Libraries celebrates annual Fall for the Book festival

The Libraries is once again collaborating with the annual Fall for the Book Festival on a number of activities and events. In particular, the Libraries is pleased to be a sponsor of Fall for the Book headliner and 2019 Mason Reads author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who will discuss Why We Should All Be Feminists on Friday, October 11 at 12:30pm in the Center for the Arts. Fall for the Book will take place this week, October 10-12, 2019.

In conjunction with the festival, the Libraries’ Fenwick Gallery will present Call & Response: Transmogrify, an exhibition running through November 9, with a special artists talk on Thursday, October 10 at 1:30pm in Fenwick 2001 and a reception following at 3pm in Fenwick Gallery. Call & Response (an ongoing partnership between the School of Art, the Creative Writing program, and the Libraries) is an annual exhibit of collaborations between writers and visual artists, in which one calls and one responds. The result is a dynamic set of paired works of words and artistic media that resonate and speak to contemporary issues.

On Friday, October 11, the Libraries will celebrate with a special Fall for the Book edition of the Edible Book Festival. Stop by Fenwick 1014 to vote for your favorite edible creations (11am-12:30pm) and be sure to come back for the award announcements and tasting (12:30-2pm)!

The Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writers Series, hosted by the Libraries, also continues this week, with three authors as part of the festival:

  • Bella Pollen at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 10 in Fenwick 2001 – Journalist, novelist, and memoirist Bella Pollen will discuss her recent Meet Me in the In-Between, an illustrated memoir.
  • Cole Swensen at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 10 in Fenwick 2001 – Poet Cole Swensen, author of 17 collections of poetry, will discuss her recent On Walking On.
  • R.O. Kwon at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, October 11 in Fenwick 2001 – Kwon, author of The Incendiaries, named a best book of the year by over forty publications will discuss “Cult, Faith, and Complicated Love.”

On Saturday, October 12 at 12pm in Harris Theater, the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC), in partnership with the College of Visual and Performing Arts, will host a concert and celebration of the 20th anniversary of Kid Pan Alley and honor the donation of the Kid Pan Alley and Paul Reisler archives of thousands of songs and instrumental compositions to the Mason Libraries.

About the 2019 Fall for the Book Festival: This year Fall for the Book will welcome an esteemed lineup of poets, historians, novelists, memoirists, children’s authors, YA writers and more at George Mason University and locations around Northern Virginia. Headliners include essayist and novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, novelist and YA author Rainbow Rowell, novelist Delia Owens, and true crime writer, David Grann. Other featured writers are David Wallace-Wells presenting the Beck Environmental Lecture, Governor Terry McAuliffe, Senator Janet Howell, novelist R.O. Kwon, true crime writer Sarah Weinman, and poets, Cole Swensen, Yona Harvey, Amaud Jamaul Johnson and Brian Teare. Fall for the Book festival, which runs from October 10-12, 2019, is partnering with the City of Fairfax’s Fall Festival on Saturday, October 12 to bring a day of literary and artistic events to audiences of all ages. Literary Death Match, a fun, fast-paced literary game show will close the festival on Saturday evening. Fall for the Book is also proud to host the second annual award ceremony for its post-publication book prize for immigrant writers: The Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award, judged by Reyna Grande, Alia Malek, and E.C. Osondu. The three finalists, who will appear at the festival, will be announced this summer.

Libraries hosts Visiting Writers Program

The Creative Writing Program offers the Visiting Writers Series each semester. Mason Libraries is the new host this spring. All events will take place in Fenwick Library, Room 2001, and are free and open to the public.

Thursday, February 21, 7:30-9pm: Lyz Lenz – Journalist, essayist, memoirist, and more—nonfiction writer Lyz Lenz is the author of the forthcoming books Godland: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America and Belabored: Tales of Myth, Medicine, and Motherhood. She also has an essay in the anthology Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, edited by Roxane Gay. Lenz is a contributing writer for the Columbia Journalism Review and the former managing editor for The Rumpus, and her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Buzzfeed, The Guardian, Marie Claire, Salon, and more.

Thursday, February 28, 7:30-9pm: Rebecca Makkai – Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Great Believers, recently named a finalist for the National Book Award; The Borrower; The Hundred-Year House; and the collection Music for Wartime—four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, Rebecca has taught at the Tin House Writers’ Conference and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and is currently on the faculty of the MFA programs at Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University. She is the artistic director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Thursday, March 21, 7:30-9pm: Ilya Kaminsky – Ilya Kaminsky is the author of Dancing In Odessa, which won the Whiting Writer’s Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, the Ruth Lilly Fellowship given annually by Poetry magazine. Dancing In Odessa was also named Best Poetry Book of the Year by ForeWord Magazine. Poems from his new manuscript, Deaf Republic, were awarded Poetry magazine’s Levinson Prize and the Pushcart Prize. Kaminsky was also awarded Lannan Foundation’s Literary Fellowship. His anthology of 20th-century poetry in translation, Ecco Anthology of International Poetry, was published by Harper Collins in March. He teaches English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University.

Monday, April 8, 7:30-9pm: Ed Roberson – Ed Roberson is the author of numerous books of poetry, including To See the Earth Before the End of the World, which was a runner up for the Los Angeles Times Poetry Award; The New Wing of the LabyrinthCity EclogueAtmosphere Conditions, which was chosen for the National Poetry Series and was a finalist for the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Award; Just In: Word of Navigational Change: New and Selected Work; and Voices Cast Out to Talk Us In, which won the Iowa Poetry Prize. His most recent publication is the chapbook Closest Pronunciation. His earlier collections include Etai-Eken and When Thy King is a Boy. Roberson’s honors include the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2016, the Lila Wallace Writers’ Award, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Award, and the 2016 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry. His work has been included in Best American Poetry. Roberson has taught at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, and Northwestern University.

Tuesday, April 9, 7:30-9pm: Special Event with Susan Richards Shreve and Susan Tichy.

Wednesday, April 10, 7:30-9pm: Jane Brox – Jane Brox’s fifth book, Silence, was published in January 2019. Her book, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light, was named one of the top ten nonfiction books of 2010 by Time magazine. She is also the author of Clearing Land: Legacies of the American FarmFive Thousand Days Like This One, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in nonfiction; and Here and Nowhere Else, which won the L.L. Winship/PEN New England Award. She has received the New England Book Award for nonfiction, and her essays have appeared in many anthologies including Best American EssaysThe Norton Book of Nature Writing, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She has taught at Harvard University and Bowdoin College, and is currently on the faculty of Lesley University’s low-residency MFA Program.

Friday, April 12, 5-6:30pm: Jamel Brinkley – Jamel Brinkley is the author of A Lucky Man: Stories, a finalist for the National Book Award. His writing has appeared in The Best American Short Stories 2018A Public Space, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, The Threepenny Review, Glimmer Train, American Short Fiction, Tin House, and other placesA graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he was also the 2016-17 Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. His work has received support from Kimbilio Fiction, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, the Tin House Summer Workshop, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University.