Capital BookFest Charleston drew 4000-5000 people to its inaugural event last Saturday, November 6, and plans are in the works to make it an annual festival after the mayor declared the first Saturday in November as Capital BookFest Day. A large part of that draw was the inimitable poet Nikki Giovanni, loved by all ages--children and adults alike. The mission of the festival is "strengthening families through reading"--and with that in mind, it was a wonderful sight to see so many teenagers and children at the festival.
Which reminds me, I'd like to give a shoutout to the North Charleston High School students who published the poetry anthology Find Me Beyond Statistics Inside Teardrops through the Book-in-a-Day program directed by Kwame Alexander, the founder of Capital BookFest. The students gave a terrific reading from their book at Saturday's BookFest, captivating the audience and electrifying the whole room. Congratulations!
I had a wonderful time attending the whole day at the downtown library and Blue Bicycle Books on King Street. It was great fun in a morning session to read with poets Tinesha Davis, Le Hinton, Deanna Nikaido, and Marjory Wentworth from the book Cooking Up South, recently published for BookFest, and later to read at Blue Bicycle Books with Linda Annas Ferguson.
I'm already looking forward to next year's event! This year's festival was one of three offered, the other two being in Largo (MD) and Harrisburg (PA). Much gratitude to Kwame Alexander and the Capital BookFest staff for bringing the festival to Charleston.