Announcing LitFest 2023

Purple square with the words "Amherst College LitFest 2023: illuminating great writing and Amherst's literary life" in white

We hope you’ll join us for the eighth annual LitFest, hosted in conjunction with Amherst College. This year’s lineup includes Pulitzer Prize-winner Hilton Als, MacArthur Fellowship-winner Valeria Luiselli, and 2022 National Book Award finalists Meghan O’Rourke and Ingrid Rojas Contreras, among others.

This year, we are continuing to highlight the work of The Common’s own Literary Publishing Interns and Amherst Alumni Authors during a reading at 4pm on Saturday, February 25. Join us for this exciting weekend!

Purple button with "Register Here" in white.

The 2023 festival will be in-person, with livestreams available for most of the sessions. 

Collage of LitFest Books: My Pinup, Lost Children Archive, The Invisible Kingdom, The Man Who COuld Move Clouds, Olio, The Trees Witness Everything

Reception and Opening of God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin
Introductions and remarks: Hilton Als; Siddhartha V. Shah, Director of the Mead Art Museum; Jennifer Acker ’00, editor-in-chief of The Common
6 p.m.
Mead Art Museum (in-person only)

                                     Ingrid Rojas Contreras's headshot: brown woman in an orange-green shirt against a background of books. Meghan O'Rourke's headshot: white woman in a black shirt and blazer against a background of trees.

A Conversation with National Book Award Finalists Meghan O’Rourke & Ingrid Rojas Contreras and Moderated by Dennis Sweeney
Introductions and remarks: President Michael A. Elliott; Jennifer Acker ’00, editor-in-chief of The Common; Ruth Dickey, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation
7 p.m.
Johnson Chapel (in-person and virtual)

Victoria Chang's headshot: an asian woman wearing black against a dark brown background. Tyehimba Jess's headshot: a black man wearing a suit and cap, black and white image.

Phosphorescence: Special Edition, A Poetry Event with Victoria Chang and Tyehimba Jess
Host: Jane Wald, Executive Director of the Emily Dickinson Museum 
12 p.m.
Friendly Reading Room, Frost Library (in-person and virtual)

Sofia Belimova's headshot: white woman wearing plaid against a background of trees.

Readings by Amherst Alumni Authors and The Common Student Interns
Introductions and remarks: Sofia Belimova ’22, Literary Editorial Fellow, The Common. 
Amherst Alumni Authors: Ted Conover ’80, Catherine Newman ’90, Mark Vanhoenacker ’96, and Marti Dumas ’98. The Common interns: Olive Amdur ’23, Alma Clark ’25, Sophie Durbin ’25, Kei Lim ’25, and Sarah Wu ’25
4 p.m.
Friendly Reading Room, Frost Library (in-person and virtual)

Valeria Luiselli's headshot: brown woman in a blue jacket against a metal grate.

Valeria Luiselli in Conversation with Jennifer Acker ’00, Editor in Chief of The Common
Introductions and remarks: Kirun Kapur ’97
7 p.m.
Johnson Chapel (in-person and virtual)

Hilton Als's headshot: black man in a white shirt against a background of books.

President’s Colloquium on Race and Racism: Hilton Als in Conversation with Professor Frank Leon Roberts
Introductions and remarks: President Michael A. Elliott
1 p.m.
Johnson Chapel (in-person and virtual)

Purple button with "Register Here" in white.

Announcing LitFest 2023

Related Posts

bilbao-new york

Review: Bilbao-New York-Bilbao

There is an undeniable poetry to transportation. The reverie of a train roping across land, the intrepidity of a boat charting depthless waters, the surrealism of an aircraft cutting through cloud—all tracing paths like storylines across terrain, all positioning the passenger as an Odyssean protagonist. In Bilbao-New York-Bilbao, Kirmen Uribe takes the family novel to the skies.

white, wooden cross on the shore of a river. the colors of the image give off a pale-ish atmosphere, like a storm is coming

On Drowning

On a Pacific Northwest wild-fire summer evening, Emmett and I drive the babysitter while the edges of the world burn. She’s chatty and optimistic about fall classes, but I’m distracted by the sun, which is Crayola-Orange, perfect circle, unnatural and eerie.

Image of the two beige tombstones of Jamali and Kamali laying side by side

Jamali Kamali Airborne in History

Opening oneself to the unknown paves the way for a large exploration rather than the up-close details of “what I know.” The unknown is a wider plain—a big, flat, open space where options abound. The endless screen makes possible a roomier grasp of universals.