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A conversation between writer and reader; Literary festival comes to Milford

The Milford Readers and Writers Festival will be held the weekend of September 30 to October 2 and features headlining authors John Berendt, Gloria Steinem and MK Asante.
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September 21, 2016

MILFORD, PA — At most writers’ festivals, there is no interaction between the writer and the people who read their words—the reader. No dialogue, just lecture. The first Milford Readers and Writers Festival wants to do it differently, to break the mold of the literary festival. When Milford mayor and owner of the Hotel Fauchere, Sean Strub, got together with friends for dinner one evening, they fantasized about creating a literary festival in Milford. Less than six months later, a group of 10 to 15 volunteers set out to make that dream a reality.

The Milford Readers and Writers Festival will be held the weekend of September 30 to October 2 at the historic Milford Theatre and at several landmark sites around town, including Grey Towers National Historic Site, the Pike County Historical Society’s Columns Museum and the Pike County Public Library. The headlining writers are Gloria Steinem, John Berendt and MK Asante, who will have individual sessions as well as come together for a panel discussion.

These events are ticketed, as is a dance and spoken-word performance by Humans Collective, an ensemble of performers. Their performance of “Alone-Ology” is inspired by Maya Angelou’s iconic poem, “Alone.” It will be held Friday at 7 p.m. at the Milford Theatre and costs $20. The 10-person cast will feature powerful music, live poetry, singing and choreography from jazz legend Sheila Barker as well as hip-hop professionals Joanna Numata and Carlos Neto.

Perhaps the biggest draw to the event is literary and feminist icon Gloria Steinem. She has written several books, been published in The New York Times Magazine and Esquire Magazine, and co-founded Ms. Magazine in 1972. She helped found numerous feminist organizations, including The National Women’s Political Caucus, Voters for Choice and the Ms. Foundation for Women. She is currently working with the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College, her alma mater, documenting the grassroots origins of the U.S. women’s movement and on creating a Center for Organizers. Among her many awards is the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor, which President Barack Obama awarded her in 2013.