We celebrate books and a love for reading year-round!

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Mississippi Book Festival

Saturday, September 14, 2024 from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Mississippi State Capitol Building & grounds
400 High St, Jackson, MS 39201
Free & open to the public

Each year, the Mississippi Book Festival unites readers and authors in an exhilarating celebration of books.

The State Capitol’s stately rooms and a nearby church turn into venues for distinguished panelists, the streets in-between transform into a bustling marketplace for booksellers, and the grounds and Capitol Rotunda become a hub of lively exchange.

Author Event with Jesmyn Ward

Saturday, November 4th
Begins at 2:00 p.m. Signing to follow.
Gertrude C. Ford Academic Complex – Recital Hall
1701 N. State Street, Jackson, MS 39202

Let Us Descend is a reimagining of American slavery, as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching. Searching, harrowing, replete with transcendent love, the novel is a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation.

In partnership with The Mississippi Book Festival, The Mississippi Humanities Council, and Millsaps College.

Learn more.

Pre-Fest Party

  • Thursday, August 17, 2023 from 6:00-8:00 pm
  • The Plant
  • 133 Commerce Park Drive, Suite 01, Jackson, MS 39213
  • Open to public

Join us for food and drinks at Jackson’s newest and greenest event space, The Plant. To help kick off the festival, award-winning author and humorist Harrison Scott Key will talk about his latest book, How to Stay Married: The Most Insane Love Story Ever Told.

Presented by The Plant

Mississippi Book Festival

  • Saturday, August 19, 2023 from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Mississippi State Capitol Building & grounds 
  • 400 High St, Jackson, MS 39201
  • Free & open to the public

Each August, the Mississippi Book Festival unites readers and authors in an exhilarating celebration of books.

The State Capitol’s stately rooms and a nearby church turn into venues for distinguished panelists, the streets in-between transform into a bustling marketplace for booksellers, and the grounds and Capitol Rotunda become a hub of lively exchange.

Hot Fest Cool Down

  • Saturday, August 19, 2023 from 7:00-10:00 pm
  • Hal and Mal's
  • 200 Commerce Street, Jackson, MS 39201
  • Ticketed event

Wind up the hottest book event of the year at a downtown Jackson institution for the after-party. Enjoy good food, cold drinks, and live music—just don’t forget the comeback sauce.

Presented by Frascogna Law Group

Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival

Join Us As We Celebrate Our 50th Anniversary Reconvening

We are grateful to have you join us as we celebrate the legacy of Phillis Wheatley, Margaret Walker, and Black women writers who have changed the writing landscape as we know it. The Margaret Walker Center proudly hosts the 50th anniversary reconvening of the Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival as we lift up this ongoing work of Black excellence through intergenerational conversations, scholarly analysis, and creative writing.

Featured Participants:
Jesmyn Ward, Alice Walker, Angie Thomas, Sonia Sanchez, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Tonea Stewart, Eve Ewing, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Imani Perry, Paula Giddings, Vinie Burrows, Maryemma Graham, Carole Gregory, Joanne Gabbin, Shelly Lowe, Maria Rosario Jackson, Nic Stone, and Ebony Lumumba

Angie Thomas Book Signing and Conversation with Tonja Murphy

  • Thursday, April 6, 2023 at 4:30 pm
  • Lemuria Books
  • 4465 I-55 N, Jackson, MS 39206
  • Learn more

Mississippi Book Festival is pleased to partner with Lemuria Books to present New York Times bestselling author Angie Thomas in conversation with our very own Community Engagement Coordinator Tonja Murphy.

The pair will discuss Angie’s new book Nic Blake and The Remarkables, her middle grade debut with the launch of an inventive, hilarious, and suspenseful new contemporary fantasy trilogy inspired by African American history and folklore. 

It’s not easy being a Remarkable in the Unremarkable world. Some things are cool—like getting a pet hellhound for your twelfth birthday. Others, not so much—like not being trusted to learn magic because you might use it to take revenge on an annoying neighbor.

