Beginning tonight, the substantially renewed 215 Festival brings four days of reading, music, and chat, along with a flash fiction marathon, the first ever Philly version of Portland’s Literary Mix Tape, and a 215-centric Writer’s Night in America. All told, the Festival, produced for the second year by Philebrity’s Joey Sweeney, presents 22 events dedicated to the word: spoken, sung, read, written, and shouted to the starless sky. All 215 Festival information is HERE.
The much lauded novelist Dara Horn, who will read from her latest, A Guide for the Perplexed, and social critic and smut visionary Nicholson Baker, author of the 2011 House of Holes, will open the 215 tonight at the Central Branch of the Free Library.
Afterwards, Baker will stroll on down Callowhill Street to Underground Arts for TJ Kong’s Writer’s Night in America. Joining him will be Bruce Graham, Sarah Rose Etter, and Hidden City contributor Nicolas Esposito, among others.
Esposito, the publisher of Kensington’s The Head and The Hand Press, is also a 215 organizer this year, in charge of events taking place Friday in Kensington (each day of the Festival is centered on a different neighborhood). The Head and The Hand will host pop-up writing workshops on multiple days and the flash fiction marathon at their workshop at 2012 Sepviva Street. The Head and The Hand will also host a reading by Hidden City co-editor Nathaniel Popkin, whose novel Lion and Leopard the press is publishing this fall. Popkin will be joined by novelist Katherine Hill, reading from her much loved The Violet Hour, at 8:30PM Friday at Circle of Hope on Frankford Avenue. If it’s poetry you prefer, check out the 2013 Furniture Press prizewinning poet Thomas Devaney (an original 215 Festival founder) along with poet Charles Bernstein, also appearing at 8:30PM in Kensington, at Steep and Grind–and stay for the Festival afterparty, the annual BiblioDiscotheque, 9:30PM at Anonymous Garage.
Saturday, you can’t do better than to come to Marra’s on Passyunk Avenue for novelists Cari Luna and Liz Moore, the author of the critically acclaimed Heft. Later that day you can gratify yourself with Wesley Stace, Gabriel Roth, and Tom Moon, and then catch the American Poetry Review’s Revue with Bruce Smith and Daisy Fried and others.
A highlight on Sunday is a cocktail party with the editors of the Paris Review.