March Literary Events Roundup
Another month, another calendar of literary events to attend virtually. And thank heavens, since literary travel -- or any travel, for that matter -- is still a ways off for most of us.
In March, there's quite the diverse selection of bookish events in theme and content, from literary burlesque to literary "walking" tours to antiquarian book fairs. There's also diversity in time zones, so you ought to be able to find at least one virtual event for book lovers to attend this month.
As usual, there are enough literary events to fill up your entire month's calendar if you so choose (and if so, I'm very jealous!).
Let me know in the comments if I'm missing any literary events you know of, or which ones you are most excited for!
This post includes:
Virtual literary events
Virtual book festivals
Celebrating the Indigenous Americas: Poetry Reading
March 5 @ 5 pm MST
"Over the last decades the literary production in indigenous languages has increased in quantity and quality. Indigenous authors from different regions from the Americas are recovering the ancestral traditions and cultural values from their communities and using them to create literary production of a universal appeal. In addition, women are taking a leading role in the creation and dissemination of literary work, especially in indigenous languages. Currently, many of these works have been translated to a number of languages. However, there is more work to do in terms of widespread dissemination given the historical marginalization of indigenous languages."
Elizabeth Gaskell's Manchester (International Women's Day)
March 8 @ 2 pm GMT
"Elizabeth Gaskell made her name with the novel Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life even though it was published anonymously in 1848. It covered topics that shocked the shock city – Chartism, murder, hypocrisy, corruption. Cranford (1853) and North & South (1855) cemented her reputation."
Virtual Literary Events Calendar
The following book events are listed by date.
Virtual Literary London Tour - Secret Writing
March 2 @ 10 am GMT
"What's your preference - George Smiley or James Bond? Both feature in this exploration of the shadowy world of secret agents. The tour features site-specific readings - some obvious, some much less so!
Join me in a literary exploration of spies, moles and agents provocateurs."
Reading James Baldwin Now: Gabrielle Bellot on If Beale Street Could Talk
Mar. 3 @ 6 pm EST
"First published to a mixed reception in 1974, James Baldwin’s novel If Beale Street Could Talk has undergone a marked critical reappraisal in recent years... Literary Hub staff writer Gabrielle Bellot will discuss why she believes Beale Street, which centers on an act of police misconduct but is also a Black love story, deserves to be read as Baldwin’s masterpiece—a major work that speaks directly to present-day concerns."
Tickets to this event are free on eventbrite, and donations are encouraged.
Virtual Talk: Dickens in the Eye of the Beholder
March 3 @ 7 pm GMT
"In this online event Leon will discuss Victorian photographic technology, and how [Charles] Dickens made use of it to enhance his celebrity image... This is a live event and you can ask questions throughout via the Q&A bar and they will be picked up in the Q&A session at the end."
Shakespeare in a Divided America
March 4 @ 7 pm WET
"What can Shakespeare's plays tell us about American life and politics? Could they help mend the nation's divide?
Award-winning author and professor James Shapiro will be in conversation with Second Home co-founder Rohan Silva to discuss his latest book Shakespeare in a Divided America, and explore the nation's fault lines around race, gender, immigration and free speech."
Tickets to this virtual event are free on eventbrite.
Virtual Tour - Bethnal Green in So Many Words
March 5 @ 10:30 am GMT
History of the Edgar Allan Poe House
March 5 @ 1 pm EST
House museum Director, Enrica Jang, will provide a brief history of this important site, including the significance of the house to Edgar Allan Poe’s history. She will share how Poe House survived development in the early part of the 20th century and discuss the future of Poe House as further development continues in the modern day.
The Intersection of Artists and Antiquarian Books
March 5 @ 5 pm PST
"Topics will include typography, "fine press" vs. "artist's book," vertical reading, and concepts such as the third stream book and materialia lumina - a new vision of the book as a "total work of art." The presentation will be grounded by images of Koch's own printing and that of his peers, but also examples of early printed books that have been his lifelong inspiration."
BOOKLOVER'S BURLESQUE: Once Upon a Tease (Virtual Edition)
March 6 @ 7 pm PST
"BOOKLOVER'S BURLESQUE -- the world's sexiest literary salon-- matches titillating, inspiring, and/or empowering book readings with burlesque performances all in one show. Professional readers, actors, and/or authors & writers read aloud a short literary excerpt, which is then followed by a burlesque performance inspired by the piece."
