Virginia Festival of the Book

Photograph of  Homero Aridjis from City Lights Publishers.


For those of you lucky enough to be in Charlottesville today, may I recommend several events at the Virginia Festival of the Book?

At noon in City Council Chambers (605 East Main Street), Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, UVA hosts Architecture prof John Quale  discussing his work on making affordable Prefab Housing. Quale is author of Sustainable, Affordable, Prefab: The ecoMOD Project, due out from the University of Virginia Press April 25, 2012,, ISBN 978-0813931524

Quale and his students at the University of Virginia, working with colleagues in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and with affordable housing providers, have created four designs for environmentally sensitive affordable dwellings. The houses, built with modular units and/or panelized building components, include a two-unit condominium, a post-Katrina home on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a historic renovation with accessible addition, and a townhouse configuration that can be replicated and mass-produced for Habitat for Humanity. Each house pays attention to its site and incorporates sustainable materials and systems such as solar hot water, rainwater retention, and strives for zero energy load.
At 2:00 p.m. at the Student Bookstore on campus (1515 University Avenue0 Lynn Coffey (Backroads: Plain Folk and Simple Living), Phil James (Secrets of the Blue Ridge: Stories from Western Albemarle), Paddy Bowman (Through the Schoolhouse Door: Forklore, Community, Curriculum) and Saundra Gerrell Kelley (Southern Appalachian Storytellers) share stories from Appalachia.

At 7:00 p.m. at the The Haven (112 W Market Street), my friend ballad singer Elizabeth LaPrelle, along with her fellow musicians Alexia Smith, James Leva, Danny Knicely and Aimee Curl celebrate the life and music of the late Mike Seeger, along with author  Bill C. Malone (Music from the True Vine).

And I can only see part of this because at 8 p.m.  Rita Dove translates, as Mexican poet and environmental activist Homero Aridjis reads from his work in Spanish at the Harrison Insittute on campus ( 160 McCormick Road.  City Lights Publishers of San Francisco will be publishing the second bilingual edition of Aridjis's poems in November: Time of Angels/Tiempo de √°ngeles,  (translated by George McWhirter).  In 2010, City Lights published Solar Poems/Los poemas solares by the same translatorHere's an 1998 article by Dick Russell (email), "Poetry in Motion:  Homero Aridjis, Mexico's environmental conscience, fuses literature and activism."