The Metropolitan Opera comes to Concord October 11
Waterville Valley Ski Area Sold

Writer's Project sponsors Concord Literary Arts Festival

Event dates: Oct. 14, 16, 20, 21-23.

Contact info: George Geers, executive director, New Hampshire Writers’ Project

785-4811 / [email protected]

CONCORD -- The literary life of Concord will be celebrated Oct. 21-23 with live performances, author readings and community events throughout the downtown area.

The Concord Literary Festival is sponsored by the New Hampshire Writers’ Project and tthirty community partners. Events include author readings and book signings, poetry readings and slam performances, workshops, films, New Hampshire horror story readings, plays and First Amendment discussions.

In addition, several stores in the downtown area will be displaying the works of New Hampwhire poets during the month. The poems, selected by New Hampshire Poet Laureate Walter E. Butts, are by Patricia Frisella, Patricia Fargnoli, Alice B. Fogel, Maxine Kumin, Marie Harris, Rodger Martin, James Rioux, Mimi White, Don Kimball, and Mark DeCarteret.

Partners in the Concord Literary Festival are: Capitol Center for Arts, Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library, Concord Arts Market, Concord Historical Society, Concord Monitor, Concord Public Library and Foundation, Concord Reads, Creative Concord, Barley House, RiverStone Resources, Northeast Delta Dental, Sheehan Phinney + Green, Lincoln Financial Foundation, Foxfire Property Management, Gibson’s Bookstore, Louis Karno and Co., Main Street Concord, McGowan Fine Art, Millbrook Gallery and Sculpture Garden, New Hampshire Business Committee for the Arts, New England College, New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources, New Hampshire Humanities Council, New Hampshire Poet Laureate, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, Plaidswede Publishing, Red River Theatres, UNH Center for the Humanities and the University of New Hampshire.


Concord Literary Festival events

Thursday, Oct. 14: Reading by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser

Saturday, Oct. 16: Poetry with Sharon Olds, Walter Butts and James Harms

Wednesday, Oct. 20: Pen to Play workshop

Thursday, Oct. 21: Discussion of legal concerns of authors, writers and publishers

Thursday, Oct. 21: Presentations by Firoozeh Dumas, Concord Reads author

Thursday, Oct. 21: Slam poetry with Ieyoka

Thursday, Oct. 21: Pen to Play workshop

Friday, Oct. 22: Author John Walters talks about “Roads Less Traveled”

Friday, Oct. 22: Horror stories read by authors of “Live Free or Undead”

Friday, Oct. 22: “Literary Flash: Three Minutes to Fame”

Friday, Oct. 22: Bill O”Reilly, Fox News host, headlines a First Amendment event

Saturday, Oct. 23: Concord Arts Market

Saturday, Oct. 23: New England daily newspaper editors talk shop and the First Amendment

Saturday, Oct. 23: Children’s author Marty Kelly meets the kids

Saturday, Oct. 23: New Hampshire authors featured in the state’s Book of the Week program read

Saturday, Oct. 23: The Met Live

Saturday, Oct. 23: Helvetica, documentary film

Saturday, Oct. 23: Work by Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Saturday, Oct. 23: History book of Concord

Saturday, Oct. 23: Pen to Play performances

Saturday, Oct. 23: Author-illustrator David Sibley talks about his bird field guide books

Saturday, Oct. 23: Refugees in New Hampshire documentary film

Saturday, Oct. 23: Celebrity Autobiography performance

The Writers’ Project is an organization of writers, readers, editors and publishers, and is based at Southern New Hampshire University.

Two kickoff events will be held in advance of the festival.

On Thursday evening, Oct. 14, the Writers’ Project will present the first Hall-Kenyon Prize in American Poetry to Ted Kooser, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who writes the weekly “American Life in Poetry” column for newspapers across the country. Kooser will give a reading after receiving the $5,000 prize, which will be awarded annually by the New Hampshire Writers’ Project.
 The award is named for New Hampshire poets Donald Hall, former U.S. poet laureate, and his late wife, Jane Kenyon.

The event is cosponsored by the Concord Monitor. The Hall-Kenyon event begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Concord City Auditorium. Tickets are $10 and available online at, at the Concord Monitor, Gibson’s Bookstore and at the door.

The second kickoff event is an evening of poetry to benefit the Writers’ Project and hosted by McGowan Fine Art, 10 Hills Ave.

Sharon Olds, one of contemporary poetry’s leading voices, joins Walter Butts, New Hampshire’s poet laureate, and James Harms, New England College director of MFA program in poetry, for a special reading.

The poetry event begins at 6 p.m. at McGowan Fine Art. The cost is $100. To arrange for tickets, call               (603) 314-7980        or 785-4811. 

The Concord Literary Festival gets under way on the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 20, with a “pen to play” workshop. “Petite Plays: Pen to Performance,” conducted by Dana Biscotti Myskowski, is a writing, directing and enhanced stage-reading series of workshops, culminating in two performances 
In this three-part workshop participants  write three-page plays, direct a plays-in-hand, enhanced stage-reading, and appear in one or more plays as an actor during the performances.

