Founded in Philadelphia in 2001, the 215 Festival is a literary arts festival celebrating the written, spoken, and visualized word, and exists to take writers and readers of literature into unlikely but friendly spaces.

The festival is currently on hiatus but planning a multiday, annual festival beginning in 2021.

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The 215 Festival showcases the vibrant community of literary talent in Philadelphia, such as poets Ras Mashramani, Lillian Dunn, Warren Longmire, Catie Rosemurgy, Jenn McCreary, Pattie McCarthy, and novelists Asali Solomon, Ken Kalfus, Annie Liontas, and more.

Our events highlight the continued relevance of letters in a growing range of media, from books to music, film, and social media. To contextualize our local scene, the 215 Festival also presents national and international talent.

Past events include readings, book-themed dance parties, literature-informed musical events, book fairs, literary film screenings, and blogger panel discussions in venues as diverse as Jim’s Steaks on South Street, garden center Urban Jungle on Passyunk Avenue, the Philadelphia Art Alliance on Rittenhouse Square, Fishtown Tavern, and the Shambles at Headhouse Square.

Over the years, the 215 Fest has presented an array of the nation’s most award-winning and bestselling authors, including Jonathan Lethem, Ben Greenman, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, John Hodgman, Legs McNeil, George Saunders, Sarah Vowell, Zadie Smith, Jeffrey Eugenides and Patti Smith, among many, many others.



The long history of the festival would be unimaginable without the support of Philadelphia’s literary community. Our very foundation is made up of volunteers who devote their time and energy to celebrating literature and its ability to enrich our lives and deepen our empathy for experiences outside our own.

If you are interested in volunteering to help with the festival, sign up for our newsletter below. Volunteer opportunities will be announced there.

As a nonprofit, we run on donations and sponsorships. For those able, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the festival by clicking the button to the right. All donations go towards paying our visiting authors for their time and travel.




The 215 Festival is a fiscally-sponsored nonprofit under the CultureTrust of Greater Philadelphia. We are currently building a team of core volunteers to help with organizing events, develop marketing and branding, seek out grants and sponsorships, and to aid in administration. If you are interested in joining, please contact us using the form below.




Joshua Demaree was born and raised in central Pennsylvania. He holds a BA from the University of Pittsburgh in Film Studies and the History of Art and Architecture, an MA in Visual & Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and an MFA from Rutgers University-Camden. He is cofounder of Blue Stoop, a hub for Philadelphia writers and lives in West Philadelphia, where he works as a medical editor.






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