by Leonard Gill
This Saturday, October 6th, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., is the annual Bookstock, a full day's program of speakers, signings, workshops, and more at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library on Poplar. And by "more," organizers mean food trucks in the library's parking lot, cooking demonstrations by authors Marissa Baggett, Paul and Angela Knipple, B.J. Chester Tamayo, live music, and a special address at 12:45 p.m. by Congressman Steve Cohen on the importance of literacy. Keynote speaker at 1 p.m. is Kristen Iversen, author of Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats. Events are free and open to the public.
Writing and local writers — more than three dozen — are what this event is all about. The general public's invited, but it's would-be writers who can especially benefit from the workshops in getting motivated, getting published, and getting noticed. (There's even a workshop on personal presentation.) And don't forget the kids: Bookstock will offer a full range of storytelling and children's activities.
Among the many featured writers on Saturday: Russell Scott Anderson, a radiologist whose witty musings for a Mississippi medical journal have been collected in a book of essays, The Uncommon Thread; Angela Kay Austin, signing her newest novel, Give Me Everything; Steve Bradshaw, a forensics investigator by profession and, in Bluff City Butcher, a novelist following the gruesome progress of a Memphis serial killer; Miriam DeCosta-Willis, signing her guide, Black Memphis Landmarks: Mike Freeman, author of a biography of Clarence Saunders, founder of Piggly Wiggly; Charlie Lambert, whose Capturing the Reel World recounts a lifetime tracking down Academy Award winning films; Richard Murff on his coffee-table-size portrait of famous Memphians; Courtney Miller Santo, whose multigenerational novel, The Roots of the Olive Tree, is big-time publishing success story; and Candice Spicer, who does double duty as an author for adult readers seeking personal or professional inspiration (in No Box) and for children (in Hopper and the Happy Houses).
If that's not wide enough a range of interests for Memphis readers, see what's more in store at Bookstock by going to memphislibrary.org. Need more information? Call 901-415-2700.
For some words on Bookstock, go to Stephanie Nerissa White, director of communications at the library.
"Having an opportunity to engage with area authors is indeed a privilege," White wrote in a recent email.
"This festival for children, tween, teens, and adults affords families a chance to reinforce the value of reading by participating in activities where there is an appreciation for and an enjoyment of reading. What a wonderful feeling to not only read a book but to meet the person who is responsible for putting those words together to bring a story to life or to bring an inspirational message home. Bookstock is yet another way the library helps customers to connect, learn, and grow."