So what do you do, when, in just three short years, you’ve grown into the largest independent book festival in the country, and the fourth largest overall? Do you stick with the same formula and churn out what’s expected? Organizers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical (DBF) would answer that with a resounding “NO!”. The fourth annual literary festival, set for Labor Day weekend (September 4-6) in historic downtown Decatur, is full of surprises and is stocking up on world-class talent. Year four promises to be the best yet, featuring numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, a multiple Grammy winner, a wrestling match with a guy nicknamed “The Butcher,” a Mariachi Brunch and Promenade, and so much more.
The 2009 keynote speaker honor goes to publishing legend Sir Harold Evans. He has served as editor of London’s The Sunday Times and president and publisher of Random House. He’s the author of many critically acclaimed books, including The American Century. In 2004, Evans was knighted for his contributions to the field of journalism.
Daren Wang, Executive Director of DBF, said it’s been incredible to watch the festival evolve into its current form.
“This festival has taken on a life of its own, and it continues to amaze and astound me,” said Wang. “The community support is unbelievable, the book world has fully embraced us, and our offerings get better and more diverse every year. As the fourth year of the festival approaches, I can only imagine all the wonders in store for attendees.”
DBF will feature something for everyone, and then some: book signings, author readings, more numerous and diverse panel discussions, an interactive children’s area, live music, parades, cooking demonstrations, poetry slams, writing workshops, a wrestling match, and more.
Notable participants this year include five-time Grammy winner Mary Chapin Carpenter, Pulitzer Prize winners Douglas Blackmon (Slavery by Another Name), Robert Olen Butler (A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain), and Rick Bragg (All Over but the Shoutin’), Kathy Reichs, whose books are the basis for Fox’s smash hit “Bones”, Lee Child, author of the bestselling thriller series in the world, and poets extraordinaire Edward Hirsch and Thomas Lux (Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts).
New sponsors this year include Atlanta Fulton County Library, Margaret Mitchell House, Georgia Tech Library, Mental Floss, Holiday Inn-Decatur, Better World Books, and Decatur Business Association.
Visit www.decaturbookfestival.com early and often for updates.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical is the largest independent book festival in the country, and the fourth largest overall. More than 65,000 festival goers crowd the historic downtown Decatur square each year to enjoy book signings, author readings, panel discussions, an interactive children’s area, live music, parades, cooking demonstrations, poetry slams, writing workshops, and more. For more information, visit www.decaturbookfestival.com.