By Robert Mann
If you live within a day’s drive of Baton Rouge and you love books, set aside Saturday, Nov. 2. That’s the date of the 10th annual Louisiana Book Festival, a celebration of readers, writers and their books.
The festival will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Capitol Park in downtown Baton Rouge.
I’m a bit biased about the festival. I serve on the board of the Louisiana Book Festival and Library Foundation, which sponsors the festival, along with the State Library and its Center for the Book. But it really is one of the highlights of my year.
As in the past, this year’s festival will feature presentations by local and national bestselling writers; panel discussions; activities for children and teens; and live music and food.
The 2012 festival attracted more than 21,000 people. As part of Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne’s and the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism’s yearlong salute to Louisiana music, the festival will feature author presentations on music-related books including Creole Trombone: Kid Ory and the Early Years of Jazz, by John McCusker; Traditional Music of Coastal Louisiana: The 1934 Lomax Recordings, by Joshua Caffery; and, Unconquered: The Saga of Cousins Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Swaggart, and Mickey Gilley by J.D. Davis.
Other participating authors include Rod Dreher, Tom Franklin, Beth Ann Fennelly, Nathaniel Rich and Kent Wascom. For a complete list of participating authors with biographies, check out www.LouisianaBookFestival.org.
After a year-long hiatus, the popular cooking demonstration tent is returning and will include demonstrations by chefs and cookbook authors such as Kit Wohl and Poppy Tooker.
A variety of writing WordShops are scheduled for the day before the festival, including a nonfiction writing session led by Rick Bragg and a songwriting class taught by singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier, whose The Foundling was listed as a Favorite Album of 2010 by the Los Angeles Time.
Registration for WordShops is available at www.LouisianaBookFestival.org.
Hope to see you there!