Calling All Bibliophiles: New PVD book festival arrives in Downcity

From seasoned authors to aspiring writers to book-lovers young and old, hundreds are expected to celebrate the inaugural year of the Providence Book Festival being held April 26 and 27. With the aim of connecting readers with writers, more than 75 authors will be available to share their expertise.

The event kicks off Friday, April 26, with an opening night Literary Gala at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown PVD. The evening will feature cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music and readings by select keynote authors.

Festival director Beatrice Lazarus said of Saturday’s event, “The creative capital will be turned into an Authors Village with something for everyone.” Described as a literary fair for all ages, there will be authors and poets on-hand for readings, signings, discussion and workshops. Several genres will be covered, including fiction, nonfiction, childrens and young adult, and fans will be provided with memorable opportunities to meet and speak with favorite authors.

One such author is Caroline Kepnes, who grew up on Cape Cod and graduated from Brown University. She recently released her third novel, Providence, which she describes as, “a modern story about the horror of love, the dark side of all the connection that we have through devices.”

“It’s about how we cope with loneliness in an age of social media,” she said, adding that she wanted to write “a heartbreaking love story with a supernatural twist.” Her love and passion for the city are obvious when she speaks of its energy, romance and the nostalgia it creates within. “It still feels like artsy, quirky Providence,” and for her, that “speaks to the passion of the residents who keep that spirit alive.”

While there is something for every bookworm, there also is something for those who love taking pen to paper. Anyone who has begun writing, whether it’s a novel or a blog, will find plenty of resources to guide them along their lifelong writing journey. There will be workshops and panel discussions about the path to publication, and there will be advice and inspiration from established authors and editors willing to lend a guiding hand to the aspiring writers in attendance. There will also be a Local Authors Spotlight as well as Debut Author readings. “The Festival seeks to put Providence in the center of a literary renaissance by fostering reading, writing and a lifelong love of books that opens minds and hearts,” said Lazarus.

For more information or to purchase tickets to the Opening Night Gala at the Renaissance, visit providencebookfestival.org. Tickets and all-day passes are available online at a discount and at the door. Children younger than 12 are granted free admission.

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