The 2006 Book Conference will feature plenary session addresses by some of the world's leading thinkers and innovators in the fields of publishing, libraries, information systems, literacy and learning, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Garden Conversation Sessions

Main speakers will make formal 30 minute presentations in the plenary sessions. They will also participate in 60 minute Garden Conversation sessions at the same time as the parallel sessions. The setting is a circle of chairs outdoors. These sessions are entirely unstructured - a chance to meet the plenary speaker and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.

  • Jason Epstein

    Jason Epstein has led one of the most creative careers in book publishing of the past half century. In 1952, while a young editor at Doubleday, he created Anchor Books, which launched the so-called ‘paperback revolution’ and established the trade paperback format. In the following decade he became cofounder of The New York Review of Books. In the 1980s he created the Library of America, the prestigious publisher of American classics, and The Reader's Catalog, the precursor of online bookselling.

    For many years, Jason Epstein was editorial director of Random House. He was the first recipient of the National Book Award for Distinguished Service to American Letters and was given the Curtis ‘inventing new kinds of publishing and editing.’ He has edited many well-known novelists, including Norman Mailer, Vladimir Nabokov, E. L. Doctorow, Philip Roth, and Gore Vidal, as well as many important writers of nonfiction.

    In recent years, Jason has been written the provocative and inspirational book, 'Book Business', on the future of publishing, and has been involved in the On Demand Books digital printing initiative.


    From AGNI REVIEW web site, verbatim

    Sven Birkerts has been editor of AGNI since July 2002. He is the author of six books, including An Artificial Wilderness: Essays on 20th Century Literature (William Morrow), The Electric Life: Essays on Modern Poetry (William Morrow), American Energies: Essays on Fiction (William Morrow), The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age (Faber & Faber), Readings (1999, Graywolf), and My Sky Blue Trades: Growing Up Counter in a Contrary Time (2002, Viking). He has edited Tolstoy’s Dictaphone: Writers and the Muse (Graywolf) as well as Writing Well (with Donald Hall) and The Evolving Canon (Allyn & Bacon).

    He has received grants from the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundation and the Guggenheim Foundation. He was winner of the Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle in 1985 and the Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award from PEN for the best book of essays in 1990. Birkerts has reviewed regularly for The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, Esquire, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Mirabella, Parnassus, The Yale Review, and other publications. He has taught writing at Harvard University, Emerson College, and Amherst and is currently a lecturer at Mt. Holyoke College and a member of the core faculty of the Bennington Writing Seminars. He lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.

  • Jan Constantine

    Jan Constantine has has over thirty years of legal experience in the practice of general corporate law and litigation, with specific expertise in the areas of intellectual property, trade regulation, labor and employment law. In October 2005, Ms. Constantine became General Counsel of the Author's Guild, a non-profit organization representing over 8700 published authors. She is responsible for supervising the Guild's legal department and managing litigation, which currently includes the Author's Guild et al. v. Google, a class action filed in September 2005. Until July 2005, Ms. Constantine was Executive Vice President of News Corporation, a global media and information company with diversified operations, including the production and distribution of motion pictures and television programming, television broadcasting and on-line information services; the publication of newspapers, magazines, books and promotional free-standing inserts. She was responsible for legal affairs for U.S. operations in areas of litigation, intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, corporate financing, bankruptcy, antitrust and trade regulation, labor and employment and supervises the work of the entire in-house legal department as well as outside counsel. Ms. Constantine lectured to Company employees on topics relating to intellectual property, employment law and Sarbanes Oxley/corporate governance. She is currently of counsel to Constantine Cannon, a boutique law firm specializing in antitrust law. Prior to joining News Corporation, Ms. Constantine was Deputy General Counsel for Macmillan, Inc., a multi-national conglomerate engaged in publishing, information services and electronic publishing, and language instruction. Her broad responsibilities included managing all legal affairs relating to litigation, mergers and acquisitions, corporate financing, labor and employment, and publishing. Before her employment with Macmillan, Ms. Constantine was appointed Deputy Chief of the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office, which followed her employment at the New York Regional office of the Federal Trade Commission. Ms. Constantine is a longstanding member of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She also serves on the Media Law Committee of the New York State Bar Association and is a member of the Board of Directors for two not-for-profit organizations, Children for Children and the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. She also performs legal work pro bono for The Feminist Press. In addition, Ms. Constantine is a member of the City Bar Chorus, a community outreach program for representatives of the legal profession. In the fall/winter of 2003, Ms. Constantine taught a course on ethics and journalism to graduate students at Baruch Graduate School of Journalism. Ms. Constantine received a B.A. from Smith College and is a graduate of George Washington University's National Law Center.



