(Downtown) Omaha Lit Fest
During one long weekend in the final days of the Midwestern summer, the (Downtown) Omaha Lit Fest brings together authors and readers for a celebration of the written word. The festival will be celebrating its sixth year in 2010, look for it (you guessed it!) in Downtown Omaha during the middle of September.
Each year, the Festival, managed as a a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, applies a loose theme that helps unite the many discussions, readings, and exhibitions that take place over the weekend. In 2005, the Lit Fest dealt with Banned Books,and included panel discussions on crime writing, screenwriting, telling secrets in memoirs, and more.
In 2006, the Festival focused on the Literary Fringe, while 2007 centered on Depraved Women Writers & Others, featuring the Festival’s first literary/film screening collaboration with Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater.
Plagiarism, Fraud & Other Inspiration was the main topic for 2008, and 2009 delved into The Sordid Arts of the Cheap Paperback, an homage to pulp fiction, dime store novels, and low brow art. Events were held across the city. The W. Dale Clark Library hosted a signing and book launch for University of Nebraska Press poet Ted Kooser’s Lights on a Ground of Darkness. The Joslyn Art Museum held an hour long poetry tour hosted by poets who had been inspired by paintings and sculptures in the museum’s permanent collection. The KANEKO creative space hosted a whole afternoon of panel discussions, and the Nomad Lounge (1013 Jones Street) hosted a “literary happy hour” which coincided with the end of Omaha Fashion Week.
The (Downtown) Omaha Lit Fest is not only a celebration of Nebraska authors. It has hosted novelists, short-story writers, nonfiction writers, and poets from cities as diverse New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Portland, Washington DC, and Topeka.
Despite this national presence, the Fest has its tongue-placed-firmly-in-cheek with regard to the tone of the event. For example, organizers urge people to “not attend Lit Fest if you’re hemorrhaging, cranky, prone to touching strangers inappropriately without an invitation, or wear large view-obstructing hats.”
What more could we possibly say?
(Check back as the festival draws closer, we’ll say it then!)