August 17, 2022

Mississippi Book Festival comes to the Capitol Saturday Aug 20

Mary Apel

After a two-year break due to Covid-19, the state’s best “Literary Lawn Party” is back this weekend!

The festival last gathered in Jackson in 2019. It is a free event and open to the public at the historic Mississippi State Capitol building and surrounding areas. The festival takes place on August 20, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Mississippi Book Festival was launched in August 2015 on the State Capitol grounds and continues to draw thousands to its annual book lovers’ celebration.

By its fifth year, the festival’s attendance reached 9,300 with 47 official panel discussions and activities at 10 different venues. Hundreds more enjoyed the festive music, food, social and retail vibe on the grounds outdoors. C-SPAN coverage expands its reach through live and later viewing.

Hundreds of contemporary authors — national, regional and local — connect directly with fans and new readers, as invited guests on Official Panels that explore in-depth themes, or along Authors Alley, the festival’s hub for self-published authors.

The festival will feature authors like Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan as the guest of the Eudora Welty Foundation who will speak on her latest novel The Candy House. National Book Award-Winners Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell in conversation with Margaret McMullan about their collaboration with Congressman John Lewis on the graphic novel RUN: Book One. ational Book Award-winner Ellen Gilchrist, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jericho Brown, and Secretary of the Smithsonian Lonnie G. Bunch, III, will each have one-on-one conversations with noteworthy moderators.

It will also showcase Jackson’s-own Kiese Laymon who will join Pulitzer Prize-Winner Alice Walker in conversation to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Color Purple.

Star of HGTV’s Home Town Erin Napier, Newberry Medal-winner Matt de la Peña, and New York Times bestseller Candice Millard will each visit with readers about their latest books. Another Times bestseller, Angie Thomas, will join a star-studded group of her collaborators on the book Blackout.

The historic setting and lovely grounds of the Mississippi State Capitol, nearby Galloway church and surrounding streets become a book lover’s playground with hundreds of visiting authors, panel discussions, book signings, booksellers, Capitol tours, food trucks and family-friendly activities.

Sponsored events and interactive fun roll out the welcome mat for families and engage even the youngest readers in the festival’s Kids Corner. There, the focus on books and authors ignites the imagination and sets the stage for a lifelong love of books.

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