What to expect during this year’s event, scheduled for October 28 in Baton Rouge.
The 19th Louisiana Book Festival is set for Saturday, October 28, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in downtown Baton Rouge’s Capitol Park with events and programming in the State Capitol, State Library of Louisiana, Capitol Park Museum and in tents on neighboring streets. Nearly 200 authors and presenters, ranging from award winners to self-published and debut authors, will discuss their books during more than 100 panels and programs locations throughout the day, followed by book signings.
“The Louisiana Book Festival has been around for more than two decades now,” says Assistant Director Robert Wilsonj. “We’ve grown a lot since the first festival, but we’ve remained dedicated to our mission: celebrating readers, writers and their books, with a special emphasis on our state’s rich literary heritage and unique history. This year is no different. We have an amazing lineup of authors, including some festival favorites and some new names, all with fascinating stories to tell.”
A highlight of the day is the presentation of the Louisiana Writer Award, given this year to Maurice Carlos Ruffin at the opening ceremony. Past award recipients David Armand, Darrell Bourque, Richard Campanella, Johnette Downing, Fatima Shaik and Tom Piazza will also participate in the festival.
Other highlights for 2023 include:
The return of the National Student Poets for the second year
Panels featuring the emerging and expanding genres of Afrofuturism, Grit Lit, Flash Fiction & Autofiction
Authors with debut novels, including six featured in Deep South’s Summer Reading List: King of the Armadillos by Wendy Chin-Tanner, Graceland by Nancy Crochiere, One Summer in Savannah by Terah Shelton Harris and Cicadas Sing of Summer Graves by Quinn Connor; as well as two from the Fall/Winter Reading List: Glory Be by Danielle Arceneaux and Letting in Air and Light by Teresa Tumminello Brader
Panel “Fiction: Courageous Women Navigate Fate, Politics, and War” with Kimberly Brock, Pamela Binnings Ewen, A.D. Nauman, Irina Zhorov and moderator Megan Holt
Bernice Alexander Bennett and Louisiana contributors to Black Homesteaders of the South
The 2023 One Book, One Festival selection celebrating the 75th anniversary of Truman Capote’s Other Voices, Other Rooms, with a discussion led by Dr. Gary Richards
The “dean of southern studies” Charles Reagan Wilson, author of The Southern Way of Life: Meanings of Culture & Civilization in the American South, who will discuss the book with James G. Thomas Jr., Center for the Study of Southern Culture
Cooking demonstrations, including Toya Boudy, who wrote Cooking for the Culture: Recipes and Stories from the Streets of New Orleans to the Table and Jason Smith, author of Lord Honey: Traditional Southern Recipes with a Country Bling Twist
Wordshops led by André Dubus III, Fatima Shaik, John Dufresne and Genaro Kỳ Lý Smith (taking place on Friday, Oct. 27)
To learn more about these and additional authors attending the 19th Annual Louisiana Book Festival, click here.
All featured titles will be available for purchase at the book tent run by the independent Cavalier House Books of Denham Springs, where featured authors are scheduled for book signings.