Literary News

Lajimodiere appointed North Dakota's poet laureate and Latest Festival News

Lajimodiere appointed North Dakota's poet laureate and Latest Festival News

Festival News:

The San Antonio Book Festival has the most exciting line-up for the festival coming up on April 15th 2023, featuring 100 notable authors, including nationally renowned writers such as Kiese Laymon, Geraldine Brooks, Melissa de la Cruz, and Matthew Desmond. Joining them are award-winning authors such as Rebecca Makkai, Marytza Rubio, Alejandro Varela, Stephen Graham Jones, and Jane Smiley. The festival will also feature local San Antonio authors, including Lewis F. Fisher, Marcia Argueta Mickelson, and Sandra Cisneros. There will also be a variety of children’s, middle grade, and young adult authors, including Brandon Hobson, Christina Soontornvat, Claudia Guadalupe Martinez, Shannon Hale, and LeUyen Pham. The free festival, which includes a new event for 2023 called Lit Happens, will take place at the Central Library and UTSA Southwest Campus in downtown San Antonio.


Joan Baez, W. Kamau Bell, Dave Eggers, Michelle Zauner, Leila Mottley, Tricia Hersey, and Cory Doctorow are among the headline authors for Berkeley’s Bay Area Book Festival taking place May 6-7.  The programme features almost 300 top authors in all genres as well as a huge roster of international authors, from Switzerland to Sweden to Ukraine to Tibet. On Sunday there’ll be a large outdoor stage, literary exhibitors, gourmet food vendors, a lively family area, and a youth expo taking over Berkeley’s Civic Center Park. Except for the headliners, all programs are free. In addition, this year the Festival will kick off a suite of pre-Fest events, including headliners such as Michelle Zauner and Leila Mottley, from April 1 through May 5.


The Chipping Campden Literature Festival has announced its programme for 2023, with a common thread of “home” running through many of the books on offer. The festival will feature works spanning a range of topics, including healthcare, politics, parenting, farming, and forests, with events including a live ballet demonstration, a live band, and actor/directors discussing theatre. The festival’s new venue, Cidermill Theatre, will host many of the events, including Royal Ballet School demonstrations, discussions on the cultural impact of castles, and a journey along the old Roman road with illustrator Jackie Morris.


The International Literature Festival in Dublin will feature notable figures such as Stanley Tucci and Monica Heisey. Over 180 events will take place, including 36 aimed at children and families. The festival will feature creatives and performers from over 28 countries, including Rwandan writer Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse, who will discuss her debut novel about the aftermath of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The festival runs from May 19-28 at Merrion Square Park and is supported by Dublin City Council and the Arts Council.


FILL 2023, the festival of Italian literature and ideas held in London on April 22, showcases a diverse range of arts and literature forms, and covers various topics such as digital love, violence, and environmentalism. The festival line-up includes workshops, discussions, and a tribute to Patrizia Cavalli, with a music selection by Gaia De Siena. The festival aims to promote the appreciation of Italian culture in the UK and has been organized by London-based writers and academics since 2017.


The Milton Keynes Literary Festival, which takes place on 14-15 of April this Spring, features a diverse range of events with something for everyone. These include talks by best-selling authors Kit de Waal, Sinclair McKay, Jennifer Saint, and Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, as well as a poetry workshop with award-winning poet John McCullough. Children’s events include Pick a Story with Sarah Coyle and Secrets and Spies with Rhian Tracey. The festival also sees the launch of the 2023 Creative Writing Competition’s anthology, Green Spaces in the City


Events featuring Eleanor Catton and John Agard will be held at the upcoming Essex Book Festival, scheduled to take place from June 1st to July 1st. The programme for the festival spans everything from history and politics, to art and environmentalism. One of the key themes of the 2023 festival is The Great Tide, commemorating the 70th anniversary of The Great Flood that devastated communities on the Essex Coast in 1953. The festival will be hosted in more than 40 venues across the county. more


Book News:

Rakuten Kobo has unveiled the Kobo Elipsa 2E, an enhanced e-reader, digital notebook, and audiobook device. The new device will be available for purchase soon. more

To commemorate its 70th jubilee year, the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) is planning a sequence of events. These events will feature an exhibition showcasing memorabilia from the organization’s archives, among other activities.

Peter Usborne, founder of Usborne Press, has passed away at the age of 85. His demise has left the publishing industry grieving, and he has been honoured by fellow members of the trade, who have lauded him as “a true innovator,” “a bit of a prophet,” and “one of the greats of publishing.” more.

