The Rapidian

Worship of words celebrated at Festival of Faith and Writing.

Calvin College hosts its popular biennial event "Festival of Faith and Writing" this weekend. Thousands of visitors and hundreds of exhibitors and speakers make the festival a significant forum for discussion and education.
Reading by Aaron Belz

Reading by Aaron Belz /Emma Higgins

Underwriting support from:

Who did you see speak at Festival of Faith ad Writing?

Did you attend a reading, lecture or workshop at Festival this year or even a previous year? What brings you to this event?

/Emma Higgins

Festival of Faith and writing, a biennial event located at Calvin College which has been running since 1990, has its closing day tomorrow, Saturday April 20th. Every year thousands of people from all over the world make the pilgrimage to the festival which hosts exhibitors, lectures and workshops for visitors.

The event is spread across the entire Calvin Campus; with regular shuttles transporting visitors to each location. Calvin describes the Festival as a place where “we mix together authors, publishers, students, teachers, old and young, wise and foolish and all of us ferocious readers- and who knows what might come out of this?”

The theme of spirituality is diverse and ever-present. The atmosphere is relaxed and studious, many visitors brandishing notepads and studying event brochures, determined not to miss their favorite authors speak. In the Prince Conference Center groups of people were relaxing by the fireside, curling up with a book they had just purchased from one of the many vendors or discussing a reading they had just attended.

Past years have seen authors such as Salman Rushdie and John Updike speaking at the event. This year the line-up is expectedly comprehensive. Speakers include Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything is illuminated, Eating Animals and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Safran Foer is one of over forty speakers; a full line-up can be explored on the Festival website.

The event serves as a busy forum for discussion and education, but also as a source of revenue for the city. The event brochure outlines accommodation and restaurants within the city- encouraging visitors and exhibitors who are staying for the whole three days to explore all that downtown Grand Rapids has to offer. Although entry to the festival requires a ticket, numerous events are open to the public. A full list of what you can and cannot attend for free is listed here on the Festival website.



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