Book Festival adds food, Civil War, Conroy tracks

Posted by August 28, 2014
Photo of the 2013 Decatur Book Festival. Photo by: Bill Mahan

Photo of the 2013 Decatur Book Festival. Photo by: Bill Mahan, provided by DBF

By Ralph Ellis, Contributor

The ever-expanding Decatur Book Festival, which begins Friday, has added new program tracks this year that should please foodies, Civil War buffs, romance readers and Pat Conroy fans.

For food lovers, the Healthy and Local track will operate on an outdoor stage under a tent with a full kitchen.

The tent, located at North McDonough and West Trinity near Decatur City Hall, will seat up to 250 people—many more than could fit into the old location for food presentations, Cook’s Warehouse.

“I’m particularly excited about the Healthy and Local Track this year,” said Daren Wang, book festival executive director. “It’s just so Decatur — a mix of food and smart cooking along with social issues and even some hiking/outdoors issues mixed in.”

Some of the speaker/demonstrators will be Marcie Cohen Ferris, author of “The Edible South,” and Martha Ezzard, who will talk about starting a winery in north Georgia.

The other new tracks include:

The Civil War. These programs are timely, since the 150th anniversary of the great conflict is being observed.

Romance. Some of the discussions are titled “Where the Husbands Are” and “Your Deepest Desires,” about lesbian love in the Deep South.

Pat Conroy. The best-selling author of novels such as “The Prince of Tides” has set up four discussions, including an examination of the work of Western North Carolina writer Ron Rash and a talk about literary marriages, including his own to Cassandra King.

Atlanta Writers Club. The club will sponsor panel discussions on contemporary fiction, erotica, memoirs, mysteries and thrillers, historical fiction and global fiction.

Business and Economics. One of the speakers is Dennis Kimbro, who wrote “The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires.”

Global Voices. Diversity in children’s books and “Love in the Time of Globalization” are two subjects up for discussion.

“I’m really excited about our new Global Voices track,” said Philip Rafshoon, festival programming director. “It brings together a diverse array of issues, cultures, and stories from around the world by authors who are naturalized Americans, and several who are coming from other countries.”

Other new features include the 90 Second Newberry Film Festival Showing, the 2014 Booklogix Writing Contest, The Book As Art exhibit and the Teen Poetry Slam.

For a full event schedule, click here.


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  • Chris Billingsley

    Looking forward to the War Between the States track. If I get the chance, I will ask the experts, “Was the Battle for Decatur a minor skirmish, a major engagement or an all out total war between Johnny Reb and Billy Yank that elevates this battle into the top ten critical events of the conflict?

  • Chris Billingsley

    I was called away halfway through the presentation but from what I heard, all three authors wrote fascinating books about the Civil War. Dan Cone and Bob Jenkins were interesting but the final author, Steven Davis, in response to a lame introduction by a clueless Yankee intellectual, reminded the audience that there are reasons why Southerners have not forgotten or forgiven the events of 1864 and the behavior of William T. Burn In Hell Sherman!
    I wish I could have stayed for the fireworks.

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