On Saturday, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m The Mississippi Book Festival will return to Jackson in front of the Mississippi State Capitol building.
Ellen Daniels, executive director of the Mississippi Book Festival said last year's festival was canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
"About 10 days from the festival last year, we had to cancel due to the rapid spread of the delta virus," Daniels said. "The decision was hard after the hard work we put into it, but the right decision was made. As a result, we moved the event to a virtual 48-panel discussion with the authors.
"This year, we are excited about Alice Walker making an appearance at the book festival to read, answer questions and sign books," Daniels said. "Walker was the first African American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize (in literature) in 1982."
This year's event is expected to be the biggest yet, organizers said.
"The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Galloway sanctuary with Matt de la Pena, who is an author and Newbery Medal Award winner," Daniels said. "Pena will read his book, 'Milo Imagines the World,' and answer questions. At 10:45 a.m. we will have Andrew Biden and Nate Powell, who are the late Congressman John Lewis' collaborators telling his story during the civil rights movement in a graphic novel form. This is the follow-up to the March trilogy.
"In addition, we will have our book signing tent set up on the south lawn of the capitol building with 172 authors," Daniels said. "Readers can book an online signing within the time slots provided.
"Local authors such as Angie Thomas, who is famous for her book, 'The Hate You Give,' and Jerry Mitchell, best known for his novel 'A Race Against Time' will be in attendance."
Yolanda Clay-Moore, director of communications said the event will be sponsored by Visit Jackson.
"Regional, local, and national authors will be in attendance for The Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson," Moore said. "Attendees will have access to more than 40 discussion panels, book signings and discover new authors and writers.
"Food trucks will also be available at the festival," Moore said.
The festival will also bring fun literary games for children within a Kid's Corner, where children will have free access to focus on colorful books and interact with authors, organizers said.
In Addition, other notable authors attending include former National Geographic Editor Candice Millard, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet Jericho Brown and acclaimed novelist and journalist Jennifer Egan, whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, Harpers, McSweeney's and The New York Times Magazine. Jackson native Kiese Laymon, author of the essay collection, "How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America." Beth Ann Fennelly, former poet laureate of Mississippi, who resides in Oxford, will also be in attendance.
If You Go:
When: Aug. 20
Where: 400 High Street, Jackson
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: The annual Mississippi Book Festival will be held in Jackson, MS.