schulman (Come with Me and This Beautiful Life), Thomas Cobb(Crazy Heart) and Caroline Kepnes (You, now a hit series on Netflix); Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mike Stanton (Prince of Providence and Unbeaten, his newest book about boxer Rocky Marciano), National Book Award (Young People’s Literature) winner M.T. Anderson (Landscape with Invisible Hand), acclaimed author of young-adult novels Tiffany Jackson (Allegedly andMonday’s Not Coming,) and award-winning author of numerous collections of poetry Denise Duhamel (Scald and Blowout).

Providence Book Festival director Beatrice Lazarus described the inaugural event saying in a press release, “The historic city of Providence will be turned into an authors’ village lit up with writers, editors and publishers who are eager to connect with Rhode Island’s booklovers and vibrant literary community.”

In addition to presentations by nationally acclaimed authors, the event includes workshops, panel discussions, and literary-themed exhibits and activities. “In engaging forums, writers will inspire attendees with lively exchanges about books, publishing and the craft of writing,” explains Lazarus, adding “There will be something for everyone at the festival. Small presses, national and local authors, and literary organizations will be showcased along with programs for children and young adults, pop-up events, food trucks and music.”

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Included in the lineup of presenting authors are: Dr. Jacob Appel, Gina Barreca, Lisa Barrett, Pat Cummings, Susan Tan, Richard Deming, Rebecca Drake, Abby Fabiaschi, Peter Gizzi, Peter Golden, Theodora Goss, Jennifer Haigh, Dr. Peter Kramer, Fred Marchant, Antoine Revoy, Julia Sarcone-Roach, Eleni Sikelianos, Chris Tebbetts, Padma Venkatraman, Wendy Walker and Lauren Willig.

The festival plans to educate and entertain, inspire, unite and delight booklovers of all ages. Attendees at this family-fun celebration will have the opportunity to interact with some of their favorite authors and get the chance to discover new books, inspiring stories and compelling ideas at readings, signings, workshops, panel discussions, book consultations and more.

On Friday, April 26, the Providence Book Festival is also excited to present the Great Authors in Schools (GAINS) program at various Providence schools with readings, Q & A and donated books to school libraries to nurture the imagination of students. On Friday evening, guests will enjoy the Opening Night Keynote Gala at the beautiful Renaissance Hotel.

The festival on Saturday, April 27, begins with an Authors’ Breakfast and continues throughout the day with a wide array of distinguished authors discussing their books in dynamic and diverse forums. The PBF will also include artisan crafts and literary-themed exhibits from publishers and organizations as well as valuable resources for readers and writers.

“It’s our hope that the Providence Book Festival will become a cherished signature event,” says Lazarus. “The festival will give people access to authors that might have gone undiscovered. Every spring, the literary fair will help people connect with their own creativity and imagination, and fall in love with books all over again.”

Proceeds from the festival will benefit vital youth literacy programs at Rhode Island public libraries. The Providence Book Festival is presented by LiteraryArts RI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and made possible by the generous support of many, including the Providence Tourism Council, patrons of the arts and our passionate team of volunteers.

Visit for the most up-to-date list of authors and schedule of events, as well as online registration for Opening Night Gala tickets and All-Day Passes.