In Celebration of Books

Mission
At Gunston, we believe in the transformative power of language and the study of writing as craft. Our In Celebration of Books program is one way that we instill these values in our students. Each fall, winter, and spring, we invite a writer of local, regional, and national prominence to our campus. Consistent with our mission of educating "ethically and environmentally minded scholars, citizens, and leaders for our globalized society," the program features authors from all fields and disciplines. In addition to a public reading or talk, each guest also visits the classroom, where students have the unique opportunity to interact with them in a highly-personalized environment. These intensive workshops nurture students' creativity and inspire intellectual conversation as students learn to identify their passions, reflect on their core beliefs, and consider their role in the local and global communities.

History
For nearly three decades, In Celebration of Books has been a revered tradition at Gunston. It began in the boarding school days, where teachers would dress as their favorite authors. In time, the program evolved into a full day of workshops and readings that brought as many as twelve renowned writers to campus. Our current format is designed to provide students with consistent exposure to living writers, whose areas of expertise align with our curricular programming. Over the course of their four years at Gunston, students can expect to hear a diverse array of voices, from journalists and novelists to poets, historians, environmentalists, and other scientists.

Gunston has hosted such notable writers as the late Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Richard Ben Cramer; Nathaniel Philbrick, National Book Award winner for In the Heart of the Sea; the former poet laureate of Maryland, Michael Glaser; Tom Horton, author of numerous books about the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay region; and poet Nick Flynn, whose memoir was the basis for the film, Being Flynn, starring Robert DeNiro.