Provincetown, MA — The Provincetown Book Festival will kick off at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, September 14, with a curated reading by local authors, judged by prominent New York literary agent Adam Chromy. The writers chosen by Chromy are John Bonnani, Alexandra Marshall, Steven Bruce Myerson, Judith Newcomb Stiles, Jan Worthington, and Beth Ruggiero York. The six writers will be reading poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, some of it published, some of it from works in progress.
For this event, dubbed “Reading Local,” Mr. Chromy reviewed numerous submissions from local Provincetown and Cape Cod writers. What emerged was a thematic program that gives a strong picture of life on the outer Cape. The reading is free and open to the public. For more information, go to provincetownbookfestival.org. Reservations can be made at Eventbrite.com.
A Pushcart and Best New Poets nominee, John Bonanni serves as founding editor for the Cape Cod Poetry Review. He is the recipient of a scholarship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, grants from the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and a residency from AS220 in Providence, RI. His poems have appeared in CutBank, North American Review, Verse Daily, Seattle Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Hobart, Washington Square Review, and Prairie Schooner, and his literary criticism has appeared in Rain Taxi, Tupelo Quarterly, and Kenyon Review.
When Alexandra Marshall’s first novel Gus In Bronze was published, Katha Pollitt wrote in The New York Times Book Review, “Marshall has the essential novelist’s gift, the creation of vivid characters.” Subsequent novels were praised for “eclectic, insightful observations and wry humor" (People Magazine on Tender Offer) “unusual integrity” (NYTBR on The Court Of Common Pleas) “a joyous affirmation” (Newsday on The Brass Bed) and about Something Borrowed the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “Marshall is that true rarity, a novelist full of wise observations, mordant wit and a fine comic sense.” The Christian Science Monitor’s review of her nonfiction book Still Waters said, “Not since Thoreau have experiences surrounding a Massachusetts pond been as worthy of our attention.” A relative newcomer to short fiction, her first short story, “Child Widow,” appeared in Ploughshares, guest-edited by Alice Hoffman, and was cited among “100 Other Distinguished Stories of 2003” in Best American Short Stories.
Steven Bruce Myerson is a playwright, director, producer, artist, and spoken word poet whose plays and poetry have been seen and heard on the Cape at Provincetown Theater for The 24 Hour Plays and the Day of the Dead Festival, at multiple open mics at the MEWS Coffeehouse and The Writer's Voice Cafe (here at the library), and at student reading nights at Provincetown's Fine Arts Work Center to which he received a 2019 Summer Scholarship. To The Extreme!, his trilogy of political, satirical, and mythic short plays with interludes of spoken word poetry was part of the 2019 Playwright Festival at the Barnstable Comedy Club this past August. He is a member of the Provincetown Playwrights Lab, and his plays have been presented at theaters and festivals in CA, CT, MA, and RI. Last April, he was spotted at the library channeling Captain Ahab for the Moby-Dick Marathon Reading.
Judith Newcomb Stiles is a potter and the owner of The Newcomb Hollow Shop in Wellfleet. For ten years, she wrote a human-interest column for The Villager Newspaper in NYC for lousy pay and the joy of writing. She also wrote articles about everything American for Europa Quotidiano, an Italian daily out of Rome. Stiles taught at Skidmore College and headed the MFA Ceramics Department at Pratt Art Institute. While in New York, she won the prestigious ROSCOE Award for “outstanding creative achievement in contemporary design.” After New York, wedding, funerals, and bail hearings landed her in the thick of small-town life in Wellfleet where her family has lived for twelve generations.
Jan Worthington is a veteran television writer, who has written over twenty movies-of-the-week for CBS, NBC, ABC, Disney and PBS. These movies include four Danielle Steele adaptations for NBC. She was a Story Editor on the television series “Dirty Dancing,” for CBS and on “Trade Winds” for NBC. John Gielgud won a Best Supporting Actor Emmy for his role in her teleplay “Romance on the Orient Express.” She has written for Ms. Magazine, New York Magazine, Yankee Magazine, and the Provincetown Banner. Her essay “Tats” appears in the anthology “What was I thinking? 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories.” She is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America, West. Jan lives in Truro where she is the Chair of the Truro Select Board, a tennis player, pickle ball player and jelly maker. “Morning Glory” is her first book.
Beth Ruggiero York is a former airline pilot for Trans World Airlines. She entered the world of civil aviation in 1984 shortly after graduating from college and, for the next five years, climbed the ladder to her ultimate goal of flying for a major airline. She originally wrote Flying Alone in the early 1990s, shortly after her career as a pilot ended and the memories were fresh. In the mid-90s, Beth completed a masters degree in Chinese Studies at Harvard University and began a new career as a freelance Chinese translator for pharmaceutical companies. Ten years ago, she added another career as a professional photographer. She sells stock photos through agencies such as Getty Images and Adobe Stock and teaches photography workshops in the US and abroad. Beth has published a popular book on night photography, Fun in the Dark: A Guide to Successful Night Photography, and co-written another, Everglades National Park: A Photographic Destination.