Louisiana Book Festival to hold 15th year on Nov. 10
BATON ROUGE — The 15th annual Louisiana Book Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 10. This free, family-friendly, festival celebrating readers, writers and their books, and returns to its premier location in downtown Baton Rouge’s Capitol Park. Events and programming will be held in the Louisiana State Capitol, State Library of Louisiana, Capitol Park Museum, Capitol Park Welcome Center and in tents on neighboring streets.
More than 250 authors and presenters will discuss their books at more than 100 programs throughout the day, followed by book signings in the Barnes and Noble tent, where all featured titles will also be available for purchase.
The 2018 festival also includes the Young Readers Pavilion, where children and parents can enjoy children’s authors, storytelling performances, book-related crafts, face painting and balloon animals, states the news release from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. The Teen HQ will feature bestselling and award-winning young adult authors and activities. Also on tap are live musical performances, cooking demonstrations and a wide variety of book-related activities and exhibitors.
“Louisiana is well-known for its vibrant festivals, and the Louisiana Book Festival is one of the best,” said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, who, along with State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton, will kick off this year’s festival with the presentation of the Louisiana Writer Award to poet and essayist Sheryl St. Germain. “You simply can’t beat the joyful atmosphere that reverberates through downtown Baton Rouge each year for the Louisiana Book Festival. It is something I think every Louisianan should experience!”
“We’re so proud to bring the entirely free Louisiana Book Festival to Baton Rouge each year,” said Hamilton. “Whether you’re interested in a page-turning mystery, an inspiring memoir, the hottest new Young Adult series, gorgeous literary prose, or fascinating true-crime stories, there is truly something for everyone at the Louisiana Book Festival. We encourage visitors to bring the whole family!”
Authors attending this year’s festival include Pulitzer Prize winner Jack E. Davis discussing his book “The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea;” legendary author and recipient of the first ever Louisiana Writer Award Ernest J. Gaines; and, New Orleans chef and Top Chef season 13 fan favorite Isaac Toups doing cooking demos from his cookbook, “Chasing the Gator: Isaac Toups and the New Cajun Cooking,” and many more.
To learn about additional authors attending the festival go online to www.crt.state.la.us and look for the Louisiana Book Festival tab. Also featured will be programs on books discussing beloved literary classic characters including “Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters,” by UNO professor Anne Boyd Rioux and “Atticus Finch: The Biography,” by prize-winning historian Joseph Crespino.
The festival also welcomes poet GennaRose Nethercott whose book, “The Lumberjack’s Dove,” was selected as a winner of the National Poetry Series. Nethercott will be available during the festival to compose personalized, custom “poetry-to-order” which she creates on a 1952 Hermes Rocket typewriter on any topic of an attendee’s choice. She then reads the poem aloud before handing the individual the only existing copy of the poem, which is theirs to keep.
Now in its tenth year, the One Book, One Festival program invites attendees to read the same title in advance and later join the scholar-led discussion with others during the festival. LSU professor Dr. Katie Henninger will lead this year’s discussion of E. P. O’Donnell’s 1941 literary and cultural classic novel “The Great Big Doorstep.”
This year’s official festival artwork was created by Louisiana native William Joyce, Academy Award winning writer, illustrator and filmmaker, and features his beloved character Mr. Morris Lessmore floating over the State Capitol with the aid of his fantastic flying books. Signed, commemorative posters will be available for purchase along with T-shirts, tote bags, souvenir pins, mugs and a special 15th anniversary Christmas ornament.
Pre-festival events on Nov. 9, at the State Library include half-day WordShops, which offer opportunities for aspiring writers of all levels to work in an intimate setting with renowned authors. This year, The New York Times bestselling Jonathan Evison, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick Tessa Fontaine and acclaimed essayist LSU writing professor Joshua Wheeler are leading writing wordshops, while authors Suzanne Hudson and Joe Formichella will be leading a wordshop on self-publishing.
For more information, including how to register for WordShops, and sign-up to volunteer and receive a free Louisiana Book Festival T-shirt, visit www.LouisianaBookFestival.org.