By Gina Groeger
The Utah Humanities Council is holding its third annual book festival this weekend at Westminster College.
The book festival will host national, regional and local authors and poets said Jean Cheney, Utah Humanities Council special projects coordinator.
Cheney said the festival was created “to encourage literacy and reading.”
About 40 writers will be speaking at the festival for both children and adults, Cheney said.
The festival also provides outdoor activities for children, and a special bookmaking program, Cheney said.
All types of people from the community attend, Cheney said. Those who go to the festival seem to be readers who read 8-10 books on average each year, he said.
The keynote speaker at the book festival is Derek Walcott, 1992 Nobel Prize Winner from St. Lucia, a Caribbean Island.
Walcott will open the festival Friday, Sept. 22, with a reading from his new book of poems “Tiepolo’s Hounds” at 7:30 p.m. in the Jewett Auditorium, Cheney said.
The reading Friday has already sold out, Cheney said.
George Handly, professor of humanities at BYU, will be introducing Walcott Friday, Cheney said.
Handly said he will also be conducting an interview at noon with Walcott tomorrow.
Handly said he found out Walcott was speaking at the book festival from a friend and was able to arrange for Walcott to speak at BYU.
Derek Walcott read Thursday, Sept. 21, in the Pardoe Theater in the Harris Fine Arts Building.
Marilyn Arnold, a former professor of English at BYU, will be reading and talking about her fiction novel trilogy, set in southern Utah, at the festival.
Arnold said she used to be on the Utah Humanities Council speakers burrow. Her trilogy will be receiving a governor’s award on Oct. 14.
Some children’s book authors who will be at the festival are Lily Toy Hong, Mary Amato, Ivy Ruckman and Joan Bauer, Cheney said.
Other authors Cheney named who will be speaking at the festival are Fransisco Delapon, Robert Kirby and Bill and Donna Smith.