Close this search box.

Building Community Through the Arts

2022 Festival of Books Schedule

MASKS will be required inside the building throughout the Festival. Thank you for your cooperation.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 3:00-8:00pm

Academy members get early access to the book sale. Free for members, $10 for member’s guest. Memberships will be for sale at the door or online.

Refreshments will be served during evening hours.


Free Admission

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 10:00am-6:00pm
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 10:00am-4:00pm
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 10:00am-2:00pm

More than 15,000 affordable, gently used books, CDs, DVDs, LPs and audio books sorted and displayed for easy browsing. Special Book Room filled with first edition, out-of-print, collectible books, and an extensive collection of jazz and Ellsworth Kelly art books. Teachers with ID get a 20% discount on most books (excluding Special Book Room & guest author books).


Free Admission

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 10:00-11:30am

Meet and greet Elephant & Piggie, fun-loving friends in two dozen books by award-winning author and illustrator Mo Willems. Kids can have pictures taken with the costumed characters, get crafty with Elephant & Piggie-related art activities, and listen to the duo’s stories read by librarian and storyteller Ann Gainer.


Free Admission



James Shapiro, Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us About Our Past and Future

The acclaimed author of award-winning books on Shakespeare discusses his latest work, Shakespeare in a Divided America. The narrative spans all of American history, from the Revolution to present day, and reveals how no writer has been more embraced, more weaponized, or has shed more light on hot-button issues in our history than Shakespeare. Joining Shapiro in conversation will be Carl Atkins, Festival Committee Co-Chair and author of several works on Shakespeare, including Shakespeare’s Sonnets Among His Private Friends.


Young Writers Contest winners Taibat Ahmed, Arianna Camacho and Amanda Gutierrez read their winning entries.

Moderated by Carol Essert, coordinator of the 2022 Young Writers Contest.


Jean Hanff Korelitz, The Latecomer

The Latecomer is a layered and immersive novel about three siblings, desperate to escape one another, and the upending of their family by the late arrival of a fourth. It touches on the topics of grief and guilt, generational trauma, privilege and race, traditions and religion, and is a profound and witty family story from an accomplished author, known for the depth of her character studies. The New York Times calls The Latecomer “compulsively readable and thought-provoking” and “a Gilded Age novel for the 21st century.” Joining her in conversation will be Alexis Schaitkin, author of Elsewhere and Saint X.



Mayukh Sen, Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America

A James Beard award-winning writer weaves together histories of food, immigration and gender told through the lives of seven pathbreaking chefs and food writers. Hailed by NPR, Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Food Network and others, the group biography portrays women who arrived from Mexico, Italy, Jamaica and elsewhere and left indelible imprints on how Americans eat today. Sen both honors the pioneers and raises probing questions about why some were famous in their time, and why they remain honored, or not, in our time. Joining the author in conversation will be Tamar Adler, chef and author of An Everlasting Meal and Something Old, Something New.


David Nasaw, The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War

Acclaimed historian David Nasaw’s The Last Million tells the gripping but hidden story of postwar displacement and the statelessness of refugees left behind in Germany after WWII. More than a million remained in Germany: Jews, Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, and others who refused to go home or had no homes to return to. Most eventually resettled elsewhere, but no nation, including the United States, accepted more than a handful of the 200,000 to 250,000 Jewish men, women, and children who remained trapped in Germany. When legislation permitted the immigration of displaced persons to the US, visas were granted to war criminals and Nazi collaborators, but denied to 90% of the Jewish displaced persons. Cecile Kuznitz, Associate Professor of History and Director of Jewish Studies at Bard College, will join the author in conversation.


Daphne Palasi Andreades, Brown Girls

The author’s collective narrator captures the “we” of girls of color’s common experiences growing up in urban, modern America and at the same time portrays their uniqueness, from skin color to ethnic identity to ambitions. The “boisterous and infectious debut novel” (The Guardian) traces their friendships forged in the vibrant borough of Queens, NY, through their aging and beyond, and their lives that are so different from those of their immigrant parents. Their loyalties tested, in the end they always return to each other and to Queens. Joining Andreades in conversation will be Julie DeLisle, former director of the Chatham Public Library.



The Art School of Columbia County will mount a tabletop display with the artwork of writer, mixed media and book artist Suzi Banks Baum. This display will feature handmade book arts, specifically paper making and Coptic Stitch binding pieces, which will be on exhibit throughout the festival. 

Suzi Banks Baum will be teaching a two-day book arts workshop in this uniquely functional and aesthetic style on September 17 and 18 at the Art School of Columbia County.


Six prize winners were chosen from 22 entries to the 2022 competition.

See the all winners and read their works.


Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. 

NYSCA logo

Scroll to Top