It will be a star-studded gathering of authors at the 41st annual Kentucky Book Festival on Saturday.

Around 150 authors, including yours truly, will take part in the day-long event at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington. It runs from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. 

This will be my 11th appearance as an author, beginning in 1985 when it was called the Kentucky Book Fair and held in Frankfort. Newspaper journalist Carl West founded the fair in 1981. I also served on the executive board for six years, until it moved to Lexington in 2017 under the auspices of the Kentucky Humanities Council. 

This year’s literary list of luminaries includes:


  • Jon Meacham

    Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer Jon Meacham, author of “And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle.”

  • Best-selling author Barbara Kingsolver, a Kentucky native, will sign her latest novel, “Demon Copperhead.”
  • Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist Geraldine Brooks, with her latest release, “Horse.” 
  • Wendell Berry, a Kentucky literary legend and recipient of the National Humanities Medal, will have “The Need to be Whole: Patriotism and the History of Prejudice.”
  • Western Kentucky University English professor and award-winning novelist David Bell will have his latest, “The Finalists,” to sign. 

    Barbara Kingsolver 
  • Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson will have her prose and poetry collection, “Perfect Black.”

   Among other notables are Silas House (“Lark Ascending”), former Kentucky poet laureate Frank X Walker (“Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York”), Bobbie Ann Mason (“Dear Ann”), Emily Bingham (“My Old Kentucky Home: The Astonishing Life and Reckoning of an Iconic American Song”), former Kentucky poet laureate Richard Taylor (“Elkhorn: Evolution of a Kentucky Landscape”), and Ann Gabhart (“When the Meadow Blooms”). 

Geraldine Brooks

I belong to the Kentucky Writers Coalition, which will have six authors at the fair: Chris Helvey (“Into the Wilderness”), John Schaff and Robert Schrage (“Hidden Histories of Kentucky Political Scandals”), Georgia Green Stamper (“Small Acreages: New and Collected Essays”), Doris Dearen Settles (“Leira Clara’s Flowers”), Richard Taylor (previous paragraph), and me (“Reunion of Familiar Strangers”). 

Click here for the complete author lineup, including books and bios.

Besides an opportunity to meet talented authors and have them sign their books, the festival will have panel discussions, interviews, and presentations throughout the day on many interesting subjects—for all ages. Click here for more information. Children’s activities are listed here

Crystal Wilkinson

I almost forgot—the book festival is free (except for the books) and open to the public. It’s a great time for book lovers and authors, and a wonderful opportunity to introduce youngsters to the joy of reading. 

Drop by Table 23 and say “hi.” I’ll have a bookmark for you that works on all books!

Until the next time . . .

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Michael Embry Author, Blogger

Michael Embry is a multi-genre author of 15 books.

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