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

Issues of The Common magazine

Fee-Free Submission Period

Inspired by the mission and role of the town common, an egalitarian gathering place, The Common aims to foster the global exchange of diverse ideas and experiences. In an effort to remove barriers to access, The Common will open for fee-free submissions for two weeks.

A Good Girl in the People’s Republic

LEI HU
When she stepped outside and closed the door, the iron handle was so cold, it felt like it was burning. With the basket on her arm, Fu Rong slipped her hands into a pair of cotton mittens her mother had made. She knew she would warm up once she started walking.