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Alabama Book Festival: April 21 in Montgomery

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  • A.J. Wright
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    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 12, 2012

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      The Alabama Book Festival
      April 21, 2012
      7th annual Alabama Book Festival is April 21
      (photo by Mike Cortez)
      (photo by Mike Cortez)
      The seventh annual Alabama Book Festival will be held in downtown Montgomery's historic Old Alabama Town on Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This free public event is the state’s premier book festival, with 5,000 people from throughout Alabama and the South converging on the capital city to meet and mingle with more than forty-five celebrated authors, including poets Abraham Smith and Antoinette Brim, novelists Gin Phillips and Marlin Barton, and creative nonfiction writers Peggy Vonsherie Allen and Rheta Grimsley Johnson. Author readings will be followed by book signings, giving attendees the opportunity to purchase books and talk to authors.

      The children’s activity area will feature storytelling and arts and crafts. Also, in keeping with 2012 as the Year of Alabama Food, there will be plenty of delicious Southern fare. Learn more about the festival and sign up as a volunteer on the Web or phone 888-240-1850.

      ABF 2012 to feature activities for young readers
      Eric Litwin (Pete the Cat) gets some help from a young fan at ABF 2011. (photo by Ashley Gordon)
      Eric Litwin (Pete the Cat) gets some help from a young fan at ABF 2011. (photo by Ashley Gordon)
      Thanks to popular series such as Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games (by Alabama School of Fine Arts alumna Suzanne Collins), interest in books for young readers is on the rise. In keeping with that trend, the 2012 Alabama Book Festival is hosting a fantastic line up of young adult and children’s authors and sponsoring its first Student Readers Group.

      Among the many best-selling YA authors attending this year’s festival are Homer Hickam with Crater; Valerie Gribben with The Fairytale Trilogy; and Quebe Merritt Bradford with In the Absence of My Father.

      For younger children, the festival will host renowned writers Hester Bass, author of The Secret World of Walter Anderson, and Calvin Alexander Ramsey, author of Belle, the Last Mule at Gee’s Bend: A Civil Rights Story. Dean Mackey will talk about the history of paper airplanes and demonstrate how different models fly. He’ll also be available to help kids of all ages make their own.

      In addition to visiting with authors, the Festival will feature arts and crafts activities and the chance to shake hands with Nate the Great™, Maisy the Mouse™, and Biscuit™.

      The Student Readers Group, organized by Foster Dickson, invites high school and college students around the state to read Jim Crow and Me: Stories from My Life as a Civil Rights Lawyer by Solomon Seay Jr., who will lead a discussion of his book with students at 9 a.m.

      Alabama Book Festival to celebrate the Year of Alabama Food
      This year’s festival will celebrate the Year of Alabama Food with a day-long line-up that will take attendees from farm to table, through cooking’s past and present, and leave them asking for more.

      Starting at 10:45, vintage recipes and memories of meals past will be the subject of the day’s first food panel, featuring Cecil McMillan, former owner of the renowned Blue Moon Restaurant and author of its namesake cookbook. McMillan will share stories and cooking tips from The Blue Moon Revisited, which contains all the classics from the original edition plus a chapter of new recipes. McMillan will be joined by Don Goodman, author of The Happy Table of Eugene Walter. A southern Renaissance man, Walter was a pioneering food writer, a champion of southern foodways and culture, and a legendary personality among food lovers.

      Next up at 11:30 is Alice Randall, author of the new novel Ada’s Rules and writer-in-residence at Vanderbilt University where she teaches courses on soul food, among other topics. Randall has emerged as an innovative food activist committed to reforms that support healthy bodies and healthy communities. In this discussion she will explore the intersection of food and fiction in the South.

      Edwin Marty will speak at 12:15 on his new book Breaking Through Concrete: Building an Urban Farm Revival. Marty is director of the Hampstead Institute inMontgomery. He has worked on sustainable farming projects in Mexico, Mongolia, Australia, and Chile. He is a contributor to Southern Living and founder of Jones Valley Urban Farm, a nonprofit teaching farm in downtown Birmingham.

      Lunch is also on the agenda, and the Festival has delicious fare available on site. Jenny Weller Catering will be at the grill and serving cold plates, Boomer T’s is supplying the barbecue, and Paul Williams’ House of Bread will have coffee and pastries. Nancy’s Italian Ice is the perfect dessert.

      After lunch attendees will be treated to a return visit from the ever-popular Christy Jordan, author of Southern Plate and host of its popular Web site. Jordan is dedicated to teaching classic Southern dishes step by step, mixed with a few stories from her life and the folks who raised her. In its second year, Southern Plate had over 43 million page views.

      Three Poets: On Writing, Reading, & Publishing with Students: A Writing Workshop for Alabama Teachers
      Frank X Walker (photo by Tracy A. Hawkins)
      Frank X Walker (photo by Tracy A. Hawkins)
      On Friday, April 20, 2012, the day before the 7th annual Alabama Book Festival, Alabama teachers, grades 7-12, are invited to join three Book Festival authors, Randall Horton, Frank X Walker, and Patti White, for an exciting day of writing workshops free of charge at Troy University, Montgomery Campus. Courtesy of Vulcan Materials Company, the Support the Arts Car Tag, Troy University, and the Alabama Writers’ Forum, these workshops are designed to introduce teachers to new strategies for integrating creative writing into language arts and English curricula.

      To register, send your name, school, and e-mail address to: writersforum@..., Subject line: teacher workshop. Participation by pre-registration only.

      The Alabama Book Festival thanks all of its generous supporters
      Alabama Bench and Bar Historical Society, Alabama Department of Tourism and Travel, Alabama Humanities Foundation, Alabama Library Association, Alabama State Council on the Arts, Alabama Writers' Forum, Art Works, Auburn University at Montgomery, Capitol Book & News, City of Montgomery, Landmarks Foundation, Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery City-County Public Library, Old Alabama Town, Support the Arts Car Tag Fund, Troy University, and Vulcan Materials Company

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