The festival, billed as a “Literary Smorgasbord,” is produced by the local literary arts non-profit Keep St. Pete Lit, in concert with and sponsored by a wide range of local businesses, organizations and municipal entities.
Starting with a kick-off party at the Chihuly Collection in downtown St. Petersburg on Thursday, April 11, the festival continues through Saturday, April 27, and will include 24 events that range from a performance highlighting the Stonewall Riots to children’s poetry night hike at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.
“We have stuff for kids, we have bilingual events, LGBTQ and African American-focused events,” said Maureen McDole, executive director of the SunLit Festival and founder of Keep St. Pete Lit. “It’s truly a showcase for the talent and diversity in our community.”
Are majority of the 24 events are free to the public, said McDole, and all are welcome.
“It goes to show that literature goes everywhere,” McDole said. “We really want to be inclusive, no matter your background or age.”
Gulfport will also be a part of the festival Friday, April 19 from 7 to 10 p.m. with the official dedication of Trolley Market Square as an historic site, including a new walking tour that will showcase stops on the original trolley line, and feature the unveiling of a new historical marker. The event is co-sponsored by the city of Gulfport and the Gulfport Merchants Chamber.
“The night of April 19 is the first time that the tour and story will be told,” said event coordinator Cathy Salustri. “We’re also going to have music from the Urban Gypsies and kid’s activities.”
Here’s the List
Thursday, April 11 – SunLit Festival Kick-off Party
Saturday, April 13 – Downtown Tour with a Literary Twist, Ekphrastic Performance inspired by Quest: A Celebration of Glass and Children’s Poetry Night Hike
Sunday, April 14 – Wordier’s 1K Walk and Write (or Read)
Monday, April 15 – Author Talk with Paul Wilborn
Tuesday, April 16 – Howl: A Night of Poetry and Music
Wednesday, April 17 – Creative Loafing’s (F’n) Fiction Contest Award Ceremony
Thursday, April 18 – Poem in Your Pocket Day Art Installation, Lector Social Club w/ Cigar City Journal and Staged Reading of Art People
Friday, April 19 – Porch Party: Gulfport Trolley
Saturday, April 20 – Baked in the Florida Sun: A Benefit for Keep St. Pete Lit
Monday, April 22 – A Celebration of the Erotic
Tuesday, April 23 – Literary Trivia Night and Costume Contest
Wednesday, April 24 – The Long and Short of It: The Relevance of Dark Fiction & Horror in Our Time
Thursday, April 25 – Literary Carousel at MFA
Friday, April 26 – Sunday April 28 – Antiquarian Book Fair
Friday, April 26 – Poets & Lizards: A SunLit Celebration of New Southern Writing and “One In Ten”
Saturday, April 27 – KidsLit!: Poetry in the Gardens; Writers, Authors, and Winners; Not Just Music: A Sonic Journey; and Rob Sanders Stonewall Book Performance and Reading
For more information, including a detailed schedule, visit keepstpetelit.org/sunlit-festival.