The Provincetown Book Festival will kick off at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, September 17, with a curated reading by local authors, chosen by Patrick Nolan, Vice President and Publisher of Penguin Books. The selected writers are: Rebecca Alvin, Yvonne deSousa, Suzann Heron, Marcene Marcoux, and Dennis Minsky.
For this event, dubbed “Reading Local,” Mr. Nolan reviewed thirty-five submissions from local and regional writers. The five selected writers will be reading poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. “It’s exciting to see so many people writing across so many genres, styles and subjects – [it] speaks to the vitality of our community,” Mr. Nolan said.
Originally from New York City, Rebecca Alvin is a filmmaker, writer, and editor of Provincetown Magazine, where she has been writing and editing for close to 15 years. She has lived on Cape Cod, in Brewster year-round, for over 20 years, and has been working in journalism for almost that long. Her writing has appeared in Provincetown Magazine, but also in Cineaste, The Independent, Film & History, Cape Cod Magazine, Cape Arts Review, and many other publications. Ms. Alvin has also directed and produced numerous documentary films over the past 30 years, with screenings of her work in many places around the U.S. and Europe, as well as in the Provincetown International Film Festival and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Yvonne deSousa was born and raised in Provincetown and is a 1987 graduate of the now defunct Provincetown High School. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. After college, she returned to Provincetown and worked for the Provincetown Public Library and the Provincetown Recreation Department and volunteered for Independence House, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those experiencing domestic violence. This led to a career working with crime victims for the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office. After several years, when she began to miss life on Cape Cod; she returned to the area and worked as an administrative assistant in a periodontal office. When she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she found a healing outlet in writing about her life with MS in an amusing way. She eventually published the well-reviewed, MS Madness! A “Giggle More, Cry Less’ Story of Multiple Sclerosis and started a medical humor blog that details the idiosyncrasies of life with MS and later, surviving a breast cancer diagnosis and its treatment. Yvonne believes that “giggles are good for you” and enjoys sharing her inner humorist. Her writing has also appeared in 2 of the Chicken Soup for the Soul editions, Finding Your Faith and Listening to Your Dreams, as well as the 3 Something on Our Minds anthologies, the Cape Cod Times, and 5 of the Provincetown Banner’s yearly Portuguese Festival Booklets. She is currently working on a memoir of growing up, falling in love, and leaving her beloved hometown, temporarily titled Found and Lost.
Suzann Heron has been an off-season resident of Provincetown for many years, arriving in September to leave in June. Off season is her favorite time on the Cape, when the land takes a breath and folks mingle more with each other doing the routine, regular things. There is no other place like Provincetown and she feels honored to spend any time there. Ms. Heron is a new poet; she likes to call herself emerging. She loves to work with words as well, in and along with art making. She writes, “Being a dyslexic person, only to discover this way in the world at a later time in my life, I feel surprised I’m writing. I can’t spell and my vocabulary is less than. But I feel I have something to say and my own way to say it. So, here I am. Learning. It’s always about allowing myself to be vulnerable enough to learn.”
Marcene Marcoux is a cultural anthropologist with a Master’s and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She has been a Professor of Anthropology at Framingham State University and Boston University. She is the author of Cursillo: Anatomy of a Movement. She has written extensively for China Business Weekly, publishing more than forty articles for China’s largest English business weekly, focused on leadership and strategic thinking. She also served for fourteen years on Provincetown’s Historic District Commission, dedicated to the town’s historic preservation.
A biologist and Provincetown resident since 1968, Dennis Minsky began his career as a Cape Cod National Seashore field biologist in 1974, when he helped start a seabird nesting protection program. In 1985 he created an environmental studies program for middle schoolers that emphasized the Hudson River ecosystem, a program he continued for 20 years. Minsky has been a naturalist for the Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch and the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies since 1995, educating people about whales and the ocean’s ecosystem. He is an expert birder, a member of the town’s conservation commission and a regular columnist for the Provincetown Independent.