Book Talk: SunLit Festival kicks off with St. Petersburg parties, poetry and more

Published April 10, 2019

By Colette Bancroft

Times Book Editor

Bestselling author Chanel Cleeton (When We Left Cuba) will discuss and sign her new novel at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Tickets $5, applicable to book purchase, at

The fifth annual SunLit Festival presents these events, which take place in St. Petersburg unless otherwise noted. For more information, go to

Thursday: Kickoff Party with food, music, speakers and performances, 7-9 p.m. at the Chihuly Museum, 720 Central Ave. Tickets $35.

Saturday: Downtown Tour With a Literary Twist is a two-hour walking tour starting at 10 a.m. at City Hall, 175 Fifth St. N. Tickets $10, reservations at

Ekphrastic Performance inspired by "Quest: A Celebration of Glass," with writers and poets performing ekphrastic interpretations drawn from Joseph Campbell's The Hero's Journey and the art in the exhibition, 2 p.m. at Florida CraftArt, 501 Central Ave. Free.

Children's Poetry Night Hike lets kids read poetry related to wilds of the night at 7 p.m. at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S. Tickets $5 for ages 3 and up.

Sunday: Wordier's 1K Walk and Write (or Read) is part 1K, part writing workshop, part silent read-in, part walking tour and part pub crawl. Starts at 1:30 p.m. at the Hangar Restaurant and Flight Lounge, 540 First St. SE, and goes to the Ale and the Witch, with 15-minute stops at various points along the way for free writing or reading. Tickets $20.

Monday: Author Talk with Paul Wilborn, executive director of the Palladium Theater, discussing his new collection of short stories, Cigar City: Tales From a 1980s Creative Ghetto, about the Ybor City arts scene in the 1980s. Photographer-filmmaker David Audet, whose images appear in the book, will also speak, at 5:30 p.m. at Mirror Lake Library, 280 Fifth St. N. Free.

Tuesday: Howl: A Night of Poetry and Music, hosted by Friends of the Jack Kerouac House, is an evening of live music and a reading of Allen Ginsberg's Howl. Musical acts will be the Florida Boys, Grant Peeples and Ronnie Eliot; readers will include Bob Devin Jones and Peter Meinke. 7-10 p.m. at Old Key West Bar and Grill, 2451 Central Ave. Free.

Wednesday: Creative Loafing's Fiction Contest Award Ceremony features readings by the finalists and announcement of the winners of the annual contest at 7 p.m. at CL Space, 1911 N 13th St., Tampa. Free.

Safety Harbor Writers Conference offers workshops with instructors that include Steve Persall, Walt Belcher and Gloria Munoz. $125 for all activities. 10 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Sunday. Safety Harbor Arts and Music Center, 706 Second St. (727) 269-9719.

East Lake Community Library's Authors Showcase presents novelist Steph Post (Miraculum) discussing and signing her books at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. 4125 East Lake Road, Palm Harbor. (727) 773-2655.

Events are free unless otherwise noted. To place an item in Book Talk, send author's name, book title, appearance time, date, venue name and address, admission cost (if any) and a contact phone number to (with "Book Talk" in subject line) or Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Deadline is 14 days before publication.