3rd Annual SunLit Festival

St. Petersburg SunLit Festivavl

3rd Annual SunLit Festival Sponsors

SunLit Festival – April 10-25, 2017

Literary and other arts & cultural circles intersect during the third annual SunLit Festival, a springtime celebration of the written word. SunLit Festival 2017 brings together various literary organizations and arts disciplines to celebrate literacy, literature, reading, and writing for days of intoxicating “Litertainment” and just plain fun.

Literature represents a moment in time. It is an exploration of our history, an expression of our experiences and of the life that surrounds us. It is a discussion of who we are, how we got that way and what choices we can make to shape our future.

See below for this year’s schedule of events in calendar order. It’s a literary smorgasbord. Gorge yourself.

You can also download a printable copy of the full schedule here.

Keep St. Pete Lit is proud to be partnering with St. Petersburg Art Alliance, Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, Palladium Theater, Dali Museum, St. Petersburg City Theater, Morean Arts Center, Chihuly Collection, Haslam’s Book Store, Inkwood Books, AIGA Tampa Bay, Literacy Council of St. Petersburg, Warehouse Arts District, Soft Water Studios, Studio @ 620, St. Petersburg Preservation, Todd Bates Creative, Craftsman House Gallery, Unscripted Theater, Tampa Bay Times, TBT Festival of Reading, NYT Bestselling Author Lisa Unger, Ya La’ford, Kristy Andersen, Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, Wordier Than Thou, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, Friends of Main Library St. Pete, Behar + Peteranecz Architecture, Friends of the Mirror Lake Library, Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts, First Draft Tampa, Black Crow Coffee Roasting, and Calusa Press for the 2017 SunLit Festival.

Thank you to our sponsors: Tampa Bay Times, Chihuly Collection, Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, St. Petersburg Art Alliance, Morean Arts Center, Festival of Reading, Jeremiah Khokhar Photography, Kathleen McDole, Patricia Hubbard, Barbara Poore, Coast Bike Share, and J. Clayton Pruitt Foundation.

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SunLit Full Schedule

Click each event title below for more details

Come celebrate the kickoff of the 3rd Annual SunLit Festival! Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, as you explore the new home of the Chihuly Collection.

The SunLit Festival brings together over 30 cultural organizations and businesses for 15 days of “Litertainment.” It runs April 10-25, 2017.

We will have guest speakers including:
Roy Peter Clark, Former VP of Poynter Institute; Lisa Unger, NYT Times Bestselling Author; Bob Devin Jones, Studio@620; Collette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times Book Editor; and Ray Hinst, of Haslam’s Book Store.

There will be featured storytellers sharing their love of books including:
David Warner, Editor of Creative Loafing; Lisa L. Kirchner, founder of True Stories, and more.

We will also be giving out the 2017 SunLit Award!

Music by JJ Pattishall.

Produced by Keep St. Pete Lit
Contact: Maureen McDole (727) 798-4530
Location: Chihuly Gallery- 720 Central Ave.
Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Cost: $30.00
(Proceeds will support Keep St. Pete Lit’s summer writing camp for kids at Morean Center for Clay.)
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/170455556798389/

Opening remarks begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by the author’s talk.

A reception and book signing is from 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
(Seating is available starting at 5:00 p.m.)

Craig Pittman is the New York Times bestselling author of OH FLORIDA! HOW AMERICA’S WEIRDEST STATE INFLUENCES THE REST OF THE COUNTY and three other books as well as an award-winning journalist. He is a native Floridian and in 2013 wrote a popular blog for Slate called “Oh, Florida! ” which became the genesis for this book, and which led to his appearance on TV and radio discussing why Florida is so odd and entertaining. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children. For more info: https://www.amazon.com/Oh-Florida-Americas-Weirdest-Influences/dp/1250071208

Produced by Friends of the Mirror Lake Library and Keep St. Pete Lit
Contact: (813) 767-5503
Location: Mirror Lake Library (second floor), 280 5th Street North
Time: 5:30-7:00pm
Cost: Free
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/211678502637276/

This is the same First Draft Tampa in a new location as part of SunLit Festival! We will have booked readers as well as audience-interactive storytelling activities. The theme for this event is “heat.” Come out ready to hear readings and maybe tell a story of your own.