A Conversation with Ibram X. Kendi

  • Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 6:00 pm
  • JSU Rose E. McCoy Auditorium 
  • 1400 Lynch Street, Jackson, MS
  • ticketed event

Mississippi Book Festival is pleased to partner with Lemuria Books, the Margaret Walker Center, and Jackson State University's Department of English, Foreign Languages and Speech Communications to present MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and best-selling author Ibram X. Kendi, in conversation with Mississippi Book Festival boardmember Ebony Lumumba.

The pair will discuss Kendi’s new book The Making of Butterflies, a stunning and layered retelling of Zora Neale Hurston's folktale, perfect for introducing the youngest of readers to the beauty of storytelling and how things in our world came to be.

See you on the Jackson State University campus!

Purchase event tickets here.

Storytelling Festival

  • Saturday, January 14, 2023 from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Mississippi Children's Museum 
  • 145 Museum Blvd, Jackson, MS 39202
  • $10 general admission 
  • free with museum membership

Traditions are passed down through generations with stories, songs, and activities. Bring your children to the Mississippi Children’s Museum to experience the fun of storytelling together on January 14.

On this special day, join us as we celebrate Mississippi’s finest storytellers from our past and listen to those with us now. This event is an artistic, literary adventure celebrating the art of storytelling in many forms with special guests, performances, and workshops. Storytelling can be told through a multitude of ways such as writing and illustrating books, acting, singing, dancing, visual arts, photography, and much more.

Activities will include:

  • Author Sarah Frances Hardy - Reading of her book Dress Me and a workshop on how she tells her story through writing and illustrations
  • Author Alice Faye Duncan - Reading of her book Yellow Dog Blues and a workshop on how to tell your story through writing
  • A performance by International Ballet Competition
  • A performance and workshop by singer/songwriter Pam Confer
  • A performance by Intersect Dance Theater
  • A visual arts workshop with artist Andi Bedsworth
  • Telling your story through pictures with Eudora Welty House

This event is included with $10 general admission and free with museum membership. MCM will be open on Monday, January 16 for a Magic Monday! Visit for more information.

Special thank you to the Mississippi Book Festival for their support of MCM’s Storytelling Festival.

Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Diper Överlöde Book Tour

  • Sunday, October 30, 2022 at 2:00 pm
  • Jackson Prep Fortenberry Theatre 
  • 3100 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, MS
  • ticketed event

Mississippi Book Festival is pleased to partner with Lemuria Books and Jackson Prep in presenting Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Diper Överlöde book tour stop, Sunday, October 30, 2022 at 2:00 pm.

Join Jeff Kinney as he emcees this in-person rock concert featuring Rodrick Heffley's band, Löded Diper, with on-stage opportunities for concertgoers to show off their singing, dancing, and musical talents!

Hot Fest Cool Down

  • Saturday, August 20, 2022 from 7:30-10:30 pm
  • Hal and Mal’s 
  • 200 Commerce Street, Jackson, MS 39201
  • $10 admission at the door
  • Open to public

Wind up the hottest book event of the year by partying on in Downtown Jackson. Thacker Mountain Radio host Jim Dees will be joined by the charming and hilarious author Helen Ellis (Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light), and a live musical performance with Water Seed and Empty Atlas.

Presented by Community Foundation for Mississippi

Southern Screening

  • Saturday, August 20, 2022 from 5:30-7:00 pm
  • Capri Theatre 
  • 3023 N State Street, Jackson, MS 39216
  • RSVP to

Enjoy an intimate movie viewing at the newly restored Capri Theater in the historic Fondren District. Come for the Emmy-winning documentary “Walter Anderson: The Extraordinary Life & Art of the Islander” and stay for a Q&A with creators, Robert St. John and Anthony Thaxton, and the artist’s youngest son, John Anderson.

Presented by Capri Theatre

Pre-Fest Party

  • Thursday, August 18, 2022 from 6:00-8:00 pm
  • Cultivation Food Hall 
  • 1200 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS 39211
  • Open to public

Join us for an evening of food, drinks, and culture for our festival kickoff at Cultivation Food Hall. Hear from acclaimed authors John T. Edge and W. Ralph Eubanks as they discuss Mississippi as a laboratory for bold ideas and the Delta as a region of undeniable national influence.

