Decatur Book Festival Report

The weekend was consumed with the Decatur Book Festival. I don't know how many people showed up, but I have a feeling it probably equaled or toppled last year's record of 75,000. It wasn't as hot this year (muggy, but not sweltering) and the weather held, too. My reading on Saturday at the Decatur Conference Center was a success and it was a treat to read with fellow debut novelists Shawn Stuart Ruff and Z. Egloff. Bound to Be Read was the book seller and they sold out of copies of Conquering Venus! That was a very satisfying moment. I'm talking with Bound to Be Read about doing a signing and reading there in October. More on that soon.

C. Dale Young and James Allen Hall's reading was brilliant. I'm so glad they both agreed to come down to Atlanta. It was an honor to introduce them. They also sold out of their books and had a line of folks wanting autographs. Zach Steele read from his novel Anointed to a sizable crowd (including one clueless woman who asked Zach if he had a "real job" during the Q&A). As usual, I spent much of my time at the Local Poets Stage at Java Monkey. On Sunday afternoon, I hosted a two hour block of poets including Ginger Murchison, Cleo Creech, Dustin Brookshire, Jill Jennings, Sharan Strange, Lisa Allender, Amy Pence and Katie Chaple.

Me, Julie Bloemeke, Dustin, Karen Head and her fiance, Colin, all attended the book festival Twitter Tweetup, which, sadly, was a bust. It was held opposite the VIP authors party and the Eudora Welty tribute concert at Eddie's Attic featuring Mary Chapin Carpenter. The tweetup needs to be on a different night and part of the official schedule, not a last minute idea thrown together the week before. I'm just sayin'..

The highlight of the weekend for me was hearing my friend and fabulous poet Patricia Smith read last night at Java Monkey to close out the festival. The place was packed with folks standing on the sidewalk. Patricia read from Blood Dazzler and got a much-deserved standing ovation. It was great to see her again and I was happy to see her in the audience when I did my short reading at Java Monkey on Sunday.

As usual, I didn't get to see many of the folks I wanted to at DBF. There are so many events and they are often competing for attention. Plus, as a quasi-organizer with Poetry Atlanta and Atlanta Queer Literary Festival, means lots of jumping around making sure things are running smoothly. I hope everyone who came out had a great time at the festival.


Radish King said…
Actually I think do you have a real job is a pretty damned good question. I always wonder about it, especially if a person has flown a long way to attend a reading. I wonder where his or her money comes from because it rarely comes from poetry.

Jessie Carty said…
fantastic to hear about the reading. i really hope i get to attend next year!
The Peach Tart said…
I thought the festival was fabulous. I was one of the people who got to the Bound to Read table after your reading to purchase Conquering Venus only to be told it had sold out:(

Being the southern gentleman that you are, you gave me your reading copy and signed it so I know it will bring me good luck. I will be posting a review later in the week on my blog.

I was on the sidewalk during Patricia Smith and she rocked.

Thanks for all your hard work. I want to get together to pick your brain and cook you dinner soon.
Anonymous said…
You really need to come west with the book.

January said…
Glad the event went well! Yea for you!

What a fabulous lineup of writers. And I'm sure Patricia's reading was terrific.

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