The Festival is psyched to offer virtual programming during our summer-of-distancing. If you close your eyes, you can imagine yourself seated in a gallery at Real Art Ways during the actual festival! Well, perhaps that’s a stretch. While it’s not the same cool environment, we’ll strive for the same thought-provoking dialogue. Please enjoy these conversations on books, culture, and literary life. Thank you to our moderators, guests, and our series sponsors.

To attend the series, or a single event, please register via Crowdcast, our webinar platform. (Read: like Zoom but slicker.)

No decision has been made in terms of running a physical, on-ground Literary Festival in October. We hope that we will be able to organize in-person once more, but we will keep everyone informed once we make a decision regarding the event. Thank you for your patience and support. Be safe. Be curious. Be reading.

Marilyn Nelson is the author or translator of more than 20 books and chapbooks for adults and children. Her critically acclaimed YA books include A Wreath for Emmett Till and Carver: A Life in Poems, a Newbery Honor Book. Nelson has also come out with nine poetry collections for adults, and will be releasing a new picture book, Lubaya’s Quiet Roar, in October, 2020. Currently professor emerita of English at the University of Connecticut, she was also Poet Laureate of Connecticut, 2001– 2006.

Frederick-Douglass Knowles II is an educator and activist dedicated to community development. He is the inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Hartford. His collection of poetry, BlackRoseCity was featured at the 2018 Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP). Frederick-Douglass is an Associate Professor of English at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, CT.

Antoinette Brim-Bell is the author of These Women You Gave Me, Icarus in Love, and Psalm of the Sunflower. She has hosted a series of Black History Month television programs for the OneWorld Progressive Institute. Brim-Bell is also a Professor of English at Capital Community College.

Jose B. Gonzalez is a Fulbright Scholar and has received national and regional awards for his teaching, for efforts to improve the conditions of Latinos pursuing a college degree or a career in higher education, and for his poetry. He is the author of the poetry collections, Toys Made of Rock (Bilingual Press), and When Love Was Reels (Arte Publico), and is the founder and editor of LatinoStories.Com.

Daniel Donaghy, Professor of English, is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Somerset (NYQ Books, 2018), Start with the Trouble (U of Arkansas Press, 2009), which won the Paterson Prize for Literary Excellence and was a Finalist for the Connecticut Book Award and Streetfighting (BkMk Press/UMissouri-Kansas City, 2005) which was a Finalist for the Paterson Prize. His most recent book, Somerset, won the 2019 Paterson Poetry Prize.

Ann Garvin is the author of I Like you Just Fine When You’re Not Around, The Dog Year and On Maggie’s Watch. She lives in Stoughton WI, and is a professor of sports psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a MFA teacher in New Hampshire.

Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the award-winning psychological suspense The Marsh King’s Daughter. Her forthcoming novel, The Wicked Sister, publishes August 4, 2020. 

Jacquelyn Mitchard is a New York Times bestselling writer of fiction and non-fiction and the author of 22 books. Her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club.

Lisa Page is co-editor of the anthology, We Wear The Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Virginia Quarterly Review, Playboy, Playbill, the Washington Post Book World and other publications. She directs Creative Writing at the George Washington University. She has taught writing workshops in a Maryland correctional facility as well as in universities in Chicago, and New Haven. She has interviewed writers for television, magazines and public forums. She lives outside Washington, DC.

Jotham Burrello is a writer, teacher, publisher, and farmer. He’s a proud winner of the New Yorker Caption Contest. He teaches writing at Central Connecticut State, directs the Yale Writers’ Workshop and the Connecticut Literary Festival, curates the Roar Reading Series, and is the publisher of the award-winning Elephant Rock Books. He and his wife raise boys and flowers on Muddy Feet Flower Farm in eastern Connecticut. Spindle City is his first novel.

Edward A. Farmer is a native of Memphis, Tennessee, where he journaled and cultivated stories his entire childhood. He is a graduate of Amherst College with a degree in English and psychology, and recipient of the MacArthur-Leithauser Travel Award for creative writing. He currently lives and writes in Pasadena, California. Pale is his first novel. 

Archived Talks