2016

Highlights

The Mississippi Book Festival’s second edition in 2016 saw a 70 percent spike in attendance. The crowd of 6,200 book lovers at the State Capitol and nearby venues counted dozens of young readers enthralled with children’s lit favorites Kate DiCamillo and Jacqueline Woodson, a birthday party for Curious George’s 75th anniversary and the family-friendly Kids Corner. Top, award-winning authors filled the spotlight for adults, including Jon Meacham (Pulitzer Prize, American Lion), Jesmyn Ward (National Book Award, Salvage the Bones) and Harrison Scott Key (Thurber Prize, The World’s Largest Man). Julia Reed (Julia Reed’s South), Roy Blount Jr. (Save Room for Pie) and Bill Dunlap (Short Mean Fiction) shared a spirited look at Southern culture that left listeners in stitches. Key improvements made a smoother festival with more on every front: authors, activities, air-conditioned panel venues, acclaimed exhibits. Food trucks, live music and a bustling marketplace of books turned the literary lawn party into a summer staple for downtown Jackson.

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Slideshow

Panels

Activities

Lawn Party

Literary Lawn Party

The Mississippi Book Festival held its second annual “literary lawn party” in and around the Mississippi State Capitol Building on Saturday August 20, 2016, in downtown Jackson, and attracted more than 6,400 people. The Capitol lawn and surrounding streets became gathering places for book lovers, booksellers, food trucks, and more. The entire event was handicap accessible with free parking available on public streets and in nearby parking garages. See individual Activities listed below for photos and/or videos of each.

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A Conversation with Kate DiCamillo

Sponsored by University of Southern Mississippi Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival

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A Conversation with Kate DiCamillo A Conversation with Kate DiCamillo A Conversation with Kate DiCamillo A Conversation with Kate DiCamillo
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Exhibitors

Exhibitors on the Lawn

C-SPAN | Eudora Welty Foundation | Margaret Walker Center | Millsaps College | Mississippi Girlchoir | Mississippi Humanities Council | Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters | Mississippi Library Association | Mississippi Public Broadcasting | Mississippi State Law Library | Mississippi Today | New Stage | Visit Mississippi

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Exhibitors on the Lawn Exhibitors on the Lawn
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JUST FOR KIDS

Curious George Birthday Party

Meet everyone’s favorite monkey! Play games, make things, sing songs and hear stories. Free popsicles, popcorn, cotton candy and snow cones for the first 150 party participants!

  • 10:00 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Kids Corner Tent
  • West Street near the Capitol (Look for balloon arches)
  • Open to the Public | FREE
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Southern Cooking

Sponsored by Community Foundation of Greater Jackson

  • Catarina Passidomo Townes, MODERATOR
  • Robert St. John, An Italian Palate
  • Julia Reed, Julia Reed’s South: Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long
  • Sara Foster, Foster’s Market Favorites
  • Ann Taylor Pittman, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 New Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice
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Comics and Cartoons

  • Brannon Costello, MODERATOR
  • Marshall Ramsey
  • Ricky Nobile, Home Grown, Home Drawn: 45 Years of Mississippi Editorial Cartoons
  • Mary Laura Philpott, Penguins with People Problems
  • Tim Jackson, Pioneering Cartoonists of Color
  • Tim Fielder, Matty’s Rocket, Black Metropolis
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Historical Fiction

Sponsored by Mississippi Humanities Council

  • Howard Bahr, Pelican Road, The Black Flower, MODERATOR
  • Tom Piazza, A Free State
  • Katy Simpson Smith, Free Men
  • Taylor Brown, Fallen Land
  • Ariel Lawhon, Flight of Dreams
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Historical Fiction Historical Fiction Historical Fiction
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Jesmyn Ward and The Fire This Time

Sponsored by University of Southern Mississippi Friends of University Libraries

  • Jesmyn Ward, The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, MODERATOR
  • Kiese Laymon, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America
  • Garnette Cadogan, “Black and Blue”
  • Honorée Jeffers, The Glory Gets
  • Kima Jones, “Homegoing, AD”
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Mystery and Thriller

Sponsored by Bob Montgomery

  • Matthew Guinn, The Scribe, MODERATOR
  • Randy Pierce, The Peter Bay
  • Melissa Ginsberg, Sunset City
  • Neely Tucker, Only the Hunted Run
  • John Hart, Redemption Road
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Exhibits

Capitol Exhibits

Don’t miss these engaging national showcases on display in the Capitol Building just for the Festival!

