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.
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.
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
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!
Sponsored by Community Foundation of Greater Jackson
Jesmyn Ward and The Fire This Time
Sponsored by University of Southern Mississippi Friends of University Libraries
Don’t miss these engaging national showcases on display in the Capitol Building just for the Festival!
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
Schools in Change
Sponsored by Mississippi Humanities Council
Sponsored by University of Southern Mississippi School of Library and Information Science
Civil Rights History I
Sponsored by Mississippi Humanities Council and First Commercial Bank
Middle Grade Readers
Sponsored by University of Southern Mississippi Department of English
Willie Morris and His Books
Sponsored by University of Southern Mississippi College of Arts & Letters
William Faulkner: His Life and Writings
Sponsored by Mississippi Humanities Council as part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative
Sponsored by Beard and Riser Architects and Nautilus Publishing
Civil Rights History II
Sponsored by Pigott and Johnson and Mississippi Humanities Council
Sports and Outdoors
Sponsored by Mississippi Humanities Council
Sponsored by Mississippi Arts Commission
The Presidential Year
Sponsored by Taggart, Rimes & Graham, PLLC
The Mississippi Experience / The Closing Chapter
Sponsored by Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP