Locals already know that Montclair is full of writers and those who love books. We have tons of journalists, authors, and the best independent bookstore around. An upcoming event will showcase our literary love. Dozens of award-winning and emerging authors will talk about writing, read from new works, and sign books on March 31 and April 1 at the first annual Montclair Literary Festival.
The two-day festival, which aims to showcase the town’s vibrant literary life, is organized by — and will also benefit — Succeed2gether, a Montclair-based nonprofit that tutors and teaches low-income students with the aim of closing the achievement gap. Funds raised will also help pay for the literary festival. Partners include Montclair Public Library, Montclair State University, Montclair Art Museum and Watchung Booksellers.
Participating writers include: Trevor Noah, who will speak about his memoir Born a Crime at Montclair State University on Friday March 31; Paul Auster who will discuss his latest novel 4 3 2 1 at the First Congregational Church on April 1; Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask; award-winning novelist and essayist Siri Hustvedt; New Yorker writers and authors D.T. Max and Daphne Merkin; Matthew Thomas, author of the bestseller, We Are Not Ourselves; Jamaican novelist Nicole Dennis Benn with her debut novel, Here Comes the Sun; Elisabeth Egan, author of A Window Opens; Garth Risk Hallberg; author of the bestseller, City on Fire; food writer and author of the blog Afroculinaria, Michael Twitty and many more.
A day of moderated panels at the Montclair Public Library and the First Congregational Church will cover race, politics and the environment as well as sports, music, poetry and fiction of all genres. Children’s workshops and events will be held at the library and at Montclair Art Museum, and the Book Doctors will be on hand to offer advice on getting published. An evening at Montclair High School on Friday, March 31 will showcase student slam poets and feature the winners of a short story contest.
“Montclair and authors go together like any great pairing,” said Jacqueline Mroz, who is directing the festival for Succeed2gether. “We want to celebrate the town’s rich literary scene, but also harness that talent to benefit young readers, in particular those with fewest advantages.”
Montclair Literary Festival
March 31 and April 1
Various locations in Montclair