Contributed photo

Emily Wilson, first female translator of Homer’s “The Odyssey” into English

Deep Water Literary Fest

An ‘Odyssey’ marathon, performance art and more

NARROWSBURG, NY — The first Deep Water Literary Fest, a three-day extravaganza in celebration of the written word, will take place in Narrowsburg this weekend. The inaugural event incorporates four aspects of the arts through readings, theater, film and visual art. Presented in association with the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, the staging of the festival has been created by Aaron Hicklin, founder of the celebrated Main Street bookstore, One Grand Books.

The centerpiece of the extravaganza is a marathon reading of “The Odyssey,” drawing on a new translation by Emily Wilson, who will kick off the first of 23 half-hour readings, on the morning of Saturday, June 16. In a separate event on Friday, June 15, Wilson will also talk about her process. The relay-style readings will take place in venues around the town, from a 150-year-old Lutheran church to a natural amphitheatre overlooking the deepest point of the Delaware River.

Among other readers will be Mark Ruffalo, Becky Ann Baker (Loreen Horvath in “Girls”), Dylan Baker (“Homeland,” “The Good Wife”), Booker Prize-winner Marlon James, members of local theatre company NACL and legendary performance artist Penny Arcade. Actor and artist Tilda Swinton pre-recorded book 10, featuring the legendary sea nymph Circe. In addition, a group of artists will be building installations and creating videos to accompany the readings.

For “The Odyssey” marathon, attendees are taken on a journey through town, where readings and performances take place both indoors and outdoors, each attendee receiving a “passport” listing each chapter of “The Odyssey” for which they receive a stamp confirming attendance, making for a souvenir memento.

Penny Arcade will also present a show on Saturday from 9 to 10:30 p.m., “Longing Lasts Longer,” that will be the only event requiring a ticket.

Those interested in attending are encouraged to visit the website, which has links that allow them to log on to an Eventbrite page to book their place, as some venues have limited seating.

WHERE: Narrowsburg, NY, all around town
WHEN: June 15 through 17; see website for detailed schedule 
COST: Donation-based; reservations suggested for limited seating events but $35 tickets needed for “Longing Lasts Longer.”
CONTACT:; see links on home page for reservations


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