Festival of the Book Offers A Variety of Reading Pleasures
Every year at the Iris Inn, we have guests that travel near and far to attend Charlottesville’s Festival of the Book.
And what a festival it is!
The Festival of the Book is the largest community-based book event in all 50 states plus six US territories. Produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, it attracts huge audiences each year.
In fact, last year, Festival attendance reached more than 30,000 with attendees traveling from 30 states to enjoy this unique event.
And it’s easy to see why. The Virginia Festival of the Book boasts an impressive list of author presenters: David Baldacci, Nikki Giovanni, Rick Atkinson, Lawrence Wright, Sonia Manzano, Elizabeth Strout, and Natasha Trehewey, are just some of the Festival’s past presenters. To get a complete list of past participants, click here.
The Mission of the Virginia Festival of the Book
The mission of the Festival is to have deeply engaging discussions about issues facing us today. For example, In 2013, “American Icons: A Conversation with the Honorable John Lewis and Dr. John Carlos, was presented.
Both speakers came of age during the Civil Rights era and shared their experiences advocating for human and civil rights.
The 2016 Festival featured Bryan Stevenson who spoke on the issue of social justice. Questions were followed by John Grisham. And finally, in 2017, Margot Lee Shetterly and Dava Sobel discussed women in science and their unsung contributions.
There are about 250 programs with the Festival, most of them free, that offer up book discussions on almost every imaginable genre and for every reader level.
What’s more, in 2017, Virginia Festival of the Book also scheduled classroom visits to local kindergarten-12th-grade students with 100 authors making the rounds. This provided reading discussions to more than 10,000 students.
Virginia Festival of the Book Presenters for 2018
The lineup for this year is just as exceptional! Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, will present a lecture at the University Baptist Church in Charlottesville.
At 34, he is the youngest ever winner of the National Book Award for non-fiction. Dr. Kendi will speak March 23 @ 2:00 p.m. on Racist Ideas in America: From Slavery to Black Lives Matters.
Get your free tickets here.
Another exciting 2018 Festival speaker will be Tayari Jones, author of “An American Marriage.” Jones was chosen by Oprah Winfrey the next Oprah’s Book Club selection.
She has also written Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, and Leaving Atlanta. Ms. Jones will be featured at two Festival programs, which include a one-to-one conversation with the National Book Foundation executive director Lisa Lucas.
Finally, the Festival will hold its annual Friday night poetry headliner with Nin Andrews (Miss August), David Wojahn (For the Scribe), and Tyehimba Jess (Olio) in Meade Hall at Christ Episcopal Church.
Listen while they read from their work.
Don’t miss out on this exceptional opportunity to see and hear some of America’s finest minds discuss important topics of the day.