PORTLAND — The third annual Maine Festival of the Book will bring book enthusiasts together for four days of literary celebration beginning Thursday, April 2.

The free event is presented by the non-profit Maine Reads, chaired by first lady Karen M. Baldacci and will include daily activities through April 5 at various venues in Portland. With hopes of appealing to a wide range of interests, the festival will feature a variety of authors and subject matters to encourage dialog between authors and readers.

The kick-off event begins on April 2 at 4 p.m. in the Glickman Family Library at the University of Southern Maine. Archivist Richard Lindemann will give a visual presentation on “The History of the Book: A Visual Chronology,” with a reception to follow.

On Friday, April 3, a sold-out, private party for presenting authors and major sponsors will be held at 6 p.m. 

Saturday, April 4 is the culmination of the event, with a full day of concurrent, hour-long programs with authors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Abromson Center on the USM campus:

• “Springboards for Literary Pursuits,” with Colin Sargent and John Manderino, 9:30 a.m.

• “The Changing Face of Maine: New Mainers,” with Reza Jalali, 9:30 a.m.

• “Jane Austen’s Gardens: Love in the Shrubbery,” with Kim Wilson, 11 a.m.

• “Writing Your Way Back Home,” with Meredith Hall and Jaed Coffin, 11 a.m.

• “Wavering Towards Reality: The Writing Life,” with Ann Hood, 12:30 p.m.

• “What’s Your Life Worth?” with Alex Irvine, 12:30 p.m.

• “From Champagne to CNN: Tales of Two of History’s Great Entrepreneurs,” with Tilar Mazzeo and Bill Burke, 2 p.m.

• 2 p.m. “Meeting of the Apes,” with Hannah Holmes and Bill Roorbach, 2 p.m.

• “Maine as Inspiration and the Craft of Writing: A panel discussion,” with Lewis Robinson, Andrew McNabb, Lisa Carey and Ari Meil, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday night will feature an annual poetry party, presented by Port Veritas at 7 p.m. at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, 561 Congress St., with a cocktail hour to follow.

The festival will draw to a close with “Longfellow’s Shorts,” featuring a dramatic reading of selections from “Water Dogs,” a new novel by Lewis Robinson, at 7 p.m. at the Portland Stage Company, 25A Forest Ave.

For more information, visit mainereads.org or call 871-9100.

Heather Gunther can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 115 or [email protected]



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