Through good times and bad, the world needs stories. We seek them for entertainment, profound insights, and everything in between.
This July, Minneapolis hosts The Loft’s Wordplay festival, a one-day celebration of stories, books, readers and writers. Primarily held outdoors downtown, Wordplay is a summer street festival for all ages and interests. Thousands attended its 2019 launch, and after the Covid delays we’re all familiar with, Wordplay returns in-person this year on July 8.
This year’s festival is curated around the Loft’s 2022-2023 theme: Narrative Power. Many events and panels will explore how writers can use and are using narrative power for social change. At those events, topics include some of the key issues of our time—racial justice, gender equity, climate change, health & wellness, LGBTQIA2S+ rights, and much more. The theme is inspired by Toni Cade Bambara’s quote, “The job of the writer is to make the revolution irresistible.”
In addition to celebrating contemporary literature and social change, Wordplay includes food trucks, local breweries, aerial poetry, a children’s stage, kid’s activities, author signings, and hundreds of books for sale. An informal bonus is Wordplay After Dark—games and festivities hosted around Downtown, with authors there to mingle.
It’s a Saturday in July that mixes fun, food, and depth.
Tickets are available for purchase in advance ($20) and at the gate ($25) on July 8. Youth 17 and younger are free. Festivities are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. This year’s author lineup is impressive:
Among the prestigious authors are Rebecca Makkai (Pulitzer finalist for The Great Believers), Alexander Chee (bestselling author The Queen of the Night among others), and Poetry magazine editor and award-winning poet Adrian Matejka. There are also several authors whose books led to popular TV shows and movies: Caroline Kepnes (Netflix series You), Jeff Sharlet (Netflix series The Family), and Paul Trembley (M. Night Shyamalan movie Knock at the Cabin). The lineup will be rounded out by luminaries and rising stars such as Manuel Muñoz, Franny Choi, Mahogany L. Browne, and Sequoia Nagamatsu, and many more. (Links go to samples of the authors’ works, in their own voices.)
Dozens of writers will join our community to share their stories at Wordplay. They’ll be here to make us think, connect with us, and help us connect with each other. See you on July 8th (loftwordplay.org).
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