My recap of the Ann Arbor Book Festival Events - or at least those that I attended:
Friday night's Author Reception was a well attended affair at the Ann Arbor Public Library. A great many of the authors and other presenters were present and mingling. It was a nice opportunity to meet Jason Ockert, Joe Mackall, Felicia Sullivan, and reconnect with Benjamin Percy, Dean Bakopoulos and some of the other literary journal editors.
Saturday was best summed up by Orchid Co-Executive Editor Keith Hood at about 3:45 p.m., just before the Literary Journal Panel. Responding to somebody who asked how the day had been going, Keith replied:
"It hasn't sucked as much as I thought it would."
For those of you not in the Michigan area, the weather here has been overcast, temperatures in the upper forties and lower fifties and Saturday had at least light sprinkles for approximately 40% of the hours the festival was held. Not ideal is putting it nicely.
This year we put together a three tent area of nothing but literary journals, many of which readers of the EWN notes will find familiar - Hobart, Absinthe: New European Writing, Small Spiral Notebook, Frostproof Review, Diagram, Michigan Quarterly Review, Third Coast, Mid-American Review, The MacGuffin, Two Lines, Prairie Margins, Kenyon Review and Newpages.com were all present and rained upon. And dripped upon. And than a nice cool breeze came through.
I was able to catch the Young Fiction Authors Panel that was moderated by Steven Gillis. The authors on board were all EWN favorites which made it a great panel: Benjamin Percy, Dean Bakopoulos, Jason Ockert and Kellie Wells (go out tonight and buy and/or order their five combined books - you will NOT be disappointed). It was a fantastic panel - each author read for about five minutes and then the entire panel responded to three or four audience questions. While the attendance was a tad sparse (Richard Russo was on a panel in the auditorium right next to this panel and was pretty crowded), there were people anxious to purchase copies of their works and talk to each of the four authors afterwards.
I moderated the literary journal panel an hour later and it actually had a slightly larger crowd than I was expecting (with thanks to those I do not know, and also to Kellie Wells, Elizabeth Ellen, Stefan Kiesbye, Ken Foster, Casey Hill, and Sam Jones for coming out). Each of the editors on the panel were fantastic - taking my short list of questions and going off with anecdotes and explanations of the lessons they've learned over the years. A nice proportion of the crowd came down to speak to each of them after it was over. There's a photo after the jump with names of those involved.
From left to right:
Myself moderating, Dwayne Hayes of Absinthe, Aaron Burch of Hobart, Kyle Minor of Frostproof Review, Keith Hood of Orchid and Denise Hill of NewPages.com (actually, please click on the photo to open it wide enough to see Denise - my tech wizardry is showing as I don't know how to shrink this in TypePad so Denise will appear on the page).