The Provincetown Book Festival

September 17 - September 19, 2021

September 17th - 19th, 2021

The Provincetown Book Festival

September 17-19, 2021

The Provincetown Book Festival

September 17th, 18th, & 19th, 2021

The Provincetown Book Festival

SEPTEMBER 17 – 19, 2021

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The 2021 Provincetown Book Festival

Three days of literary events for readers, writers, and book lovers of all kinds

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 17 – 19

All events are free and open to the public. To register for events, click here.

For the safety of speakers, volunteers, audience, and staff, mask-wearing will be required at Provincetown Book Festival events held at the Provincetown Public Library, with the exception of the socially-distant speakers onstage. All Festival volunteers and ticket holders will be required to show proof of vaccination for admittance to programs. Seating will be limited, so tickets/reservations are highly recommended.

The Provincetown Book Festival is sponsored by the Provincetown Public Library

The 2021 Provincetown Book Festival will be joined by these distinguished authors:

Paul Lisicky is the author of six books including his latest Later: My Life at the Edge of the World, an NPR Best Book of 2020. (More)


Brandon Taylor is the author of the acclaimed short story collection Filthy Animals. (More)

Francine Prose is the author of twenty-one works of fiction including the highly acclaimed Mister Monkey. (More)

Aminatta Forna is the author of the novels Ancestor Stones, The Memory of Love, The Hired Man, and Happiness, as well as the memoir The Devil That Danced on the Water, and a new essay collection, The Window Seat.   (More)

For the full line up, check out our Authors & Speakers page!

Latest News!

Volunteers Needed for Provincetown Book Festival September 17 – 19

Volunteers are needed to help out at the Provincetown Book Festival, Friday evening, September 17 – Sunday, September 19, sponsored by the Provincetown Library. Volunteers can sign up for as little as three hours, and be in the middle of an exciting literary event. All volunteers will receive a free Book Festival T-shirt. For more information, or to sign up, contact Volunteer Coordinator Olympia Ciliberto at ociliberto319@gmail.com. Details of the program are available on our website at https://provincetownbookfestival.org.

The exciting literary lineup includes performance artist Karen Finley, Robert Jones, Jr., Paul Lisicky, Francine Prose and Brandon Taylor. Volunteers can hobnob with these and other authors in the green room (while also replenishing the coffee), take tickets, sell T-shirts and totes, or work at the giant outdoor used book sale. There is a special need for a couple of moderately techie individuals who can hook up a microphone or run a video camera.

The Provincetown Book Festival is sponsored by the Provincetown Library, but it is also very much a community effort. The Festival is not only supported by major sponsors such as the Provincetown Tourism Fund, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Bay State Cruise Company and Cape Air, but also by bookstores, local B & B’s, and other small businesses. Not least of all, the Book Festival runs on book-loving and library-loving volunteers. Come help out and have some fun.

For more information, contact:

Nan Cinnater, Provincetown Book Festival Director
ncinnater@clamsnet.org
508-487-7094

Robert Jones, Jr., Paul Lisicky, Francine Prose, and Brandon Taylor to appear at the Fifth Provincetown Book Festival, September 17 – 19

Robert Jones, Jr., acclaimed author of the historical novel, The Prophets; Paul Lisicky, author of the Provincetown memoir Later: My Life at the Edge of the World; Francine Prose, author of twenty novels including her most recent, The Vixen; and Brandon Taylor, author of the short story collection Filthy Animals and the novel Real Life, will appear live and in person at the 2021 Provincetown Book Festival. A weekend of literary events for readers, writers, and book lovers of all kinds, the Provincetown Book Festival takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 17 – 19, 2021. All events are free and open to the public. All events will be held carefully and safely at the Provincetown Public Library. Final Covid protocols will be announced on September 1.