Denise Lajimodiere, a Chippewa woman, and citizen of the Turtle Mountain band of Chippewa Indians in Belcourt, has been appointed as North Dakota’s poet laureate, becoming the first Native American to hold this position in the state. Lajimodiere is an award-winning poet and an expert on the history of Native American boarding schools, having written a book called “Stringing Rosaries” on the atrocities experienced by boarding school survivors. More.

The rights to the works of Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina’s most significant author of the 20th century, are now uncertain after his widow, Maria Kodama, died last month without a will. Kodama had devoted much of her life to protecting Borges’ legacy, but did not detail plans for what should happen after her death. Borges had left her as his only heir when he died in 1986. Kodama’s nephews have gone to court to declare themselves her heirs and get ownership of all her possessions, including Borges’ works and valuable manuscripts. If there is no will and no natural heirs, a person’s estate is taken over by the state according to Argentine law.

Eight writers have won the Windham-Campbell Prize, including Percival Everett, Ling Ma, Dominique Morisseau, and Jasmine Lee-Jones, each receiving $175,000. The prizes were established a decade ago to highlight literary achievement and provide writers with the opportunity to focus on their work. The other winners are Susan Williams, Darran Anderson, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and dg nanouk okpik. Previous winners of the Windham-Campbell Prize have included James Salter, Yiyun Li, and Suzan-Lori Parks. Everett and Ma are already among the year’s most honored writers, with Ma’s story collection “Bliss Montage” winning the book critics’ fiction prize, and Everett winning the PEN/Jean Stein Award for his novel “Dr. No.

Yiyun Li’s novel “The Book of Goose” has won the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. The book is about the literary success of two teenage girls in post-World War II France. Li will receive $15,000 for the award, which has been previously given to Philip Roth, Ann Patchett, and others. Li has also received other literary prizes, including the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story.

Novels by Geraldine Brooks and Lan Samantha Chang and poetry by Saeed Jones are among this year’s winners of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, which recognize literature that confronts racism and explores diversity. Charlayne Hunter-Gault was honored for lifetime achievement. The other winners include Matthew F. Delmont’s nonfiction “Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad.” The awards were established in 1936 and previous winners include Toni Morrison and Zadie Smith.

Actor and comedian Keegan-Michael Key and his partner, director and producer Elle Key, will give the closing keynote for the adult books program at the U.S. Book Show on May 24. The Keys will discuss their upcoming non-fiction book, The History of Sketch Comedy, which explores the long history of sketch comedy and includes interviews with figures such as John Oliver, Mel Brooks, and Carol Burnett. The event, held at NYU’s Kimmel Centre, will be livestreamed, and feature a live Q&A session with the audience.

Hachette Livre has unveiled a carbon reduction strategy aiming to cut 30% of the company’s carbon emissions by 2030. Hachette’s “30/30 Strategy” aims to reduce emissions annually by 2.5% by adopting greener and more energy-efficient practices. The company is targeting Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, including a reduction in the proportion of books that are shredded, a 26% reduction in the carbon intensity of paper manufacturing, and an 18% reduction in the carbon intensity of book printing and binding. Hachette also plans to shift to 100% renewable energy use by 2026.

Award-winning YA author Julie Anne Peters, known for her novels featuring LGBTQ+ characters, has died at the age of 71. More.

The forthcoming London Book Fair scheduled from April 18-20 will draw attention to the worldwide English-language rights business as well as the publishing industry’s situation in Ukraine. More.

The shortlist for the 2023 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been announced. Among the nominees are Robert Harris for Act Of Oblivion, Fiona McFarlane for The Sun Walks Down, and Elizabeth Lowry for The Chosen. The award honours the inventor of the historical fiction genre and is open to novels set 60 years or more in the past. The winner will be awarded £25,000 and will be announced at the Borders Book Festival on June 15. Previous winners include Hilary Mantel and Sebastian Barry.

The shortlist for the 2023 Commonwealth Short Story Prize has been announced, featuring 27 writers from across the Commonwealth. The Prize is awarded annually for the best unpublished short fiction and this year’s shortlist was selected from over 6,600 submissions by an international judging panel. The regional winners will be announced on May 17, with the overall winner being revealed in an online ceremony on June 27. The Prize is sponsored by the Commonwealth Foundation and the 2024 prize will open for submissions on September 1, 2023.

Hay Festival has revived its creative development program for up-and-coming Welsh writers, Writers at Work, with the support of Literature Wales, funded by Arts Council of Wales. The program allows selected writers to attend main festival events, as well as workshops and masterclasses with publishers, agents, and international artists. Previous participants have achieved award wins and shortlistings. The festival runs from May 25 to June 4. Hay Festival CEO Julie Finch said the relaunched program would help guard and grow Wales’ creative impact for the future.

You can explore more content via the association’s website here and discuss topics in the forum with other member festivals here.