Deep Water Literary Fest 2019

Fairy tales are universal... even the stories that Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published in the 19th century have ancient roots. Little Red Riding Hood, for example, has counterparts in Africa and Asia, as well as Europe. There is an Iranian Sleeping Beauty. In our own time, fairy tales have been adapted and retold by feminist authors like Angela Carter and the poet Anne Sexton, as well as by authors such as Helen Oyeyemi, interested in exploring the ways in which race and gender are coded and represented in these enduring tales.

The Deep Water Literary Fest 2019 will present a fairy tale extravaganza, based on the stories collected by the Brothers Grimm, and 20th century interpretations. As with 2018 the festival will utilize multiple spaces around Narrowsburg, including buildings not typically associated with the arts. The readings will be augmented by artists, dancers, musicians, and actors.

By tapping into the talents of both local artists and authors as well as national figures, the Deep Water Literary Fest supports the community while also elevating the arts in a small river town. In 2017 the Deep Water Literary Fest was able to attract major figures of arts and letters, such as journalist Masha Gessen, actor Mark Ruffalo, and Booker Prize winner Marlon James as well as working closely with local artists, such as Morgan Puett, Thomas Bosket, and regional theater company NACL, to create a blueprint for future festivals.

Mark your calendars. And check back as we add details of this year's program.


Your summer starts here


At the Deepest Point of the Delaware...

Join us for a magical three-day festival for people who love books, and the writers that inspire them, with a series of readings, performances, and a marathon, multi-venue reading of Grimm's Fairy Tales. 


High in the Sullivan Catskills...

Where eagles soar and shad come to spawn, we'll celebrate the power of words and the joy of reading with a series of free and ticketed events.


A Celebration Like No Other

From a panel of essay writers, to a marathon reading of Grimm's Fairy Tales, to a poetry salon, find your next great read in the beautiful river town of Narrowsburg.



A Very Special Immersive Dinner

Deep Water Festival and Chateau Lafite invite you to join the artists and performers for the opening night of Deep Water Literary Festival 2019 with a spectacular three-course dinner created by Early Bird Cookery to compliment the theme of this year's festival. The dinner will be hosted in Delaware Hall at the Narrowsburg Union, and accompanied by commissioned  performances and art installations. 

On the longest day of the year, we'll celebrate the summer solstice with a feast drawing on the bounty of the region and the creativity of Amy Miller and Dayna Halprin of Early Bird Cookery, with champagne and wine courtesy of Lafite.

Musicians, actors, and poets will entertain guests through the evening, including excerpts from A Midsummer Night's Dream by Farm Arts Collective, directed by Tannis Kowalchuk.

Tickets for dinner cost $150, and include three courses,  plus wine and champagne.  

Friday 21 June, 8pm

Please reserve space quickly so we can determine a final head count. 

The Allure of Fairy Tales

beastly, cruel, merciless: the enduring allure of fairytales

Opening Night Panel

For many of us, fairytales resonate in a very intimate and personal space, the stuff of childhood dreams and nightmares, with deep and ancient roots. The oldest fairy tale, is around 7000 years old, and researchers in London and Dublin have shown that stories like Beauty and the Beast and Rumpelstiltskin can be traced back at least 4,000 years and were probably originally told in an extinct Indo-European language. For the opening night panel of the 2019 Deep Water Festival, we'll discuss why these tales have endured, what they say about our fears and desires, and how we might think about them in today's world. 

Anna Maria Hong is the author of the novella H & G (Sidebrow Books), winner of the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Clarissa Dalloway Prize, and Age of Glass, winner of Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s First Book Poetry Competition and the Poetry Society of America’s 2019 Norma Farber First Book Award. Her second poetry collection, Fablesque, won Tupelo Press’s Berkshire Prize and is forthcoming in June 2020. 

David Adger is Professor of Linguistics at Queen Mary University of London, current President of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, and inventor of the monsters’ language for the TV series Beowulf. His research has been reported on in the New Scientist andThe Conversation, and he has appeared on Sky News, BBC Radio 4, and Australia’s DriveTime. His new book,  Language Unlimited: The Science Behind Our Most Creative Power, will be published in September.

Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for fiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction, and the Minnesota Book Award. James is also the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Minnesota Book Award. His most recent novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, a New York Times bestseller, draws on  African history and mythology to explore what happens when a mercenary is hired to find a missing child. 

