On Sept. 23, St. Louisans can celebrate literature and literary arts at the first annual BookFest St. Louis, proudly presented by the Central West End, Left Bank Books and the Left Bank Books Foundation.

BookFest St. Louis will host a diverse mix of locally and internationally renowned writers, with appearances by award-winning authors including Sherman Alexie, Ann Leckie, George Hodgman, Charlie Jane Anders and more.

Attendees will enjoy panels highlighting the best of contemporary literary fiction, mystery, poetry, memoir, science fiction, young adult fiction and history. Family-friendly programming for children and middle readers will kick off the festival Saturday morning in cooperation with the St. Louis Public Library – Schlafly Branch. Throughout the day, attendees will also be able to purchase books, listen to live music and visit booths hosted by other St. Louis arts and literary institutions.

“We are so proud to be able to bring this event to life, and to be able to work with the incredible team at Left Bank Books to welcome so many interesting and important authors to our neighborhood,” says Kate Haher, executive director of the Central West End CID. “Our neighborhood has such a rich cultural history, as well as an incredible active contemporary arts scene, and BookFest St. Louis will be a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase that to book lovers from the neighborhood, the city and throughout the region.”

Left Bank Books, St. Louis’ oldest independent bookstore, has called the Central West End home since 1977 and hosts over 200 author events annually, creating a nationally recognized reputation. It is located at the Central West End’s Writer’s Corner, where busts of St. Louis authors Kate Chopin, T.S. Eliot and Tennessee Williams (pictured) pay tribute to the neighborhood’s literary legacy. The bookstore created the Left Bank Books Foundation in 2009 as a 501(c)(3) with a mission to promote and increase education, literary and cultural activities in the St. Louis area.

“It was a natural fit for us to bring our mission of curating an intelligent and culturally diverse selection of books together with our deep commitment to the Central West End and St. Louis for this festival,” Left Bank Books co-owner Kris Kleindienst says. “When Kate approached us, we jumped at the chance to formalize what has already been a shared commitment to the arts and this neighborhood’s literary heritage that we have worked so hard to grow over the last 48 years.”

Sherman Alexie headlines the event and will also begin the festival with a keynote address on Friday, Sept. 22, celebrating the release of his newest memoir, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.” Alexie will discuss his prolific career as a Spokane-Coeru d’Alene writer in nearly every genre, including the 10th anniversary of the National Book Award-winning young adult novel, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” Additional details about this ticketed event will be available soon.

Visit bookfeststl.com for more information about the festival. V

Via Press Release