2018-03-09 / Society

Third Annual Deckle Edge Book Festival celebrates S.C. writers

By Anita Baker

Al Black, Michael Murray, and Derek Berry were featured in Poems: Bones of the Spirit at the Deckle Edge Book Festival. Al Black, Michael Murray, and Derek Berry were featured in Poems: Bones of the Spirit at the Deckle Edge Book Festival. For 16 years Columbia has been the location of the S.C. Book Festival presented by the SC Humanities Council. After the decision to end the festival several years ago, a group of volunteers decided to create a new nonprofit, Deckle Edge. Cindi Boiter, editor of Jasper Magazine and executive director of The Jasper Project, leads the non profit in planning an annual Book Festival that would be “representative of the authentic South Carolina and where we are at this place in time.”

The Deckle Edge Book Festivals have been located in downtown Columbia at the Richland County Public Library. Each of the past three festivals have featured different types of events. This year the entire Deckle Edge Festival activities took place on one day, Saturday, March 6, 2018. Panels included poetry readings, author interviews, discussions on social justice and writing, and the use of different genres to communicate a message.

On Saturday evening, a special event was held at 701 Whaley to conclude the festival and to present the first annual Deckle Edge Southern Truth Award.

This award was created to honor a “Southern author whose body of work exemplifies the gifts of the South’s diverse peoples, and enhances the narrative of the South by focusing on the progress we make and the continued work before us.” This year the Deckle Edge Southern Truth Award was presented to Nikki Finley, former SC Poet Laureate.

This year the festival presented over 25 panel discussions. Featured panels included The Pat Conroy Literary Center Presents Porch Talk Live with Anthony Grooms in conversation with Margaret Evans, Literary History with the South Caroliniana Library, Grappling with the Contemporary South: Genre Innovation and Sense of Place, Ground Breakers of the S.C. Progressive Network, and The Pen is Mightier- Social Justice, and the Written Word.

Among the many panel discussions, poetry readings and other genre presentations were given by their authors. This provided a venue for South Carolina and local writers to present and sell their work and a forum for networking.

To stay informed about the Deckle Edge Book Festival and plans for 2019 visit deck leedgesc.org.

Fact: A “Deckle Edge” is the uneven page edges found on some books.

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