For those more politically inclined, the book festival has that covered as well. Former Governor Haley Barbour will participate in the History and Biography panel to discuss his new book on leadership during Hurricane Katrina: America’s Great Storm. Also on the panel is Don Thompson, author of Stennis: Ploughing a Straight Furrow; Stuart Stevens, author of several political, travel and sports books; and Minion K.C. Morrison, author of Aaron Henry of Mississippi: Inside Agitator; among others.
Another event features Congressman Gregg Harper conducting a live interview ex-POW and World War II Veteran Earl Derrington as part of the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project. And state Representative-elect Joel Bomgar will join a panelist of entrepreneurs featuring Toni Cooley, Monica Sethi Harrigill and Ambassador John Palmer moderated by Polly Dement, author of Mississippi Entrepreneurs.
The events and panels begin at 10:00am and run through 6:00pm on Saturday, August 22 in downtown Jackson at venues in or around the Capitol Building. “The Last Chapter” – the final panel of the festival – is moderated by former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, William Ferris, with authors Ellen Gilchrist, Steve Yarbrough and Natchez native and New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles. They close the book on the event, but celebrations worthy of storytelling will continue through the evening at downtown Jackson venues like Parlor Market.
The festival is free and open to the public (except for the Willie Morris Luncheon which requires separate tickets). The event has been spearheaded by the Mississippi Book Festival executive director Holly Lange, and chairman of the Festival’s Board of Director, Jere Nash who co-authored with Andy Taggart “Mississippi Politics: The Struggle for Power, 1976-2008″ and Mississippi Fried Politics: Tall tales from the Back Room” and is co-author on Barbour’s Katrina book.