Thursday, March 18, 2010

Virginia Festival of the Book

I'd never been to the Virginia Festival of the Book so I didn't really know what to expect. It's about a half a week of readings all over Charlottesville. I went to the UVA MFA Alumni reading, a Fady Joudah reading (2007 Yale Series of Younger Poets), and a presentation about the blues by William Ferris. Tomorrow night is a BIG NIGHT: Major Jackson (the highlight for me), Nikki Giovanni (nothing needs to be said), Kevin Young (I've been wanting to get into his stuff so I'm excited about him too) and more.

Question: If I saw someone 2 years ago and they haven't come out with a new book yet and I own all of their books and they've signed them all for it crazy to have them sign them again? LOL I ask because the only time I really get to chat with them is usually while they're signing a book. How am I going to get a convo without getting a book signed? Anybody done something like this before?

OH! Kim Addonizio is reading tomorrow and she is taking time out to speak to the MFA students prior to her reading. So I won't have to do any shady book signings to chat with her lol.

This totally makes up for the fact that due to a lack of funding at UVA, we really didn't have anybody come read outside of our visiting writers. And it also helps to make up for the fact that I won't be going to AWP until next year when it's in DC (a two hour drive from here).

Who's reading around your way this spring?


  1. I don't think it's creepy to have stuff resigned. You just might have to say, "pick a new page this time!", since usually people have their signature page that they sign or whatever.

    We just finished with Mark Doty, so that's our "big namer" I guess, but we've had a pretty good variety of writers come this year and many chances to meet with these people one on one:

  2. Also, excited about Kim Addonizio. First Poem for You is my favorite poem of all time.

  3. We have "Fall for the Book" every fall, which sounds just like your "Va Festival of the Book." We had Sherman Alexie come read!

    So excited that you will be going to AWP next year, as I will be too!

  4. We just had Peter Cameron here last week and will be having Rane Arroyo, James Hoch, and Ruth Reichl later this semester.

    So jealous about Kim Addonizio. I LOVE her.

  5. Rachel- you sound a little like Kanye West about Addonizio lol Thanks for giving me the go ahead on the re-signing. I'm doing it.

  6. JayTee: Hahahahah! That kills me.

    Time for some blasphemy!:

    "Sorry T.S. Eliot. Imma let you finish, but Kim Addonizio is the greatest poet of all time!!!!"

  7. I just got back from her MFA chat and her reading. She played the blues harmonica to open and close her reading. She sang a little bit too! What does she not do!? She mentioned having done trapeze in the past as well. Seriously. lol She's one of my new heroes.

  8. I have been loving your Tweets about the VA Festival of the Book. I really hope to make it there one of these years :) I have purchased a 2nd book to give away to someone before just so I could chat with them again..hehe

  9. sounds like a great, great line-up!

    we just had george saunders on campus as our writer in residence this past week. since he's a fiction and non-fiction writer, those genres got to spend more time with him, but he had breakfast with the poets yesterday, and lunch with all the mfas, and our director had a party for him last night. he was super nice and down to earth, and his reading thursday night was hilarious.

    a lot of stuff happens at penn state that isn't directly organized by the creative writing program, so maya angelou is coming next week as part of a university distinguished speaker series, and toni morrison is coming in april via the center for american literature (or something).

  10. Yeah, it's best to bring the books to get signed twice. Writers can be rude when you just want to talk to them and don't have anything to sign (especially since its hard for them to remember everyone they've signed books for...)

    Sounds like the whole event is super-fun!


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