    This year Merriam-Webster celebrates the bicentennial anniversary of America's first dictionary, Noah Webster's A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language,published in 1806. This important milestone in lexicography challenged other existing dictionaries on several counts: spelling (which Webster would reform), pronunciation, etymology (word histories), modernity, and definitions.

    The volume included thousands of words which were in daily use in America and other English-speaking countries, but were not listed in any other lexicon. Noah Webster’s concise definitions brilliantly proved his special gifts for accuracy and precision.

    Webster defined the word compendious as “brief, concise, summary,” and the book itself was indeed small compared to what Webster and his successors would publish in the decades to follow. But there was nothing small about its significance. While physically tiny (about six and a half inches tall by four inches wide), the Compendious marked the true beginning of American lexicography and set a direction for dictionary making that Merriam-Webster continues today.

    Merriam-Webster will be acknowledging this distinctive anniversary throughout the year with a number of special programs, including:

    Dictionaries and Democracy: 200 Years of Dictionary Making in America

    a year-long and nation-wide press tour conducted by Merriam-Webster’s president and publisher, John M. Morse.

    Merriam-Webster's Spell-a-Thon

    a spelling bee for teams or individuals encompassing three different skill levels (junior for ages 8–10, intermediate for ages 11–14, and adult for ages 15 and up).

    Defining Local Literacy

    a partnership with booksellers to promote local literacy

    For more information on any of these special commemorative events, please contact your account representative or:

    Arthur Bicknell

    Senior Publicist

    (413) 734-3134 ext. 119

  • Helene Atwan

    Helene Atwan Born in Paris, France in 1953, Helene Atwan has been director of Beacon Press since October 1995. She began her career in publishing at Alfred A. Knopf in 1976, and has worked at The Viking Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Simon and Schuster.

  • Bob Young

    Bob Young is founder and CEO of, an online marketplace for digital content and the world’s fastest-growing provider of print-on-demand books is a web site that allows authors, educators, artists, musicians, businesses and others publish their own books, images, multimedia and music and sell them to the world; all without surrendering either ownership or control. Lulu is the latest innovative business started by Young, hitherto best-known as a visionary entrepreneur and co-founder of Red Hat, the open source software company that he helped turn into a household name and chief rival to Microsoft and Sun. His success at Red Hat won him many accolades, including the nomination as one of Business Week Magazine’s "Top Entrepreneurs”. Young believes that Lulu, with a little help from the Internet and the latest print-on-demand technology, is revolutionizing the publishing industry in the same way that Red Hat and open source revolutionized the software industry; and is doing so by the same process of putting the consumer in control. Bob graduated from the University of Toronto in 1976 prior to beginning his career in the computer finance arena. Before founding Red Hat in 1993, Bob spent 20 years at the helm of two computer-leasing companies he founded. That experience as a high tech entrepreneur combined with his innate marketing savvy to give rise to Red Hat’s success.

    His book, Under the Radar, chronicles how Red Hat’s open source strategy successfully won wide industry acceptance in a market previously dominated by proprietary binary-only systems. In 1999 Bob founded The Center for the Public Domain, a non-profit foundation that supports the growth of a healthy and robust public domain of knowledge and the arts. In March 2002, Bob Young launched Lulu Enterprises, an online marketplace for digital content. Lulu’s name comes from the concept of a "lulu," which is an old-fashioned term for a remarkable person, object or idea. Lulu is driven by Young's strong commitment to information access as a foundation for knowledge advancement, whether in education, computer code, or other realms. Bob calls himself a capitalist but he might also be called a ‘Luluist’, if not a ‘Lululutionary’. He is, at least, the inventor of ‘Luluism’, the new political philosophy, which may be the most exciting new political idea to emerge since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Internet. Luluism goes beyond either communism and capitalism and squares the circle between them. Like communism – at least in theory – Luluism allows the workers (in this case, writers, photographers, musicians and other ‘creators’) to own the means of production (the rights to their own books, photographs, music, etc), instead of having to sign them away to big media companies. But like the purest form of capitalism, it then lets the free-market decide and rule.

  • Angus Phillips

    Angus Phillips is Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies and Head of the Publishing Department at Oxford Brookes University. Angus Phillips joined Oxford Brookes University in 2003. He has an MBA from Warwick University, an MA from Oxford University, and many years experience in the publishing industry including running a trade and reference list at Oxford University Press. He has acted as consultant to a variety of publishing companies, and trained publishing professionals from the UK and overseas in editorial, marketing and management.

