Kansas Book Festival to return to Washburn University in September

Published: Apr. 24, 2021 at 1:29 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Mabee Library at Washburn University will host the Kansas Book Festival in September.

The Kansas Book Festival says on Saturday, Sept. 18, the 10th annual Kansas Book Festival will be held at Washburn University, hosted by Mabee Library at 1800 SW 19th St. It said the festival is finally back after being canceled by COVID-19 in 2020 and will include free presentations by 40 authors, outdoor performances, a book-art exhibit, food vendors and exhibitor tents with publishers from around the state.

According to the Festival, the headliner for 2021 will be Aime Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks and Other Astonishments. It said Nezhukumatahil’s collection of nature essays includes stores from her time as a child in Larned and was selected as a Favorite Book of the Year by Barnes and Noble and by NPR.

The Festival said other prominent authors will include Wes Jackson, nationally respected leader of the sustainable agriculture movement, who just released a memoir about growing up on a farm near Topeka, and Michael Kleber-Diggs, prize-winning pet from the Twin Cities with a collection about the hazards and beauties of life as a Black man in America.

Additionally, the Festival said there will be popular books for young people from authors like Elizabeth Bunce or Natalie Parker. It said it will honor the 2021 Kansas Notable Books, which will be chosen by the Kansas State Library and awarded by Dr. Ted Daughety, husband of Governor Laura Kelly. It said it will include an initial kick-off presentation at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17, by the winner of the Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award, sponsored by Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection at WU.

The Festival said 2021′s winner, Rebekah Taussig, will speak from her memoir about living with a disability, Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body, which received reviews from both Kirkus and Library Journal. It said Taussig has gathered much praise for the book, including a tribute from the magazine Bustle.

Tim Bascom, Executive Director of the Kansas Book Festival said, “We are excited about the line-up of authors, and the Washburn campus is an ideal new venue.  By September, we anticipate that people will be more comfortable meeting in person, and we plan to livestream for those who can’t attend.  There should be a bit of something for everyone.”

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