Contact: (727) 329-6290
Location: Unscripted Theater- 14 18th St S.
Time: 7:00pm
Cost: Free
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/352681401793067/?ti=icl

Come and enjoy an hour and a half of reading and writing in the comfort (and silence) of the Metta Center of St. Petersburg. Phones and electronic devices will be checked at the door.

Bring the book you’re reading, the book you’ve been meaning to start, or choose one from Metta Center’s many bookshelves. You may also choose to write — bring a notebook or journal. No laptops.

Produced by: Metta Center of St. Petersburg and Keep St. Pete Lit
Contact: (727) 771-5656
Location: Metta Center- 4554 Central Ave. Unit F
Time: 7:30-9:00pm
Cost: Donation appreciated.
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/147284492446335/

Every person in the audience has the chance to tell a story. Put your name in the fucket bucket, and if you’re called you get five minutes to tell your real-life story. No props. No notes. The audience picks the “best” story of the night. Random prizes will be awarded…Admission is FREE. But order something from the bar for gods’ sake. Each month one storyteller is featured.

The theme for April will be GOODBYES, our featured teller is Frank Wells. Get there early to grab a seat and a bite and get your name in the fucket bucket for a chance to tell your own story.

So you. Prepare a five-minute story about the time you said goodbye to someone or something. Was it the best thing you ever did, or the biggest mistake of your life. Hey, if we can help make your reconciliation (or bitter comeuppance) possible, we’re all about that.

Produced by: Keep St. Pete Lit and hosted by Lisa L. Kirchner
Contact: Maureen McDole (727) 798-4530
Location: Iberian Rooster- 475 Central Ave.
Time: 9:00-11:00pm
Cost: Free
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1925944650974440/

These two short films enhance enjoyment of The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip. Director Robert Frank is one of the major figures represented in that exhibition. With special introduction by David Amram, who composed the score for Pull My Daisy and appears in This Song for Jack.

Cash Bar. Complimentary Snacks.

Pull My Daisy
©Robert Frank, 1959

This film offers a look at the soul of the beat generation, made with writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg and painters Alfred Leslie, Larry Rivers, and Alice Neel. It was written and narrated by Kerouac, based on his unproduced play The Beat Generation.

Pull My Daisy tells the story of a bishop (Richard Bellamy) and his mother (Alice Neel) who pay a visit to Milo, a railroad worker. At the same time, his poet friends, Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, and Gregory Corso quiz the bishop about the meaning of life and its relationship to art and poetry.

This Song for Jack
©Robert Frank, 1983

Robert Frank shot this footage at “On the Road: The Jack Kerouac Conference,” held at the Naropa Institute, Boulder, Colorado, from July 23-August 1, 1982. It features William Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Edie Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Abbie Hoffman, and composer David Amram, among many others.

About David Amram

David Amram is one of America’s most gifted composers and conductors. In 1957, he created and performed in the first ever jazz/poetry readings in New York City with novelist Jack Kerouac, a close friend with whom he worked for more than 12 years. Offbeat: Collaborating With Kerouac (2005) is one of his three memoirs.

He was appointed by Leonard Bernstein as the first Composer-in-Residence for the New York Philharmonic in 1966. In addition to Pull My Daisy (1959), he wrote the music for the films Splendor in the Grass (1960) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). He also composed the scores for Joseph Papp’s Shakespeare in the Park productions from 1956-1967 and again collaborated with the famous director on Twelfth Night in 1968. He is currently working on a double concerto for violin, cello, and orchestra; a string orchestra version of his Greenwich Village Portraits; and a ballet piece for the legendary Jacques d’Amboise.

Contact: Mary Szaroleta, Associate Curator of Public Programs (727) 896-2667 Ext. 220.
Location: Museum of Fine Arts- 255 Beach Dr. NE
Time: 6:00pm
Cost: $5.00 or free with MFA membership
For more info: http://mfastpete.org

Poetry at The Dali is an ongoing series hosted by St. Petersburg Poet Laureate, Helen Wallace. Occurring on the second Thursday of each month through May 2017, each evening will feature Wallace joined by selected poets to present poems addressing the theme of Food and Sustenance. Following the presentation, there will be an audience Q&A.

