Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

The Virginia Festival of the Book will mark its silver anniversary with a busy schedule of readings, panel discussions and programs for all ages. On Monday, the festival unveiled its full schedule, which includes more than 100 free events.

Events will dive into a wide range of book genres and industry disciplines, offering everything from poetry to publishing, race to religion and current events to climate change.

The annual festival, a program of Virginia Humanities, generally draws more than 20,000 audience members from more than 40 states and has an estimated economic impact in the area of about $4 million.

Among the events announced Monday are the following:

» “American Addictions: Our Opioids Crisis,” at 2 p.m. March 20, features Beth Macy, author of “Dopesick,” and Chris McGreal, author of “American Overdose.”

» “Ruth King: Mindful of Race,” at 6 p.m. March 20, is a discussion with internationally renowned meditation teacher Ruth King on racism, white supremacy and identity.

» In “Southern Blues and Folklife Rekindled,” at 6 p.m. March 21, Scott Barretta, William Ferris and Tom Rankin will talk about their collaboration on the Voices of Mississippi collection of musicians, storytellers and writers.

» “New Writing on Climate Change: A Dialogue on Responsibility” will bring authors Mike Gunter Jr., Susan Hand Shetterly and Rick Van Noy together at 2 p.m. March 22.

» In “Overcoming the Odds: Biographies of Great American Leaders,” authors Raymond Arsenault (“Arthur Ashe”) and David W. Blight (“Frederick Douglass”) will speak at 4 p.m. March 22.

» “Cartels to Conspiracies: Friday Night Crime Wave” will focus on William Boyle, Stephen Mack Jones and Don Winslow and their latest crime novels at 8 p.m. March 22.

» “Poetry of the Ephemeral,” at 8 p.m. March 22, includes readings by poets Sherwin Bitsui and Diana Khoi Nguyen.

» “Latinx Fiction for Young Readers,” set for noon March 23, includes Hilda Eunice Burgos, Angela Dominguez, Mia Garcia and Kristina Perez.

» The authors featured in “Short Stories, Long on Meaning,” planned for noon March 23, include Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Karen Bender and Chaya Bhuvaneswar.

» “Finding Wisdom: A Letterpress Project” will begin at 1 p.m. March 24. Printmaker Amos Paul Kennedy Jr., the 2019 Frank Riccio artist-in-residence, will talk about his collaboration with the festival to create an intergenerational project filled with reflections from Charlottesville and Albemarle County residents.

» “A World Built on Bondage: Racism and Human Diversity in Award-Winning Fiction,” at 3 p.m. March 24, will feature Esi Edugyan and Kevin Powers.

Although most festival events are free, some require tickets. Tickets also remain available for the following pay events:

» “Read & Lead Lunch with Barbara Ehrenreich,” set for at 11:45 a.m. March 20 at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel. $60.

» “An Evening with Festival All-Stars: Lee Smith, Adriana Trigiani and Douglas Brinkley,” at 8 p.m. March 20 at the Paramount Theater. $22; $11.50 students.

» “All of Our Rights: America’s Legacy of Inequality” with Carol Anderson, Michael Eric Dyson and Martha S. Jones, at 8 p.m. March 21 at the Paramount. $22; $11.50 students.

» Crime Wave Brunch with Don Winslow, at 10 a.m. March 23 at the Omni. $40.

» “Future Tense: Writers You’ll Be Reading for the Next 25 Years” with Mitchell S. Jackson, Jose Olivarez and Sarah Smarsh, at 8 p.m. March 23 at the Paramount. $22; $11.50 students.

Plan your visit by searching the festival schedule at

Jane Dunlap Sathe is the features editor for The Daily Progress. Contact her at (434) 978-7249 or

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