Virtual Tour - Literary Covent Garden: Towards a New Sensibility
March 6 @ 7 pm GMT
"This live virtual tour features excerpts from writers associated with the 'long' 18th Century in Covent Garden read by actor Sean Patterson. Novels, poems, diary entries and letters show how the written word was informing a new urban mindset in London's most exciting quarter. We hear from Jane Austen, Samuel Pepys, Voltaire, Henry Fielding and others."
Uncomfortable Literature - Online Tour of Oxford
March 6 @ 4 pm GMT
"This virtual tour will 'walk' you through the breath-taking streets of Oxford while exploring its heritage of letters. Experience the streets that have inspired numerous authors, while examining the tensions between the traditional stories of the city and its diverse realities. Through the lens of narrative, your guide will foster conversations about access, reputation, decolonisation, class, and colonialism."
The Black Authors Matter Tour D.C.
March 6 @ 10 am CST
""The Black Authors Matter" Tour was established to give the cemented and newly emerging authors of our culture a platform to travel around the United States of America and spread the messages that are embedded in the pages of their iconography."
Challenging the Canon: Navigating Race in English Literature + Discussion
March 8 @ 7 pm GMT
"Following calls since the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter and thus movements to decolonise the curriculum, I will be delivering a session on the role of race in British literary canon. Since October, there has been debate amongst teachers on how to teach these sorts of texts. There has also been debate on how to talk about race in the context of these texts as well. So, this will be session exploring some of the underpinning ideas on the grounds of race in the canon, ranging from the 18th century to the mid-20th century."
Tickets to this virtual event are free on eventbrite, and it will be viewable after the live stream as well.
Edith Wharton and Genre
March 11 @ 5 pm GMT
"In this illustrated talk, Dr Laura Rattray considers the work and reputation of renowned American author Edith Wharton (1862-1937). Though best remembered for her society novels, Wharton was also a controversial playwright, a trailblazing travel writer, gifted poet, a hugely influential design writer, and an innovative critic. Laura discusses the stories of these other Edith Wharton's and suggests ways in which her work in less familiar genres uncovers a bolder, more diverse and radical writer than has long been supposed."
Tickets to this online event are free on eventbrite.
2021 Symposium on Diversity in Children’s Literature and Walter Awards
Mar. 12 @ 1 pm EST
"We Need Diverse Books announces the sixth annual Symposium on diversity in children’s literature, co-hosted by the Library of Congress...The Symposium, titled “Listening, Learning, Creating Communities,” will be moderated by Deborah D. Taylor, Coretta Scott King/Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement award-winning librarian and educator, and will include panelists Traci Chee, Robin Ha, Daniel Nayeri, and Kacen Callender. Award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson will serve as Ceremony’s Emcee."
This event will be streamed online for free.
Trans & Nonbinary Shakespeare - That Way Madness Lies
March 15 @ 7 pm EST
"Join authors Cory McCarthy, A. R. Capetta, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Mark Oshiro for a discussion on Shakespeare's most notable works and how they can be reimagined with trans and nonbinary representation in mind."
Jane Austen, Emma, and Music
March 18 @ 6 pm EDT
"Eighteenth century musicales or parlor performances included the traditional Irish air, a song from a ballad opera, piano sonatas, or a setting of a popular dance tune. They were frequent occurrences in society and it is reflected in Austen’s personal collections and in her work.
In this lecture on Jane Austen's Emma, join Grand Central Library and NYPL Music staff for a look into Jane Austen's relationship with music and how it affected her writing."
Tickets to this virtual event are free on eventbrite.
Comet Tales: Literature and Astronomy, 1850 to the Twentieth Century
March 13 @ 7:30 pm GMT
"How did the night sky seem to the Victorians, a century and a half ago? Astronomy enjoyed a growing role in the period’s imagination — among the general public, and in contemporary literature. In particular, the bright comets which appeared frequently between 1840 and the 1880s often caused a great sensation, Tebbutt’s comet of 1881 especially impressing Thomas Hardy. Astronomy and the night sky appear in much of Hardy’s work, and comets also figure strongly in the fiction of his near-contemporary, H.G. Wells. Radical changes in the period’s cosmography also continue to shape the writing of their successors in the early twentieth-century."
Tickets to this virtual event are free on eventbrite.
Literary Bloomsbury - Virtual Walk
March 19 @ 7 pm GMT
"London is made up of a number of individual 'villages'. Today, we go to Bloomsbury, probably best known as home of the 20th century 'Bloomsbury Group'. Controversial writers, artists and personalities. There is so much more."
Virtual Exploration of New York Society Library, NYC's Oldest Library
March 22 @ 5:30 pm EST
"From getting looted by British soldiers during the American Revolution to George Washington forgetting to return two books (c'mon, George!), one New York City membership library dating back to 1754 has been through it all. But how has a book collection managed to keep its doors open for over 250 years? It's time to uncover the secrets of New York City's oldest library like never before.
P&P Live! "Lolita in the Afterlife" Author Panel
March 23 @ 8 pm EST
"In 1958, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita was published in the United States to immediate controversy and bestsellerdom. More than sixty years later, this phenomenal novel generates as much buzz as it did when originally published. Central to countless issues at the forefront of our national discourse— art and politics, race and whiteness, gender and power, sexual trauma—Lolita lives on, in an afterlife as blinding as a supernova. With original contributions from a stellar cast of prominent 21st century writers and edited by the daughter of Lolita’s original publisher in America, Lolita in the Afterlife is a vibrant collection of sharp and essential modern pieces on this perennially provocative book."
DISCOVER CHARLES DICKENS ROCHESTER - A LIVE online - virtual guided tour
March 25 @ 8 pm GMT
"In Rochester - a beautifully preserved historic former City about 30 miles southeast of London - we have more Dickens related buildings and locations per square mile than ANYWHERE ELSE in the WORLD! Miss Havisham's home, Satis House, in Great Expectations; John Jaspers Gatehouse in Edwin Drood; The Bull Inn in Pickwick Papers - and many, many more.
Come on a 90 minute LIVE online guided tour with TOP RATED local tour guide and historian, Shane Waterman, and discover the real stories behind the places Dickens grew up near - and later used from his very first published folio (Sketches by Boz) to his very last - The Mystery of Edwin Drood."
Virtual Literary Salon: 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Brontë
March 25 @ 7:30 pm EDT
"Join the Ferbuary virtual literary salon! Wuthering Heights is a book read by many and often misrepresented by Hollywood... I hold a Master’s degree in English literature ... and I aim to bridge the gap between academia and the typical book club by applying a seminar approach to the literary salon and bringing you interesting research, author information, and multi-layered questions."
Tickets to this event are $32.84 on eventbrite and is limited to 12 participants.
Virtual Tour - The Heights of Dickens
March 27 @ 6 pm GMT
"From the comfort of your home, follow in a virtual tour in Charles Dickens’ footsteps in a walk from Highgate to the hamlet of North End on the border with Hampstead and Hampstead Garden Suburb.
We will follow some of Bill Sikes escape route after murdering Nancy in Oliver Twist, see houses that Dickens stayed in; learn about his friendship with philanthropist Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts; view the house that inspired Steerforth’s mother's house in David Copperfield and peep into Highgate Cemetery where several members of the Dickens family were buried and follow the Gordon rioters in Barnaby Rudge towards Lord Mansfield’s country estate at Kenwood (Caen Wood). We will pay a visit o the Spaniard’s Inn featured in the Pickwick Papers and continue with Bill Sikes' journey in Oliver Twist from Highgate Hill across the grounds of Kenwood towards North End and Hendon. We finish in North End where we view the 17th farmhouse that Dickens lodged in after the death of his sister in law Mary Hogarth."
Jane Austen's Ladies of a Certain Age
March 31 @ 7 pm BST
"A witty celebration of the lives of older women in Jane Austen's era, with dress historian Lucy Adlington... Lively readings from Austen's novels are interspersed with insights into the realities of life for women past their first blush of youth in Regency England; not forgetting praise for literature's most marvellous spinster - Jane Austen herself."
Virtual Book Festivals
California International Antiquarian Book Fair
"The ABAA California Virtual Book Fair will be open continuously from 9am March 4th until 8pm March 6th (PST). Explore a rich selection of manuscripts, early American and European literature, modern first editions, children’s books, maps and autographs, as well as antiquarian books on history, science, law, architecture, cooking, wine, and a wide range of other topics."
Get free tickets on eventbrite to get email updates on this event.
Virginia Festival of the Book
"We offer Festival programming each March as well as Shelf Life virtual programming throughout the year, providing book lovers a variety of ways to learn about the world, find inspiration in work from today’s best writers and illustrators, and discover new ways of understanding ourselves and others.
Every Thursday at 12 PM ET, join us on Zoom or Facebook for livestreamed book events featuring new and long-time favorite authors in all genres."
On Pinterest? Make sure you pin this to reference the best virtual literary events and book festivals all month long!