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Saturday, April 19, 2008
2008 Alabama Book Festival promises fun for all readers
Rick Bragg with fans
Join fellow book lovers for the third annual Alabama Book Festival on Saturday, April 19 at Old Alabama Town in Montgomery and meet and hear from more than seventy nationally recognized writers and artists. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the free event will showcase readings, book signings, children's activities and exhibitions from numerous literary and literacy organizations.
Featured writers and artists include Pulitzer Prize-winners Natasha Trethewey, whose works include Native Guard, and Rick Bragg, whose new book The Prince of Frog Town will debut this spring. Acclaimed fiction writers Cassandra King (Queen of Broken Hearts), Ace Atkins (Wicked South), syndicated columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson (Poor Man's Provence), historian Stephen Fox (Wolf of the Deep: Raphael Semmes and the Notorious Confederate Raider CSS Alabama), award-winning children's writer Deborah Wiles (The Aurora County All-Stars), and many others will appear on the stages of the festival.
A signature literary event for the state, the free festival will feature five general stages and one dedicated children's venue. Singer-songwriter Davis Raines, whose new CD Going to Montgomery was just released, will be a special guest.
Exhibitors and presenters will include Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Public Television, and printer/artist Amos Kennedy, who will be on hand with his letter press to make commemorative posters of the festival. The University of Alabama Book Arts program will showcase works by bookmakers and illustrators, and literary figures from past and present will be in costume to entertain festival-goers.
Check the festival's Web site for a list of the festival's featured writers and presenters. Information about volunteering and details on exhibitors and offerings may also be found at the site. Those interested may also call 334-844-4946.
The Alabama Book Festival is supported by more than twenty sponsors and partners, including the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel, Alabama Center for the Book, Old Alabama Town, Alabama State Council on the Arts, Auburn University College of Liberal Arts, Alagasco, AT & T, NewSouth Books, Support the Arts Car Tag Fund, Capitol Book, City of Montgomery, Montgomery Advertiser, the Alabama Writers' Forum, and many, many more.
The Alabama Writers' Forum presents POETRY SouthWest at the Alabama Book Festival
The Alabama Writers' Forum will present POETRY SouthWest, a poetry venue, at this year's Alabama Book Festival. Featured poets from Red Hen Press, California's leading independent publisher, and Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia, and Indiana will read and sign their work outside of Haigler House, home to AWF. This poetry stage introduces Alabama readers to poets they might not know and promotes a cross-country fertilization of Alabama's vibrant literary landscape with other states. Funders for this project include AWF, the Support the Arts Car Tag Fund, and the Alabama State Council on the Arts, along with the general support for the festival of the Alabama Center for the Book and others.
Alabama Presses represented at POETRY SouthWest include Elk River Review Press, Negative Capability, and River City Publishing. In addition to Red Hen Press, other national presses include Fleur de Lys Press, Houghton Mifflin, Settlement House Press, Southern Illinois University Press, Tebot Bach Press, and Tupelo Press.
Poets include 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey (Native Guard, Houghton Mifflin), Jake Adam York (A Murmuration of Starlings, SIU Press), and Alabama Poet Laureate Sue Brannan Walker (Whatever Remembers Us: An Anthology of Alabama Poets, edited with John Chambers, Negative Capability Press).
Other featured poets include Emma Bolden (Edge by Edge, Toad Lily Press), Bruce Alford (Terminal Switching, Elk River Review Press), Dan Albergotti (The Boatlands, BOA Editions), Matthew Graham (World without End, River City Publishing), Irene Latham (What Comes Before, Negative Capability Press), Willie James King (The House in the Heart, Tebot Bach Press), Nana Lampton (The Moon with the Sun in Her Eye, Fleur De Lys), Louie Skipper (The Work Ethic of the Common Fly, Settlement House), and Jeanie Thompson (White For Harvest: New and Selected Poems, River City Publishing).
The Red Hen Press Poets include Nickole Brown (Sister: Poems), Doug Van Gundy (A Life Above Water), and Kate Gale (Fishers of Men and Selling the Hammock, Red Hen Press, and Mating Season, Tupelo Press).
Fiction featured at the Alabama Book Festival
Ace Atkins, William Drinkard, Cassandra King...the fiction lineup for the Alabama Book Festival only starts here. Atkins, Drinkard, and King will be among the more than seventy authors and presenters featured during the day-long event.