The Provincetown Book Festival opens on Friday night, September 17, with a reading and reception for the recipient of the Rose Dorothea Award, given annually by the Board of Library Trustees to a person with a strong connection to the Outer Cape who has made a significant contribution through the written word. The 2021 recipient is performance artist and writer Karen Finley.

On Saturday, September 18, at 6:00 p.m., Provincetown memoirist Paul Lisicky will share the stage with Andrea Lawlor, author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl. Both writers lived in Provincetown during the Nineties. Fiction meets history when Francine Prose, whose novel The Vixen concerns Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, speaks with Aaron Lecklider, author of Love’s Next Meeting: The Forgotten History of Homosexuality and the Left in American Culture at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, September 19. Historian Aaron Lecklider will also interview novelist Robert Jones, Jr., about his novel of slavery, The Prophets, on Saturday at 4:30. Brandon Taylor will read from and talk about his work on Saturday at 12:00.

“We have a wonderfully diverse line-up this year,” said Nan Cinnater, Director of the Provincetown Book Festival and Lead Librarian at the Provincetown Library. “We are featuring lots of non-fiction writers in addition to poets and novelists. We have a number of LGBTQ authors and authors of different races and ethnicities. Some are connected to Provincetown and some aren’t. But all of them are outstanding writers!”

Among the featured non-fiction writers are Animatta Forna, well known as a novelist but currently author of a new book of essays, The Window Seat. Forna will appear in conversation with Jennifer De Leon, author of the essay collection, White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, and Writing. Memoirist Maya Shanbhag Lang (What We Carry) will talk about the politics of memoir with Rajiv Mohabir, (Antiman). Professor Kerri Greenidge will discuss the history of Black political thought and her new biography, Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter.

Other featured authors include novelist Joshua Henkin, author of Morningside Heights, in conversation with Matthew Klam, author of the novel Who Is Rich?. Boston poet laureate Porsha Olayiwola and poet January Gill O’Neil will read from their work and speak with each other on “The Future of Poetry.” Mona Awad, author of All’s Well, will talk with Heidi Pitlor, author of Impersonation, about the uses of comedy in literary fiction. Two more novelists writing about women’s lives – Hanna Halperin, author of the debut novel Something Wild and Lynne Hugo, author of The Book of CarolSue – round out the program.

On Saturday and Sunday, there will be a giant used book sale on the Provincetown Library lawn. On Saturday, September 18, at 9:00 a.m., five local writers will kick off the Festival in “Reading Local,” a special reading curated by Lynne Hugo, author of nine novels and a memoir. More information about the program and the authors is being added daily to the Festival website.

For more information about who’s coming check out our Author and Speakers page.

Popular Novelist Lynne Hugo to Judge Reading at Provincetown Book Festival;
Deadline for Submission August 20

The 2021 Provincetown Book Festival will kick off at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, September 18, with a curated reading by local authors, judged by popular novelist and part-time Provincetowner Lynne Hugo. A National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient, Hugo has also received repeat grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. She has published a memoir and nine novels, one of which, Swimming Lessons, became a Lifetime Original Movie of the Month. Her most recent books are The Testament of Harold’s Wife and The Book of CarolSue.

For this event, dubbed “Reading Local,” Ms. Hugo will review submissions from local Provincetown and Cape Cod writers and will select five writers to read at the opening program of the Provincetown Book Festival. Submissions are not limited by form or genre, so the reading may include poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction.

Writers who are interested in submitting their work should send a sample, no more than three pages of prose or three poems no longer than three pages, with a brief introduction and bio, to Nan Cinnater at the Provincetown Library (ncinnater@clamsnet.org). Deadline for submissions is August 20. The list of readers will be announced on September 3. For more information, contact Nan Cinnater at the Provincetown Public Library.

A weekend of literary events for readers, writers, and book lovers of all kinds, the 2021 Provincetown Book Festival takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 17 – 19. All events are free and open to the public. All events are held at the Provincetown Public Library. For more information, go to provincetownbookfestival.org.