  • LIBRARY OF CONGRESS EXHIBIT
  • CENTER FOR THE BOOK and TALKING BOOKS EXHIBIT
  • SMITHSONIAN LEARNING LAB presented by the Mississippi Arts Commission
  • 3-D PRINTER EXPERIENCE presented by Mississippi Library Commission
  • MISSISSIPPI DIGITAL LIBRARY
  • STATE READING FAIR WINNERS presented by Mississippi Department of Education
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Just for Kids

Imagination Playground

Courtesy the Mississippi Children’s Museum, Imagination Playground offers endless variety of construction play with giant blocks and shapes.

  • 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Kids Corner
  • West Street near the Capitol (Look for balloon arches)
  • Open to the Public | FREE
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Imagination Playground Imagination Playground Imagination Playground
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Booksellers

Booksellers

Big House Books | Caron Gallery | Dogwood Press | Friends of Jackson Public Libraries | Jane Austen Society | Lemuria Books | Mississippi Media | Nautilus Publishing | University Press of Mississippi | Usborne Books & More

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Booksellers Booksellers
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Authors and Artists

Authors Alley

Meet more than 70 authors and artists selling their most recent works along Mississippi Street.

Al Ainsworth | Jaquelyn Allen | Al Arnold | Vicki Baylis | Sarah Beaugez | Kay Black, Twister Inc. | Lottie Boggan | Walter Boutwell | Ronica Branson | Talamieka Brice | Catherine Bruce | Demetria Buie | Vernell Chapman | Phyllis Dixon | Anita Dottes | Damion Fairconectue | Pam Franklin (MS) | Pam Franklin (FL) | Faith Garbin | Joedda Gore | Nancy Graham | Sherye Green | Gretchen Haien | Vera Hall | Michael Hewes | Katy Houston | Grady Howell Jr. | Kaye Johnson | Tom Lawrence | Cyndie LePori | Andree Maduell | Chris Manuel | James McCafferty | Dee Myrick | Josef Nix | Leif Pederson | George Ramphrey | Oren Renick | Evelyn Roughton | Richard Schwartz | Michael Seay | Yahya Shabazz | Janice Singleton | Deborah Williams Smith | Reuben Sparks | Laurin Stennis | Janet Taylor-Perry | Merle Temple | Michael Thompson | James L. Tracey | AnDerecco Turner | RD Vincent | Juanita Walker | J. Culpepper Webb | Julie Wetzel | Seneca Wilson | Bryce Yelverton | Mississippi Animal Rescue League | Mississippi Writers Anonymous | Parents & Kids Magazine | Well-Being Magazine | Wilkinson County Museum

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Authors Alley Authors Alley
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Food and Music

Local Foods and Live Music

Enjoy local foods and live music along West Street.

Crunch Time Corn | Deep South Pops | Green Ghost Tacos | Hog Heaven BBQ | Kettle Korn | Lurny D’s Grille | Chef Neyehmiah | Small Time Street Eats | T&J Concessions

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Local Foods and Live Music Local Foods and Live Music Local Foods and Live Music
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Poetry

Sponsored by University of Mississippi College of Liberal Arts

  • Derrick Harriell, Cotton, MODERATOR
  • Kendall Dunkelberg, Barrier Island Suite
  • Bee Donley, Mostly Today
  • Caroline Randall Williams, Lucy Negro, Redux
  • James Kimbrell, Smote
  • R. Flowers Rivera, Heathen
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Southern Fiction Today

Sponsored by Cornerstone Consulting

  • M.O. Walsh, My Sunshine Away, MODERATOR
  • Ed Tarkington, Only Love Can Break Your Heart
  • Lee Clay Johnson, Nitro Mountain
  • Brad Watson, Miss Jane
  • Steve Yates, Sandy and Wayne
  • Paulette Boudreaux, Mulberry
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Art in Mississippi

Sponsored by Mississippi Arts Commission

  • Betsy Bradley, MODERATOR
  • Bill Dunlap, Short Mean Fiction: Words and Pictures
  • Barbara Gauntt, Samuel M. Gore: Blessed with Tired Hands
  • Ke Francis
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Schools in Change

Sponsored by Mississippi Humanities Council

  • Charles C. Bolton, The Hardest Deal of All: The Battle over School Integration in Mississippi, 1870-1980, MODERATOR
  • Teena Horn and John Griffin Jones, Lines Were Drawn: Remembering Court-Ordered Integration at a Mississippi High School
  • Jon N. Hale, The Freedom Schools: Student Activists in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement
  • Michael Copperman,Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta
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Schools in Change Schools in Change Schools in Change
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Children’s Illustrated

Sponsored by University of Southern Mississippi School of Library and Information Science

  • Sarah Frances Hardy, Dress Me, MODERATOR
  • Louise Borden, The Journey That Saved Curious George
  • William Joyce, Ollie’s Odyssey
  • Irene Latham, Fresh Delicious
  • Barry Moser, Appalachia: The Voices of Sleeping Birds
  • Carole Boston Weatherford, You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer
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Civil Rights History I

Sponsored by Mississippi Humanities Council and First Commercial Bank

  • W. Ralph Eubanks, The House at the End of the Road, Ever is a Long Time, MODERATOR
  • Crystal R. Sanders, A Chance for Change: Head Start & Mississippi’s Black Freedom Struggle
  • Joseph Reiff, Born of Conviction: White Methodists and Mississippi’s Closed Society
  • Jason Morgan Ward, Hanging Bridge: Racial Violence and America’s Civil Rights Century
  • Debbie Harwell, Wednesdays in Mississippi: Proper Ladies Working for Radical Change, Freedom Summer 1964
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interview

A Conversation with Anne Webster on The Great War

  • Senator Roger Wicker, INTERVIEWER
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A Conversation with Anne Webster on The Great War A Conversation with Anne Webster on The Great War
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Middle Grade Readers

  • Deborah Wiles, Countdown, Revolution, MODERATOR
  • Augusta Scattergood, Making Friends with Billy Wong
  • Shannon Hitchcock, Ruby Lee and Me
  • Kathi Appelt, Maybe a Fox
  • Esta Spalding, Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts
  • John David Anderson, Ms. Bixby’s Last Day
  • Jean Claude Bemis, Out of Abaton, Book 1 The Wooden Prince
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Short Stories

Sponsored by University of Southern Mississippi Department of English

  • Margaret McMullan, Every Father’s Daughter, Aftermath Lounge, MODERATOR
  • Rick Bass, For A Little While
  • Becky Hagenston, Scavengers
  • Gerry Wilson, Crosscurrents and Other Stories
  • Bill Dunlap, Short Mean Fiction: Words and Pictures
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True Crime

  • James R. Crockett, Operation Pretense, Hands in the Till, MODERATOR
  • Charlie Spillers, Confessions of an Undercover Agent
  • John Hailman, Return to Guntown
  • Beverly Lowry, Who Killed These Girls
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Willie Morris and His Books

Sponsored by Mississippi State University

  • Rick Cleveland, Mississippi’s Greatest Athletes, MODERATOR
  • Teresa Nicholas, The Life of Willie Morris
  • Larry Wells
  • JoAnne Prichard Morris
  • David Rae Morris
  • Barry Moser
  • Jack Bales, Willie Morris: An Exhaustive Annotated Bibliography and a Biography
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Willie Morris and His Books Willie Morris and His Books Willie Morris and His Books Willie Morris and His Books
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Memoir

Sponsored by University of Southern Mississippi College of Arts & Letters

  • Carolyn Brown, A Daring Life: A Biography of Eudora Welty, Song of My Life: A Biography of Margaret Walker, MODERATOR
  • Ellen Gilchrist, Things Like the Truth
  • Harrison Scott Key, The World’s Largest Man
  • Chris Offutt, My Father, the Pornographer
  • Rheta Grimsley Johnson, The Dogs Buried Under the Bridge
  • Richard Grant, Dispatches from Pluto
  • Barry Moser, We Were Brothers
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William Faulkner: His Life and Writings

Sponsored by Mississippi Humanities Council as part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative

  • James Thomas, Conversations with Barry Hannah, MODERATOR
  • Robert Hamblin, Myself and the World: A Biography of W. Faulkner
  • Jay Watson, Fifty Years After Faulkner
  • Jay Watson and James Thomas, Faulkner and the Black Literatures of the Americas
  • M. Thomas Inge, The Dixie Limited: Writers on William Faulkner
  • Lorie Watkins Massey, William Faulkner, Gavin Stevens, and the Cavalier Tradition

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Mississippi Noir

Sponsored by University of Mississippi Office of the Provost

  • William Boyle, Death Don’t Have No Mercy, MODERATOR
  • Michael Farris Smith, Rivers
  • Mary Miller, The Last Days of California
  • RaShell Smith-Spears, “Losing Her Religion”
  • John M. Floyd, Dreamland, Fifty Mysteries: The Angela Files
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A Conversation with Jon Meacham

Sponsored by Mississippi Humanities Council as part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative

  • Jon Meacham, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, American Lion
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A Conversation with Jon Meacham A Conversation with Jon Meacham A Conversation with Jon Meacham A Conversation with Jon Meacham
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Mississippi History

Sponsored by Beard and Riser Architects and Nautilus Publishing

  • Gerard Helferich, Theodore Roosevelt and the Assassin: Madness, Vengeance, and the Campaign of 1912, High Cotton, MODERATOR
  • Anne Webster, Mississippians in the Great War: Selected Letters
  • J. Lee Annis, Jr., Big Jim Eastland: The Godfather of Mississippi
  • James F. Barnett, Jr., The Natchez Indians: A History to 1735
  • Jim Woodrick, The Civil War Siege of Jackson, Mississippi
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Mississippi History Mississippi History Mississippi History
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Southern Culture: Julia Reed and Friends

Sponsored by Community Foundation of Greater Jackson

  • Julia Reed, Julia Reed’s South, MODERATOR
  • Roy Blount, Jr., Save Room for Pie
  • Bill Dunlap
  • others to be announced
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Southern Culture: Julia Reed and Friends Southern Culture: Julia Reed and Friends Southern Culture: Julia Reed and Friends
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Book Club Picks

  • Mary Laura Philpott, Penguins with People Problems, MODERATOR
  • Ashley Warlick, The Arrangement
  • Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, The Nest
  • Karen White, Flight Patterns
  • Natashia Deón, Grace
  • Anton DiSclafani, The After Party
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A Conversation with Jacqueline Woodson

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A Conversation with Jacqueline Woodson A Conversation with Jacqueline Woodson A Conversation with Jacqueline Woodson A Conversation with Jacqueline Woodson
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Civil Rights History II

Sponsored by Pigott and Johnson and Mississippi Humanities Council

  • Pamela Junior, MODERATOR
  • Patricia Michelle Boyett, Right to Revolt: The Crusade for Racial Justice in Mississippi’s Central Piney Woods
  • Trent Brown (Editor of new edition of Hodding Carter II), So the Heffners Left McComb
  • Sally Palmer Thomason, Delta Rainbow: The Irrepressible Betty Bobo Pearson
  • Martha Wyatt-Rossignol, My Triumph Over Prejudice: A Memoir
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Civil Rights History II Civil Rights History II Civil Rights History II Civil Rights History II
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Sports and Outdoors

Sponsored by Mississippi Humanities Council

  • Sid Salter, Jack Cristil: Voice of the MSU Bulldogs, MODERATOR
  • Donald Jackson, Deeper Currents
  • Jason A. Peterson, Full Court Press: MS State University, the Press, and the Battle to Integrate College Basketball
  • Stuart Stevens, The Last Season: A Father, a Son, and a Lifetime of College Football
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Sports and Outdoors Sports and Outdoors Sports and Outdoors Sports and Outdoors
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Photography

Sponsored by Mississippi Arts Commission

  • James Patterson, MODERATOR
  • Maude Schuyler Clay, Mississippi History
  • R. Kim Rushing, Parchman
  • Langdon Clay, One Writer’s Garden: Eudora Welty’s Home Place
  • Ken Murphy, Jackson: Photographs, Mississippi: State of Blues
  • Ed Croom, The Land of Rowan Oak: An Exploration of Faulkner’s Natural World
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The National Page

Sponsored by Carroll Warren & Parker

  • Eliza Borné (Editor of the Oxford American), MODERATOR
  • Jay McInerney, Bright, Precious Days
  • John Hart, Redemption Road
  • Robert Olen Butler, Perfume River
  • Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, The Nest
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The National Page The National Page The National Page The National Page
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Young Adult

  • Clara Martin (Lemuria Books), MODERATOR
  • Nicole Castroman, Blackhearts
  • Kathryn Purdie, Burning Glass
  • A.C. Thomas, The Hate U Give
  • Jeff Zentner, The Serpent King
  • Taylor Kitchings, Yard War
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Young Adult Young Adult Young Adult Young Adult
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The Presidential Year

Sponsored by Taggart, Rimes & Graham, PLLC

  • Stuart Stevens, The Innocent Have Nothing to Fear, MODERATOR
  • Jon Meacham, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, American Lion
  • Trent Lott, Crisis Point: Why We Must – and How We Can – Overcome Our Broken Politics in Washington and Across America
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The Presidential Year The Presidential Year The Presidential Year The Presidential Year
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The Mississippi Experience / The Closing Chapter

Sponsored by Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

  • Scott Naugle, MODERATOR
  • Stuart Stevens, The Innocent Have Nothing to Fear
  • Richard Grant, Dispatches from Pluto
  • Jim Dees, The Statue and the Fury
  • W. Ralph Eubanks, The House at the End of the Road
  • Rheta Grimsley Johnson, The Dogs Buried Under the Bridge
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The Mississippi Experience / The Closing Chapter The Mississippi Experience / The Closing Chapter The Mississippi Experience / The Closing Chapter The Mississippi Experience / The Closing Chapter
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