|Book festival ready to start Wednesday|
BY DOUGLAS D. ALDER|
For The Spectrum & Daily News
ST. GEORGE - Book authors, filmmakers, poets, book clubs, puppet show, bookstores, book signings, local author displays, discussion groups - all these will converge at the St. George City Town Square for the annual St. George Book Festival, beginning Wednesday and running through Saturday.
Sponsored by the Utah Humanities Council, Utah Arts Council, The City of St. George, The Spectrum and Washington County Library, all the events are free to the public.
Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the St. George Tabernacle, Drs. Ron Esplin and Dean Jessee will discuss the massive Joseph Smith Papers project sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Historical Department. The first volume, Journal Volume 1, 1832-39 appeared in 2008 and has enjoyed brisk sales. It is the first of approximately 30 volumes that will document the life of the LDS Prophet Joseph Smith.
On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., authors will speak and discussions will be held in the Community Arts Building (the Old Dixie College) on the corner of Main Street and 100 South. Booksellers and local authors will have signing tables and book displays near the entrance.
At 9 a.m. Stephen Nasser, a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, will tell of his experiences as a seven-year-old child in the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Dachau. He will discuss his book, "My Brother's Voice," which is based on the journal his brother secretly kept during the imprisonment. Nasser lives in Las Vegas.
In a different session, William Kerig will talk about his book, The Edge of Nowhere, which describes searching for his father who was lost while skiing in the Utah mountains.
Stephen Singular will speak in the third session that hour. He is an investigative reporter from Colorado who has published, When Men Become Gods, about FLDS polygamy and their prophet, Warren Jeffs.
After a break, a plenary session will convene at 10:30 a.m. in the newly restored and spacious conference room on the third floor. An elevator is available at the west end of the building. Stephen Ramsdell will talk about his novel, Train to Potevka, which is based on his CIA experience in the Soviet Union. The book has enjoyed wide sales through Costco. Ramsdell is from Layton.
During the noon hour there will be food vendors on the town square sponsored by the Foundation for the Students of Washington County and the supporters of Dixie Care and Share. There will also be a Rock and Roll car show on the square. Bookstores and individual authors will have their books to sell and to sign. A special table at the information booth will have books for presenters to sign and sell.
At 1 p.m. the sessions will resume. Helen Keith Beaman will read her poetry. She is the Utah Poetry Society's poet laureate for this year. In the second session, Marilyn Arnold will discuss her new novel, Unidentified Lying Objects. It is the third in a series from Mayhaven Publishers. All three are masterful works of humor. Arnold lives in St. George where she has produced a book a year for a decade. Also at 1 p.m. the "Dixie Reads" project will sponsor a discussion of Wallace Stegner's Mormon Country. The discussion leaders will be Randy Jasmine and Theda Wrede of the Dixie State College English Department.
A children's activity will be held at 1 p.m. on the lawn by the building. Grace Mann, children's librarian from the St. George Library, will sponsor a puppet show for children. Lori Hawley of Mountain West Puppeteer Association will put on a show and then help children make their own puppets.
At 2:30 p.m. Jana Richman will talk about her book, The Last Cowgirl. This session is sponsored by the Utah Humanities Council "Authors on Main Street" program, of which Marilyn Arnold is also a representative.
Also at 2:30, "Dixie Reads" will sponsor a session where attendees will discuss Ivan Doig's book, The Whistling Season. Sue Wilson from the Washington School District and Audrey Shumway, coordinator of the community book clubs, will lead this discussion.
On Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Electric Theater, 68 East Tabernacle, Rocco DeVilliers, the filmmaker of "Fly Boys," will present his film, recently produced in St. George. The public is invited, free of charge.
Originally published October 18, 2009
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