Books in Bloom Book Festival Features Readings, Panels, Story Time

Meet Writers, Listen to Music, Sip Wine and Sample Food Truck Cuisine

The second annual Books in Bloom book festival, hosted by the Downtown Columbia Partnership at the Columbia Lakefront on Sunday, June 10, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., will feature readings by a couple dozen popular writers, thoughtful and timely panel discussions, live music, a food truck cafe and outdoor beer, wine and coffee bars, as well as a puppet show, story time corner and other activities for children.

Michelle Obama’s photographer, Amanda Lucidon, and award-winning Haitian-born writer Edwidge Danticat will headline the book festival.

Lucidon is the author of Chasing Light: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer, a collection of images and behind-the-scenes stories of the author’s tenure as the First Lady’s photographer.

Danticat is the best-selling author of numerous books, including Claire of the Sea Light and Brother, I’m Dying. Her novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, was an Oprah Book Club selection. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant” and is seen as a spokesperson of the immigrant experience.

Other featured authors and their works include Elliot Ackerman, Dark at the Crossing; Ian Mackenzie, Feast Days; Jane Delury, The Balcony; Jeannie Valasco, The Glass Eye; Katia D. Ulysse, Mouths Don’t Speak; Nathan Bomey, After The Fact; Sujata Massey, The Widows of Malabar Hill; and Chef Vikram Sunderam, Taste of India.

A panel discussion, “From Casting Votes to Winning Votes: A History from Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Hillary Clinton,” includes Jennifer Palmieri, former Communications Director for Hillary Clinton and author of Dear Madam President, and Winnie Conkling, author of Votes for Women!

Bonnie Siegler, graphic designer and author of Signs of Resistance, and Oliver Munday, author of Don’t Sleep, are included on the panel, “Design for Dissent: Graphic Design and its Power for Social Change.” A gallery wall will feature “Posters of Resistance.”

Featured children’s and young adult authors and their works include Elissa Brent Weissman, Length of String; Erin Danielle Russell, How to Trick the Tooth Fairy; Laura Melmed, Daddy, Me, and the Magic Hour; Leah Henderson, One Shadow on the Wall; and Markette Sheppard, What is Light.

Attractions for children also include story time readings, glitter tattoo artist, face painter, balloon specialist, book mark making station, word building blocks and activities at the Howard County Library area.

Refreshments at the event will be available in a pop-up cafe, outdoor pavilion bar featuring local beers, Read and Rose´ wine lounge, and a coffee shop and book signing bar. Books will be available for sale at the Politics and Prose pop-up.

The Presenting Sponsor for Books in Bloom is The Howard Hughes Corporation, master developer for Downtown Columbia, which is evolving as the center of arts and culture for the region. “We believe that culture is part of how a community comes alive,” says Director of Marketing Vanessa Rodriguez. “Books in Bloom is a reflection of the progressive ideals upon which Columbia was founded and which still flourish today,” she added. The Columbia Association is the platinum sponsor for this year’s Books In Bloom.

The festival is free and open to the public of all ages.