25 Jun

Expanding the Celebration of the National Book Festival to Kentucky

In an exciting development for literary enthusiasts and young readers across the state, the celebration of the National Book Festival is expanding to Kentucky. This year, the festival is set to include a special tour featuring Kentucky’s own distinguished authors, Brittany Thurman and Crystal Wilkinson, who will visit 15 libraries across the state, engaging with communities and inspiring a love for reading.

The National Book Festival, an annual literary event organized by the Library of Congress, celebrates books and authors from across the nation. Two Kentucky authors, Crystal Wilkinson and Brittany Thurman, have been chosen to represent the Commonwealth at the 2024 National Book Festival. Wilkinson's Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts and Thurman's Forever and Always will be the featured works from Kentucky in Washington, D.C.

By extending the National Book Festival celebration to Kentucky, the festival aims to highlight the state's rich literary heritage and promote literacy and education among its youth.

“The National Book Festival is an incredible celebration of reading and writing, and we are thrilled to bring that celebration to Kentuckians throughout the state,” said Kentucky Humanities Executive Director Bill Goodman. “Kentucky is fortunate to have a long history of brilliant literary talent and Crystal Wilkinson and Brittany Thurman are an integral part of the state’s literary legacy. This tour provides an amazing opportunity for people of all ages across the Commonwealth to interact with them and participate in discussions of their work.”

The National Book Festival’s Roadmap to Reading is made possible by generous support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional support from Chief Officers of State Library Agencies. The tour in Kentucky was developed as a partnership with the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, the Kentucky Book Festival, the Kentucky Center for the Book, and Kentucky Humanities.

Tour Schedule:

The tour will cover 15 libraries throughout Kentucky, ensuring that readers from across the state have the chance to participate. 

August 1      Brittany Thurman          Fleming County Public Library        Flemingsburg        5 p.m. EDT

August 3      Brittany Thurman          Oldham County Public Library         LaGrange              11 a.m. EDT

August 9      Brittany Thurman          Lincoln County Public Library         Stanford                10 a.m. EDT

August 10    Brittany Thurman          Marion County Public Library          Lebanon                11 a.m. EDT

August 11    Brittany Thurman          Boone County Public Library           Florence             2 p.m. EDT

August 15    Brittany Thurman          Greenup County Public Library        Greenup                6 p.m. EDT

August 17    Brittany Thurman          Hopkinsville-Christian County         Hopkinsville         10 a.m. CDT

                                                            Public Library                                   

August 17    Brittany Thurman          Henderson County Public Library    Henderson             3 p.m. CDT

August 19    Brittany Thurman          Louisville Free Public Library—      Louisville              10:15 a.m. EDT

                                                            Jeffersontown Branch

August 20    Crystal Wilkinson          Warren County Public Library          Bowling Green      6 p.m. CDT

                                                            Bob Kirby Branch

August 24    Brittany Thurman          Calloway County Public Library      Murray                  10 a.m. CDT

August 24    Brittany Thurman          McCracken County Public Library   Paducah                 3 p.m. CDT

August 26    Brittany Thurman          Louisville Free Public Library—      Louisville              6 p.m. EDT

                                                            Western Branch

August 27    Crystal Wilkinson          Kenton County Public Library—      Erlanger                7 p.m. EDT

                                                            Erlanger Branch

August 29    Brittany Thurman          Louisville Free Public Library—      Louisville              6:30 p.m. EDT

                                                            Iroquois Branch

Tour Highlights:

  • Meet the Authors: Brittany Thurman, acclaimed for her captivating children's books, and Crystal Wilkinson, renowned for her profound and evocative adult fiction, will be sharing their stories, insights, and passion for writing with audiences of all ages.
  • Interactive Reading Sessions: Each library visit will include interactive reading sessions, where Thurman and Wilkinson will read excerpts from their latest works. These sessions are designed to engage young readers and encourage a lifelong love of books.
  • Q&A: Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in Q&A sessions with the authors, gaining unique insights into their creative processes and the inspiration behind their works. 

About the Authors:

  • Brittany Thurman: An esteemed author of children's literature, Thurman is celebrated for her vibrant storytelling and ability to connect with young readers. Her works often explore themes of friendship, imagination, and self-discovery.
  • Crystal Wilkinson: An award-winning author and poet, Wilkinson's writing delves into the complexities of identity, family, and culture. Her work has garnered critical acclaim and resonates deeply with readers across the country.