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YOUR WEEKEND: The Fall New Bedford Book Festival


As most readers already know, Groundwork! is hosting the Fall New Bedford Book Festival at the co-working facility this weekend. As I wrote earlier in the week, it’s another – and big – example of how the space has become a cultural hub in the City of New Bedford as well as its headquarters for freelancers, small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Myself and Groundwork! co-founders Sarah Athanas and Dena Haden launched the first-ever book festival in the city last March – and were blown away by the response. So many authors wanted to participate, that we immediately realized a Fall edition was necessary. So many patrons came to the free, open to the public bookfest that 1213 Purchase Street looked like the SRTA bus terminal at rush hour. It was a blast!

We hope for that same fun time this weekend – once again the bookfest is free and open to the public on Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday. Oct. 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. Over 40 authors will be here with their books for sale and ready to talk to readers about their writing. Destination Soups will be set-up in the Groundwork! kitchen with their signature soup, sandwiches and snacks for sale. (It’s almost hard to imagine the bookfest without the delicious scent of grilled cheese sandwiches in the air!)

So this column and this weekend will be entirely devoted to the New Bedford Book Festival – not because we’re promoting ourselves. Rather, it’s because we are relentless in promoting anything and everything positive New Bedford has to offer – and there’s no better example of the true talent and industry of this city than those “over 40 authors” mentioned above.

That’s what the New Bedford Book Festival is all about – connecting these imaginative writers with an audience. And we couldn’t be more thrilled with the success of the bookfest because it accomplishes that mission in a big way. And, the writers deserve it. As Hemingway once wrote, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Within the Fall New Bedford Book Festival, you’ll find some opportunities to take a deep dive with these authors. You can speak to any of them at their tables at any time over the two days of the bookfest, discuss their work with them and get your books signed.

On Saturday, October 15, beginning at noon, we’ll have a Day of Readings in a special reading room right off the entrance. A selection of authors will read from their work and answer audience questions for a half hour at a time. New Bedford’s own Nick LeBlanc kicks it off and the rest of the reading schedule is as follows: 12:30 – Ger Tysk; 1:00 – Kristy Acevedo; 1:30 – Kathleen Souza; 2:00 – Dwight Ritter; 2:30 – Brian Michaud; 3:00 – Lori Bradley; and 3:30 – Tim Svenonius – who is traveling to the book festival all the way from San Francisco!

On Sunday, Oct. 16 again beginning at noon, author and Dr. Karen Petit will hold a special presentation entitled, ““Writing Creatively with Dreams, Pictures, and Research.” At 1:00 p.m. author Jason Parent will read from his work and, as she wrote about in this Standard-Time column last Sunday, at 2:00 p.m. will thrilled to host BookLovers’ columnist Lauren Daley for a special Q & A with her readers.

At 3:00 p.m., as the book festival winds down, a special presentation by the Greater New Bedford Writers Block led by the city’s Poet Laureate, Paticia Gomes and Hollihock writers conference founder Dominic Perri will introduce scribes to local Resources for Writers – and they may joined by some other area groups, too.

Because there is no better way to end the Fall New Bedford Book Festival than setting the stage for the next celebration of writing and books in our city and region. That’s what it’s all about.

– Bookfest patrons are welcome to park on the street or the credit union parking lot across the street from Groundwork! Doors will open at 11:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday to the free, open to the public New Bedford Book Festival. You can invite friends and family to the festival by joining the event via this Facebook link. Additional bookfest details can be found here.

Steven Froias