We’ve been waiting for the Vegas Valley Book Festival since its official launch in June, when a group of actors sat down and performed J.D. Salinger’s short story “A Perfect Day for Bananafish.” Then came a short fiction contest, readings, book making and Project Dinner Table, which had 100 guests seated at one table talking about food and words. There’s been so much Book Festival activity lately that when Dennis Lehane gives his closing keynote address on November 7, the literati might slip into a little mourning, or better yet, a good book. So get it while you can. Like we said, it begins Wednesday. (Yes, we’re a little early, but we’re just that excited.) A few highlights to mark on your calendar:
• Hear stories inspired by great photos. “The Perpetual Engine of Hope—Las Vegas Stories Inspired by Iconic Photographs”: local authors talk about their short stories. November 4, 7 p.m., Clark County Library Theater. 1401 E. Flamingo Road.
• Join a poetry brigade. Mayor Oscar Goodman and Dayvid Figler recite original haiku. Then Jarret Keene leads a mobile poetry brigade on bicycles through Downtown. Stops will be made at the Government Center, Commerce Street Studios, Trifecta Gallery, Holsum Lofts, Contemporary Arts Center and the Beat Coffeehouse. Those who don’t want to ride can hop on the poetry bus. November 5, 6-9:30 p.m., Colorado St. and California Ave.
• Dive into a pile of books. The whole enchilada, at the Historic Fifth Street School. A book-signing fair, author readings and children’s literature, workshops, poetry, art and writers of the West discussing the landscape and its influence. November 6, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., 401 S. Fourth St.
• Slip away from the book fest ... for the Comic Festival, at the Clark County Library. November 6, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Witness an Iraq War vet read poetry. Brian Turner, brings Here, Bullet—winner of New York Times Editor’s Choice and Pen Center USA Best in the West awards—to life. November 6, 7 p.m. Greenspun Auditorium, 4505 S. Maryland Pkwy.
• Feast on words. Read, discuss, listen and taste the art of food during Feasting on Words, an event with chef Rick Moonen at the Fifth Street School that includes a community grill, author discussions, readings, a farmers market and book signings. November 7, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.