Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Aug 23 2005
“The Somerville News Writers Festival"
Three years. In the world of literary ventures, venues, etc.... this can seem like a lifetime. Tim Gager and I started “The Somerville News Writers festival,” a few years ago, when “The Somerville News,” was undergoing big changes with new ownership and staffing. I asked Tim to join me in this venture because of his reputation for running an excellent reading series for fiction writers, “Dire Reader,” at the “ Out of the Blue Art Gallery,” in Cambridge. Since then Tim and I have presented poets and writers like Andre Dubus lll, Tom Perrotta, Jack Powers, Marc Goldfinger, Deborah Priestly, Robert K. Johnson, Steve Almond, Harris Gardner, and others, at the “Jimmy Tingle Theatre,” in Davis square.
To tell you the truth, I am surprised that we lasted this long. It takes a lot of work, and a cadre of loyal interns, not to mention money, to put on these literary gigs. There is always the clash of personalities and considerable egos, along with the attempts to attract an often indifferent media to contend with. But with the backing of “The Somerville News,” both owners and board of directors, we have presented what we believe is fitting for the impressive literary community Somerville has become.
This year, Nov. 13 2005, to be exact, we are moving to a larger space at the historic “Somerville Theatre,” in Davis Square. We will be housed in a 900 seat theatre, and have an impressive roster of readers. On board will be two Pulitzer Prize winners poet Franz Wright and novelist Robert Olen Butler. Louisa Solano, owner of the famed “Grolier Poetry Book Shop,” will be presented with the “Ibbetson Street Press Life Time Achievement Award,” and poets and writers such as Sue Miller (“The Good Mother”), Alex Beam (“Gracefully Insane”), Lan Samantha Chang, the new head of the “Iowa Writers Workshop,” Susie Davidson (“I Refused to Die...”), Steve Almond (“My Life in Heavy Metal”), Afaa Michael Weaver ( “These Hands I Know), Tim Gager (“Short Street), Hallie Ephron and Donald Davidoff ( “Delusion,”), will read from their impressive body of work.
The music will provided by that gifted poet/singer/ songwriter Jennifer Matthews. Matthews is a published poet, who has just released a critically acclaimed CD “The Wheel,” (Thunda Moon Records).
We are keeping the ticket prices low at $9, to make this an accessible festival. Both Tim and I feel strongly that the rich artistic milieu of Somerville, Mass. should have a festival that aspires for national recognition, but still stays true to its local roots.
*For info. About tickets contact: email@example.com The festival will start at 7PM.