Good morning bookies. Stand by for news.
So, did you know that Tennessee sponsors a major book festival every year, the second weekend of October? No? Don’t feel bad, 99.73% of Tennesseans don’t know it either. True or False: in 2004 and 2006 it was held in Memphis. I know, you heard nothing about it so it must be false, right? Bzzzz! The answer is true. The Southern Festival of Books moved from its location in downtown Nashville for a two year experiment at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis, and it shoul dhave returned there in 2008. However, the City of Memphis was completely uninterested in doing anything that would return this massive cultural event to our city. Indeed, when it was here did you know it? in 2006 we had two of the most influential African-American writers of our times here, but did you see school kids lining up to meet them, or the mayor handing them the key to the city? Nope. Nobody cared and it’s a damned shame. When the decision was made to return the festival permanently to Nashville I wrote them a snarky email asking why the didn’t simply rename the thing the Nashville Festival of Books. But the truth is, with Memphis so completely indifferent, I understand completely.
Indignation aside, the Southern Festival of Books takes place the second weekend of every October in Nashville. About 200 authors in various fields are brought together on Legislative Plaza to hold panel discussions, sign books, sell books and generally mingle with readers. It’s always a fun show. Why Tennessee doesn’t do more to promote it is anybody’s guess.