Dispel previous conceptions of what comprises a literary festival; Deep Water is not what you think it is. Presented by One Grand Books founder (and Out magazine editor-in-chief) Aaron Hicklin, the literary gathering aims to celebrate books and authors through immersive, thoughtful experiences, impassioned readings and discussion. For those unfamiliar with One Grand Books, it’s both an online shop and a bookstore in Narrowsburg, NY. The premise for both destinations: the books stocked have been selected by artists, writers and celebrities as the 10 they’d bring with them to a deserted island. It’s a concept that just about anyone can embrace—and the festival is an extension of this.
While there’s a lot to be excited about (a pizza and poetry slam, literary karaoke, a pioneering women panel), there’s nothing quite so alluring as the festival’s centerpiece: a marathon reading of Emily Wilson’s new translation of Homer’s “The Odyssey.” It’s been spread across two days and broken into 23 half-hour readings at various venues—and the readers include Mark Ruffalo and Marlon James. Tilda Swinton participates, having pre-recorded her section (book 10 of the epic). There might not be a better way to experience The Odyssey—taking breaks for themed cocktails and special discussions.
Deep Water tickets can be purchased online. The festival runs 15-17 June across various venues in Narrowsburg.
Images courtesy of Moon Sign, based on quotes from Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey