Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

A Book to Honor the Book Festival

The Southern Festival of Books celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary with an anthology by festival authors

September 24, 2013 This fall marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Southern Festival of Books on downtown Nashville’s Legislative Plaza. The free three-day festival annually attracts more than 20,000 attendees to meet their favorite authors and get their books autographed. In honor of this noteworthy anniversary, Humanities Tennessee is proud to announce the release of a special anthology. Appropriately titled Meet Me on the Plaza: Twenty-Five Years of the Southern Festival of Books, the book will highlight the work of some of the writers who have graced Legislative Plaza during the festival’s history.

“Over the last twenty-five years, we’ve brought thousands of authors to Music City,” said Tim Henderson, executive director of Humanities Tennessee. “For Humanities Tennessee and for these authors, this anthology represents Nashville and the thousands of loyal fans who have spent time with us at the Southern Festival of Books.”

Meet Me on the Plaza will feature work by notable friends of the festival, including Roy Blount Jr., Junot Diaz, Clyde Edgerton, Ben Fountain, Nikki Giovanni, Ann Patchett, Adam Ross, Michael Sims, Lee Smith, Natasha Trethewey, and many other festival favorites. The anthology will be available for purchase at the festival, via the Humanities Tennessee website, and at area bookstores.

Robert Cheatham, president of Humanities Tennessee from 1978 to 2012 and one of the founders of the festival, wrote the anthology’s foreword. Since the inaugural 1989 event, the Southern Festival of Books’ legacy has been closely tied to Cheatham’s tireless passion for the advancement of humanities education in the state of Tennessee. Under his leadership the festival became the model for numerous other festivals around the country.

Adding additional excitement to the event, seven authors who participated in the first Southern Festival of Books in 1989 will return for the 2013 festival. For the full author line-up and other information about the twenty-fifth anniversary event, please click here, join the festival on Facebook, and follow it on Twitter and Instagram.

The Southern Festival of Books is presented by Humanities Tennessee, a nonprofit organization that promotes humanities education across Tennessee. The festival is proudly sponsored by the National Endowment for Humanities, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, Ingram Content Group, Dollar General Literacy Foundation, Nashville Scene, AWC Family Foundation, Nashville Public Library, Nashville Predators Foundation, Parnassus Books of Nashville, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Memorial Foundation, and the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities.