Lafayette’s open mic event marks the in-person return of the Easton Book Festival

Lafayette students performed their work for the attendees of the on-campus open mic event. (Photo by Rhea Bandyopadhyay ’25)

Rhea Bandyopadhyay, Contributing Writer

This weekend, the 2021 Easton Book Festival brought together budding writers from all over town as they presented their work to others who shared their passion for creativity.

2021 marks the third year for the festival. In its first year, the festival took place in venues all over Easton, attracting large audiences of Lafayette students and locals alike. However, last year, due to the pandemic, organizers had no choice but to move the event over Zoom.

This year, the festival got back to its in-person roots with events held in various spots across downtown Easton as well as on Lafayette’s campus.

According to English professor Christopher Phillips, who helped organize the festival’s events, a virtual festival ensured it could take place despite covid safety worries, but the charm of gathering together in a courtyard or lawn and actually watching others read out their works could not be fully captured over a screen.

Beginning at 11 a.m. last Saturday, the festival held an event for attendees to learn about the process of creating art-focused books with the mixed media artist Maryann Riker. Later in the day, the festival hosted an open mic welcoming writers from the local area to read out their work.

On Sunday, for the first time in the Easton Book Festival, there was an open mic specifically for Lafayette students. Spectators and participants gathered in the courtyard underneath a tent. Anyone who wanted to read out a piece of their own writing was invited to go up to the microphone and have their moment in the spotlight.

Students were invited to share a wide variety of modes of literature from poetry to prose. Some shared formal class assignments, while others opted for less structured notes from their personal journals.

The festival will continue to hold events until Sunday, Oct. 24. Aspiring writers can attend a talk held online later today at 6:30 p.m. about the importance of beta readers. Others who are interested in watching book-related performances can attend numerous author interviews, book excerpt read-alouds and poetry recitals on Saturday and Sunday.

To learn more about the Easton Book Festival, visit the festival’s website at eastonbookfestival.com.