Host: Helen Pruitt Wallace
Helen has been selected to serve as Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg beginning in January 2016. Her first collection of poems, Shimming the Glass House (published by Ashland Poetry Press) won the Richard Snyder Prize for Poetry and a bronze Florida Book Award. She served as co-editor of the anthology Isle of Flowers published by Anhinga Press, and individual poems have been published in several journals and anthologies. She’s received a McKay Shaw Academy of American Poets Award, The dA Center for the Arts Poetry Award, a residency fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She earned her Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing from Florida State University, and teaches poetry and nonfiction at Eckerd College. She and her husband Peter both grew up in St. Petersburg, and raised their children here.

Poet: Jane Hirshfield, Prize-winning International Poet, Translator and Essayist
Jane Hirshfield’s poetry speaks to the central issues of human existence—desire and loss, impermanence and beauty, the many dimensions of our connection with others and the wider community of creatures and objects with which we share our lives. Demonstrating with quiet authority what it means to awaken into the full capacities of attention, her work sets forth a hard-won affirmation of our human fate. Described by The New York Times as “radiant and passionate” and by other reviewers as “ethically aware,” “insightful and eloquent,” and as conveying “succinct wisdom,” her subjects range from the metaphysical and passionate to the political, ecological, and scientific to subtle unfoldings of daily life and experience. Her book of essays on the “mind of poetry” and her several collections presenting and co-translating the work of poets from the past have become classics in their fields. An intimate, profound, and generous master of her art, Hirshfield has taught at UC Berkeley, Duke University, Bennington College, and elsewhere, and her many appearances at writers’ conferences and literary festivals in this country and abroad have been highly acclaimed.

Jane Hirshfield is the author of eight collections of poetry, including the newly published The Beauty (Knopf, 2015); Come, Thief; After (shortlisted for England’s T.S. Eliot Prize and named a “best book of 2006” by the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the London Financial Times); Given Sugar, Given Salt (finalist for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award); The Lives of the Heart; and The October Palace, as well as two books of essays, the recently published Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (Knopf, 2015), which was awarded the Northern California Book Award for Creative Nonfiction, and Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. She has also edited and co-translated four books containing the work of poets from the past: The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Komachi & Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Japanese Court; Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women; Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems; and The Heart of Haiku, on Matsuo Basho, named an Amazon Best Book of 2011.

Hirshfield’s other honors include The Poetry Center Book Award; fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets; Columbia University’s Translation Center Award; and (both twice) The California Book Award and the Northern California Book Reviewers Award. In 2012 she was received the Donald Hall-Jane Kenyon Prize in American Poetry.

Hirshfield’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Times Literary Supplement, Harper’s, The Nation, Orion, The American Poetry Review, Poetry, eight editions of The Best American Poetry, five Pushcart Prize Anthologies, and many other publications. Her work frequently appears on Garrison Keillor’s “Writers Almanac” program and she has been featured in two Bill Moyers PBS television specials. In fall 2004, Jane Hirshfield was awarded the 70th Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by The Academy of American Poets, an honor formerly held by such poets as Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Elizabeth Bishop. In 2012, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

“Jane Hirshfield is one of our finest, most memorable contemporary poets.”–The American Poet

Contact: (727) 823-3767
Location: Dali Museum- One Dali Blvd.
Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Cost: Free
For more info: http://thedali.org/event/poetry-at-the-dali-7/

The Studio@620 honors the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s legacy with “Voodoo Macbeth”, inspired by Orson Welles’ historic 1936 production. For those unfamiliar, the play centers on a brave Scottish general named Macbeth who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland.

An all African American cast directed by Bob Devin Jones, will include local notables Sharon Scott, Kylin Brady, Nadine Smith, James L. Lincoln, and Cranstan Cumberbatch, and features Erica Sutherlin as Lady Macbeth and Calvin M. Thompson as Macbeth. A soundscape composed of percussion and live sound effects and a creative installation of the set by artist Ya La Ford will add to this unique dramatization!

Contact: 727-895-6620
Location: Studio@620- 620 1st Ave S.
MATINEE PERFORMANCES: Sundays April 16, and 23 and Saturday April 15 at 3:00pm
EVENING PERFORMANCES: Thursdays April 13 and 20 at 7:00 PM; Fridays April 14 and 22 at 7:00 PM; Saturday April 22 at 7:00 PM
Cost: $25 General Admission / $20 Students and Seniors
For more info: http://www.thestudioat620.org/events/the-macbeth-project-2017

In classrooms and auditoriums across the country, theatre and spoken word bring reading and writing to life in ways that words on a page truly cannot. Our theatrical teens display their unique and creative vehicles to add another dimension to their favorite passages. Watch them bring the written word to life in a free pre-show from 6-7. Then stay and see the teen performance of “The Little Shop of Horrors” at 7PM for $12 a ticket.

