Mid-South Book Festival draws area authors, book lovers

The Mid-South Book Festival returns to Midtown this month, connecting area bibliophiles to more than 50 local and national authors.

This year the 2016 Mid-South Book Festival will kick off on Sept. 7 at Playhouse on the Square and include the fourth annual Words Matter event on Sept. 9, from 7 to 9 p.m. Featuring a network of local authors, publishers, poets, bloggers and other special guests who will come together for Words Matter, the event-within-an-event is being planned as an exclusive soiree for avid readers. Party-goers will have an opportunity to enjoy art as well as libations and food catered by chef Shanon Arnold.

“Words Matter is a collaboration of creative minds,” said Knox Shelton, Interim Executive Director for Literacy Mid-South. “There will be five teams, each beginning the creative process with a literary contribution from one of these writers: Richard Alley, Miriam DeCosta-Willis, Tonya Dyson, Sandy Longhorn and Courtney Miller Santo. From there, visual artists, musicians, dancers, actors and filmmakers will extend that creation into their own media. The intent is to create a multi-sensory experience capturing the essence of the authors’ written work.”
Tonya Dyson
The 2016 Mid-South Book Festival will continue through Sept. 11. While some events are ticketed, the Mid-South Book Festival is free and open to the public. The five-day event will feature a variety of activities for lovers of the written word including creative writing seminars and panel discussions with 70 local and regional authors. Local authors who will serve as panelists include John Babb, Sally Busby, Daniel Connolly, Jeff Crook, James Dickson, Phyllis Dixon, Heather Dobbins, Ashley Foxx, Lisa C. Hickman, Joshua Hood, Dr. Charles L. Hughes, Danian Jerry, Jonathan May, Chris McCoy, Corey Mesler, Natalie Parker-Lawrence. Kaitlyn Sage Patterson, Marco Pave, John Pritchard, Caki Wilkinson and Barry Wolverton.

The book festival will also include family friendly fun with roving performances artists, live musical performances, cooking demonstrations, and a children’s activity area. The Booksellers at Laurelwood and Burke’s Book Store will be on hand throughout the festival selling copies of books from authors participating in this year’s festival. And for aspiring young writers, ages 12 - 17, this year’s festival will present a Student Writers Conference on Sept. 11, from 1 to 5:15 p.m.

Tickets for Words Matter are $25, available online at www.brownpapertickets.com and include food and beverages. The schedule for the rest of the 2016 Mid-South Book Festival can be found at their website. Event Sponsors include ArtsMemphis, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, Christian Brothers University, Homewood Suites, MLGW, and WKNO.

Read more articles by Emily Adams Keplinger.