Alabama Book Festival on Saturday billed as top literary event of year of Alabama arts

The Alabama Book Festival, this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the south block of Montgomery’s historic Old Alabama Town, is one of the main literary events scheduled during the 2007 Year of Alabama Arts.The festival will open with an informal coffee hour at 9 a.m., and will take place rain or shine. It will showcase readings, book signings, children’s activities and other literary events and organizations.

Authors and presenters will be in several locations on the festival grounds. A children’s area will include activities and programs designed especially for young readers. Alabama Public Television’s Reading Rainbow awards will be presented at 11 a.m. in the main tent.

The festival will feature more than 50 nationally recognized writers and artists, including Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler, Caldecott award-winner Vera B. Williams, Alabama’s Kathryn Tucker Windham and the quilters of Gee’s Bend.

Festival guests, including Gayden Metcalfe, author of “Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Southern Ladies’ Guide to the Perfect Funeral” and the just-released “Somebody’s Going to Die if Lilly Beth Doesn’t Catch That Bouquet,” acclaimed cooking writer and television personality Nathalie Dupree, Elizabeth Dewberry, Howard Bahr, Tina McElroy Ansa and many others, will talk about their new work and sign books. Montgomery’s own Julia Oliver, Ravi Howard and Wayne Greenhaw are among the Alabama writers on the program.

Alabama Shakespeare Festival Southern Writers’ Project playwright Peter Hicks, whose play will premiere on Friday night before the festival will join Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, author of “Gee’s Bend,” on a special panel.

The festival sponsors include the Alabama Bureau of Tourism and Travel, Alabama Center for the Book, Old Alabama Town, Alabama Public Library Service, Alabama State Council on the Arts, Auburn University College of Liberal Arts, NewSouth Books, Support the Arts Car Tag Fund, Capitol Book, The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Gloria Narramore Moody Foundation, City of Montgomery, Montgomery Advertiser, River City Publishing, Honda
Manufacturing of Alabama and Alagasco.

Partners include the Alabama Writers’ Forum, Alabama Reading Association, Children’s Literacy Guild of Alabama, Alabama Humanities Foundation, Alabama Library Association, Alabama Public Television, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Supreme Court and Law Library, Montgomery City-County Public Library, Troy University Montgomery Campus, Ellis-Harper Advertising and University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies.

For more information and a full list of authors and presenters, the Alabama Center for the Book at Auburn University at (334) 844-4946 or go to www.alabamabookcenter.org.

(Contributed by Jay Lamar.)

Contact: Mark Wilson, 334/844-4946 (mwilson@auburn.edu)
Mike Clardy, 334/844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu)