Book Festival to celebrate Maine writers with panels, activities

Grains as Mains author Sarah Walker Caron will be a panelist at the Eating Local in Maine panel at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14.
Courtesy of Sarah Walker Caron

This weekend’s Bangor Book Festival features a lineup that everyone can enjoy.

From Oct. 13- Oct. 14, attendees can attend panels from Maine and Maine-connected writers and can participate in activities made for all ages. The Festival highlights these writers and their works in the fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children’s genres.

The festival will kick off Friday, Oct. 13 at the Gracie Theatre with a screening of I Know A Man… Ashley Bryan. A film by Richard Kane and Robert Shetterly, I Know A Man will begin at 7:30 p.m. following a light reception at 7 p.m. Ashley Bryan, who currently lives on Cranberry Islands, is a poet/ illustrator of over 50 children’s books and makes sea glass windows and puppets inspired by his African culture. The showing is sponsored by WERU, Husson’s Alumni and Friends, Husson’s College of Science and Humanities and the Gracie Theatre.  

On Saturday, at the Bangor Public Library, there will be a series of panelists who will discuss their works and ideas with Festival attendees regarding the outdoors, food and literature in Maine.

At 10 a.m. will be the Fun in the Outdoors All Year Round panel with speakers Aislinn Sarnacki and Hilary Nangle. The two authors, writers of Family “Friendly Hikes in Maine” and “Moon Guides” respectively, will share tips and strategies for getting outside all year, and will share some of their favorite outdoor adventures.

Following the Outdoors panel at 11 a.m., cookbook authors Christine Burns Rudalevige, Sarah Walker Caron and L.E. Barrett will talk about how to eat locally, especially in the winter, and the ways it poses challenges for Mainers at their Eating Local in Maine panel. This will coincide with the children’s author panel with Fran Hodgkins.

A retired Army officer and senior administrator for the Department of Veterans Affairs, L.E. Barrett has published numerous works including two poetry collections, a collection of short stories, a play and two historical pulp fiction novels- with a third coming out soon. He has written three indigenous plan cookbooks called “Fiddlemainia”, “The Blueberry Coast” and “The Dandelion Conspiracy”.

At 1 p.m. there will be a young adult panel with Gillian French and Carrie Jones as well as the memoir panel with Jen Waite, author of “A Beautiful, Terrible Thing”, a memoir about her suspicions surrounding her possibly psychopath husband.

At 2 p.m., Joan Dempsey will lead a fiction panel and Bill Roorbach will finish the day with an author talk at 3 p.m.

Roorbach is the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction, including “Big Bend”, “Into Woods”, “Summers with Juliet”, “Temple Stream”, “Life Among Giants” and “The Remedy for Love”. His work has been featured in numerous publications including Harper’s Bazaar and the New York Times Magazine as well as NPR’s Selected Shorts. For more information on Bill, visit

For more information on the Festival or activities occurring during the event, visit

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