Contact: (727) 866-1973
Location: St. Petersburg City Theater- 4025 31st St. S.
Time: 6:00-7:00pm
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.spcitytheatre.org/teen-musical-theatre-city-theatre-ratz/

At age 86, David Amram is still writing, playing and improvising. Said the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns, “Amram seems to have taken a lesson from practically everything.” Indeed, Amram began his professional music career in the early ‘50s playing the French horn for symphonies, as well as with legendary jazz bands including Mingus, Gillespie and Hampton. Appointed in the late 50s by the New York Phil’s Leonard Bernstein as that orchestra’s first composer in residence, Amram also composed scores for, well, scores of award-winning films and theatrical productions as well as his own, influenced by friends, artists, cultures, the world.

Whatever Amram has in store for fortunate audiences at the Palladium’s intimate Side Door on this evening, will be rare and singular. As an iconic member of the “Beats,” Amram was thought of by many as the unofficial mayor of Greenwich Village. He hung with and played with jazz greats Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk, and accompanied Jack Kerouac on any number of instruments while the author read from his poetry and other writings. With a catalogue of mammoth proportions, some of his most recent compositions, classical and otherwise, are based on stories by Willa Cather, Zora Neale Hurston and Kerouac.

On this concert, no doubt, Amram will be sharing stories about Kerouac among many others, playing his music on an array of instruments he’s mastered over a lifetime of learning, and sharing an inspired evening unlike any other.

Accompanying will be Mark Feinman (drums), Alejandro Arenas (bass) and others.

Visit www.mypalladium.org or call our box office at 727-822-3590 to get tickets!

Box Office hours are Tuesday through Friday, 12pm-3pm.

Contact: 727-822-3590
Location: The Palladium at St. Petersburg College- 253 5th Ave N.
Time: 8:00pm
GENERAL ADMISSION: $25 in advance, $30 day of show
RESERVED: $40 (limited availability)
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/256344041481624/

St. Petersburg Preservation (SPP) and Keep St. Pete Lit are partnering to offer this fun tweak to SPP’s traditional downtown walking tour, a historic tour with a literary twist! The tour will show off the special architecture found around Mirror Lake, including Lang’s Bungalow Court, the city’s hidden mini-neighborhood gem! During the tour, local writers will offer inspiration as they read from their work. The tour will start & end at the Mirror Lake Carnegie Library, a special building that celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2015! All in all, it makes for a great morning!

Contact: (727) 824-7802
Location: Start at Mirror Lake Library- 280 5th St. N
Time: 10:00am-12:00pm
Cost: $10 for non-members, FREE for SPP members
For more info: http://www.stpetepreservation.org/event-2485034

Submitted for your approval, a night of passionate literary abandon and brutal verbal competition! Lucha Libro is returning to the SunLit festival! Our daring typewriter gladiators will go head-to-head to create original works of sparkling literary genius before your very eyes! In each round, writers will have five minutes to write to a randomly chosen subject, they will then read their fresh new work, and a winner will be chosen! Eight writers will be eliminated down to one final champion! Don’t miss it!

Contact: Cole Bellamy (352) 206 0527.
Location: Soft Water Studios- 515 22nd St. S.
Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Cost: Free
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/485443761845590/

JUMP AT THE SUN is the life story of Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960), a literary maverick who gained stature in death as the writer of “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”

Zora’s hometown was Eatonville, Florida, the first incorporated all-black town in America. Her mother advised 13-year-old Zora to “jump at the sun” and she went on to become a novelist, the first black graduate of Barnard, and a rebel above all. Hurston journeyed through the Jim Crow South in the 1920s with a pearl-handled pistol tucked under the seat of her Model-A, gathering folk tales in backwoods towns. “This stuff won’t be around long,” she prophesied. She apprenticed as a voodoo priestess in New Orleans, and un-earthed the poisonous secret of the zombie trance in Haiti. At the height of her career, she published seven books in ten years. A woman who spoke her mind, she was shunned by race champions who considered her romantic views of the south out of touch with their goals to assimilate. Hurston died in poverty in Ft. Pierce, Florida in an unmarked grave but black women launched a renaissance of interest in her work and life in the 1970s. Today, Zora’s iconic novel about a woman’s search to find her voice has been published the world over, in eleven languages.

