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From special celebrations to special guest authors, it’s all happening October 29 in Baton Rouge


BATON ROUGE, La. – The 18th Annual Louisiana Book Festival is set for Saturday,October 29, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Baton Rouge. This free, family-friendly, annual festival celebrating readers, writers, and their books returns to its premier location in downtown Baton Rouge’s Capitol Park with events and programming in the Louisiana State Capitol, State Library of Louisiana, Capitol Park Museum, Capitol Park Event Center, and in tents on neighboring streets. Over 200 authors and presenters, ranging from Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winners to self-published and debut authors, will discuss their books at 100 programs held at 20 locations throughout the day, followed by book signings.

“Louisiana is well known for its vibrant festivals, and there’s a reason the Louisiana Book Festival is recognized nationally as one of the best,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “You simply can’t beat the joyful atmosphere that reverberates through downtown Baton Rouge each year. There is truly something for everyone, and we encourage visitors to bring the whole family!”

The 2022 festival will include the Young Readers Pavilion, where young readers can enjoy children’s authors and storytelling and book-related crafts; Teen HQ activities and award-winning young adult authors; cooking demonstrations; food vendors; and a wide variety of book-related activities and exhibitors.

As always, the festival features books by Louisiana authors, books about or set in our state, and titles from Louisiana publishers, as well as celebrated authors from across the south and from throughout the nation, and this year a special guest from Canada. Gerard Collins (The Hush Sisters) joins the Louisiana Book Festival as part of a cultural initiative agreement Louisiana will sign with New Brunswick, Canada, this week and through an author exchange with the Frye Festival in Moncton, New Brunswick. Another notable author attending this year’s festival is Sr. Helen Prejean discussing River of Fire: On Becoming an Activist.

Current Louisiana Poet Laureate Mona Lisa Saloy will host two panels of Louisiana poets. She will also interview Pulitzer Prize poet and Louisiana native Jericho Brown about his work. The National Student Poets Class of 2022, representing the five geographical regions, will appear together to read from their work.

Jack E. Davis, Pulitzer Prize winner for The Gulf, discusses his latest work, The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of America’s Bird, as he appears with Louisianan Rien Fertel, author of Brown Pelican. Another Pulitzer Prize winner and former Louisiana resident Robert Olen Butler will discuss his latest novel, Late City.

The Louisiana Book Festival will honor David Armand with the 2022 Louisiana Writer Award at the opening ceremony on Friday, October 28. Armand then will discuss his work with State Library board member David Johnson, who will also interview Al Copeland, Jr., as he shares recollections about his father and founder of Popeyes. Past Louisiana Writer Award (LWA) recipients Johnette Downing, Fatima Shaik, and Tom Piazza will also be participating in the festival.

Narrative 4 will honor one of its founding members Darrell Bourque, also a past LWA recipient and twice Louisiana Poet Laureate, as the organization launches its international yearlong tenth anniversary celebration during a program featuring members of the Narrative 4 Artists Network, including co-founder Colum McCann, winner of the National Book Award. Participating N4 Artists include Louisiana’s fiction writer Maurice Carlos Ruffin and poet Dean Thomas Ellis.

To learn more about these and additional authors attending the 18th Annual Louisiana Book Festival, too numerous to mention here, visit the Featured Authors, Panelists, and Other Participants webpage to link to a page on each and their featured work.

One Book, One Festivalinvites attendees to read the same title in advance and later join the scholar-led discussion with others during the festival. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Broadway premiere of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, festival favorite Dr. Gary Richards returns to lead this “Stella” discussion.

Lagniappe events are also a part of the festival. “Poetry-to-Order” returns to the lobby of the State Library where poets GennaRose Nethercott and Cassandra de Alba will compose free custom poetry written on a topic of the festival attendee’s choice, typed on vintage typewriters, and given to the individual as a one-of-a-kind souvenir of the festival. Also in the State Library will be Kheris Rogers’s Flexin’ In My Complexion Fashion Exhibit. Kheris is a teen entrepreneur who started the viral apparel brand and movement after being bullied in school for her dark skin complexion. Also, the LSU Print Guild from the LSU School of Art will demonstrate several papermaking and printmaking techniques.

All featured titles will be available for purchase at the book tent run by the independent Cavalier House Books of Denham Springs, where featured authors are scheduled for book signings. Festival T-shirts, mugs, pins, and collectible posters featuring Nonney Oddlokken’s “Magic in the Bayou Atheneum” will also be on sale at the festival.

For more information, including how to register for WordShops, writing workshops to be held the Friday before the festival, to view the at-a-glance schedule with author and panel listings, or to sign up to volunteer and receive a free festival t-shirt, please visit www.LouisianaBookFestival.org and follow us on Facebook.

The Louisiana Center for the Book, established in the State Library of Louisiana in 1994 for the purpose of stimulating public interest in reading, books, literacy, and libraries and celebrating Louisiana’s rich literary heritage, is the state affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book.


Barry Landry
Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism
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Veronica Mosgrove
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
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