It was back in 2010 that large tents were pitched on the green expanse outside of City Hall in Gaithersburg for the first-ever Gaithersburg Book Festival. Today, the festival has grown from its humble beginnings into a much-anticipated springtime event that features an ever-expanding program of author talks, writing workshops for adults and children, food trucks, games, and activities for all ages. The sixth annual GBF will take place on Saturday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This year the festival boasts its most impressive list of authors so far, drawing an array of New York Times bestsellers, prize winners from the United States and beyond, and some of our area’s best local writing talent.

Interested in fiction? You might want to hear Anne Enright, the 2007 Man Booker Prize winner and one of Ireland’s finest novelists, read from The Green Road. Up for a thriller? New York Times best-selling author Larry Bond will be on hand to discuss Lash-Up. Those who favor graphic novels should make time for a talk by French author Penelope Bagieu, whose Exquisite Corpse is her first work published in this country (and she’s coming all the way from France!). And for a compelling war story told from an unusual perspective, we highly recommend Elliot Ackerman discussing Green on Blue.

Children will have a field day (literally!) at the festival, with the opportunity to meet Kwame Alexander, winner of the 2015 John Newbery Medal and author of 18 books. His latest, The Crossover, is a fast-paced tale of two brothers who thrive on and off the court. For young adults, graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang will present The Shadow Hero. And Ellen Oh and Aisha Saeed, who founded a campaign called #WeNeedDiverseBooks, will participate in a panel on the subject of diverse works. Oh’s book, King, is the third in her trilogy of action and fantasy works featuring heroine Kira. Saeed’s book, her debut, is entitled Written in the Stars, a moving tale about a teenage Pakistani-American girl facing an arranged marriage.

Cooking aficionados will have wonderful opportunities to hear from some of the best chefs in our region. Nora Poullion of Restaurant Nora in Dupont Circle was one of the pioneers of using organic and locally sourced foods. She will be at the festival to talk about My Organic Life. Also of interest to foodies will be a talk by Cathal Armstrong—proprietor of Restaurant Eve, The Majestic, and Eamonn’s Dublin Chipper—about his book, My Irish Table. And those who want to know more about cooking for any and every occasion will not want to miss Bryan Voltaggio, owner and chef at Volt in Frederick and Range in Chevy Chase, whose Home offers tips and recipes for home cooks.

And of course, being near the nation’s capital, the GBF will also host a bevy of prominent non-fiction authors. David Axelrod, President Obama’s longtime senior advisor and strategist, will discuss Believer, a wonderful memoir and inside view of presidential politics. Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor of Harper’s, will be on hand with Kill Chain. And Pulitzer-prize winning columnist Clarence Page will discuss Culture Worrier. Not as well-known but no less engaging and talented is Adele Levine, who will be recounting her experiences as a physical therapist working with soldiers returning from war, all recorded in her debut book Run, Don’t Walk. And Andrew Maraniss, another first-time author, will talk about Strong Inside, his richly detailed, vividly written account of Perry Wallace, the star athlete who made civil rights history in the 1960s as the first black basketball player in the Southeastern Conference.

For a full listing of events and programs, click here. Take note, too, of the classes and workshops that will be offered, including sessions on writing college application essays and putting lyrics to song. Truly, a festival for any and all. We hope to see you there.

— Brad and Lissa


Civil War Walking Tour

Saturday, May 23, 1 p.m.

Join Politics & Prose, and experienced guide Ed Moser, on a walking tour that illuminates both the Civil War and the Lincoln assassination, timed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the president’s death. This guided walk through downtown D.C. will be led by Moser, author of A Patriot's A to Z of America and of Foundering Fathers.



A Walk in the Park

Saturday, June 6, 9:30 a.m.

Join Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Susan Austin Roth, the author and photographer of A Year in Rock Creek Park—the Wild, Wooded Heart of Washington, D.C., for a walk under the trees in the Boundary Bridge area of the park. Melanie and Susan are naturalists who frequently lead guided walks in the park, which was created in 1890 and celebrates its 125th anniversary this year, and are intimately acquainted with the trees and wildflowers growing along Rock Creek.