Presented by Cultivation Food Hall

A Virtual Conversation with Freeman Vines and Charlie Braxton

 Watch Virtual Panel

Appalachian blues musician, folk artist, and author of Hanging Tree Guitars Freeman Vines engages in a spellbinding conversation with Mississippi’s own, Charlie Braxton, who is a poet, playwright, and music critic.

Presented in partnership with Lemuria Bookstore and the Music Maker Relief Foundation

Meet Dav Pilkey, the Creator of Captain Underpants and Dog Man

  • Saturday, August 17, 2018 at 9:30 am
  • Galloway UMC Sanctuary 
  • 305 N Congress St, Jackson, MS 39201
  • Free and open to public

We have some supa-epic news for readers! Dav Pilkey, the creator of the bestselling Dog Man and Captain Underpants series, will embark on an international “Do Good Tour” beginning with Jackson, MS! Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls, the latest book in the graphic novel series, will release mid-August — first tour stop, the Mississippi Book Festival! Hear Dav Pilkey’s inspiring story, enjoy an interactive presentation with live drawing, and don't miss meet-n-greet and photo-ops with Captain Underpants and Dog Man costumed characters! There will be fun giveaways, cool prizes, and more! BONUS: The first 500 kids will receive a free book! Come early. Supplies are limited.


    Howl with laughter with Dog Man, the internationally bestselling series from Dav Pilkey, the creator of Captain Underpants!

    The Supa Buddies have been working hard to help Dog Man overcome his bad habits. But when his obsessions turn to fears, Dog Man finds himself the target of an all-new supervillain!

    Meanwhile, Petey the Cat has been released from jail and starts a new life with Li’l Petey. But when Petey’s own father arrives, Petey must face his past to understand the difference between being good and doing good.

    Dav Pilkey’s wildly popular Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of being true to one’s self.


    Dav Pilkey is the author and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator of The Paperboy. He is also the creator of over 60 books for children including Dragon, Dumb Bunnies, and Ricky Ricotta series, and the newly re-released picture book, Dog Breath. When Dav Pilkey was in second grade, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and what is now widely known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Because of his learning and behavioral issues in school, he was often sent out in the hallway by his teachers. It was in his elementary school hallway where Dav created comic books about superheroes that eventually became Dog Man and Captain Underpants.

    See Facebook Event

    Day at the Capitol

    • Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 8:00-11:00 am
    • Mississippi State Capitol Building 
    • 400 High Street, Jackson, MS 39201
    • Open to public

    Governor Phil Bryant, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, Speaker Philip Gunn, as well as many others have been early supporters of the festival and we appreciate all they have done to help us shine a positive light on our state.

    In anticipation of the festival and to continue promote our efforts, we will host a Day at the Capitol on March 22nd from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. This event is for staff, board members, past panelists and those who love the book festival to share our enthusiasm with lawmakers and Capitol staff.

    While this event is open to the public, its purpose is strictly celebratory in nature and specifically for the Legislature. Want to help? Feel free to write or call your representative and senator and let them know how much you value the Mississippi Book Festival and perhaps share a positive example with them of your experience at the festival or comments you’ve heard around the region. Every voice and word counts!

    A Mississippi Bicentennial Celebration and Encyclopedia Launch

    • Thursday, August 17, 2017 from 5:30-8:00 pm
    • Cathead Distillery 
    • 422 South Farish Street, Jackson, MS 39201
    • FREE and open to public; food trucks and cash bar

    Kick off your Mississippi Book Festival weekend with a night of book celebration — all over Downtown! Start the evening at Cathead Distillery with a publisher’s party for the all new Mississippi Encyclopedia and a special performance by Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars.

    These folks know how to celebrate a bicentennial! We are sincerely grateful for the support of Visit Mississippi in making this event possible.

    Sponsored in part by Visit Mississippi and Mississippi Book Festival

    Day at the Capitol

    • Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 8:00-10:00 am
    • Mississippi State Capitol Building 
    • 400 High Street, Jackson, MS 39201

    Join us for a Day at the Capitol, honoring the Mississippi Book Festival! We will be in the rotunda serving a little breakfast, sharing our plans with legislators, and expressing our gratitude for their support. They are big fans of our Literary Lawn Party!