Friday, June 21, 7pm


37 Main Street



The Art (and Future) of the Essay

Laura Kipnis, Luc Sante, Sloane Crosley, and Alexander Chee

From Gertrude Stein’s paeans to artists and James Baldwin’s existential cri-de-coeurs, to Norman Mailer’s meditations on boxing and Joan Didion's exploration of the personal and the political, the essay was the exemplary American literary form of the 20th century. But how is it faring in the 21st?  Four exemplars of the form will share insights into their process, and talk about the highs and lows of being an essayist in contemporary culture.   

Laura Kipnis is a cultural critic and former video artist whose work focuses on sexual politics, aesthetics, emotion, acting out, bad behavior, and various other crevices of the American psyche. Her seven books–including Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation; How to Become A Scandal; Against Love: A Polemic; The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy, Vulnerability; and Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in America–have been translated into 15 languages. Her most recent book is Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus, from HarperCollins.

Luc Sante was born in Verviers, Belgium, in 1954, and emigrated with his parents to the United States as a child. A regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, Sante began his career writing for such iconic titles as Interview and Spy, before pening his first book, Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York (1991), followed by Evidence (1992), a volume of crime-scene photographs; The Factory of Facts (1998), a memoir; and Kill All Your Darlings (2007), a collection of essays and occasional pieces. In 2015 he published The Other Paris.

Sloane Crosley is best known for her three collections of essays, I Was Told There’d Be Cake (a finalist for the 2008 Thurber Prize for American Humor), How Did You Get This Number, and Look Alive Out There, published last year. She is also the author of the novel, The Clasp, a tribute to Guy Maupassant’s 1884 short story “The Necklace.”  

Alexander Chee has written several novels, including Edinburgh (2001) which tells the story of Fee, a Korean-American from Maine, as he struggles to deal with the trauma of sexual abuse in a small-town boys choir, and The Queen of the Night, which was chosen as a best book of the year by NPR, Boston Globe, and Buzzfeed, among  other outlets. In 2018, he published a collection of essays, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, which won the Publishing Triangle's Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction.

Where: 210 Bridge St, Narrowsburg, NY 12764

When: Saturday 22 June, 5.30pm

Reservation by Donation

The Deep Water Literary Fest is committed to keeping its program accessible to all. Events are not ticketed though we do ask for a small donation for reserving a place in advance


Lava Dance Co. PResent SOLSTICE

A Fairy Tale-Inspired Dance Performance

LAVA presents Solstice, drawing on fairy tales to celebrate the summer solstice, in a multi-layered performance that synthesizes imagery from Grimm's in a kinetic celebration of the stories that connect us to nature and each other. Please note the show has a running time of 40 minutes and will repeat three times, on a cycle of approximately 8pm, 8.40pm, and 9.20pm . Admission by donation.

Sat. 22 June, 8pm

Tusten Theater

210 Bridge St, 



Lucy Taylor


A member of renowned theater company Elevator Repair Service, with whom she appeared in the acclaimed production of Gatz, Taylor was most recently seen in Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Marys Seacole at Lincoln Center Theater.  For DWF, she will incorporate a special audio recording with Tilda Swinton in an exploration of the many impossible tasks in Grimm's Fairy Tales.

Sat 22 June, Narrowsburg Union

Dylan Baker


A star of stage and screen, Baker was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for The Good Wife, and played British prime minister John Major on Broadway opposite Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience. He has also had recurring roles in Homeland, and The Americans. For DWF he reads The Three Little Men in the Woods and The Twelve Brothers.

Sat 22 June, DVAA

Kameron Neal


Kameron Neal is a video artist, graphic designer, and performance-maker based in Brooklyn. His video self-portrait "Liquid Love" was awarded Best of Show at Digital Graffiti Festival. He is currently an artist-in-residence at Ars Nova's Makers Lab with frequent collaborator, Shayok Misha Chowdhury. For DWF he and Chowdhury will perform The Mouse, The Bird, and the Sausage.

Sat 22 June, Narrowsburg Union

Kristin Worrall


Follow a trail of breadcrumbs, wander the woods, and enter the gingerbread house of the DWF. Experience all the tropes of a classic fairy tale: Child Abandonment, the Loss of Innocence, Cannibalism, and Gingerbread – all through the eyes of the evil witch. This re-telling of Hansel & Gretel will take the form of a cooking show with pastry artist and performer Kristin Worrall.

