Louisiana Book Festival, this weekend

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
A student performs at a Forward Arts poetry slam.

BATON ROUGE – The 12th annual Louisiana Book Festival, a celebration of readers, writers and their books, returns Saturday, Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in downtown Baton Rouge’s Capitol Park. The festival will feature presentations by local and national bestselling authors, panel discussions, activities for children and teens, live music, food and a Halloween costume contest.

     Author presentations include Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris, My Southern Journey by Rick Bragg, Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868 by Cokie Roberts and the children's book Bayou Magic by Coretta Scott King Honor Book-winning Jewell Parker Rhodes.

     Other participating authors and poets include Louisiana Writer Award recipient Tom Piazza, Louisiana Poet Laureate Peter Cooley, Ellen Gilchrist, Ravi Howard, James Grissom, Alice Friman, Kent Wascom, Tom Cooper, Kimberley Griffiths Little, M.O. Walsh, Poppy Tooker, Adam Rothman, Kim Boykin, Yusef Komunyakaa and many others.

     The One Book, One Festival discussion group selection is Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. The cooking tent includes demonstrations by chefs and cookbook authors such as Cynthia LeJeune Nobles with her A Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook.

     Forward Arts Inc. will also host its monthly Freshhhh Heat Teen Open Mic & Poetry Slam at Capitol Park Museum, 660 N. Fourth St. from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., as part of the Book Festival. This is the fourth consecutive year Forward Arts has hosted the event at the Festival, all to standing room-only audiences. Open to all ages (audience) and all youth performers ages 13 to 19. The poetry slam competition consists of $500 worth of prizes to the top three finishers. Youth participating in the slam must have two original poems, free of profanity to participate. The open mic is also an option for youth performers who do not want to compete in the poetry slam. This portion of the Festival is sponsored by Covalent Logic

     A variety of writing WordShops are scheduled for the day before the Festival, including a discussion about telling a story in fiction or memoir by authors Molly Antopol and Skip Horack.Detailed descriptions of all WordShops and registration information are available at LouisianaBookFestival.org.

     Louisiana Book Festival author-instructors Kent Wascom, Alice Friman, Molly Antopol, Skip Horack, Christopher Schaberg and Sarah Russo will cover topics including historical fiction, poetry, fiction, nonfiction and publishing.

     Follow Book Festival updates on Facebook and Twitter and download the Louisiana Book Festival mobile app.