Atkins will read from his brand new novel Wicked City. Set in Phenix City in the 1950s, it draws on the fascinating history of that place and has the distinction of being the first of his half-dozen books to be set in his home state of Alabama. Drinkard's first novel Elom is a work of science fiction, recently published to acclaim by Tor. King's newest novel Queen of Broken Hearts follows on the heels of her best-selling The Same Sweet Girls. Queen of Broken Hearts is a Book of the Month Club and Literary Guild choice.
Other noted authors on the program for the festival include Ellen Feldman, whose latest novel is Scottsboro. Feldman, whose previous titles include The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, lives in New York City. Algonquin author Robert Olmstead will speak about his just released Civil War novel Coal Black Horse.
Other authors on the program include Montgomery native Gin Phillips, who will speak about her just released first novel The Well and the Mine. "When you close this book, you will miss the characters," said Fannie Flagg in her introduction to the book. Joining the line up are Tito Perdue, whose newest book is Fields of Asphodel, and Hackney Award winner Kirk Curnutt, author of Breathing Out the Ghost, recently published by River City Publishing, and many others.
Southern cooking, biography, history share stages at the Alabama Book Festival
With over seventy authors on six stages, the Alabama Book Festival offers something for everyone, including a wide array of Southern cooking, biography, history, and other nonfiction.
One tasty treat will be award-winning author Jean Anderson, whose newest book is A Love Affair with Southern Cooking: Recipes and Recollections. A child of Yankee parents and the first person on either side of her family to be born south of the Mason-Dixon, Anderson says, "I fell in love with southern cooking at the age of five. And a piece of brown sugar pie was all it took." Her own southern story and snippets of lore and backstairs gossip are as interesting and appetizing as the watermelon rind pickles and skillet trout with parsley-pecan pesto creations found in this unique cookbook.
Readers of history will not be disappointed with Stephen Berry (House of Abraham: Lincoln and the Todds, A Family Divided by War), Stephen Fox (Wolf of the Deep: Raphael Semmes and the Notorious Confederate Raider CSS Alabama), Jim Noles (A Pocketful of History: Four Hundred Years of America-One State Quarter at a Time), or Philip Beidler (American Wars, American Peace: Notes from a Son of the Empire). And two Alabama governors are the subjects of new books by Jeff Frederick (Stand Up for Alabama: Governor George Wallace) and Warren Trest (Nobody But the People), who will be accompanied by the subject of his biography, Gov. John Patterson.
Geoffrey Hill will be on hand to talk about his search for the near mythical ivorybill woodpecker and his book, Ivorybill Hunters: The Search for Proof in a Flooded Wilderness. Doug Phillips, host of APTV's popular Discovering Alabama, will talk about Alabama wild lands and draw from his recent book Discovering Alabama Forests.
Also on the program is celebrated columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson, whose newest book, Poor Man's Provence, details her encounter with the exotic culture of Cajun Country. Frye Gaillard, award-winning journalist and author of more than a dozen books on Southern culture and politics, will have three new books to talk about, including With Music and Justice for All: Some Southerners and Their Passions.
The Alabama Book Festival spotlights children's writers, activities
People can encourage reading-and have fun at the same time!-at the upcoming Alabama Book Festival. The free event will celebrate books and reading for all ages and offer special programming for young readers and their families.
Authors, illustrators, theatre performances, and storytelling are among the special children's offerings, many of which will be located in the children's tent, an area designated specifically for young readers. Interactive crafts, book-related activities, and book characters in costume are also among the offerings.
This year's lineup includes Deborah Wiles, whose first novel Love Ruby Lavender won wide acclaim, including selection as an ALA Notable Children's Book. Her picture book One Wide Sky was a Children's Book of the Month Club selection, and her novel Each Little Bird That Sings was a National Book Award finalist. At the festival, she'll read from and talk about her latest book The Aurora County All-Stars.
Children's book illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba will be on hand to talk about her just released Paco and the Giant Chile Plant, a bilingual children's book. Her first picture book The Prince's Diary was named Number One 2006 Valentine's Day Pick by Book Sense.
