Many thanks to Dr. JoBeth Allen from the University of Georgia Department of Language and Literacy for the heads up on this WONDERFUL event! I plan to be there…Billy Collins will be giving the keynote address! Here is the latest info straight from the festival organizers via email:
It’s hard to believe, but here we are preparing to launch the THIRD annual Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical. The festival has not merely survived its first few years. We’ve built on partnerships with artistic, educational, business, and governmental organizations not only from all over metropolitan Atlanta but from all over the nation. Hosted in the literary haven of Decatur, this festival has quickly joined the ranks of the largest and most talked about book festivals nationwide.
Perhaps we could just keep doing what we’ve been doing and call that good enough, but where’s the fun in that? We’ve added plenty of new and unique programs to this year’s festival:
We’ve had a Children’s Parade since the first year, but this is the first time we’ll be launching a new book at the parade. Not just any book: It’s the first new “Madeline” story in 50 years–“Madeline and the Cats of Rome”–written by John Bemelmans Marciano, the grandson of Ludwig Bemelmans. We encourage everyone to join Marciano in the parade, maybe wear a big yellow hat, sing your favorite French (or, for that matter, Italian) song, or just make some noise.
Though we’ve had programs directed at teenagers from the beginning, 2008 marks the first year we will set aside a space exclusively for teenagers, called Escape. Escape will host best-selling authors for interactive discussions, an open mic and a literary salon. For those under 18, there will also be a quiz show called How Well Do You Know Harry? judged by Cheryl Klein, continuity editor for the last four Harry Potter books.
In a historic partnership, Poets & Writers and Agnes Scott College are working with us to present the best DBF Writers Conferenceyet, with top national editors, agents, critics, publicists, authors, and screenwriters sharing their collective wisdom in a conference tightly integrated with the rest of the book festival. In addition, beginning this year, DBF will host the prestigious Southern Independent Booksellers Association (SIBA) awards ceremony. Many of the nominees will give readings at the festival.
In 2006, we hosted the launch event for the first Atlanta Reads. This year, we’ll launch Atlanta Reads as well as the Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts. Atlanta’s Big Read will encourage the entire community to read and talk about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”
Still not enough to fill your Labor Day weekend? Check out even more of the new programs that make this year’s festival truly unique:
Brooks & Co. Dancewill perform a dance inspired by Shirley Jackson’s classic short story, “The Lottery,” set to the music of Stravinsky’s “Rites of Spring” and drawing on Ninjinsky’s seminal choreography to Stravinsky’s work.
In a program called “Words from Iraq,” adult and young actors from PushPush Theater will present multiple perspectives on Iraq through readings of letters children have written to their parents in the military, blogs written by soldiers in Iraq, and a blog by a young Iraqi woman.
In the spirit of the Java Monkey Local Authors Stage, we’re adding a stage for emerging authors just beginning to get their work out into the world, called the Emerging and Exhibiting Authors Stage.
Author and former Olympian runner Jeff Galloway will lead a fun run Saturday morning of the festival, followed by a running clinic.
Lee Smith, Marshall Chapman, Jill McCorkle, and Matraca Berg will all be onstage together to give a taste of their traveling musical–The Good ol’ Girls–about their friendship and the mutual influences of their books and music on one another.
And that’s just the new stuff!
You know you can also count on us to bring you the nation’s top authors in our strongest, most diverse line-up yet. You know we’ve got you covered for good food and some of the best singer-songwriters in America. You know we’ll show the whole family a good time. So, come join us this Labor Day weekend for the best AJC Decatur Book Festival yet!
Be sure to check out our 2008 DBF web site,www.decaturbookfestival.com .