The 9th Annual Kerrytown BookFest in Ann Arbor Michigan will celebrate the “voices” of Michigan authors on Sunday, September 11, 2011. Authors in this year’s event include the 2010 National Book Award winner; the 2010 Caldecott Award winner, an Edgar Award winner, Macavity Award winners, an Anthony Award winner, numerous Michigan Notable Book Award winners and New York Times best-selling authors.
The Kerrytown BookFest is unique according to Gene Alloway president of the BookFest board and owner of Motte & Bailey Bookstore in Ann Arbor. Kerrytown is an historic neighborhood in the city which includes the Ann Arbor Farmers Market where the event is held.
“The BookFest is the only festival of the book in the country to celebrate both authors and the artists and crafts people who help create books.”
As a special attraction, Doug Stanton, New York Times Best Selling Author and founder of the National Writers Series, will interview the Jaimy Gordon the 2010 National Book Award winner. In addition, Robin Agnew, owner of Aunt Agatha’s mystery bookstore in Ann Arbor will talk with Canadian Award Winning Mystery Writer Louise Penny.
In keeping with the theme of this year’s BookFest the annual Community Book Award will be presented to Margaret Noori who is an author and teaches the Anishinnabe language at the University of Michigan. Noori will read prose and poetry from the Ojibway language and will talk about the beauty of the language with Ari Weinzweig of Zingerman’s.
Alloway said that the Book Award is given each year to a person who exemplifies the spirit and the theme of the BookFest.
“Noori is an amazing influence in both honoring the ancient language and teaching it to the next generation.”
He said a special broadside is being produced with a poem in both Anishinnabe and English.
Events this year include panels on “Michigan Voices: A Sense of Place”; “Science Fiction Voices”; ‘Counterculture Voices”; “Working Voices” ; “Detroit Voices”; “Michigan Civil War Voices”; “Victorian History Mystery” and “The Art of the Thriller”. In addition this year there is an expanded number of hands-on demonstrations from local craftspeople who specialize in the book arts.
Alloway said the 2011 BookFest has increased the number of presenters with more than 35 skilled crafts people and artists who specialize in book, paper and printing arts.
Once again, this year’s event also will have a special focus on children’s literature. Best Selling authors, Deborah Deisen, Ruth McNally Barshaw and story-teller Heather O’Neal of Ann Arbor will join Mother Goose to draw children into the unique voices of writing.
Special guests and Ann Arbor residents Erin Stead and Philip Stead will discuss their Caldecott Award winning book “A Sick Day for Amos McGee”.
Nine Michigan authors at this year’s event have won the Michigan Notable Book Award presented by the Library of Michigan. They are Michael Federspiel, William C. Whitbeck, D. E. Johnson, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Jaimy Gordon, Doug Stanton, Laura Kasischke, M.L. Liebler, John Gallagher, and Lolita Hernandez.
Panels which have proved to popular to the BookFest attendees include two unusual ones this year: The “Victorian History Mystery” panel is moderated by librarian Patti O’Brien who will leads a discussion with three mystery writers who use the Victorian era as their backdrop, but from very different points of view. Maureen Jennings’ award winning Inspector Murdoch series is set in Victorian Toronto; Edgar Award winner Stefanie Pintoff’s series set in turn of the century New York City features the use of new forensic evidence.
The “Art of the Thriller” panel features thriller writer and moderator Karen Dionne leading a discussion with fellow thriller writers, including Brian Freeman, whose police thrillers are set in Minnesota and Las Vegas; Andrew Grant, whose series features a British Naval Commander who bears a resemblance to a certain Mr. Bond; and Mark Terry, whose impossible to put down books feature Derek Stillwater.
Once again, this year there is the literary arts competition for the best Book Cover Design. Entrants to the Book Cover Design Contest which is open to Michigan high school students are being asked to create a new cover design for Science Fiction author Sharon Zettel’s book “Bitter Angels”.
Last year more than 5,000 attended the one day event which includes more than 100 exhibitors, artists and book sellers. Alloway said the BookFest will feature an outstanding array of illustrators, poets, letterpress printers, calligraphers, librarians, publishers, book artists and storytellers.
The BookFest also mounts a literary exhibit in the Ann Arbor District Library. This year’s theme is “The Voices of Michigan Indians” showcasing art, dust jackets and books that represent Michigan Indians.
The Kerrytown BookFest Board of Directors includes bookstore owners, retailers within the Kerrytown District and representatives from the media and community.
For more information on the BookFest and for a complete listing of authors and programs visit www.kerrytownbookfest.org.
The BookFest is sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council¸ Ann Arbor Bank, Kerrytown Market, Zingermans, Thompson Shore, Kerrytown Concert House and WUOM Michigan Radio.