With so many well-known authors living and working in Decatur, including the current Poet Laureate of the U.S., Natasha Trethewey, Wang believes the time is right to highlight the town’s talent. Reminiscent of the iconic 1958 photo of jazz legends called, “A Great Day in Harlem,” the photo will include published authors with a Decatur zip code.
With the seventh annual book festival set for Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, Wang said, “a mission of the festival is to help nurture this community and to celebrate the great things we have here.”
In addition to celebrating Decatur authors, the free public event will include a reception upstairs at the Old Courthouse to kick off the “My Festival” campaign in which authors, local business owners and area residents share the reasons they love and feel ownership in the festival.
Among the Decatur authors joining Trethewey for the photo is Amanda Kyle Williams, who launched the first of her three-book Keye Street series, “The Stranger You Seek,” at the 2011 festival. She is slated to talk about her second book from Random House, “The Stranger in the Room,” at the 2012 festival.
Williams will kick off the campaign at the reception and talk about why the book festival is important to her. A resident of Decatur since 1995, Williams said, “this festival has energized the community in a way I haven’t seen at any other literary event anywhere in this country. I’m so honored to be a part of it again this year.”
New York Times bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson, a long-time supporter of the event, who moved to Decatur this spring, will also be part of the photo. Jackson’s books include, “Gods in Alabama,” “Between,” “Georgia,” “The Girl Who Stopped Swimming,” “Backseat Saints” and “A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty.”
Other authors Wang expects at the photo shoot include — Mickey Baskett, Amy Benson Brown, Joe Crespino, James Dean, Amber Dermont, Elizabeth Dulemba, Ken Foskett, Tony Martin, Terra Elan McVoy, Andisheh Nouraee, Susan Puckett, Josh Russell, Allen Tullos and Kevin Young.
A number of the Decatur authors are on tap to take part in the book festival Labor Day weekend.
Trethewey will deliver the keynote address Aug. 31, launching her newest collection of poems, “Thrall.” She will be the first local author to deliver the keynote address and is the first southerner since Robert Penn Warren to be named Poet Laureate of the U.S.
The book festival will feature lectures and signings from 300 national and local authors, including award-winners and bestsellers across a wide spectrum of subjects, topics and genres.
.com, “like” Decatur Book Festival on Facebook, or follow @DBookFestival on Twitter.