Unfazed by a year of political and economic turmoil, American book lovers have such a renewed interest in books and reading that the number of fall book festivals has ballooned to the point where PW needs to divide this listing into two parts. The remaining 19 book festivals will be profiled in next week's issue. There are two new book festivals this year: Atlanta Literary Festival and Wisconsin Book Festival.
High Plains Book Festival and Wyoming Bookfest are not scheduled this fall, but are making plans for 2003. Though Newport News (Virginia) Public Library System has cancelled its "Celebrate the Book" event, it has organized a book discussion series and conferences on African-American and women's literature for 2002—2003.
Seattle, August 30—September 2
www.bumbershoot.org; (206) 281-7788
Now in its 32nd year, this Labor Day weekend multiarts extravaganza will host 200,000 visitors and feature more than 2,500 artists and performers at Seattle Center, site of the 1962 World's Fair. Bumbershoot's Literary Arts program will present nearly 100 writers and poets, including Breyten Breytenbach and Emma Donoghue. "The Role of the Writer in Troubled Times," brings together writers from the Middle East and South Africa to discuss chronicling troubled times through journalism and fiction. Performance and slam poets from around the U.S. will compete at Bumberslam. Fifty small and independent presses will be represented at the Starbucks Bookfair.
Log Cabin BookFest
Boise, Idaho, September 12—15
www.logcablit.org; (208) 331-8000
The Log Cabin Literary Center's BookFest will examine literature in Idaho and the region, presenting more than 80 writers from the Northern Rockies and the Pacific Northwest. BookFest Sampler offers readings by Judith Freeman, Gary Gildner, Deborah Donnelly and others. Community members may read aloud from favorite Steinbeck passages at a Citywide Book Club reading. New this year are writing workshops taught by visiting authors. Now in its fourth year, the festival expects to attract more than 1,600 visitors to venues including the Log Cabin, Boise Art Museum and Idaho Historical Museum.
Nebraska Book Festival
Grand Island, Nebr., September 13—14
www.stuhrmuseum.org/book.htm; (308) 381-8681
"A Sense of Time, A Sense of Place" is the theme for this festival's 11th year. Presented at the Stuhr Museum, a living history museum of period homes, farmsteads and a Pawnee earth lodge, many activities will bear a historical perspective. Speakers include Bob Greene, author of Once Upon a Town, a story of the North Platte Canteen in WWII, and John Sorensen, who will discuss the influence of child advocates Grace and Edith Abbott on public policy and children's rights. Dr. Richard Fruehling will explain medical practices on the Lewis and Clark Trail. Visitors can mingle with writers at "Picnic with the Poets."
Great Salt Lake Book Festival
Salt Lake City, September 13—15
www.utahhumanities.org/bookfestival; (801) 359-9670
With "Mountains and Rivers" as a theme, this festival returns for its fifth year, expecting 6,000 visitors. More than 70 writers will participate, including Andrei Codrescu, Katie Lee, Mark Spragg and William Least Heat-Moon. Writer/climbers such as Rick Ridgeway, Greg Childs and Amy Irvine will give readings and speak about mountain culture. Salt Lake Community College joins the Utah Humanities Council to present children's authors, including Carol Lynch Williams and Michael Tunnell. Children may create their own books and operate a letterpress.
Great Basin Book Festival
Reno, Nev., September 17—21
www.unr.edu/nhc/book_festival.htm; (800) 382-5023
The sixth annual festival will feature readings by authors including Leonard Nimoy and Mary Sojourner, community events and an all-day book fair at Wingfield Park in downtown Reno. Linda Hasselstrom, Linda Hussa, Diane Joseph Peavey and others will participate in "An Evening with Western Women Writers and Artists," and there will be a special presentation by Ernest Gaines. The festival will host 6,000 attendees.
Atlanta Literary Festival
Atlanta, September 24—29
www.atlantaliteraryfestival.com; (404) 259-4841
Atlanta's first major literary festival will celebrate Georgia's literary heritage and raise funds for state literacy programs. Opening with "Books Alive!" at the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, authors, poets, musicians and dancers will give expression to the written word. At "The Moveable Feast of Authors," guests can enjoy a strolling five-course dinner and meet authors such as Robert Morgan, Silas House and Cassandra King. "The Night of 100 Authors" highlights local writers with readings at bookstores throughout metropolitan Atlanta. In Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Book and Arts Festival, sponsored by the Georgia Writers Association, will host more than 200 Southern authors, publishers and artists and will feature a Children's Pavilion.