Sat 22 June, Narrowsburg Union

Tanya Selvaratnam


Author, actor, and producer, Tanya Selvaratnam has produced the work of many artists and directors including Gabri Christa, Chiara Clemente, Catherine Gund, Mickalene Thomas, and Carrie Mae Weems.  A a co-founder of The Federation: a coalition of artists, organizations, and allies committed to keeping cultural borders open,  for DWF she will explore the classic tale, Snow White.

Andrew Ondrejcak


As a performance-maker, Ondrejcak’s works have been presented at Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels; Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans; The Kitchen; BAM Harvey Theater; The Public Theater in Under the Radar Festival; Holland Festival, Amsterdam; and the Guggenheim Museum’s Works in Process, curated by Robert Wilson. For DWF he is creating a video installation performance piece.

Liz Morgan

Liz Morgan

Liz Morgan is a playwright, poet and performer. She has work currently in development with Fresh Ground Pepper’s PlayGround PlayGroup and Liberation Theatre Company’s Writing Residency. Her acclaimed poem, "Why I Was Late Today, and Probably Always Will Be," appeared on HuffPost in 2016.

Becky Ann Baker


Becky Ann Baker is best known as Jean Weir on NBC’s Freaks and Geeks, and Loreen Horvath on HBO’s Girls, but her illustrious stage career has included credits in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the Roundabout Theater Company's production of Suddenly Last Summer, and All My Sons, among others. For DWF she reads The Fisherman and His Wife.

Debra Winger

Debra Winger

Three time Oscar-nominated actor, (for An Officer and a Gentleman, Terms of Endearment, and Shadowlands), Debra Winger was a Golden Globe nominee for her role in A Dangerous Woman, and an Independent Spirit Award nominee for Rachel Getting Married. She currently stars in Amazon's comedy-drama, Patriot.

Farm Arts Collective

Farm Arts Collective

Farm Arts Collective is a creative hub where art and performance intersect with agrarian and ecological ideas.  Farm Arts Collective makes its home in a large greenhouse centrally located on Willow Wisp Organic Farm, a solar-powered organic vegetable farm.  The Farm Arts Collective produces and hosts farm-food-ecology workshops, innovative and site-specific performance, and mealsthat engage community members in learning and creative practice.


Andrea Dezsö

This year's festival will feature art projections based on the work of Romanian-born artist, Andrea Dezsö, who will also be talking about her work and signing copies of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition, edited by the renowned Grimm's scholar, Jack Zipes.  

The Dream Room, corner of Main Street and 5th, Narrowsburg, Sunday 23 June at 1.30pm



The Fairy Tale Writing Project at The Dream Room

Deep Water Literary Festival is committed to using art and literature as a platform to engage the wider community. We achieve this in multiple ways, from keeping the central program free of charge, and utilizing multiple venues not typically associated with the arts, from local churches to schools.

For Deep Water Festival 2019 we have added a high schools program, engaging students at Sullivan West in Huntingdon Lake with the challenge of writing their own fairy tale. These have been illustrated by acclaimed artists, including a number who will be recognizable from the pages of The The New Yorker, and will be exhibited in The Dream Room, installed at artists Amy Yoes and Jorge Colombo’s new space on the corner of Main and 5th Street, Narrowsburg. 

Please take time to experience the wonderful stories and accompanying art, courtesy of our sponsor Simply Framed, and help yourself to a cup of joe courtesy of local roasters, 2 Queens, and baked goods by Beach Lake Bakery.

For the closing event of Deep Water Literary Fest, the stories will be read aloud by students and invited artists. Make sure to join us.

All weekend, with  readings of students fairy tales on Sunday 23 June, 2.00.

Coffee on the House

Take time out of the marathon to enjoy a coffee courtesy of DWF's official coffee sponsor, 2 Queens, roasted in our very own town. The coffee station is located in The Dream Room Saturday 21 and and Sunday 22 June, 10am - 3pm.


Rock 'N' Roll Reading

Three Minutes and Counting


Rock and Roll Reading is a tradition founded by novelist Daniel A. Hoyt (This Book Is Not For You) of Kansas State University. The idea is simple: A group of writers perform short readings from pieces about music—in any genre (not just rock). The writers read for 3 to 4 minutes, the duration of a song. A few “readers” will be musicians performing songs about music. The mood is exuberant, the tone set by a DJ before and after the main event. This year, Jason Tougaw will host a diverse and potentially raucous lineup of talented writers, some local and some traveling to attend the festival. Books by participants will be available for purchase at One Grand Books.