    Angus is a member of the International Advisory Committee for the International Conference on the Book (held at Oxford Brookes in 2005) and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the International Journal of the Book. He has written book chapters and journal articles in the areas of the Internet, book covers, and the role of the publishing editor. With Giles Clark he is the author of the new edition of Inside Book Publishing (2007). He is a contributor to the forthcoming Blackwell Companion to the History of Books , and is the editor, with Bill Cope, of The Future of the Book in the Digital Age. (2006).




    Three decades of bookselling! Somehow we don’t feel that old. We’ve known many of you since we opened on Main Street next to the Factory Point Bank in September, 1976. We were novices, but we knew we had made the right decision when passersby would drop in to the store – not yet finished – asking for specific titles as we were opening up cartons of books to put on the shelves. One person asked if “this was going to be an adult bookstore,” and we assured him that it was for all ages. Another asked if we were going to carry music – then it was LP’s - and we were quick to sense a demand for records. Children’s books were always going to be a focus, but soon after we opened – in 1,000 square feet on one floor – we realized that we hadn’t allocated enough space for them, and so two years later we opened the Children’s Level downstairs.

    In 1985, the Northshire Bookstore made a risky, some said foolhardy, decision to purchase the Colburn House, formerly an established inn and restaurant, and after 1½ years of redesign and extensive renovation, we moved across the street. Over the years, we were rewarded by a growing clientele, a wonderful and enthusiastic staff, and an author program that contributed to the cultural vibrancy of the community. In response to our local customers, as well as visitors, we built our house of books so that by the end of the 90’s, we started dreaming about what would have been inconceivable when we moved in to the Colburn. We needed a bigger store! And the planning began.

    Around that time, our sons Chris and Andy came back to Vermont, after years of work and travel elsewhere, and we sensed an opportunity. The newly expanded Northshire opened in 2003 a week before Christmas. We have what we hope is a more browser-friendly bookstore – and of course the wonderful Spiral Press Café. We will keep growing in the sense that we are always open to new ideas and interesting ventures. We live in a fast changing world, where one of the main constants is change itself. With your help, we hope to be able to respond.



    Librarian and historian John Y. Cole has served the Library of Congress since 1966. In 1976, Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin named Cole chairman of a one-year Library of Congress Task Force on Goals, Organization, and Planning. When the Task Force's work ended in 1977, Dr. Boorstin asked Cole to become the founding director of the new Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, established by Boorstin to use the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading and to encourage the historical study of books and their influence.

    Cole is a graduate of the University of Washington (B.A. in history, 1962, Master's degree in Librarianship, 1963); the Johns Hopkins University (Master's degree in Liberal Arts, 1966); and the George Washington University (Ph.D. in American Civilization, 1971). His major scholarly interest is the role of the Library of Congress in American life and culture.

    He is a tireless promoter of books, reading, and libraries. Under his leadership, the Center for the Book has grown into an office of national and international importance. All fifty states and the District of Columbia have established affiliates of the national center at the Library of Congress. Moreover, the Center for the Book has inspired the creation of centers for books and reading in several other countries, including England, Scotland, South Africa, and Russia.

    To honor Dr. Cole's distinguished service to the profession of librarianship, in 2000 the American Library Association presented him with its prestigious Lippincott Award.

    Dr. Cole has published extensively about the history of books and libraries in society and the history of the Library of Congress. His most recent book, co-edited with historian Jane Aikin, is the Encyclopedia of the Library of Congress: For Congress, the Nation, and the World (Bernan, 2004). He is the author of the popular Library of Congress volumes, Jefferson's Legacy: A Brief History of the Library of Congress (1993) and On These Walls: Inscriptions and Quotations in the Buildings of the Library of Congress (1995). He has edited 14 books published by the Center for the Book, including Television, the Book, and the Classroom (1978), Books in Our Future: Perspectives and Proposals (1987), and Books Change Lives (1996).

    From March 1990 until February 1992, Dr. Cole served concurrently as director of the Center for the Book and as the Library of Congress's Acting Associate Librarian for Cultural Affairs. From September 1993 until May 1995, he had the additional duty of Acting Director of the Library's Publishing Office. From October 1997 through December 2000, he was co-chairman of the steering committee for the commemoration of the Library of Congress's Bicentennial in the year 2000. From 1997 to 2001, he chaired the Reading Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).

    Under Dr. Cole's direction, the Center for the Book plays a major role in the National Book Festival, coordinating the Festival's author and reading promotion programs.


