Bookworms, writers and poets will soon have a chance to come together in celebration of literature. The fourth annual Chestnut Hill Book Festival will be taking place this Sunday, September 30 at various locations in the neighborhood from 11:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Former Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell is one of the key authors who will be featured at the event.
Rendell is expected to discuss his book, A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great, at Chestnut Hill College’s Commonwealth Chateau at SugarLoaf. “The plan is he’ll read from or discuss the book. We don’t ever know what Ed Rendell is going to do,” joked Chestnut Hill Book Festival Committee Chair, Marie Lachat. “He never disappoints.”
This is the first time the literary festival is being held in autumn, rather than in summer. The event has also been downsized this year, from last year’s two day festival to one day of activities. Lachat said festival committee members decided “to step back a little”. One reason behind the move is so that they can focus more on a new speaker series they plan to bring to Chestnut Hill. The speaker series will begin on November 15 with Hugh Gilmore presenting a tribute to Loren Eiseley.
This year, the Chestnut Hill Book Festival is offering two Philadelphia Stories workshops, a mystery writers panel, a poetry open mic session, two improv events – one is for adults, the other for kids – as well as the Painted Bride Quarterly songwriter slam.
The festival will be hosted in seven locations: the Chestnut HIll Hotel’s Bombay Room, Musehouse Center for Literary Arts, Roller’s Flying Fish Restaurant, the Chestnut Grill, Christ Ascension Lutheran Church, Buckley Park and Chestnut Hill College. An information booth will be available for visitors at 8200 Germantown Avenue in the former Magarity Ford building.
Lachat said the goal of the festival is to raise money for the John S. Jenks School’s literary programs. This year’s sponsors include the Chestnut Hill Business Association, Chestnut HIll College, Musehouse, Flying Fish, the Chestnut Hill Hotel, Jane Piotrowski, and Javelin Designs.
Program schedule (grid view)
11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
• Philadelphia Stories Workshops at the Chestnut Hill Hotel’s Bombay Room
1:00 to 2:15 p.m.
• Mystery Panel at Rollers Flying Fish Restaurant•• Story Up For Kids at Musehouse•• Miles Orvell at Christ Ascension Lutheran Church
1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
• Lynn Hoffman at Chestnut Grill
• Songwriter Slam at Buckley Park
2:15 to 3:30 p.m.
• Philadelphia Stories Workshops at the Chestnut HIll Hotel’s Bombay Room
• Murray Dubin and Dan Biddle at Rollers Flying Fish Restaurant
• Open Mic Poetry at Musehouse
• Brenda Dixon Gottschild at Christ Ascension Church
3:45 to 4:45 p.m.
• Governor Ed Rendell at Chestnut Hill College
5:00 to 6:00 p.m.
• Chestnut Hill Improv at the Chestnut Hill Hotel’s Bombay Room
• Frank Wilson at Roller’s Flying Fish Restaurant
• Leslie Daniel at Musehouse
• Salome Thomas-El at Christ Ascension Lutheran Church
7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
• Painted Bride Quarterly’s “Slam, Bam Thank You, Ma’am!” at Musehouse