Participants will learn to create engaging characters for the stage in a tight deadline, experience the interpretation of another’s work as director, and become the characters as a reader/actor.

“Pen to Play” will be held at the Red River Theatres from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 20 and 21 with performances at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23. The cost is $49 for Writers’ Project members and  $79 for nonmembers. Registration and more information can be found at the Writers’ Project website at or by calling 314-7980.

 Thursday, Oct. 21

“Legal Concerns of Authors, Writers, and Publishers,” is a series of presentations dealing with entertainment law, followed by a question-and-answer period with lawyers and authors. Coverage is likely to include copyright and soft intellectual property law, licensing, and contract law. Both a theoretical foundation and more practical aspects of "entertainment" law will be discussed.  

This event is sponsored by the UNH School of Law and the Lawyers for the Arts/NH Business Committee for the Arts. It will be held 2 to 4 p.m. at the University of New Hampshire  Law School, 2 White St., Rich Room. 
This event is free and open to the public.

 Firoozeh Dumas, the best-selling author whose book is part of the Concord Reads program this year, will hold a series of events on Thursday. Dumas is the author of Funny In Farsi and Laughing Without an Accent, collections of short humorous stories.  Funny in Farsi relates the experiences of an Iranian girl growing up in America and living within two cultures. The second title explores her experiences as a global citizen, an Iranian-born American married to a Frenchman, as well as her experiences returning to her homeland. Each, in its way, illustrates the immigrant experience and our common humanity.

New Hampshire Technical Institute and the Capital Area Colleges will host a noon luncheon with Firoozeh Dumas at the Crocker Wellness Center on the NHTI campus. The cost is $25 and tickets are available at the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce or at
Dumas will hold a community presentation and book signing at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Concord High School. The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Concord Public Library Foundation.

The Capitol Center for the Arts hosts Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo for “An Evening of Slam Poetry and Music.” 
A two-time National Poetry Slam individual finalist and current TED (technology, entertainment, design) Global Fellow, Ieyoka (pronounced ee-yo!-kah) is a first-generation Nigerian American, who weaves impassioned poetry and a personal musical style into inspirational stories about self-empowerment, social responsibility and peace. Her recent single, “The Yellow Brick Road Song,” was featured in the HBO series How to Make It In America.
Iyeoka will form at 7:30 p.m. in the Spotlight Cafe, The Capitol Center for the Arts. The cost is  $25 for adults and $15 for students. Tickets may be purchased at

Friday, Oct. 22

Author John Walters, former New Hampshire Public Radio host, will read and sign copies of his book, Roads Less Traveled: Visionary New England Lives. Walters received the 2009 Donald M. Murray Outstanding Journalism Award from the Writers’ Project. His reading at Gibson’s Bookstore begins at noon and is free. Feel free to bring your lunch. 

New Hampshire horror stories will be read from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Barley House on Main Street. Authors in the newly published “Live Free or Undead: NH Pulp Fiction” will read from this anthology of horror stories that take place in New Hampshire. The event is free.

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly headlines the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications First Amendment Awards, which honor New Hampshire residents or organizations for exemplary support of free press and speech. Presented by the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications, the event begins at 7 p.m. at The Capitol Center.  Tickets are $75 and $50 and may be purchased at

“Literary Flash: Three Minutes to Fame” is a fast-paced, three-minute performance of original fiction. This open event at the Barley House is one leg that leads to the Writers’ Project Literary Flash Championship. Limited to eight performers on a first-come, first-served based, the free event begins at 7 p.m. – right after the horror story readings.

Saturday, Oct. 23

The Concord Arts Market runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Eagle Square and is an artisan and fine arts market. The market is free and open to the public.

Three daily newspaper editors will discuss journalism ethics and controversial First Amendment issues at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Ransmeier & Spellman building, 1 Capitol St., on the corner of Main Street. Felice Belman, editor of the Concord Monitor, will be joined by three members of the Academy of New England Journalists, Rod Doherty, executive editor of Foster's Daily Democrat in Dover; Jim Smith, executive editor of Connecticut's Bristol Press and New Britain Herald, and George Geers, executive director of the New Hampshire Writers' Project and New Hampshire Press Association.

The event, free and open to the public, is cosponsored by the New England First Amendment Coalition. For further information, call 785-4811.

New Hampshire’s Center for the Book will host a series of readings by authors in its book of the week program. These New Hampshire authors will be featured from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the New Hampshire State Library in its Genealogy Room on Park Street. The event is free and open to the public.