    PROF Emerson College

    FROM Emerson College WEB SITE VERBATIM

    Jeffrey L. Seglin writes "The Right Thing," a weekly column on general ethics syndicated by the New York Times Syndicate. He is the author of The Right Thing: Conscience, Profit and Personal Responsibility in Today’s Business. He is also the author of The Good, the Bad, and Your Business: Choosing Right When Ethical Dilemmas Pull You Apart.

    He was an ethics fellow at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in 2001 and a resident fellow at the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard in 1998-99. He lectures widely on business ethics.

    He is the author or co-author on more than a dozen books on business and writing. He has written for publications including the New York Times, Fortune, FSB,,, Sojourners, MIT's Sloan Management Review, Harvard Management Update, Business 2.0, ForbesASAP, CIO, CFO, MBA Jungle, among others. Prior to 1998, he was an executive editor at Inc. magazine.


    VERBATIM FROM Emerson College WEB SITE

    Graduate Program Director for the M.A. Program and Assistant Professor (2001) B.A., Tufts University; M.S., Boston University

    Lisa Diercks has taught courses in book design and production, magazine design and production, and desktop publishing at Emerson since 1996. Ascenders & Descenders, the book designed and produced by her 1999 book design class, was accepted into the 2000 New England Book Show; Hot Metal, from her 2002 class, was accepted into the 2003 Book Show; Foul, from her 2003 class, the 2004 Book Show; and Errata, from her 2004 class, into this year's Show. She is the director of the graduate program in publishing and writing at Emerson.

    She began her career at Houghton Mifflin/Trade and established her own design studio in 1987. Her publishing clients have included the Atlantic Monthly; Beacon Press; Boston Common Press; Candlewick Press; Clarion Books; HarperCollins; Little, Brown; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She continues to work on 10-15 publishing projects a year. Chocolate on the Brain, a book she designed, won an award at the 2002 Book Show.


    VERBATIM, Emerson College WEB SITE

    Writer-in-Residence (2001)

    B.A., Fordham University; M.F.A., Goddard College

    Richard Hoffman teaches a graduate craft seminar on writing the memoir and a graduate literature class, The Twentieth Century in the First Person: Memoir as the Literature of Witness, as well as undergraduate courses in fiction and nonfiction. His work, both prose and verse, has appeared in Ascent, Agni, The Harvard Review, Hudson Review, Marlboro Review, Poetry, Shenandoah, The Writers' Chronicle, and The Literary Review which gave him its Charles Angoff Award for the Essay in 2002. He has been awarded fellowships from the New Jersey Council on the Arts for poetry, the Massachusetts Artists' Foundation for non-fiction prose, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council for fiction. His memoir, Half the House, received the Boston Athenaeum Readers' Prize in 1996, and has just been re-issued by New Rivers Press. A collection of his poems, Without Paradise, was published in 2002.



    Publishing Industry Soundbytes 1-31-05

    Published on: 1/31/2005 Last Visited: 2/7/2005, Reed Business Information announced that Sara Nelson has joined the company as Editor-in-Chief of Publishers Weekly magazine. She will report to Executive Vice President and Publisher William McGorry. A journalist for twenty-five years, Nelson most recently served as the publishing columnist and books editor for the New York Post. There, she wrote a weekly column on the business of publishing and oversaw all book coverage and excerpts in the daily and Sunday papers. Before joining the Post, Nelson was the publishing columnist for the New York Observer and Senior Contributing Editor at Glamour magazine. Nelson has also worked at several other publications including, where she was the founding books editor; Self magazine; The Book Publishing Report; the Oxygen network; and Her other career highlights include authoring the bestselling memoir/reading guide, So Many Books, So Little Time, organizing and running the NYU Summer Publishing Institute and teaching regularly at both the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Radcliffe Publishing Course, which is now part of Columbia.


    Susan Wilson, Author Former Globe columnist "Sights and Insights," and author of The Literary Trail of Greater Boston, Boston Women's Heritage Trail: Guidebook, Walking Trails, Maps, Sights and Insights: A Multicultural Guide to Boston, and Forest Hill Cemetery Guidebook. In 1992 she received an award from the tourist organization Boston by Foot for enhancing public awareness and appreciation of Boston history, architecture, and the urban environment. In addition to being a professional writer, Ms. Wilson is also a photographer and educator.

  • Sid Berger

    Sidney Berger is a Professor at Simmons College in the Departments of Communication and English, and in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. He is also on the faculty of the Library School at the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana. He is proprietor of the Doe Press, and has lectured and published widely on many topics in the book arts, librarianship, publishing, and literature. His three most recent books have been on Japanese papers and decorated paper.

