Santa Fe Literary Festival: Key dates, how to buy tickets, the speakers and more

Between conversations with writers including John Grisham and Sandra Cisneros, you’ll embark on tours of the city with expert authors and dine with celebrated chefs. Annabel Nugent explains why the Santa Fe Literary Festival should be on everyone’s culture calendar this year

<p>Santa Fe by night</p>

Santa Fe by night

There is a reason New Mexico is known as the “Land of Enchantment”.

With endless blue skies there is an enduring sense of energy that exists across the region’s mountains.

Tucked within the inky blue mountains of Northern New Mexico and nicknamed the “the City Different”, Santa Fe has an inimitable quality to it. Something that cannot be known, only experienced.

The Santa Fe Literary Festival invites you to spend a long weekend in May exploring America’s oldest capital.

The word “magical” is thrown around a lot in travel, but it feels apt when describing Santa Fe’s sheer vastness and singular appeal, not to mention the creative spirit that appears to float on every gust of wind to pass through its foothills.

Santa Fe has long appealed to artists and adventurers seeking inspiration and rejuvenation. Georgia O’Keeffe famously fell in love with the city’s allures and never left.

Santa Fe Community Convention Centre, where much of the festival will be hosted

DH Lawrence and Willa Cather are among the other creatives to have counted themselves as part of the city’s generation-spanning artists’ colony over decades past.

Hosting an event to celebrate literature feels long overdue for a place so heavily involved in the world’s written landscape. But this year, Santa Fe will put on its inaugural literary festival – and it is worth the wait.

What is the Santa Fe Literary Festival?

The festival will take place over a long weekend, running from Friday to Monday (20 – 23 May).

SFLF debuts at the Santa Fe Community Convention Centre in the heart of the capital’s historic downtown.

George RR Martin in 2019

More than 30 individual events will take place across the weekend, including keynote speeches by major literary figures and talks by smaller international writers.

A Song of Ice and Fire series author George RR Martin, famed for the novels’ adaption into the HBO hit Game of Thrones and who has been a Santa Fe resident for 42 years, is one of those speaking at the festival. Also literary legend Colson Whitehead (The Underground Railroad), Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, and novelist Sandra Cisneros (The House on Mango Street) are all involved in this year’s line up.

Bestselling authors including Margaret Atwood, John Grisham, Anne Hillerman, Craig Johnson, Jon Krakauer, Douglas Preston, and George RR Martin will also feature across events being held during the four days.

Whitehead will open the event with a keynote speech on Friday evening (20 May), kickstarting a long weekend of diverse and exciting programming, including stimulating lectures and engaging conversation with some of the world’s most renowned authors.

US novelist and Pulitzer Pize winner Colson Whitehead in 2017

Dine together with celebrated chefs and acclaimed food writers – a feast for your stomach and mind.

You’ll have the opportunity to begin days with a morning meditation. Or for those seeking a deeper understanding of the historic city at their feet, you can embark on a guided tour accompanied by a Santa Fe expert.

Optional day trips will be available to purchase for festival goers looking to extend their stay and immerse themselves further in the city’s cultural offerings.

Newly appointed US poet laureate Joy Harjo

How to get tickets

You can purchase tickets for the Santa Fe Literary Festival at the official website.

There are three types of tickets available to purchase; All-Access Festival passes, individual event tickets, and literary day trip tickets. There will also be free programming on the Festival Community Stage.

You’ll have the chance to engage with leading writers and thinkers working in sustainability, food and agriculture. Relaxing days will be spent touring the farm and exploring the surrounding buildings designed by acclaimed architect John Gaw Meem.

For those wishing to book accommodation the festival’s website offers a range of options and some discounted rates for those staying over the festival weekend.

The Independent, as the event’s international media partner, will be providing coverage across each day of the festival as well as during the lead up with exclusive interviews with some of the headline authors. For more on the festival visit our Santa Fe Literary Festival section or visit the festival’s website. To find out more about buying tickets click here.

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