Please note, the list of speakers is constantly being updated. Check back often for additions, changes and cancellations.
Kenneth Ackerman is the author of Trotsky in New York, 1917: A Radical on the Eve of Revolution and five other histories, including Boss Tweed. He has served a long legal career in Washington, D.C. inside and out of government, including as counsel to two U.S. Senate committees & posts in the Reagan & Clinton administrations. He continues to practice private law.
Jennifer Ackerman, author of The Genius of Birds, has been writing about science, nature, and biology for almost three decades. She is the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Literature Fellowship for nonfiction, a Bunting Fellowship, and a grant from the Arthur P. Sloan Foundation.
Edward Ayers is the author of In the Presence of Mine Enemies: Civil War in the Heart of America, winner of the Bancroft Prize, and The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction, finalist for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize.
Frances Curtis Barnhart, author of The Beauty of Impermanence: A Woman’s Memoir, is an artist, spiritual explorer, evolutionary activist in the human potential movement, author of The New Woman Warrior’s Handbook: Not for Women Only, and grandmother of ten.
Fred Bartenstein, editor of Lucky Joe’s Namesake: The Extraordinary Life and Observations of Joe Wilson, is a native of Virginia and graduate of Harvard College. He has performed many roles in bluegrass and country music, including magazine editor, broadcaster, musician, festival emcee, and scholar.
Susan Bauer-Wu, president of the Mind & Life Institute, is a leader, teacher, and researcher of mindfulness in health care and higher education. She is the author of Leaves Falling Gently: Living Fully with Serious & Life-Limiting Illness through Mindfulness, Compassion, & Connectedness.
David Bearinger is director of Grants and Community Programs at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.
Faith Andrews Bedford, author of Barefoot Summers, was a columnist at Country Living magazine for 13 years. She teaches memoir writing at OLLI – the Osher Institute for Life Long Learning and has written three books on American Impressionism.
Kelvin Belton, contributor to Writing Our Way Out: Memoirs from Jail, is a Richmond, Va. native with a passion for helping young people reach their goals. He is a father, a grandfather, and a volunteer basketball coach with Blacktop Kings and Queens known affectionately by his young players as Coach KB.
Bonnie Bernstein is a letterpress printer, writer, and graphic designer from Lexington, Va., and a member of the Virginia Arts of the Book Center (VABC) coordinating committee.
Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, author of The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI’s Hunt for America’s Stolen Secrets, has had essays on espionage, cybercrime, science and medicine featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Wired, and the Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology series.
Belle Boggs is the author of The Art of Waiting and Mattaponi Queen. Her stories and essays have appeared in Orion, Harper’s Bazaar, The Paris Review, Ecotone, Slate, and other publications. She teaches in the master of fine arts program at North Carolina State University.
Richard Bonnie directs UVa’s Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy, has chaired several panels on mental health reform in Virginia, and currently chairs a national study on the opioid epidemic. Bonnie was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 1991 and received UVa’s Thomas Jefferson Award in 2007.
Tom Breihan is the senior writer for the music site Stereogum. He’s written for the AV Club, Grantland, Vice, Pitchfork, and elsewhere. He lives in Charlottesville.
Macon Brock, author of One Buck at a Time, cofounded the K&K Toys chain before he and two partners launched Dollar Tree as a five-store experiment in Hampton Roads in 1986. As CEO and chairman, he saw it grow to 13,000 stores, $20 billion in annual sales, and a fast-rising spot on the Fortune 500.
Eboni Bugg is a therapist and community programs director at The Women’s Initiative where she focuses on improving access to care and helping women make meaningful changes in their lives. She’s an avid reader and believes in the power of stories to heal and transform.
Hugh G. Byrne, author of The Here-and-Now Habit: How Mindfulness Can Help You Break Unhealthy Habits Once and for All, is a teacher with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington and cofounder of the Mindfulness Training Institute of Washington. He has worked extensively in the fields of human rights and social justice and is committed to advocating the benefits of mindfulness.
Jean W. Cash, editor of Rough South, Rural South, Region and Class in Recent Southern Fiction, is an English professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. Her publications include Larry Brown, A Writer’s Life, Flannery O’Connor, A Life, and Larry Brown and the Blue Collar South, with Keith Perry.
Sheri Castle, author of Rhubarb and The Southern Living Community Cookbook, is a food writer, recipe developer, storyteller, and speaker from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, who now lives near Chapel Hill. She is fueled by mountains, farmers’ markets, bourbon, and the search for the right word.
Lauren Catlett, co-author of Little Star, is a Virginia writer and artist who finds joy in helping others discover and actualize their creative potential. She is also designer and editor of the book Shared Doings and Sayings, which celebrates the life stories and artwork of persons with dementia.