Nov. 17-24; street fair Nov. 22-24; Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami; MiamiBookFair.com
This annual denial of all things “Floriduh” is returning with its predictably impressive slate of novelists, poets, historians, journalists and memoirists. If some of the names on the slate (Russell Banks, Richard Russo, Amy Tan) appear a bit too familiar to longtime Book Fair patrons, that should only underscore the event’s high standing in the literary world. Because this year is the fair’s 30th, its organizers are celebrating the landmark with pre-festival readings by Elizabeth Gilbert (Oct. 9), Billy Collins (Oct. 24), Helen Fielding (Nov. 2) and Donna Tartt (Nov. 6) on the Wolfson Campus.
EDWIDGE DANTICAT, PATRICIA ENGEL, JOHN DUFRESNE
Three of South Florida’s most-acclaimed fiction writers released new novels this summer, which means you’ve had plenty of time to read Danticat’s Claire of the Sea Light, Engel’s “It’s Not Love,” “It’s Just Paris” and Dufresne’s “No Regrets, Coyote” and have gone on and on to your friends about how good they are. Right?
PALM BEACH POETRY FESTIVAL
Jan. 20-25; Old School Square Cultural Arts Center, Delray Beach; PalmBeachPoetryFestival.org
Nick Flynn may be the marquee name for the festival’s 2014 edition, but the “Another Bull---- Night in Suck City” author tops a list of poets that also includes FIU professor and MacArthur “genius grant” fellow Campbell McGrath, National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Carolyn Forche and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. These and other poets will participate in readings, panel discussions and workshops throughout the event. Tickets are available on the festival’s website.
BOOKS & BOOKS READINGS
Would South Florida even have a literary scene without this bookstore? It opened in 1982 in Coral Gables and has expanded to locations in Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, Westhampton Beach, N.Y., and Grand Cayman. The independent chain continues to present free readings by A-list writers, with George Saunders (Jan. 9) and Alexander McCall Smith (Jan. 15) among the big names bound for the Gables store this season.
The 2013 version of this now-annual event, which has the modest goal of exposing every Miami-Dade County resident to at least one poem in April, featured a poetry parade, a Twitter contest, film screenings, open mikes and reading s by presidential inaugural Poet Richard Blanco and alt-rock pioneer Thurston Moore. Expect more highbrow poetry and lowbrow fun when the festival returns in 2014.