Producer/Writer Kristy Andersen spent eighteen years researching and gathering materials to make the film for PBS’ American Masters, which won an EMMY for Outstanding Nonfiction Series that year. The film was screened in many festivals, as well as the Louvre in Paris and the National Gallery of Art. It was part of the Southern Circuit film tour, won Best Educational Film at the Montreal Film Festival, and a Silver Award at the 33rd Philadelphia International Film Festival.

Kristy Andersen, a Florida-based filmmaker, has won many awards, including an EMMY and grants from NEA, NEH, Ford Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. She is currently producing SNOWBIRD, a documentary on Jack Kerouac’s life travels between Florida and New York; and GROWING UP POSITIVE, a film about peri-natal HIV. She is also finishing her masters at USFSP in Florida Studies.

Lois Gaston is the great-niece of Zora Neale Hurston, and was President of HCC in Ybor City for sixteen years. Gaston’s grandfather was Zora’s brother. She is currently a Trustee for the Zora Neale Hurston Trust, and lives in Valrico, FL.

Contact: Kristy Andersen 813-390-3582
Location: Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum- 2240 9th Ave S.
Time: 7:00pm
Cost: Free
For more info:

Wordier Than Thou presents the fourth annual Fiction, LIVE! This event teams up Tampa Bay area actors and authors – the writers submit short stories, while actors bring them to life on stage.

Contact: Tiffany Razzano (516) 906-2140
Location: Studio@620- 620 1st Ave S.
Time: 7:00-9:30pm
Cost: $10 in advance; $12 at the door. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Wordier Than Thou Writers Project.
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/455657291491044/

Come celebrate National Poetry Month at the SunLit Festival.

Celebrated Saint Petersburg poets:
Peter Meinke (Poet Laureate of Florida), Helen Pruitt Wallace (Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg), & Gloria Muñoz (Eckerd College and LitSpace Faculty) will read alongside Keep St. Pete Lit’s 2017 LitSpace Writer in Residence, Alison Stone in an unforgettable evening of poetry.

The reading will be followed by a Q&A discussion and book signings. Refreshments will be available for donation.

Produced by: Keep St. Pete Lit
Contact: Maureen McDole (727) 798-4530
Location: Chihuly Collection -720 Central Ave
Time: 7:00pm
Cost: Free
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/212623262551553/

Photography from the MFA archives comes alive through the art of the “Ekphrastic,” a literary interpretation of a piece of visual art. Hand-picked images get the prose and poetry treatment, read live to you. Come join us for this one-of-a-kind event for Literature and Photography Lovers alike!

Participating writers:
Leonora LaPeter
Stephanie Hayes
Ben Montgomery
David Warner
Paul Wilborn
Sandra Gadsden
Julie Garisto
Steph Post

Inspired by the experience of an old-fashioned slideshow, the Carousel series allows bay area photographers to present work before a live audience, promoting discussion and strengthening our local arts network. For this very special Literary Carousel at the MFA, the photos will be selected from the photographic collection at the Museum of Fine Arts and paired with local writers.

Produced by: Todd Bates Creative
Contact: (727) 896-2667
Location: Museum of Fine Arts- 255 Beach Dr. NE
Time: 6:30–8:00pm
Cost: $5.00 or free with MFA membership
For more info:

The book fair is the third largest in the country and features more than one hundred specialized book sellers from all over the United States.

Visitors will find books of every age and about every conceivable topic. Additional materials found at the Fair include maps, prints, postcards, ephemera, autographs and other paper collectibles. Items range in price from a few dollars to several hundred thousand dollars.

Contact: (727) 234-7759
Location: St. Petersburg Coliseum- 535 4th Ave N.
Friday, April 21: 5:00-9:00pm
Saturday, April 22: 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, April 23: 11:am-4:00pm
Cost: Friday evening’s admission, which includes a live music performance, is $10; the ticket is good for the entire weekend. Saturday’s admission is $10 for the weekend or $6 for the day. Sunday’s admission is $6 for the day and includes a free appraisal by members of the Florida Bibliophile Society. Children 12 and under, and students with valid identification, are free. Parking is free. Ticket sales benefit the St Petersburg Public Library.
Discount tickets: http://www.FloridaBookFair.blogspot.com/
For more info:

Adult Spelling Bee Fundraiser for Literacy Council of St. Petersburg

Teams of adults will compete to determine the best spellers in St. Pete – and all for a good cause! Team registrations and attendance support the Literacy Council of St. Petersburg.

