Miami Book Fair
The South’s premier literary festival returns for a 34th year with its expected raft of A-list, mid-list and no-list authors. As with the country, a mean orange sun will hang over this year’s fair, which has tapped veteran journalist Dan Rather to open the event Nov. 12 with a reading from his new book, “What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism.” A host of other journalists, politicians and pundits have joined Rather on the schedule, including MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell (whose new book is about the presidential election of … 1968), Michael Eric Dyson (“Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America”), Sen. Al Franken (“Al Franken, Giant of the Senate”) and former Vice President Joe Biden, who will discuss his book “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship and Purpose” and likely reduce even the most stoic among us to tears Nov. 18 at the Arsht Center. And if you don’t think punk pioneer Patti Smith will reference the covfefe in chief when she appears at the fair on Nov. 13, you don’t know Patti Smith.
The weekend Festival of Authors is, as usual, stocked with talent, with Jennifer Egan, Claire Messud, Jeffrey Eugenides, James McBride, Chantel Acevedo, Mark Bowden, Colm Toibin and Salman Rushdie among the schedule’s highlights. The Festival of Authors and vendor-rich Street Fair runs Nov. 17-19.
The Society of the Four Arts’ Esther B. O’Keeffe Speaker Series
Jan. 9-March 27; 2 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach; FourArts.org. Tickets cost $35.
The society’s annual speaker series typically features prominent journalists, novelists and public intellectuals discussing new and recent work. The 2018 event is no different, with a calendar that includes screenwriter and novelist Delia Ephron, journalist David Ignatius, art historian Simon Schama and MacArthur “genius grant” winner Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot.
Palm Beach Poetry Festival
Jan. 15-20; Delray Beach Center for the Arts, 51 N. Swinton Ave.; PalmBeachPoetryFestival.org. Tickets cost $12-$18. Admission to some events is free.
The poetry festival enters its 14th year with Ross Gay, Gabrielle Calvocoressi and Phillis Levin among its speakers and workshop instructors. While the festival is heavy on closed workshops, it offers several public events throughout the week, including poetry readings, craft talks and spoken-word performances.
Broward Public Library Foundation’s Night of Literary Feasts
May 5; Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six, 2301 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale; BPLFoundation.org. Tickets cost $175. Admission to LitLIVE! is free, but tickets are required.
This annual fundraiser for the Broward Public Library Foundation boasts a simple, smart concept: Guests pay to attend small-group dinners at restaurants and private homes with visiting novelists and nonfiction writers. The authors get to meet their readers, their readers get to ask them questions, and everyone gets to support the foundation and its myriad literacy programs. The lineup for the 2018 Night of Literary Feast — the foundation’s 30th — includes novelist and essayist Sloane Crosley, romance novelist Elin Hilderbrand, historian Peter Cozzens and retired NBA All-Star Vin Baker. Participating authors will also appear May 4 at LitLIVE!, a free public event taking place simultaneously at Barnes and Noble stores in Fort Lauderdale, Plantation and Pembroke Pines.