Please note, the list of speakers is constantly being updated. Check back often for additions, changes and cancellations.

Kenneth Ackerman

Trotsky in New York, 1917: A Radical on the Eve of Revolution

Kenneth Ackerman is the author of Trotsky in New York, 1917: A Radical on the Eve of Revolution and five other histories, including Boss Tweed. He has served a long legal career in Washington, D.C. inside and out of government, including as counsel to two U.S. Senate committees & posts in the Reagan & Clinton administrations. He continues to practice private law.

Speaker's Twitter Genre: Non-Fiction

Jennifer Ackerman

The Genius of Birds

Jennifer Ackerman, author of The Genius of Birds, has been writing about science, nature, and biology for almost three decades. She is the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Literature Fellowship for nonfiction, a Bunting Fellowship, and a grant from the Arthur P. Sloan Foundation.

Speaker's Website Genre: Non-Fiction

Kwame Alexander

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

Kwame Alexander, co-author of Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets, is a poet, educator, and author of twenty-one books for children, including The Crossover, which was awarded the 2015 Newbery Medal.

The founder of two literacy organizations, he regularly travels the world as a literacy advocate and expert. Currently the poet laureate of LitWorld, Alexander lives in Virginia.

Speaker's Website Speaker's Facebook Speaker's Twitter Genre: Children/Youth, Poetry

Jane Alison

Nine Island

Jane Alison, author of Nine Island, has written three other novels,The Love-Artist, The Marriage of the Sea, and Natives and Exotics; a memoir, The Sisters Antipodes; and a translation, Change Me: Stories of Sexual Transformation from Ovid. She is a professor and director of creative writing at UVa.

Speaker's Website Speaker's Facebook Genre: Fiction

Jeffery Renard Allen

Song of the Shank

Jeffery Renard Allen is the author of five books including the novel Song of the Shank, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award; the short story collection Holding Pattern, and two collections of poetry. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of Virginia.

Speaker's Website Genre: Fiction

Jennifer Alluisi

Jennifer Alluisi is the organizer of the Good Reads and Good Eats book club in Charlottesville. She is a lifelong book-lover who spends most of her free time reading at home with her husband and daughter and watching Gilmore Girls re-runs.

Speaker's Twitter Genre: Fiction

Tom Angleberger

Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Strip Mall!

Tom Angleberger is the author of Rocket and Groot: Stranded on Planet Strip Mall. He also wrote the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling Origami Yoda series as well as Fake MustacheHorton Halfpott, and the Qwikpick Papers series. He lives with his wife in Christiansburg, Va.

Speaker's Website Genre: Children/Youth

Hannah Assadi


Hannah Lillith Assadi, author of Sonora, received her master of fine arts degree in fiction from the Columbia University School of the Arts, where she was granted a Woolrich Award. Raised in Arizona by her Jewish-American mother and Palestinian father, she now lives in Brooklyn.

Speaker's Website Genre: Fiction

Edward Ayers

America's War

Edward Ayers is the author of In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America, winner of the Bancroft Prize, and The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction, finalist for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize.

Genre: Non-Fiction