Boston Book Festival Back at Copley Square This Saturday 

Attendees purchase books at the 2018 Boston Book Festival. Photo by Diego Marcano / BU News Service

By Hannah Edelheit
Boston University News Service 

The Boston Book Festival will be held in Copley Square Saturday with free admission to see authors representing all types of genres after the pandemic forced the event to be held virtually in 2020.  

The festival will start on Oct. 28 with a keynote address by author and journalist Patrick Radden Keefe. On Saturday, there will be 70 sessions that participants can attend, where 200 authors speak about fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children’s novels.

There will also be a street fair and participants can buy books that are mentioned in the sessions. This will be the first time BBF has been in-person since 2020 and speakers, like author Steve Almond, will share what they’ve written during that hiatus with audiences. 

“So if I finally succeed and have written a book that’s worth reading, well, yeah, I want to share it with the world and have a chance to connect with readers around it,” Almond said.  “Also, I just love talking with other authors because they do the same thing as me.”

Almond said authors will be sharing their work with readers who come to the festival, creating a sense of community as they receive “nourishment” from the readers that they interact.

“You’re just on your own making those decisions and the BBF is the place where you get to be like, Hey, I’m throwing out the rope of love,” Almond said. “And there’s like, maybe a reader or two or three or more who catch it.”  

Almond, author of “Against Football,” will be on a panel, with fellow authors Jabari Asim and Lucy Ives, to promote his newest work  “All the Secrets of the World.” Almond said speaking allows him to “demystify that [writing] process” to the readers. 

“The plan is to choose some lively, amusing or moving sentences from my new autobiography, ‘Jersey Breaks,’” Robert Pinsky, a BU English and Creative Writing professor wrote in an email. 

Pinsky has spoken at this event and will be joined by two other authors, Howard Bryant and Claudia Kalb, as they discuss their books at the BBF. 

“All of us in Boston should be grateful that we now have a book fair, growing and thriving, in our city,” Pinsky added. 

These festivals can create, “a mass appetite for books,” said BU English Professor Susan Mizruchi. There are many books available that readers can learn about new genres at the BBF. 

“As someone who works in literature professionally, I can only see this as a really good thing,” Mizruchi said. 

Almond said writing can be a lonely process and the festival gives authors a chance to connect with their readers and each other. 

“It’s a rare and beautiful thing to have a whole bunch of people who love storytelling and love books in the same place,” Almond said. “It’s precious. It’s as precious as rubies.”

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