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Author! Author! Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance 35th Birthday Party

Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 5:30 PM (EDT)

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Author Dinner   more info Ended $200.00 $5.99
Champagne and Dessert Reception at the Portland Public Library   more info Ended $50.00 $2.24
After-Party Swing Dance at SPACE   more info Ended

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Event Details

Author! Author!

Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance 35th Birthday Party

Join Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance for a 35th birthday celebration in THREE CHAPTERS!

Chapter One:  They were seated at the table.

MWPA has partnered with eleven Portland restaurants and eleven authors of national distinction to celebrate MWPA's 35th birthday party with a series of intimate (10-guest) dinners.  This is your opportunity to share food and conversation with fascinating author personalities.  See below for the full menu of The New York Times bestsellers, winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and other similarly impressive honors.  There is LIMITED SEATING for this part of the program, so please book early to avoid disappointment.  (Note:  Dinner begins promptly at 5:30 PM and includes the champagne reception and after-party dance.) 

Chapter Two: The plot thickened. (With chocolate.)

Want to dress up?  Share some dessert?  Watch a presentation of MWPA's first 35 years?  Honor the people responsible for Maine's only statewide literary organization?  Hobnob with your favorite authors? 

Plan to celebrate in style at the newly-renovated Portland Public Library space for a champagne and dessert reception.  We'll say good-bye to executive director Shonna Humphrey, and we'll welcome the new director, Joshua Bodwell, in style!  (Note: Reception begins at 7 PM and includes entrance to the after-party dance.)

Chapter Three: They danced happily ever after.

Skip right to the back of the book and party with the sounds of The Fogcutters Big Band, Portland's 18-piece swing band!  Our hope is that authors will creep from their introverted selves and dance, dance, dance!  Best of all?  This event is "pay what you can!"  Suggested donation is $15, but if that's too much, donate an amount that works for you!  (Similarly, if you are feeling flush, pay your good fortune forward with a little extra! Dance starts at 8:30 PM.)


Author Dinner Menu


Ribollita with author Ann Beattie.  The author of seven novels and eight short story collection, Ann Beatie is one of the most celebrated and critically acclaimed authors of her generation. Considered an American master of the short story on par with John Cheever and John Updike, Ann appears in The Best American Short Stories of the Century.  Ann's brand new novella is entitled Walks with Men. Her other titles include Love Always, Distortions, and Chilly Scenes of Winter.  Her short work has appears regularly in The New Yorker.



Fore Street with author Jennifer Finney Boylan.  Ever wanted to know how it feels to be a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show?  Jenny's done that, and more than once!  Edward Albee said that her "levitating wit is wisely tethered to a humane concern…. I often broke into laughter, and was now and again, struck with wonder.”  We agree!  Jennifer's books include She's Not There, I'm Looking Through You, and Falcon Quinn and the Black Mirror


The Salt Exchange with author Paul Doiron.  Did you know that Paul wrote a screenplay that was adapted into a movie (Drop Dead Sexy) starring Crispin Glover and Jason Lee?  This was, of course, before he took the editorial reigns of Down East magazine and Down East Books.  Paul's also got that author story we love to hate:  his debut novel, The Poacher's Son, got immediate traction and propelled him into sure literary stardom. 


Back Bay Grill with author Richard Ford.  We were intimidated to call Richard, but it turns out, Back Bay Grill is his favorite Portland restaurant!  Let him guide you around chef Larry Matthews' award-winning menu with the same precision he uses to craft his prose.  Richard's books include Independence Day, the first-ever book to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. 


555 with author James Hayman.  Think it's too late to start a publishing career?  A few years ago, Jim's life took an abrupt shift.  He left his high-powered twenty-year career at a New York advertising agency, moved to Maine, and gave himself time and space to write a mystery crime thriller.  The book became The CuttingThe Chill of Night, the second in the McCabe series, was just released!


Grace with author Phillip Hoose.  Do you know Claudette Colvin's story?  Phil did.  Colvin was the Rosa Parks, before Rosa Parks was a civil rights legend, and Phil's book, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice won the 2010 National Book Award.  Phil's many other books include The Race to Save the Lord God Bird and the much-beloved Hey, Little Ant.


Caiola's with author Ann Hood.  What doesn't Ann Hood do?  Essays, fiction, teaching are all in Ann's arsenal, and she's one of the nicest, funniest, engaging authors we've ever had the pleasure of knowin.  If you want to cry, read her recent essay in the New York Times Modern Love section.  Want to think and reassess your moral compass?  Read the piece about Amanda Knox at  Want to cry, think, reassess, AND cheer with the biggest possible high-five?  That's Ann's latest book, The Red Thread


Evangeline with author Lily King.  Lily King is a rare combination of charming, witty, and kind, and those qualities shine in her novels.  Lily's new novel, Father of the Rain, is garnering rave reviews across the country; many are calling it her best novel to date! Father of the Rain is truly one of the books to read this summer, and we couldn't be more proud that Lily lives right here in Maine. Lily's previous titles include The Pleasing Hour and The English Teacher


Hugo's with author Joyce Maynard.  What if your life was known on a global scale for the relationship you had at age 18?  Are you shuddering?  We are. Joyce, however, faced public perception with poise and dignity.  Not only that, she went on to shake the literary world with her talent and compassion   And if you choose to have dinner with Joyce, she might share her homemade pie-making secrets.  Joyce's books include At Home in the World, The Good Daughters, and Labor Day.



Cinque Terre with author Richard Russo.  Richard Russo is one of the hardest working writers in Maine.  He's also one of the nicest guys.  Affable, funny, and a great storyteller, person as much as in prose.  Richard's books include the Pulitzer Prizewinning Empire Falls, Bridge of Sighs, and That Old Cape Magic.



The Farmer's Table with Maine's Poet Laureate Betsy Sholl.  Poets get short shrift, and it is not fair.  Betsy can express a novel's worth of complexity in a single stanza, and she does it with a delivery that is both poetic and profound.  She writes about people and places we know, but she elevates them with her words to an ethereal level.  Betsy's books include Don't Explain, Late Psalm, and Rough Cradle.

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