KY Women's Book Festival Connects Authors and Readers

Kentucky women writers and their readers will gather at the University of Louisville’s Ekstrom Library later this month to discuss the nuts and bolts of writing and publishing.

The Kentucky Women’s Book Festival, now in its fifth year, will be held May 21. University Libraries and the Women’s Center present the festival.

“It’s really an extension of the university’s community-wide focus on literacy, and the fact that the festival is free and open to the public gives everyone the chance to attend,” said Robin Harris, KWBF co-chair and a UofL law librarian.

Here are some highlights from this year’s event:

  • Alanna Nash, journalist and biographer, will give the opening talk. Nash’s latest book, “Baby, Let’s Play House: Elvis Presley and the Women Who Loved Him,” is the first book to focus solely on the singer’s complex relationships with women. Her other books have been about Jessica Savitch, Dolly Parton and Col. Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager. Nash also has written for national entertainment and news publications. She lives in Louisville.
  • Tania James, author and film maker, will present the keynote talk at lunch. James’ debut novel, “Atlas of Unknowns,” is about sisterhood and deals with the pressures of cultural experiences played out in family life. The novel was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. James grew up in Louisville and lives in Washington, D.C.
  • Sena Jeter Naslund, author of “Abundance, a Novel of Marie Antoinette,” “Ahab’s Wife,” “Four Spirits” and “Adam & Eve,” will present the closing talk. Naslund is UofL’s writer-in-residence and program director of Spalding University’s brief-residency Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing. She also lives in Louisville.

Besides these talks, the schedule includes workshops on such topics as writing plays and blogs and getting published. There also will be opportunities for book signing and informal networking.

The festival opens at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. The lunch session is the only one that requires registration and has a charge. Registration for it is required by Tuesday, May 17, and can be made by calling the UofL Women’s Center at 502-852-8976. The cost is $16. Students who register for the conference will receive a complimentary box lunch.

Festival sponsors are the UofL Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality, the UofL Commission on the Status of Women, Women Who Write and Class Act federal credit union.

Law librarians, Robin Harris and Virginia Mattingly are members of the KWBF planning committee.

Reprinted with permision from UofL Today (May 3, 2011).