Walt Whitman in D.C.

Saturday, June 27, 1 p.m.

Join Garrett Peck, author of Walt Whitman in Washington, D.C.: The Civil War and America’s Great Poet, and Politics & Prose on a guided walking tour of Whitman-related sites in the nation’s capital as we reflect on the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. Walt Whitman, the poet laureate of the Civil War, lived in Washington for ten remarkable years during that tumultuous period, starting as a hospital volunteer who helped tens of thousands of wounded soldiers and then serving in the city as a federal clerk.



Classes are Limited and Going Fast!

With the trees approaching full bloom and graduation season almost upon us, thoughts begin to turn toward summer. P&P is delighted to announce a stimulating lineup of classes that will help illuminate great books you’ve been meaning to read and writing projects you’ve been meaning to start. Subjects span continents, and there are activities to keep kids of all ages absorbed at the location that’s most convenient for you.


Children & Teens

Bookmark Contest

Paging all budding artists! The Children and Teens Department is holding our 2015 bookmark contest for 5 to 18 year olds. For this year’s theme, Communi-tales, we invite you to design a bookmark that celebrates the joy of reading in your neighborhood. Unleash your imagination and show us how books shape your hometown and bring your community together. The winning design will be printed on Politics & Prose bookmarks. The winner and runners-up will be featured on our web site and will receive a $25 Politics & Prose gift card. 



New in Hardcover

Matt de la Peña
The Last Stop on Market Street
(Penguin, $16.99)


Blast from the Past

Stella Blackstone
My Granny Went to Market
(Barefoot Books, $6.99)

read more about these books.

Wednesday, May 6, 7 p.m.



Wednesday, May 6, 7:30 p.m.


Upcoming Events

Monday, May 11, 7 p.m.



Tuesday, May 26, 7 p.m.



Thursday, May 28, 7 p.m.



Thursday, June 4, 7 p.m.


A Summertime Parisian Experience

Sunday, July 19 to Saturday, July 25 or
Sunday, August 2 to Saturday, August 8

Join us and a small group of like-minded book-loving travelers for an exclusive and affordable week in Paris. This is not group travel as you know it; there will be no clambering onto buses or jamming en masse into touristy restaurants. Instead, you’ll be introduced to some of the small gems of Paris—lesser known museums, spectacular parks, and off the beaten track cafés.



Politics & Prose in Provence

Sunday, October 4 to Saturday, October 10

Spend three days in Aix-en-Provence, known for its abundance of beautiful fountains, followed by three days in St. Rémy, with side trips to Arles and Les Baux. All the while, enjoy classic Provençal food, wine and culture and enjoy visits to beautiful sites, including those associated with artists Cézanne and Van Gogh and writer Émile Zola.



A Parisian Experience

Sunday, November 1 to Saturday, November 7

Politics & Prose invites you to join us for an exclusive and affordable week in Paris. On some days, Cara will lead you to the “scene of the crime” and settings in her series. Other days, you’ll choose from a couple of adventures.



Ashland Writers' Cottage

Enjoy a week of writing, reading and relaxing while staying at the peaceful Writers’ Cottage in Ashland, Virginia. The cottage is a beautiful Craftsman-style bungalow that is available for individual writers and those looking for instruction, with the option of receiving one-on-one editorial instruction from author Phyllis Theroux while renting. The cottage, only 90 miles from D.C. and easily accessible by either car or train, is a charming getaway equipped with everything that you need for writing and relaxing, which includes a writing room, kitchen, bedroom, Wi-Fi access, a garden and more.

click here for details


Music News

Supported Events

Reservations and tickets should be acquired from the hosting organization. Contact if you are planning an event and would like us to supply the books.

Thursday, May 7, 6:00 pm
at DWR Georgetown Studio
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