Book Festival set in B.R.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton unveiled the artwork for the 2016 Book Festival and spoke about several of the event highlights at a press conference held recently at the State Library of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.
“I am excited about the book festival this year, and I look forward to welcoming all the great authors who have been inspired by our beautiful state as well as those coming out to enjoy the festival,” said Nungesser.
The Louisiana Book Festival is scheduled for Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the area near the State Capitol, State Library and Capitol Park Museum. There are more than 220 authors, panelists and other participants, and more than 150 programs scheduled for this year. The largest book festival in the state is free and open to the public.
Each year the Louisiana Book Festival commissions a Louisiana artist for the festival’s artwork. For the first time this year, the featured art is a sculpture created by Kelly Guidry of Breaux Bridge, a chainsaw artist.
Guidry created a book angel, which he named “Libby” for libraries and librarians. Guidry realized its wings needed some words to fly so he incorporated Darrell Bourque, poet, in his process. Past Louisiana Writer Award recipient and Louisiana Poet Laureate, Bourque created “Words, A Poem” which is engraved on Libby’s wings.
The festival will also feature the book launch of “Petit Pierre and the Floating Marsh” by Johnette Downing and illustrated by Heather Stanley that was commissioned by the Audubon Nature Institute and the New Orleans Pelicans who are donating two copies to every main or branch library in Louisiana. All proceeds from sales will go to wetlands education. First lady Donna Edwards will be reading the book to the children on festival day.
There will also be a special free book from ULL Press, the George Rodrigue Foundation for the Arts, and the book festival, while supply lasts.
“Every year, we welcome thousands to celebrate not only the written and spoken word but also the culture of our state. The Louisiana artists and authors add so much to our event and guests of all ages will find something to do,” said Hamilton.
The book festival is also in need of volunteers to help work the event and support the festival; to sign up to volunteer go to www.LouisianaBook Festival.org/volunteer.html.