SARANAC LAKE — The Adirondack Center for Writing plans to host a new writers festival in Saranac Lake this summer.
On August 19-20, ACW will present the first annual Kick*** writers festival, featuring writers, poets, comedians, mountaineers and more. The festival will take place in various locations around Saranac Lake and will include readings, workshops, talks, publishing programs, special performances, a book fair, speed dating and more. The Kick*** Writers Festival celebrates how essential writing and storytelling – in all their forms – are to art, entertainment and social change.
The two-day event kicks off Friday, August 19 at the Pendragon Theater with 2021 New York State author Ayad Akhtar and 2021 New York State poet Willie Perdomo. The pair will be featured by former New York State writer Russell Banks, as well as award-winning poet Chase Twitchell. This specific reading is the result of a collaboration with the New York State Writers Institute at SUNY Albany.
On Saturday, August 20, ACW will feature memoirist, feminist and humanitarian Silvia Vasquez-Lavado, the first Peruvian woman to climb Mount Everest and the first openly gay woman to climb the Seven Summits, the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents. . His first memoirs “In the Shadow of the Mountain” tells how an early life of abuse and addiction led her to discover hiking as a method of healing. These activities transformed her life and allowed her not only to climb the most difficult peaks in the world, but also to found the non-profit association Courageous Girls. Her memoir is currently being adapted into a major film starring Selena Gomez.
Saturday night events will include a showcase of festival authors such as Gwen Kirby, author of the first collection of wild short stories, “Damn ** Cassandra Saw.” The authors will be accompanied by comedian and musician Marcia Belsky, whose hilarious song, “100 stamps” went viral in 2020. Belsky will perform a mix of stand-up comedy, storytelling and music alongside festival writers at The Waterhole to close out the festival on Saturday night.
“We’re proud to bring some of the country’s most exciting writers here to Saranac Lake,” ACW Executive Director Nathalie Thill said in a statement. “This festival – a partnership with the New York State Writers Institute, Wild Center, Pendragon Theater, Saranac Lake Free Library, SL Book Nook and Adirondack Council – will take place the same weekend as the Plein Air Festival, who we work with to cross-promote and even mirror some of their programs. It’s community teamwork like this that makes Saranac Lake the hub of the arts in the Adirondacks.