Empire State Book Festival Returns… With Rosanne Cash

Rosanne Cash

We had a blast last spring at the inaugural Empire State Book Festival at the Empire State Plaza (see our review), and we were hoping that it might become an annual event.

Well, we’re in luck…

The second annual Empire State Book Festival is scheduled to take place at the Empire State Plaza from 10am-5:30pm on Saturday, April 2 – and we’re super-extra excited that the afternoon speaker at the fest will none other than singer-songwriter-author Rosanne Cash, whose memoir, “Composed,” was published last year. It’s Cash’s third book, following the short story collection, “Bodies of Water” and the children’s book, “Penelope Jane: A Fairy’s Tale.”

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The keynote speaker for the morning portion of the fest will be Ann M. Martin, author of the phenomenally successful “Baby-Sitters Club” series of books.

Meanwhile, nine authors will be inducted as the second group of inductees into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame at the Empire State Book Festival Gala at the State Room in Albany from 6-10pm on Friday, April 1, in conjunction with the fest.

Inductees will include:

John Ashbery (1927) Born in Rochester. This American poet has published more than 20 volumes of poetry and won nearly every major American award for poetry, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his collection “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.”

Willa Cather (1873-1947) a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author who achieved recognition for her novels of frontier life on the Great Plains, works such as “O Pioneers!,” “My Ántonia” and “The Song of the Lark.” In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer for “One of Ours” (1922), a novel set during World War I. Cather lived in New York for most of her adult life and writing career.

Julia DeBurgos (1914-1953) is considered by many as the greatest poet to have been born in Puerto Rico. She spent her life between New York and Puerto Rico. On September 14, 2010 the U.S. Postal Service issued a postage stamp in her honor.

Ralph Ellison (1914-1994) is best known for his novel, “Invisible Man,” which won the National Book Award in 1953.

Paula Fox (1923) Born in New York City. She writes for both adults and children. Her novel “The Slave Dancer” (1973) received the Newbery Medal in 1974; and in 1978, she was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal.

Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) attended the New School in New York City. She was a playwright who is best known for “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Madeleine L’Engle (1918-2007) Born in New York City. She is best known for her Young Adult fiction, particularly the Newbery Medal-winning “A Wrinkle in Time” and its sequels “A Wind in the Door,” “A Swiftly Tilting Planet,” “Many Waters” and “An Acceptable Time.”

Herman Melville (1819-1891) Born in New York City. He was novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel “Moby-Dick” and the novella “Billy Budd.”

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) A founding member of the Algonquin Roundtable, she was a poet and satirist best known for her wit and her eye for urban foibles.

John Ashbery and Paula Fox – the two living inductees – are scheduled to attend the ceremony and receive the honor in person.

NOTE: During the month of January, the Empire State Book Festival is competing for a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Challenge Grant. The grant is awarded to the 10 programs receiving the most votes from the public. Please vote at: http://www.refresheverything.com/empirestatebookfestival

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