Get a team together and compete! Each round, your team will have a specified period of time to spell a word. Correct spelling will earn points, incorrect spelling will lose points and the team with the most points will be crowned champions (really, you’ll get a medal…). Theatricality, team names and costumes are encouraged!

You can support the Literacy Council by joining us that evening and cheer on the spellers!

Doors will open at 6:30. Spelling will begin at 7:00 and will end by 9:30. Children are welcome but please keep in mind this is an event that involves sitting and listening to people spell…so you know if your kids will be into that or not.

Produced by: Literacy Council of St. Petersburg
Contact: (727) 521-1117
Location: Sunshine Center- 330 5th St. N
Time: 6:30-9:30pm
Cost: $100 per team of two to four adults. Register your team at www.universe.com/adultspellingbee General public: $10 for adult, $7 for children 12 and under.
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1252546574825098/

Meet likeminded creatives at Calusa Commons and discuss how design and literature impact and promote environmental awareness. Enjoy a light brunch with baked goods and coffee provided by Black Crow, then roll your own eco-friendly wood type print at Calusa Press. Admission is $10, includes complimentary brunch and print.

Contact: (727) 755-4657
Location: Calusa Commons – 2161 1st Ave S.
Time: 10:30-12:30pm
For more info:

Three St Petersburg writers will read from their latest publication, and answer your questions about the publishing world:

Jackie Minniti with her book Jacqueline.

Lori Roi with her book Let Me Die In His Footsteps.

Steph Post with her book Lightwood.

Winners will also be announced of the SunLit short story contest, a less than 2500 word short story beginning with the phrase “She/He walked away without so much as a backwards glance.” First place $100, Second place $50. Deadline to enter is midnight on April 17.

Produced by: Friends of the Main Library
Contact: For information on entering the short story contest or attending the event, contact Lorraine Franckle at (727) 698-3643 or email ljrmd@tampabay.rr.com
Location: St. Petersburg Public Library- 3746 9th Ave N.
Time: 2:00-4:00pm
Cost: Free
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1878315125786376/

Celebrate poetry with this unique event tailored especially for children. Local poets will read children’s poetry related to the wilds of the night. Limited space. RSVP required.

Contact: Andrea Leavitt Andersen (727) 893-7326.
Location: Boyd Hill Nature Preserve-1101 Country Club Way S.
Time: 7:30-8:30pm
Cost: $5 adults/ $3 children; Ages 3 and up; 25 max.
For more info:

Join Keep St. Pete Lit under the banyan trees next to the MFA for a city-wide read and write in! We will be giving out free kids books donated by the Educational Book and Media Association. Special appearance by NYT bestselling children’s book author, Sara Pennypacker.

Bring your picnic blankets, favorite books, or notepads. Relax in the grass and allow your imagination to bask in the sunshine and fresh air.

Invite your friends! Spread the word! Let’s pack the park with lovers of literature!

All ages are welcome.

Contact: Maureen McDole (727) 708-4530
Location: North Straub Park next to the MFA under the banyan trees.
Time: 2:00-4:00pm
Cost: Free
For more info:

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger and acclaimed artist Ya La’ford will appear at Behar + Peterancz Architecture to celebrate the release of THE RED HUNTER and offer an exhibit of La’ford’s paintings.

Friends and major figures of the Tampa Bay area arts community, Unger and La’ford bring their private conversations about art, story, process and life – and where it all intersects – to the stage. With an introduction by Susana Weymouth, Executive Director of Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts (TBBCA.)

Join in the synergy of our thriving local arts scene with this SunLit Festival main event, supported by Keep St. Pete Lit, TBBCA, The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance and the Warehouse Arts District Association.

Inkwood Books will be selling copies at the event. If you cannot attend but would like a signed book, contact them today to place your order at inkwoodbooks.com.

Contact/ RSVP: lisaunger.com/release-party
Location: Behar + Peteranecz Architecture- 2430 Terminal Drive S.
6:00pm- Reception and Exhibition
7:00pm- Discussion, Q&A and Book Signing Cost: Free. Valet parking will be provided.
For more info: