April 9, 2012
The sixth annual festival celebrates reading and literacy around the city with events at the library’s Parkway Central branch.
Festivities begin April 16 and conclude with a big-time street fair on the Parkway on April 21. Here are our picks for the week’s top events:
• United States Poet Laureate Phillip Levine: April 17, 7:30 p.m. $15. Phillip Levine has won nearly every writing award out there, including the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He’s known for his poems on the lives of working people, inspired by time spent as a factory laborer.
• Philadelphia Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez: April 18, 7:30 p.m. Free. Sanchez is Philadelphia’s first-ever Poet Laureate, and a professor at Temple University. Her work, according to Mayor Nutter, “exemplifies the role a poet can play in helping to define a city and helping its citizens discover beauty.”
• Jonathan Haight: April 21, 7:30 p.m. Free. Author of The Happiness Hypothesis, Haight is a prominent expert in positive psychology, a field pioneered by Martin Seligman at Penn, where Haight earned his Ph.D. At the festival, he’ll speak on his latest book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.
• First Person StorySlam: Mistaken Identities: April 20, 7:30 p.m. $15. First Person Arts brings their popular StorySlam show to the festival. Competing performers from Philadelphia and Detroit will tell stories centered around the theme of Mistaken Identities.
• Many Thoughts of Music: April 21, 3 pm. Free. A performance by this self-described “gospel and jazz jam band” is sure to get feet pumping at the outdoor stage on the Parkway.
• Storybook Character Parade April 21, noon. Free. Kids (and nostalgic adults) can meet Madeline, Curious George and more favorite characters on the festival’s outdoor stage.
• Teddy Bear Picnic April 21, 2 p.m. Free. This afternoon interlude will feature sing-a-long songs and stories, hosted by the Berenstain Bears.
• A Storied Evening April 21, 5 p.m. $35 individual, $125 for a family of four. The festival wraps up with a family fun frenzy, including a scavenger hunt throughout the library and dinner with Main Line native Sara Shepard, author of book-cum-TV series Pretty Little Liars.
Get excited for a week of fun and fascinating events!
Philadelphia Book Festival
When: April 16-21
Where: Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine Street
Cost: Varies by event, but many are free
More info: libwww.freelibrary.org