Deep Water Literary Festival Takes Over Narrowsburg in The Catskills

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Above image: One Grand Books


It’s not exactly a secret, but The Catskills, the mountainous region just a couple of hours drive north of New York City, has become a galvanizing point for weary Gotham creatives – those looking to escape the overbearing stresses of NYC, either temporarily or in some cases permanently.

One of its great success stories has been One Grand Books, in the charming town of Narrowsburg, a shop selling exclusively collections curated by famous notables – including Tilda Swinton, Rose McGowan, Michael Stipe, Trevor Noah, Greta Gerwig…the list goes on, and on.

This weekend, in conjunction with the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, they will produce the cannot-miss Deep Water Festival, three days (June 15-17) devoted to the unshakeable love of books, and, therefore, the sanctity of the written word. It will feature an impressive lineup of literary luminaries – A.M. Homes, Bella Bathurst, National Book Award winner Masha Gessen, and more – along with the likes of performance legend Penny Arcade, actor Mark Ruffalo, and Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears, whose new book Boys Keep Swinging, hit the shelves earlier this year.



“Imagine a summer weekend in a gorgeous river town,” enthuses One Grand proprietor Aaron Hicklin, “packed with some of America’s most brilliant writers and engaging entertainers…and no venue more than five minutes from the last. I’m bringing to shape my dream of a great literary festival, one that is much more than just a series of book signings.” Take that, Hay-on-Wye.

There will be readings, performances, and most spectacularly, a marathon recital and performance of The Odyssey. Opening night’s Cocktails on Main, where Odysseus-themed tipples will be served by various local boutiques, confirms the social credentials of the event.

“We’ll be giving out 28-page ‘passports,'” says Hicklin, “that list every book, the reader/performer, the venue, and a summary of the narrative. These are each imprinted as they enter each venue with a special Deep Water Literary Festival stamp, as a kind of souvenir…but also to show how many sections each attendee has completed.”


Stay + Dine

Just a 15 minute drive from downtown Narrowsburg, the Western Hotel is a Victorian gem dating to 1852, with bright, designy rooms and the authentic, on-site Tap Room, serving local specialties and craft cocktails.

Located right along Main Street, The Heron combines rustic charm with comfort food specialities like fennel dusted veal shortribs and buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches.