Fans of all things literary may want to book it to their laptop as soon as possible.
The Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books announced earlier this week that registration has officially opened for Pittsburgh’s second annual celebration of all things books and literature. Anyone who’s interested in signing up for individual events involving participating authors, poets and more can do so for free via pittsburghbookfestival.org.
This year’s festivities will kick off May 13 all over the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s campus in East Liberty. It’s set to showcase more than 60 “creators, literary organizations, publishers, libraries and others,” according to a festival news release.
That includes Pittsburgh-based luminaries such as fiction author Stewart O’Nan, crime novelist Kathleen George and Sara Shepard, the mastermind behind the “Pretty Little Liars” book series.
“For our second year, we’re excited to highlight a diverse mix of authors and poets — with works ranging from mystery and romance to thriller, history, personal life stories and nonfiction,” festival chairman and founder Marshall Cohen said via that news release. “An outstanding range of poetry will be read all day.”
The full list of authors and poets making appearances this year also is available on the festival’s website. More are expected to be added over the next few weeks, according to the news release. Here are some of the current big names who are set to be there:
• J.D. Barker, a suspense thriller specialist and Bram Stoker Award nominee.
• W. Bruce Cameron, author of “A Dog’s Purpose.”
• Ross Gay, poet, essayist and author of “Inciting Joy.”
• Joseph Sassoon, author of “The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and the Making of an Empire.”
• Brendan Slocumb, musician, music teacher and author of “The Violin Conspiracy.”
• Jeanette Walls, author of “The Glass Castle.”
• Mark Whitaker, former journalist and author of “Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance,” which chronicles the impact of Pittsburgh’s Black community on the rest of Black America in the early 20th century.
The Greater Pittsburgh Festival of Books will also feature special programming such as a demonstration of Duolingo’s reading program, Duolingo ABC; a discussion on the history of Kennywood and the Heinz family led by the Heinz History Center; and a celebration of Pittsburgh neighborhoods with O’Nan and George.
There will also be “intentional programming centered around making reading three-dimensional” for kids, according to the news release. Those will include a “Sleeping Beauty” story time hosted by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and a reading of Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan’s book “Animal Allies” alongside a Pittsburgh Zoo zookeeper and live animals.
“What we look forward to most about the festival is providing a space for people all across Western Pennsylvania to gather, learn and engage,” Andrew Medlar, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s president and director, said in a statement.
“We are proud to be a part of this new annual tradition and to give literacy the growing spotlight it deserves on Pittsburgh’s stage.”