Literary events on tap at Easthampton Book Fest

  • Nitish Bhatnagar, 4½, of Westfield gets an answer from artist John Landino to a question he posed about one of Landino's works hanging from the ceiling at the Mill Arts Project gallery in Eastworks during last year’s Easthampton Book Fest. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Published: 4/12/2018 9:56:02 PM

EASTHAMPTON — All things literary are headed to the fourth annual Easthampton Book Fest this weekend, including a mayoral announcement of the first-ever Easthampton poet laureate.

Mayor Nicole LaChapelle will present the new poet laureate, Gary Metras, at White Square Books on Cottage Street on Saturday afternoon at 2:30.

Pasqualina Azzarello, city arts coordinator at Easthampton City Arts and an organizer of the book fest, said Easthampton has a long-standing history and tradition of literary artists that the book fest planning team wanted to acknowledge with the new poet laureate award.

She said the award is based on the writer’s talent and poetry, but is also a way to acknowledge community engagement and the ways in which literary arts can be used as a platform to strengthen and better the community.

“As small as we are, we have an incredible number of poets, writers, presses, bookstores,” she said. “What better way to acknowledge that than to create an award supported by the Mass. Cultural Council?”

The Easthampton Poet Laureate award is funded by the Easthampton Cultural Council, with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The first winner is a poet who has lived in Easthampton for 40 years and who is described in his book fest bio as a poet, printer, publisher, teacher and fly fisherman.

Metras is the author of “White Storm,” winner of the Split Oak Press Poetry Chapbook Award, “Two Bloods: Fly Fishing Poems” and “Francis d”Assisi,” which was a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award. He also founded Adastra Press in Easthampton, which prints and publishes short collections of contemporary poetry using the methods of the antique book arts, letterpress printing, and hand-sewn bindings.

Along with the announcement of the new poet laureate, the book fest will feature literature-focused events from Friday evening through Sunday morning, with the majority of events taking place throughout the day on Saturday in the Mill District and Cottage Street area.

Azzarello highlighted an artist talk and reception for a program called Volume, which showcases and highlights fine art bookbinders in the Pioneer Valley. That reception will take place at White Square Books on Cottage Street at 7 p.m. Friday.

She also said to look out for the Pioneer Valley Zine Fest at Flywheel Arts Collective at 11 a.m. Saturday, a 2:30 p.m. poetry reading by Anastasia Keck at the ECA Gallery on Saturday, and the Pulp Slam’s Poetry Performance Workshop at noon on Saturday at Luthier’s Co-op.

“We want to highlight all the amazing work being done in Easthampton,” Azzarello said.

A full schedule of events can be found on the Easthampton Book Fest 2018 Facebook page. All events are family-friendly and free of charge.

M.J. Tidwell can be reached at
Sign up for our free email updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Headlines
Daily Hampshire Gazette Contests & Promotions
Daily Hampshire Gazette Evening Top Reads
Daily Hampshire Gazette Breaking News
Daily Hampshire Gazette Obits
Daily Hampshire Gazette Sports
Daily Hampshire Gazette PM Updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Weekly Top Stories
Valley Advocate Newsletter
Daily Hampshire Gazette Dining & Entertainment


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

23 Service Center Road
Northampton, MA 01060


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy