For the first time since 2019, the Jaipur Literature Festival Colorado will resume in-person events at the Boulder Public Library this weekend.
After the pandemic forced the international celebration of the written word to switch to an online offering, organizers are excited to welcome back attendees and speakers for talks, activities and more.
“The World’s Greatest Literary Spectacular” kicks off Friday, with the Colorado premiere of the documentary “AHIMSA Gandhi: The Power of the Powerless” at eTown Hall in Boulder.
The film, highlighting Gandhi’s legacy and the impact of his message on the practice of non-violence around the world, will open with a speech by Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Gopalkrishna Gandhi.
Tickets for the opening gala film screening, which will take place at 7:30 p.m., are $80. The price includes an Indian-inspired dinner, with cocktails, starting at 6 p.m.
On Saturdays and Sundays, bibliophiles can delight in captivating discussions by renowned authors, readings, live music and take part in a variety of workshops ranging from poetry to sing-alongs.
Although the festival is free, donations – which can be made online upon registration – are encouraged.
We caught up with Jessie Friedman, Executive Director of JLF Colorado, to find out what it’s like to see the festival back in full force, the must-sees she recommends attendees seek out, and what she hopes for the future of the festival. festival.
Kalene McCort: How does it feel to finally return to an in-person format, and what are you most looking forward to welcoming guests and writers?
Jesse Friedman: It is exhilarating, moving and joyful to return in person with JLF Colorado, to the beautiful Boulder Public Library and to Colorado. We look forward to the richness of in-person, interpersonal conversations that share knowledge and culture, community feeling and shared hearts, diversity, and the excitement of interacting with truly brilliant writers.
KM: Looking at this year’s festival lineup, the range and caliber of speakers is quite impressive. Are there any that you are particularly passionate about and that you consider not to be missed?
JF: Oh my god, there is so much to see. First of all, to start the day, the public will not want to miss the morning music on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the Colorado Fine Arts Association presents virtuoso sitar master Anupama Bhagwat, and on Sunday morning we have the Elisa Garcia Quartet with her beautiful voice and seductive Latin American folk songs.
Then we have Gopalkrishna Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, speaking on Saturday morning about his book “Scorching Love, Gandhi’s Letters to his Son, Devdas” – a rare look at Gandhi’s personal and intimate side.
We have André Aciman, extraordinary writer born in Alexandria, Egypt, author of “Out of Egypt”, “Call Me by Your Name” and “Find me” along with his new book of essays “Homo Irrealis”.
We have Daisy Rockwell who translated this year’s Booker Prize novel ‘Tomb of Sand’, the hugely popular Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Sarfraz Mansoor with ‘Greetings From Bury Park’, a hymn to her late father and the other great hero of his life – Bruce Springsteen— adapted for the cinema as “Blinded By The Light”, which was screened last Sunday at the Boedecker Theater at the Dairy Arts Center.
I am very excited about a series of five sessions on peacebuilding created by the Peacebuilding Committee of the Rotary Club of Boulder, as well as sessions by various local writers in collaboration with the organization nonprofit The Word: A Storytelling Sanctuary, highly awarded mystery writers David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Manuel Ramos and Ausma Khan, our Colorado State Poet Laureate Bobby LeFebre, and past and present Poet Laureates of ‘Aurora, Colorado, Jovan Mays and Ahja Fox.
William Dalrymple — renowned historian, fantastic presenter — closes the festival on Sunday afternoon.
KM: I love that the festival starts every morning with music. Why was this an important element to integrate and how did you go about selecting the numbers?
JF: Morning music is an integral part of our festival, creating a beautifully thoughtful mood, touching and opening our hearts to the day and the conversations ahead.
KM: What do you think is the most rewarding aspect of bringing such a diverse and multifaceted event to the Boulder community?
JF: Bringing an international cultural treasure to Boulder, one grounded and grounded in diversity, that reminds us of the best of humanity while enabling us to better understand different worldviews, and that brings a truly diverse audience to Boulder is among the most rewarding projects in which I have had the honor of participating.
KM: Now that you’re back on track with in-person events, what goals or plans do you have for JLF 2023?
JF: To continue to bring great artistry, great depth, great diversity, great knowledge and meaning to the public. And another main goal is to expand our free writing and creativity outreach programs to serve marginalized and at-risk youth and elders in the metro area.