What You Need To Know About The Inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival

Calling all book worms! The inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival (SFLF) will run from May 20 to 23, when notable literati from around the country will descend on the destination to participate in an exchange of ideas about story writing and societal issues. With a line-up of some of the world’s best authors, such as George R.R. Martin, Colson Whitehead, Margaret Atwood, and more, the weekend is poised to be a celebration of literary greats at a destination that honors creative spirits.

The Santa Fe Literary Festival will take place downtown at the Santa Fe Convention Center and feature over 40 events, ranging from panel discussions and author talks, to lunches with influential chefs and culinary authors, literary walks, and cocktail receptions.

Rich in cultural diversity, creativity, and dazzling light, Santa Fe will be home to this new four-day festival dedicated to celebrating a shared love of language and ideas. Some of the world’s most accomplished storytellers will explore an array of issues, such as politics, race, immigration, the environment, food, sustainability, and more at a time of extraordinary change.

Kicking off Friday evening, May 20, 2022, with keynote speaker, Colson Whitehead, the festival will then host an entire long weekend of programming, including large and small lectures and conversations, lunches with celebrated chefs and cookbook authors, and walking tours with acclaimed authors.

In addition, a community stage will feature a Santa Fe youth poetry slam presented by the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, as well as a range of other inspired free programming. On Monday, festival goers will have a chance to experience Northern New Mexico during a series of small-group, full-and half-day excursions with authors exploring their favorite topics while touring cultural treasures and spectacular landscapes. The Santa Fe Literary Festival’s goal is to feed creative and culinary appetites and send festival goers back into the world inspired.

Some notable events include:

  • On Stage with Colson Whitehead: Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead, author of Harlem Shuffle, The Nickel Boys, and The Underground Railroad.
  • On Stage with Margaret Atwood: The legendary Booker Prize–winning master of speculative fiction, poetry, essays, power feminism and more.
  • A Long Friendship: On Stage with Sandra Cisneros and Joy Harjo: Bestselling author Sandra Cisneros and U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo met nearly 50 years ago at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. These iconic authors will share stories of personal evolution, marvel at the shape their lives and work have taken, and offer reflections on the state of the world.
  • On Stage with George R.R. Martin: George R.R. Martin—novelist, screenwriter, producer, and author of the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted into the HBO series Game of Thrones—in conversation with friend and bestselling author Douglas Preston.
  • Panel Discussion: Where Do We Go from Here? A discussion with revered author and conservationist William deBuys and Roshi Joan Halifax, social activist and Buddhist teacher, on moving forward in a time of global crisis. Moderated by Louise Boyle, international correspondent for The Independent.
  • On Stage with John Grisham: Global bestselling author John Grisham, master of the legal thriller, in conversation with friend and fellow New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides.

You can also extend your experience with Literary Day Trips and Community Literary Events. Santa Fe’s fabled blue skies and fresh air inspire festival goers to take a deeper dive into the city and Northern New Mexico environs. A series of full- and half-day excursions on Monday, May 23, give you the chance to extend your stay, join an author, and experience the area’s cultural treasures and spectacular landscapes.

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