Storytellers Wanda Johnson, recipient of the Storytelling World award, and Joseph Trimble, whose books include Marty and the Million Man March, will join Janet Chambers, author of Ready, Set, Read, and magician Russell Davis in the festival's children's area.
Amadeus the Traveling Dog, a four-year-old Great Pyrenees whose books for children include Friendship Rules, will be on hand, and a special performance by the award-winning Children's Educational Theater will take place in the children's area. Clifford the Big Red Dog will be available throughout the day to greet children and sign autographs.
Alabama Public Television will give its Reading Rainbow awards at the festival. A noon program showcasing the winners reading their own work will be open to all.
Young adult writers talk teens at the Alabama Book Festival
Who says teenagers don't read? Not the award-winning teen writers who will be on hand at the Alabama Book Festival.
Among the featured young adult-or YA-and teen writers for this year's festival are Jay Asher, author of Thirteen Reasons Why, R. A. Nelson, author of Teach Me and the recently published Breathe My Name, and Jennifer Echols, whose books are Major Crush and The Boys Next Door.
These writers find an avid audience among young readers for their works, many of which touch on issues important to young people, ranging from first love to teen suicide. Their awards testify to their success. Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why was named one of the Best Books for Young Adults in 2008 and one of Barnes & Noble's Top 10 Best for Teens 2007. Nelson's Teach Me was a New York Public Library Best Teen Book. Echols' Major Crush was a National Readers' Choice. Her teen drama, Boy in Blue, will be published by MTV Books in March 2009.
Echols and Nelson have Alabama connections. Echols grew up in a small town in Alabama and now lives in Birmingham. Nelson works at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Asher is based in California, but he already has a following among Alabama students at Holtville Middle School who began a book club discussion using Thirteen Reasons Why.
Music, drama, and more live at the Alabama Book Festival
Tyson Hall & Aleta Davis in Conecuh People
Think books, think music, think plays and come to the Alabama Book Festival to experience them all. Festival-goers will hear music, watch plays, and listen to playwrights talk about how to bring works of literature to the stage.
Among the festival special features is a performance by singer/songwriter Davis Raines. Raines, a native of Alabama, is an accomplished Nashville songwriter who's been called "one of the few real treasures left in Music City." He has recently released his third and most personal CD Going to Montgomery. Produced by Tricia Walker and released on APS Records, it continues Raines' long, passionate career of creating soulful music that tells stories, and most of those stories begin Down South.
Another special feature of the festival will be the performance of an excerpt from the acclaimed theatre production Conecuh People. Based on the book by Alabama native Wade Hall, the play is a long-running production of Union Springs' Red Door Theater. It tells the poignant story of a Bullock County boy's adolescence and two events-one good and one bad-that shaped his life. Ty Adams, a Barbour County native currently living in New York, adapted Wade Hall's autobiographical book of the same name to the stage. Hall will join director Margie Benson and lyricist Jeff Pate for a panel discussion of the play.
Visit the Alabama Book Festival artists online
Printer Amos Kennedy
The 2008 Alabama Book Festival will showcase more than seventy authors, storytellers, publishers, illustrators, and performers at Old Alabama Town in Montgomery on Saturday, April 19. Read biographies of these artists now on the ABF official Web site.
The Alabama Book Festival thanks our sponsors...
Tina McElroy Ansa at the 2007 ABF
Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel, Alabama Center for the Book. Alabama State Council on the Arts, Alagasco, Alabama Writers' Forum, AT&T, Auburn University College of Liberal Arts, Capitol Book, City of Montgomery, Montgomery Advertiser, Old Alabama Town/Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery, River City Publishing, Support the Arts Car Tag Fund, Partners and Friends, Alabama Humanities Foundation, Alabama Library Association, Alabama Power Foundation, Alabama Public Library Service, Alabama Public Television, Alabama Reading Association, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Supreme Court and Law Library, Ashley Gordon, Autauga-Prattville Public Library, Jim Buford, Children's Literacy Guild of Alabama, Ellis-Harper Advertising, Montgomery City-County Public Library, Network of Alabama Academic Libraries, NewSouth Books, Rosa Parks Museum, Sabel Steel Service, Southern Writers' Project, Ted and Shirley Spears, Troy University Montgomery Campus, University of Alabama Book Arts Program, University of Alabama Press, University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies, and WSFA.
Alabama Center for the Book
101 Debardeleben Street
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