Decatur Book Festival: “Easily Most Successful Festival” Ever


The AJC Decatur Book Festival sent out this release earlier today….

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical (AJC DBF) concluded its 10thannual event on Sunday with Executive Director and Co-founder Daren Wang pronouncing it “easily our most successful festival.”

More than 600 authors packed 23 different stages, families enjoyed two children’s parades, and festival-goers were treated to yet another fantastic art|DBF arts and culture showcase. Ninety thousand festival-goers attended the 2014 AJC DBF.

“Festival crowds are notoriously difficult to estimate and are more so for something like the DBF where there are thousands of people in indoor sessions at any given moment,” Wang said. “One thing is clear — there was a whole bunch more people around than there was last year. It was easily our most successful festival.”

The festival kicked off on Friday night with a sold-out Keynote event at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey gave a recitation of “Meditation at Decatur Square,” a poem examining how, after personal tragedy, the city has been redeemed for her through the festival.

The night proceeded with a conversation between noted feminist writers Erica Jong and Roxane Gay. The duo did not shy away from some of the most sensitive issues facing modern feminism in a discourse that in the ensuing days generated its share of buzz.

“Both Roxane Gay and Erica Jong are brilliant writers who have helped define feminism for their respective generations,” Wang said. “As I’d hoped, the Keynote event and the conversation that continues even now has presented many of us, myself included, a real opportunity to understand the nuanced entanglement of gender and race in our history.”

AJC DBF Programming Director, Philip Rafshoon, was thrilled with the outcome of this year’s festival.

“We are so fortunate to have such a devoted following,” Rafshoon said. “We also were glad that the weather cooperated and allowed festival-goers to get their fill of whichever events they elected to enjoy. We had many full venues, long lines of readers waiting to meet the authors and strong book sales. That, to me, is a testament to the quality of the festival’s programming and also to those who attend it.”

Photo by DM

8 thoughts on “Decatur Book Festival: “Easily Most Successful Festival” Ever”

  1. I guess I’ll start the discussion.

    Well organized. Great topics. Good venues. Found a lot of authors I wanted to hear speak. Makes me proud to live in Decatur.

    Can we please move to a more moderate temperature week?

    1. The dates are picked for author and publisher availability and avoiding conflicts with other similar events. Planning starts well over a year in advance for some items. I personalty thought the weather was just fine.

      1. “The dates are picked for author and publisher availability and avoiding conflicts with other similar events.”

        But wasn’t the National Book Festival this past weekend?

        As for the weather, it wasn’t too bad for a festival that’s mostly indoors, but I avoided any of the author talks that were outside.

        1. If I am remembering this right those fat-cat librarians in Washington DC stole the Labor Day date from our home-grown event just a year or two ago.

          1. “those fat-cat librarians in Washington DC”–you must be talking about the Librarian of Congress, who is not, in fact, an actual librarian (but he may very well be a fat cat, as a presidential appointee of the Reagan era).

            1. I like your name, Lean-Cat.

              But, no, I wasn’t thinking of any one librarian, I simply couldn’t resist saying Fat-Cat Librarians. I suspect those words have never been paired before. (But it’s a rip-off of Jon Stewart, who once railed against fat-cat teachers.)

              The rest of my post is tru-ish. LOC changed their festival dates.

    2. This year the heat wasn’t so bad IMHO. But some years it’s been brutal. I definitely gravitate towards the indoor events. On the other hand, I’m not sure I want the festival to get any bigger so keep it where it is. If all the visitors were to come during the two months that I think have delightful weather for Atlanta, CSD might never recover from the influx of new students.

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