Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Kansas Book Festival 2021

Display of 2021 KS Notable Books at Watermark Bookstore  
Photo Credit:  Larry Fenwick

 This weekend is the Kansas Book Festival 2021 in Topeka, hosted by Mabee Library on the campus of Washburn University.   Friday, September 17, at 4 p.m. Rebekah Taussig kicks off the Festival with a book talk about her book, "Sitting Pretty, The View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body."  Admission is free and the public is welcome. 

Saturday morning at 9 a.m., September 18, the Notable Book Award Ceremony starts the full day of activities. State Librarian Eric Norris will describe the Notable Book Program, followed by the introduction of the recipients which will include a short description of each of their books.  The books recognized with an award may include Fiction, Narrative Nonfiction (history, biography, memoir, essays), Cook Books/Food Related, Poetry, Children's Literature, and Art & Architecture.  My book, Prairie Bachelor, The Story of a Kansas Homesteader and the Populist Movement, falls within the narrative nonfiction category.  This year's selections include youth books, as well as  poetry, memoir, art, and narrative. 

Photo Credit:  Larry Fenwick

In addition to recognizing books, the Kansas Book Festival program includes a grant program, begun by former First Lady Mary Brownback.  This year, ten libraries received grants, among which were both public and school libraries.  Grants included not only books but also technology, especially important during the pandemic.  The director of the Wamego Public Library explained, "The effects of the pandemic have pushed many into isolation in a way that once seemed unfathomable. is no longer just a luxury but a necessity." 

Among this year's recipients of a Notable Book Award is Aimee Nezherkumatathil's World of Wonders:  In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments, for which she was also recognized by National Public Radio and Barnes and Noble as a Book of the Year.  As the New York Times concluded its review of her book, "A very fine book indeed."

A part of the celebration of books and authors has included a Youth Writing Contest for students Grades 3-12, and although it has been interrupted by Covid, plans for its return in 2022 are being made.

During the time my husband and I lived in Georgia, I received the Georgia Author of the Year Award for my book Should the Children Pray, which was presented to me at the state capital by the Governor.  It is customary to receive the awards for Kansas Notable Books from the Kansas Governor, but because our governor has a conflict, we have the privilege of receiving our awards this year from Dr. Ted Daughety, the First Gentleman of Kansas.  Later that afternoon, I will be visiting with Kay M. McIntyre  of Kansas Public Radio.  Between my two scheduled meetings, I have the challenge of deciding which of the multiple programs available to the public during the day to attend.  Unfortunately, I can't attend all of them and must choose from among some tempting topics! 

I am looking forward to a wonderful day celebrating books and reading at the Washburn University Mabee Library!  Perhaps I will see some of you there.




Alice said...


The Blog Fodder said...

Congratulations. May your fame spread far and wide.