Harbor Springs Book Festival celebrates 7th year with sold-out event
HARBOR SPRINGS – The Harbor Springs Festival of the Book celebrates its seventh year with a weekend-long event beginning this Thursday, September 22 and continuing through Sunday, September 25.
The sold-out festival will bring together authors from a wide range of genres, from cookbooks to fiction. 41 authors and illustrators will be present at the event.
Amy Gillard, executive director of the Harbor Springs Festival of the Book, said the festival accomplishes the three things the founders had in mind when launching the festival: hosting a literary festival in Harbor Springs, providing educational opportunities for community and serve as an economic stimulus.
“We couldn’t be more excited,” said Gillard.
Now, seven festivals later, the festival has outgrown its old style. A total of 1,100 people had registered for the event before this year’s festival sold out, but people didn’t always have to register in advance.
Attendance has increased enough that the festival requires registration so people know exactly how many people can be accommodated at the festival.
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Throughout the weekend, there will be over 30 one-on-one presentations that attendees will have the opportunity to attend. There will be readings of picture books and poetry, followed by the opportunity to have books signed by the authors.
“Our mission is to inspire readers of all ages and celebrate book culture in a beautiful part of the world,” Gillard said. and their process, and their ideas are really dynamic and really exciting.
She said people from 19 states and Canada have signed up, but community members in Emmet County remain very engaged with the festival.
The festival kicks off Thursday with a pop-up bookstore and name badge pickups at Holy Childhood from 1-5 p.m. The first officially scheduled event is a documentary showing “My Octopus Teacher” from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Lyric Theater. The documentary serves as a prelude to Ray Nayler’s novel “The Mountain in the Sea”. Nayler will speak in several sessions throughout the weekend.
The first full day of sessions is Friday, starting with another viewing of “My Octopus Teacher” from 10-11:30 a.m. This is followed by a vegetarian lunch with Erin Gleeson. There will also be five additional sessions, ranging from discussions on finding yourself in a story and how stories relate to culture, to a doodling session with an illustrator.
Friday will end with the keynote speech by Candice Millard, who will talk about her latest book “River of the Gods”.
The speech will take place at the Harbor Springs Performing Arts Center from 7:30-8:30 p.m. She will discuss Egyptology’s golden age, discovery, and how history often depends on unsung heroes.
Saturday is packed with events, starting with a picture book reading at 9 a.m. and ending with a signing by all the presenters and a happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. and multiple discussions of family and memoirs.
At the end of the event on Sunday, there will be a discussion on the psychoanalysis and extrication of Sigmund Freud of Vienna, and one on how language and memory work together.
This is followed by a 12-person panel for a Q&A event, with at least one person on the panel to represent each of the eight genres at the convention.
The event culminates in a ticket-only lunch with Vishwesh Bhatt, bringing recipes from his “I Am From Here” cookbook to Northern Michigan.
Some events require the purchase of individual tickets.
For the full schedule with locations, visit hsfotb.org/2022-schedule.
While there is no additional availability for those who missed the chance to register, Gillard encourages those interested to save the date for next year’s festival, which will take place September 22-25. 2023.
For more information about the festival and events throughout the year, you can sign up for the festival newsletter at www.hsfotb.org.