Guest column: Northern Arizona Book Festival returns next month
The Northern Arizona Book Festival returns March 30 - April 2 with live and virtual programming for all ages, including readings from multiple local and regional authors, poetry slams, workshops and a day of interactive activities and live performances for all ages in Heritage Square.
This year, we are proud to present a multitude of different authors as well as literary presses in a walkable downtown festival with many more in person events.We will kick off the festival Thursday night, March 30 with Northern Arizona University’s Creative Writing Program MFA Reading Series, Cinder Skies. On Friday, March 31st we will resume events in the afternoon with both local and nationally renowned authors like Sasha LaPointe, Bojan Louis, Brendan Bersham and others in several events, including an author meet and greet,featured readings, and an open mic.
The festival will take over downtown Flagstaff throughout the day on April 1 with over a dozen local publishers, maker-workshops and literary community organizations with ongoing live performances from poets in Heritage Square. A children’s storytime at Liminal featuring Viola award winning artist IIWAA, a Youth Poetry Event at Late for the Train featuring the Flagstaff Youth Poet Laureate and San Francisco Poet Laureate, and a poetry slam extravaganza at the downtown library round out the morning and early afternoon, followed by editing and publishing panels at Liminal, and ending with a feature delving into literary translation presented by Arizona State University’s Thousand Languages project. The night ends with an after hours comedy reading hosted by Northern Arizona University MFA Creative Writing students.
On April 2, we will finish off the festival with RUNNING, an event for active literary types, followed by a workshop on effective critique groups from the Flagstaff Writer’s Connection at the Flagstaff Public Library downtown location. Our Young Readers portion of the festival will conclude with a feature showcasing three authors including Monica Brown, Darcie Little Badger,and Kinsale Drake of NDN Girls Book Club. Afterwards, at Uptown Pubhouse we will host our last in-person event for the festival weekend with Extractivism and Ecological Imperialism, a reading and discussion. The last event scheduled for our festival takes place virtually, with The Bird in Your Hands Prize virtual reading with Thin Air Magazine. The week following the festival we will continue to engage the Flagstaff literary community with a workshop during Flag Slam’s weekly poetry slam at Liminal on Wednesday evening along with a special literary edition of Uptown Team trivia where those who attended the festival can put to the test their knowledge of the authors they just attended events for book festival goodies.
Admission to all festival events is free and open to the public.
Established in 1997, the Northern Arizona Book Festival (NOAZBF) is a literary nonprofit based out of Kinłání (aka the bordertown of Flagstaff, Arizona). It coordinates readings, panels, workshops, contests and more that reflect the literary interests and cultural issues that define life in the Colorado Plateau region of Northern Arizona
As part of its regular programming, the NOAZBF includes the Indigenous Writers' Symposium, Young Readers' Festival and the Flagstaff Off-the-Page Lit Crawl (FLG OTP). Throughout the year, the NOAZBF collaborates with and supports the Northern Arizona Playwriting Showcase, the Northern Arizona University MFA Program, Cinder Skies Reading Series, Juniper House Reading Series, Off the Rails Poetry Series, Flagstaff Poetry Slam, Red Ink., Thin Air Magazine, Carbon Copy, Curios, Eggtooth Editions, Tolsun Books, Salina Bookshelf, Abalone Mountain Press, Outspokin' and Bookish, Poetry Out Loud, and Bright Side Bookshop.
Find the detailed lineup of events, at www.noazbookfest.org/.
Margarita Cruz, President
Northern Arizona Book Festival