New York Is Book Country
New York City, September 25—29
In its 24th year, NYIBC plans different themes each day. "New York is Cookbook Country" will have programs with author/chefs Ruth Reichl, Anthony Bourdain and others. "NYIBC at the Movies" explores the synergy between books and movies, with New York debuts of films based on works by Bret Easton Ellis and Esmeralda Santiago. On September 28, events are planned at institutions around the city, including Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York City Police Museum and National Museum of the American Indian. The Annual Book Fair on Fifth Avenue will draw a quarter of a million visitors on September 29 and will feature a Spanish language pavilion, antiquarian booksellers, 150 booths and a children's stage. Michael Chabon, Peter Jennings, Alice Sebold and Stephen L. Carter are among those who will speak at the annual Literary Brunch and Literary Tea.
Celebration of Books
Tulsa, Okla., September 27—28
http://poetsandwriters.okstate.edu/celebration/index.html; (918) 594-8215
Isabel Allende will present the opening address, with 70 writers, artists and musicians joining in this celebration. Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Marlette and actress Marsha Mason will be honored with special awards. Among 20 panel discussions is "Documenting Extraordinary Lives," with biographers Arnold Rampersad, Gerald Clarke and Richard Reeves. "Mothers and Daughters in the Arts" will feature Carolyn and Lisa See and Elizabeth and Kendall Hailey. Held in even years, the festival is being held for its seventh time and expects 3,000 attendees.
Montana Festival of the Book
Missoula, Mont., September 27—28
www.bookfest-mt.org; (406) 243-6022
There will be revelry in historic downtown Missoula for Montana's third book festival with readings, signings, exhibits and entertainment for 5,000 visitors. Participating authors include Tim Cahill, David Duncan, Debra Magpie Earling and Judy Blunt. The "Happy Tales" contest will return, allowing writers to create alternative happy endings to literary works; last year, John Clayton won with A Rivet Runs Through It, based on Norman MacLean's novella.
Baltimore Book Festival
Baltimore, September 27—29
www.baltimoreevents.org/calendar/events/book_index.html; (410) 752-8632
Recognizing the spirit of Baltimore's literary tradition, the festival will launch its first annual literary contest for the Mayor's Award of Literary Excellence. For its seventh year, 175 literary exhibitors, signings, discussions, crafts, puppet-making and more will be offered to 65,000 visitors. "The Literary Salon" welcomes writers such as A. Manette Ansay and William Burrows. Cookbook authors Allen Susser and Sharon Boorstin will show off culinary skills on the "Food for Thought Stage." New this year is the Book Club Discussion Group in the Poetry Bar, featuring Gloria Mallette. The first three book clubs to register will have a private session with authors. The "Next Big Thing" tent, showcasing new and self-published Mid-Atlantic writers, will be expanded due to popular demand.
West Texas Book and Author Festival
Abilene, Tex., September 28
www.abilenetx.com/apl/festivalindex.html; (915) 692-3721
More than 100 Texas authors and 4,000 visitors will participate in the second annual festival. Texas Poet Laureate Walt McDonald and author Janice Woods Windle, whose book, Will's War, is the featured book for "Abliene Reads," will attend the "Boots and Books Luncheon." The second annual A.C. Greene Literary Award will be presented there. Many events are scheduled for the week prior to the festival, including readings by local writers and writing workshops. The "Texas Cookbook Gala" will offer a multicourse dinner and feature cookbooks such as Texas Cowboy Cooking by Tom Perini.
The Latino Book & Family Festival
Houston, September 28—29; Los Angeles, November 2—3; Chicago, November 23—24; Ontario, Calif., December 7—8
www.latinobookfestival.com; (713) 236-1036
The largest Latino book and cultural festival in the U.S. will splash down in Houston for the first time as the centerpiece of Hispanic Heritage Month. The festival's format of seven villages focuses on literature, technology, education, culture, health, travel and recreation, with each village offering books, authors, experts and retailers. The festival will return to Los Angeles, Chicago and Southern California's "Inland Empire," including the communities of San Bernardino, Riverside, Redlands, Ontario and Pomona.