Ariel Francisco is the author of A Sinking Ship is Still a Ship (Burrow Press, 2020) and All My Heroes Are Broke( C&R Press, 2017). A poet and translator born in the Bronx to Dominican and Guatemalan parents and raised in Miami, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Academy of American Poets, The American Poetry Review, The Florida Review, The New Yorker and elsewhere. The Miami New Times named him one of the Five Florida Writers to Watch in 2019.

C. Gibbs began his professional career at age 21 playing guitar for Modern English. His latest record under the moniker He Arrived By Helicopter has garnered critical acclaim and explores more instrumental, psychedelic, ambient territory. His 14th album will be due out in Fall 2019 under the nom de plum C. Gibbs. Rolling Stone called him “a country brother of Tom Waits.” 

Julia Greenberg is a Brooklyn-based chanteuse and songwriter. She has put out two rock records, Past Your Eyes, and last year’s Greenland. She also co-wrote the hit off-Broadway musical People Are Wrong! with Robin Goldwasser and co-wrote music for the NY Theatre Workshop’s production of Cavedweller with Stephen Trask. Her music has been featured on This American Life, and ESPN. 

Vestal McIntyre was born and raised in Nampa, Idaho. On a trip to Sacramento, CA when he was 12 years old, Vestal was made to feel gauche for liking "I Feel for You" by Chaka Khan by a cousin who had discovered New Wave and worshipped the band Berlin. Vestal gradually recovered his sense of self-worth and learned to love both Chaka Khan and Terri Nunn – and everything they embody in life. He is the author of the story collection You Are Not the One and the novel Lake Overturn, both New York Times Editors’ Choices and Lambda Literary Award winners. 

Sidney Solomon attends Sullivan West High School in the 9thgrade. She has performed at numerous gatherings, mostly at her†mother’s urgin. She is a reader, writer, guitarist, and epic Manga fan. 

Emma Smith-Stevens is the author of a novel, The Australian. Her writing has also appeared in BOMB Magazine, Literary Hub, Conjunctions, Hobart, Joyland, Subtropics, Wigleaf, and the anthologies Not That Bad: Dispatches From Rape Culture, and Against Death: 35 Writers on Living.  She has  an MFA from the University of Florida and has taught writing and literature at the University of Florida, Santa Fe College, and with the Bard Prison Initiative. She recently finished a short story collection, Greyhounds.


Amanda Stern is the author of the novel The Long Haul, the memoir Little Panic, and eleven children’s books written under pseudonyms. She founded the popular Happy Ending Music and Reading Series in 2003, which had its final show at Joe’s Pub in June 2018, in NYC.

Andi Stover is a writer/director who works primarily in live performance. She splits her time between living in both Brooklyn and Barryville with her musician husband Christian Gibbs and their two sons. Currently she is developing projects with singer/performer David Driver and choreographer Johanna Meyer. She has an upcoming piece at La Mama ETC about the life and death of dancer Monika Beerle. 

Jason Tougaw is the author of a memoir, The One You Get: Portrait of a Family Organism (Dzanc Books) and The Elusive Brain: Literary Experiments in the Age of Neuroscience. His music writing has been published in OUT, DVEight, and Largehearted Boy. His essays appear in Electric Literature, Literary Hub, and The Scofield. He writes a  column for Psychology Today and blogs at Californica. He is Professor of English at Queens College and The CUNY Graduate Center. He  recently completed a novel, Summer Isn’t

Christopher John Williams is graduate of the Columbia University School of the Arts program in fiction and currently serves as the Associate Director of First Year Writing at Queens College. He is working on a Young Adult series and a literary novel titled God of Bacchanal while writing a life with his partner Lane and their baby girl Edie in Manhattan. 

Sat. 22 June, 10pm

The Laundrette

20 5th St



Kathleen Alcott


Kathleen Alcott reads from her new novel, America Was Hard to Find

Sat 22 June, 4.30pm

Marlon James


Marlon James reads from his new novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf 

Sat 22 June, 5.15pm

Catherine Cusset


The author of the hybrid of novel and biography, Life of David Hockney, will talk with Ariel Shanberg

Sat 22 June, 7pm

Emily Flake


Among her many talents, Emily Flake draws cartoons for The New Yorker, and wrote  and drew the books, These Things Ain't Gonna Smoke Themselves (Bloomsbury USA), and Mama Tried (Grand Central Publishing). For DWF she will be presenting her acclaimed stand-up at the Midsummer Night's Dream Dinner

Sat 22 June, Narrowsburg Union 

Twelve Tales, Two Days


Experience a marathon reading and performance of 12 of Grimm's Fairy Tales, each read by a different reader, supported by artists and performers in 12 Narrowsburg venues. Schedule below (subject to changes, so check back frequently).

