A Weekend of Reading: Vermont’s Green Mountain Book Festival

The three day event hits Burlington this weekend!


This weekend marks the beginning of Vermont’s very own Green Mountain Book Festival (GMBF), a three day long event consisting of panels, readings, book sales, and more. This event, according to the website, “promotes free thinking and expression, highlights diverse voices, and inspires a deeper self understanding.” 

The festival starts Friday, Sep. 23 with an opening ceremony at the Firehouse Art Gallery and dinner at the Hotel Vermont; however, these are specifically for the authors, sponsors, and donors. This event is not open to the public. 

The real show kicks off Saturday, Sep. 24 at 10:30 a.m. with a collection of readings and speeches given by the attending authors on a variety of topics in various locations at the Fletcher Free Library, located on College Street right downtown. These include genres such as historical fiction, mysteries, nonfiction, and more. 

GMBF will also hold a banned book reading on Saturday, a chance for attendees to read an excerpt from a banned book of their choice on the Fletcher Free Lawn from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Ruth Ozeki, a fiction author with a focus on science and religion, will be speaking at the Contois Auditorium downtown. Tickets for this event are $10, and $20 for an  admission package that comes with a copy of her most recent book, The Book of Form and Emptiness. Saturday’s closing event is Lit Night at the Lampshop, a restaurant located next door to Radio Bean, where from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., local literary groups will be reading and performing pieces of their choice. 

Sunday, Sep. 25 also has readings at the Fletcher Free Library beginning at 11 a.m., focusing mainly on poetry and its inner workings. These readings mainly focus on voices of people of color, Finding your Muse, and the Vermont Almanac. In the Fletcher Room from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., there is a poet brunch and book signing, which will be a casual event and a chance to chat with the poets. Sunday’s final event will be a talk with the Festival’s featured poets, Stephen Cramer and Shanta Lee Gander, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Each day will have varying book sales. Phoenix Books’ Mobile Store will be located inside the library all day both Saturday and Sunday with signed books by the Festival’s guest authors available. On top of that, the Burlington Writers’ Workshop Used Book Sale will be happening both days from 10 a.m. to3 p.m. in City Hall Park. Books at the Used Book Sale will be $2.00 each, ten for $10.00, or a whole bag for $20.00. 

The Green Mountain Book Festival provides many opportunities to learn something new about the specifics of different literary pieces, and to connect with local writers.