  • Ike Williams

    Ike Williams is a Boston-based Literary Agent and a Senior Counsel of Fish & Richardson P.C. His practice emphasizes intellectual property and First Amendment litigation and the creation, production, and licensing of intellectual property, particularly in the areas of publishing, film, television, and new media. He is the co-author with E. Gabriel Perle and Mark Fischer of the widely used Perle & Williams on Publishing Law (2 Vol. rev. 2002; Aspen Law and Business), was a member of the National Endowment for the Arts Literary Panel for many years, served as the Chair of the Boston Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, and is Co-Chair of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. As a Director of Kneerim & Williams at Fish & Richardson, the firm's literary and dramatic rights agency, Mr. Williams specializes in biography, history, politics, natural science and anthropology. Authors he represents include Howard Gardner, Joseph J. Ellis, David H. Donald, E.O. Wilson, Tim Berners-Lee, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Rev. Peter J. Gomes, Michael Porter, Charles Ogletree, James MacGregor Burns, Lawrence Schiller, and Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot. Together with Elaine Rogers (Boston) and Phyllis Kaufman (NYC), he represents screenplay and teleplay writers in the placement of dramatic rights. Recent projects include Vendetta: FBI Hero Melvin Purvis’s War Against Crime, and J. Edgar Hoover’s War Against Him by Alston Purvis, in development as a feature film by Misher Films and Universal Studios, and Turnaround, a television series for Touchstone based on William Bratton’s term as Police Chief of New York City. Mr. Williams has lectured on intellectual property and entertainment law at Suffolk, Northeastern, Boston University, Boston College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard law schools, the Practicing Law Institute (PLI), and the International Bar Association. He has served as a panelist for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), Practising Law Institute, the International Bar Association, and the ABA Forum on Communications Law. Mr. Williams is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (in every edition since 1991) and in the Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyers for 2004 and 2005. He was the recipient of the American Jewish Committee's 2005 Judge Learned Hand Award.

  • Michael Jon Jensen

    Michael Jon Jensen has been at the interface between digital technologies and scholarly/academic publishing since the late 1980s.

    In 2002 Michael Jensen was appointed Director of Web Communications for the National Academies. He remains Director of Publishing Technologies at the National Academies Press, which makes more than 3600 books (more than 600,000 pages) from the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council fully browsable and searchable online for free ( This site receives more than a million visitors per month, and boasts of some of the most advanced search and discovery tools available on any publisher's site, most of which were initially developed by Mr. Jensen. In 2001, Michael Jensen received the National Academies' "President's Award," its highest staff honor.

    Previously, Michael Jensen was Electronic Publisher at the Johns Hopkins University Press, and Electronic Media Manager at the University of Nebraska Press. He has been involved in publishing on the Internet since 1989 and is a frequent speaker and consultant on electronic publishing issues. He has directed or guided such projects as the first searchable online publisher's catalog, a dozen major CD-ROM products, the Gallery of the Open Frontier, the online publication of several large reference works for Johns Hopkins University Press, The Johns Hopkins Online Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism (winner of the Association of American Publisher's 1997 "Best Electronic Product – Internet – Social Sciences/Humanities" award), and Walker's Mammals of the World Online, as well as the pioneering online journals project of the Johns Hopkins University Press, Project Muse, which made more than 5,000 articles from 42 journals available for institutional online subscription in HTML format.

    Mr. Jensen, with the Academies, is also currently technical partner of the History Cooperative (, which makes the works of the most prestigious journals in History available online to subscribing institutions.

  • Mary Kalantzis, is Dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinios Urbana Campaign US.

    She also is an Adjunct professor at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, attached to the Globailsm Institute and Research Director of the Knowledge Design Forum. She was the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Language and Community Services at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia from 1997-2003, the President of the Australian Council of Deans of Education from 2000-2004 and an inaugural member of the Australian National Institute for Quality Teaching and School Leadership 2004 – 2005. She has also been a Commissioner of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Chair of the Queensland Ethnic Affairs Ministerial Advisory Committee and a member of the Australia Council’s Community Cultural Development Board. Her academic research and writing, crosses a number of disciplines, including history, linguistics, education and sociology; and examines themes as varied as Australian immigration, leadership and workplace change, professional learning, pedagogy and literacy learning. With Bill Cope, she is co-author of a number of books, including: 'The Powers of Literacy', Falmer Press, London, 1993, 'Productive Diversity', Pluto Press, Sydney, 1997; 'A Place in the Sun: Re-Creating the Australian Way of Life', Harper Collins, Sydney, 2000; 'Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures', Routledge, London, 2000; and 'Learning by Design', Victorian Schools Innovation Commission, Melbourne, 2005.