Chicago Book Festival: City of Big Readers
Chicago, October 1—31
www.chicagopubliclibrary.org; (312) 747-4300
What began as "Chicago Book Week" in 2000 has expanded into a month-long extravaganza of books, authors and readings across the city in libraries, bookstores, cultural institutions and universities. Joyce Carol Oates will be honored as the recipient of the Carl Sandburg Literary Award at a fundraiser to support all 78 Chicago Public Library locations. Pat Conroy, Anita Diamant, Zadie Smith and others will take part in literary events. On October 12—13, children's book authors and characters will appear on the Marshall Field's Children's Stage.
Book Island Festival
Fernandina Beach, Fla., October 3—6
www.bookisland.org; (904) 491-0203
Amelia Island's Book Island Festival has new events for its second year, including a "Dinner with Authors" and a "Tribute to Local Authors from North Florida and South Georgia." Also new is an affiliation with the Elderhostel Writing Workshop Southeast, featuring John Dufresne and Nancy Bartholomew. There will be readings, a performance of Pride and Prejudice by the Fernandina Little Theater and workshops on publishing, the book-to-movie process and memoir and fiction writing. The mystery-writing "Deadly Divas," Denise Swanson, Susan McBride, Leitha Albright and Lisa Kleinholz, will make a return appearance.
Fall for the Book Literary Festival
Fairfax, Va., October 3—6
www.fallforthebook.org; (703) 993-3986
The work of new and emerging authors, as well as established writers, will be highlighted in this festival's third year. E. Lynn Harris, Jill McKorkle, Matt Klam and Esmeralda Santiago are among participating writers. Events include small press readings, major-author nights and discussions on writing craft and screenwriting. On Saturday, "Family Fun Fair" will present puppet shows, face painters and roving storytellers. All events will occur on the campus of George Mason University.
Novello Festival of Reading
Charlotte, N.C., October 3—19
www.novellofestival.net; (704) 336-2725
In its 12th year, this festival expects 40,000 visitors and will have a strong focus on regional authors, along with notable exceptions such as Billy Collins and Suze Orman. For the first time, writing workshops will be offered by local authors in memoir, poetry, mystery and other genres. Between the Lions, the PBS children's show, will be headliner at Wordplay Saturday. Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer will do a tandem presentation of words and illustrations from The Phantom Tollbooth.
Wisconsin Book Festival
Madison, Wis., October 9—13
www.wisconsinbookfestival.org; (608) 262-8430
For years, the Wisconsin Book Festival was just a concept, but with an initial state start-up grant of $50,000, the Wisconsin Humanities Council has brought this idea to life. Venues in downtown Madison will host storytelling by politicians and athletes, a Festival of Wisconsin Poetry, readings by regional authors and workshops. "Friday Night Festival of Fiction" will feature Lorrie Moore, Charles Baxter, Dave Eggers, Paul Auster and Jane Hamilton. Visitors can participate in a discussion of Wallace Stegner's Madison-based Crossing to Safety. In "Rediscovering Christopher Columbus," the Wisconsin Historical Society will challenge widely held beliefs about American history. This festival plans to extend its programs statewide in the future.
West Virginia Book Festival
Charleston, W.Va., October 11—12
www.wvhumanities.org/bookfest/bookfest2.htm; (304) 343-4646
Back for its second year, this festival plans readings by 30 authors, including Rick Bragg, John Rolfe Gardiner, John Casey, Dorothy Allison and Sandra Belton. Most writers have ties to West Virginia, Appalachia or the South. There will be workshops on "Approaching a University Press," "The Three Keys to Science Fiction" and other topics. Kanawha County Public Library will hold its annual used book sale. Ten thousand attendees are expected at the Charleston Civic Center.
Southern Festival of Books
Nashville, October 11—13
www.tn-humanities.org/sfbmain.htm; (615) 320-7001
For its 14th year, this festival plans many events for its 25,000 visitors, including a screening of documentary film The Rough South of Larry Brown, followed by a discussion led by filmmaker Gary Hawkins and author Larry Brown. Reynolds Price and Horton Foote will converse about writing for the theater. Among the 200 writers scheduled to give readings are William Bennett, Rick Bragg and Elizabeth Gilbert. Nashville singers will perform on Café Stage, and Theater Stage will showcase local actors and playwrights. Festival venues include War Memorial Plaza, the State Capitol and the Nashville Public Library.