Celebrating the Power of Story: The Santa Fe International Literary Festival Announces 2023 Lineup of Literary Stars from Near and Far

by Kaye Phelps on May 2, 2023 in Entertainment,

John Irving, Jennifer Egan, Gillian Flynn, Colum McCann, Diana Gabaldon, Namwali Serpell, Ed Yong, David Quammen, and Luis Alberto Urrea are among the featured authors.


The Santa Fe International Literary Festival will take place May 19–21 bringing together world-renowned authors, thinkers, and passionate readers to celebrate the power of story. The three-day festival features big-stage presentations and intimate conversations with literary heroes from near and far. In all, more than thirty different festival events will take place over the weekend at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center in Santa Fe’s historic downtown.

Rich in cultural diversity and creativity, including a centuries-long literary history, Santa Fe is a perfect place for authors to discuss the power of words and language at a time of extraordinary change. As they explore pressing issues—in politics, race, immigration, the environment, sustainability, and more—as well as offer good old-fashioned storytelling, festival goers will experience the camaraderie and inspiration of books and reading.

Author Gillian Flynn is one of the scheduled speakers. Courtesy photo.

Colum McCann, the celebrated Irish author of Let the Great World Spin, winner of the National Book Award, and the global bestseller Apeirogon, kicks off the festival Friday evening, May 19. Also featured during the long weekend of programming will be Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad and The Candy House; John Irving, legendary author of The World According to Garp and The Cider House Rules; Santa Fe’s own Michael McGarrity, author of the New York Times bestselling Kevin Kerney crime novels; Beth Macy, renowned journalist and author of Dopesick and Raising Lazarus; Denise Chávez, of Las Cruces, a fronteriza writer, activist, and author of The King and Queen of Comezón and Loving Pedro Infante; and others.

Author Colum McCann kicks off the festival May 19. Photo Elizabeth Eagle


The festival recently added “International” to its name, representing a desire to reflect the vast diversity of the world’s literary community. The 2023 festival thus hosts an impressive list of international luminaries. In addition to McCann, they include:

> The Mexico-born Luis Alberto Urrea, acclaimed author of The Devil’s Highway and the soon-to-be-released Good Night, Irene.

> Moroccan author Laila Lalami, whose 2015 book, The Moor’s Account was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

>Bogotá, Colombia’s Ingrid Rojas Contreras, author of The Man Who Could Move Clouds, a 2022 National Book Award finalist.

> Zambian American writer Namwali Serpell, Harvard University professor and author of the award-winning books The Old Drift and The Furrows.

> Ed Yong, born in Malaysia, a Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer and author of I Contain Multitudes and An Immense World.

More information and the full 2023 Santa Fe International Literary Festival Program can be found online.


Cover photo courtesy Gabriella Marks