'The Story of Us'

Brattleboro Literary Festival focuses on voices of the marginalized

BRATTLEBORO — Organizers of the 22nd annual Brattleboro Literary Festival say this year's event "will tell the story of us - stories about who we are, how we are surviving, and what issues are we facing as humans with a focus on people who are marginalized."

The festival's nearly 40 indoor programs during the weekend of Oct. 13-15 will feature nonfiction from Tracy Kidder, Will Schwalbe, Jonathan Rosen, Neil King Jr., Martha McPhee, Chloé Cooper Jones, and Jeff Sharlet; fiction from Kelly Link, Andre Dubus III, Mary Beth Keane, Catherine Newman, Holly Black, Angie Kim, and Jean Kwok; poetry from Madeleine May Kunin, Brian Turner, Oliver de la Paz, and Chen Chen; and many, many more, representing a diversity of backgrounds and genres.

Featured authors this year have written books about homelessness, patriarchy, friendship, politics, religion, hospice care, poverty, immigration, marriage, financial hardship, schizophrenia, neurodiversity, climate change, handicaps, coming of age, transgendered lives, family, fantasy, history, and mystery, among other topics.

Programs run from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. On Friday night at 7 p.m., they will feature a special Friday the 13th mystery panel with Jennifer McMahon, Margot Douaihy, and Michael Ruhlman, discussing what scares us and why we like it. The evening also includes a new book launch for Brattleboro poet Diana Whitney with Cate Marvin.

More than 60 authors will be featured in a series of conversations and readings that offer vivid reflections of our lives. All festival events are free and take place in downtown Brattleboro across five venues.

Additional authors attending are: Kathleen Alcott, Charlene Allen, Nin Andrews, Asale Angel-Ajani, Sarah Audsley, Jill Bialosky, Tom Bodett, Patrick Bringley, Franny Choi, Ewa Chrusciel, Charles Coe, Martha Collins, Tom Comitta, Jennifer De Leon, Denise Duhamel, Daisy Alpert Florin, Jeff Friedman, Robbie Gamble, David Gessner, Diana Goetsch, Allegra Goodman, Nikhil Goyal, Henry Hoke, Ann Hood, Dayna Lorenz, Kyle Lukoff, Robin MacArthur, Richard Michelson, Maud Newton, Idra Novey, Peter Orner, Patricia Park, Pamela Petro, (1)Bill Roorbach, Angela Saini, Liz Scheier, Jeffrey Sharlet, Enzo Silon Surin, Alejandro Varela, Henry Walters, Robert Watson, Baron Wormser, Laura Zigman, and more.

The Brattleboro Literary Festival is sponsored by Stepanski Family Charitable Trust, the Thompson Trust, Vermont Arts Council, Vermont Humanities Council, and the Windham Foundation and presented in partnership with Brattleboro Community Television, Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, Brattleboro Area Hospice, Brooks Memorial Library, Downtown Brattleboro Alliance, Poets & Writers, Toadstool Books, Wild Book Company, and Write Action. For more information, visit

This The Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates