Decatur celebrates authors

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival (AJC DBF) will take place at the east Atlanta town this weekend, Sept. 2 – 4, to bring the sixth year of celebrating authors and literature to the citizens of Atlanta.

The three-day gala will feature a gamut of events including meet and greets with authors, a sneak peak of a children’s opera about Brer Rabbit and a poetry slam, just to name a few.

The festival will be held in and around the downtown Decatur Square with free admission. A word of caution though as Terra Elan McVoy, who presides over Main Stage Programming for the festival, says that while the festival may be free, “bring money because books are for sale.”

McVoy says their “big goal is to appeal to every kind of reader,” so there is something for the pop fiction fan as well as the high-brow literati. Also, don’t forget about cookbooks. Cookbook authors like Rebecca Lang and Debby Maugans will have demonstrations.

If you have never been to Decatur, the Great Decatur Treasure Hunt will get you familiar with local businesses and Festival sponsors, which includes DeKalb Medical, Agnes Scott College and Literacy Action, Inc. Participants could win books, t-shirts, posters, an iPod Touch and more.

McVoy says the event, Write Club, a play on “fight club” has been described as “literary bloodsport.” It is a show that originated in Chicago and there will be a special performance for the AJC DBF.

It is basically a game with three rounds in which each round is assigned two authors. Ahead of time, the authors are given opposing topics, “light” and “dark” for example, and they then write an original piece about their opposing motifs.

At the festival, the authors will read them to the audience, who will then vote and decide which author wins the round. The winning author gets to choose to which charity the proceeds from the audience’s donations go.

If poetry is your thing, the AJC DBF has got you covered. There will be three different poetry-related events, Best American Poetry 2011, Java Monkey Invitational Poetry Slam and Java Monkey Speaks Open Mic.

Best American Poetry will feature editors Kevin Young and David Lehman and poet Natasha Trethewey discussing their experiences and reading selections. The Java Monkey Invitational Poetry Slam will have poets from the Atlanta area. The Java Monkey Speaks Open Mic will feature spoken-word poets on Sunday night performances.

Be sure to also check out the enigmatic Experimental Writers Asylum.

The three-day fair, originally launched in 2006, starts as early as 9 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. The AJC DBF can be found on Facebook, Twitter and at


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