Trethewey Keynote Speaker at Book Festival

Plenty of local names will appear, plus nationally known writers such as Michael Connelly, Meg Cabot, Kathy Reichs, Tess Gerritsen and Isabel Wilkerson.

announced Tuesday that , will deliver the festival keynote address.

Trethewey, a resident of Decatur, will will speak Friday, Aug. 31, at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University.

Book festival leaders announced the lineup of authors during a party at Eddie's Attic. Many of the same people gathered at the Decatur Community Bandstand .

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that celebration is where Trethewey agreed to be the keynote speaker.

Late last month, festival program director Terra Elan McVoy was trying to nail down a major kickoff speaker. McVoy found it in Trethewey, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Emory professor of English and creative writing. Trethewey, who lives in Decatur, said yes to the keynote invitation during an impromptu, Decatur-wide fete in her honor under the town square gazebo two weeks ago.

Past keynote speakers have included novelist Jonathan Franzen, poet Billy Collins, novelist and humorist Kinki Friedman and Arianna Huffington, author and founder of the Huffington Post.

The festival will have a strong Decatur flavor, with several local authors appearing. Some of them are , Joshilyn Jackson and .

Some of the national authors will be mystery writer Michael Connelly; Princess Diary author Meg Cabot; Kathy Reichs, producer of the TV show Bones; Tess Gerritsen, author of the Rizzoli and Isles novels; and Isabel Wilkerson, author of The Warmth of Other Suns.

Aside from Trethewey, poetry will be a big part of the festival, with a celebration of Best American Poetry 2012, a conversation with National Book Award finalist poet Kevin Young (an Emory professor like Trethewey), a citywide poetry showcase and a teen poetry slam.

About 300 authors will take part in the festival over Labor Day weekend. It started in 2006 and has grown to draw 70,000 to 80,000 people.

A full list of authors and other details can be found on the book fesival webpage.


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