The Met: Live in HD will present Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. René Pape takes on one of the greatest bass roles in a production by renowned theater and opera director Peter Stein, in his Met debut. Aleksandrs Antonenko, Vladimir Ognovenko and Ekaterina Semenchuk lead the huge cast. 
The show begins at noon (five-hour performance) at The Chubb Theatre, Capitol Center for the Arts.
Time: The cost is $26 adults; $15 students; $22 seniors, Met members and Capitol Center members. Tickets can ordered at the Capitol Center’s website,

The Concord Public Library is planning an afternoon of learning and fun with author and illustrator Marty Kelley. Author of the best-selling book, Fall Is Not Easy, as well as the Ladybug-nominated Winter Woes and his most recent book, The Messiest Desk, offers a program that is highly interactive and will have elementary-aged kids laughing while learning about writing. Kelley will discuss the process of writing and illustrating a children’s book, from the initial idea to the final product.  The audience will get a fun, behind-the-scenes look at how Marty’s books developed and changed over time. The event, sponsored by the Concord Public Library Foundation, begins at 2 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Sponsored by Concord Public Library Foundation. 

The history of Concord will be celebrated at a free and public event that begins at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Ransmeier & Spellman building, 1 Capitol St., on the corner of Main Street. The Concord Historical Society hosts a panel discussion on the writing and publishing of its twentieth-century history of Concord, Crosscurrents of Change: Concord, N.H. in the 20th Century. The book’s editor, John Milne, and project manager/contributing writer Richard Osborne, will lead this discussion about the way the book was conceived, financed, researched, written, edited and published.

The feature-length film, Helvetica: A Documentary Film by Gary Hustvit, focuses on typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. The film is an exploration of urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhabits them, and a fluid discussion with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type. The film shows at 5:30 p.m. at the Red River Theatres. The cost is $8 for public; $6 for Red River members. Tickets will be available at

A workshop, presented by the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, begins at 1 p.m. Saturday and runs for three hours. The workshop focues on the difference between reading with children and reading to children and is presented by an Eric Carle Museum educator. The program, for adults only, is designed to give educators the tools to evaluate the picture book as an art form and to encourage the critical engagement of students during picture book reading experiences. The workshop costs $25 and will be held at The Kimball House of the Capitol Center for the Arts. To register, visit

A sneak preview of “Uprooted: Heartache and Hope in New Hampshire” will be shown at 2 p.m. at the Red River Theatres. This documentary of five re-settled refugees tells their stories of war, persecution, refugee camps, and the remaking of their lives in New Hampshire. A panel discussion follows the screening. “Uprooted” is the first in a series of documentaries based on oral histories collected by the UNH Center for the Humanities for a project called Our State, Our Stories. This project aims to understand how the experiences of New Hampshire’s most recent newcomers connect with those of past immigrants. The film is funded by the New Hampshire Humanities Council and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Formal premieres of Uprooted will take place in Laconia and Manchester in November. The Red River event is free and open to the public.

David Sibley, the man who revolutionized the field guide to birds and now brings his skills of identification and illustration to the more than six hundred tree species of North America, will discuss his work and sign his books at 3 p.m. Saturday at Gibson’s Bookstore. Sibley is the author and illustrator of a series of highly acclaimed books about birds and birding and is the recipient of the Roger Tory Peterson Award presented by the American Birding Association for a lifetime of achievement.

Petite Plays: A "Scripts-In-Hand" workshop held earlier in the week culminates with  two performances at the Red River Theater. Showtimes are 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets, $5 each, are available at Red River Theatres’ website,

The Concord Literary Festival concludes at 8 Saturday evening with “Celebrity Autobiography” at the Capitol Center for the Arts.
This shows pokes fun at the often-ridiculous memoirs of A-listers, from Vanna White and Star Jones to Sylvester Stallone and the Jonas Brothers. Read with deadpan glee by a rotating cast of New York comic actors, the passages run the gamut from the “early poetry” of Suzanne Somers to shocking “romance tips” from Tommy Lee to the most famous Hollywood love triangle in history – Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, and Eddie Fisher -- all in their own words. Tickets for the show, sponsored by Ross Express, are available at

 Poetry in Windows
Several stores in the downtown area will be displaying the works of New Hampwhire poets during the month of October.
The poems, selected by New Hampshire Poet Laureate Walter E. Butts, are by Patricia Frisella, Patricia Fargnoli, Alice B. Fogel, Maxine Kumin, Marie Harris, Rodger Martin, James Rioux, Mimi White, Don Kimball, and Mark DeCarteret.
Further details on the poems and a contest tied in with the presentation of the documentary film, Helvetica, being shown at Red River Theaters, can be found at the Writers’ Project website,

Sponsors of the Concord Literary Festival are: JMaze Design, Southern New Hampshire University, New England College, Foxfire Property Management, Lincoln Financial, RiverStone Resources, Northeast Delta Dental, Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green.

For continuing coverage and updates on the Concord Literary Festival, visit the Writers’ Project website,

 For more information, contact the Writers’ Project program director, Carla Gericke, [email protected], or executive director, George Geers, [email protected] or 785-4811.