To Be Finalized




Tickets available here.


Grimm's fairy tales: A Marathon TIMELINE

The Folk Tradition, Reinterpreted

For the second annual Deep Water Festival, we've arranged a series of readings and performances, as well as panels and cabaret events across three days. This schedule is still fluid, so keep checking back to ensure times and venues have not changed.


6.00 PM

Main Street, Narrowsburg

Festival Launch. Join us for themed cocktails with local merchants, live music, and the grand opening of the Dream Room, installed at artists Amy Yoes and Jorge Colombo’s new space on the corner of Main and 5th Street, Narrowsburg. For this year's festival a special neon installation inspired by a gingerbread house has been created for the festival by Moon Sign. Throughout the weekend we'll be showing fairy tales in the Dream Room, written by students from Sullivan West High School and illustrated by acclaimed artists. Stop by for a coffee on then house, courtesy of 2 Queens, and take in these splendid stories.

7.00 PM

DVAA, 37 Main Street

Beastly, Cruel, Merciless: The Enduring Allure of Fairytales

A panel discussion on why these tales with ancient roots continue to fascinate and entertain us.

8.00 PM

Delaware Hall at Narrowsburg Union

A Midsummer Night's Dream Dinner followed by an evening of cocktails, music, and poetry. Buy a ticket to this spectacular feast, meet the artists, and help support this year's festival in the process.



Narrowsburg Public Library

Drag Queens Read Revolting Rhymes


Main Street, Narrowsburg

Farm Arts Collective Leads us on a Fairy Tale Processional  to the Narrowsburg Union. Join us on Main Street.



Narrowsburg Union

Red Riding Hood presented by Farm Arts Collective.


Narrowsburg Union (venue TBC)

Impossible Tasks: Stories of impossible tasks from Grimm.  

Produced by Lucy Taylor, narrated by Tilda Swinton


Narrowsburg Union

The Mouse, The Bird, and the Sausage

Kameron Neal and Shayok Misha Chowdhury


Narrowsburg Union 

Hansel & Gretel

Kristin Worral


The Chi Hive

The Juniper Tree

Read by Becky Ann Baker with Soul Tale, a musical trio featuring pianist Kazzrie Jaxen. 


The Chi Hive

Faithful Johannes

Read by Dylan Baker



Grimm's Fairy Tales

Read by Debra Winger with art projections by Andrea Dezso



Four Talking Animals, from Italo Calvino's Italian Fairy Tales, ready by Melissa Gilbert and Timothy Busfield



Author Kathleen Alcott reads from her new novel, America was Hard to Find,  in which two people seek certainty in the chaotic America of the Vietnam War era.



Author Catherine Cusset reads from her new book, Life of David Hockney, a fictionalized life of the gay British painter.


Tusten Theater

The Art of the Essay

Luc Sante, Sloane Crosley, Alexander Chee


Maison Bergogne, 226 Bridge St

Wicked Women and Wayward Girls: wander through our paean to Grimm's stepmothers, witches, and assorted harridans. 


Tusten Theater

Lava Dance Company Presents Solstice, drawing on fairy tale themes, with a set designed by Juliette Hermant. Note: the show is 40 minutes long and will loop three times from 8-10pm.


The Laundrette

Rock n Roll Reading hosted by Jason Tougaw. Join writers and musicians for short readings based on song, and some actual songs, too.



Delaware Arts Center, 37 Main St.

Three Rapunzels


Emerald Ballroom, 40 Main St.



The Dream Room, corner of Main Street and 5th, Narrowsburg

Andrea Dezsö discusses her mesmerizing artwork for The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition


The Fairy Tale Project

Details to come.in which

A Vision in Neon

As with the 2018 festival,  we welcome the return of Moon Signs for a series of neon installations paying tribute to the tales of the Brothers Grimm.  

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Stop by One Grand Books in Narrowsburg for more information


60 Main Street, Narrowsburg, New York 12764, United States

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Three Days of Readings and Performances

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