A Celebration of the Book

October 15, 2010 | By | Reply More

What follows is a public service announcement.  I’m taking some time to put on my President’s hat and talk about our upcoming event.

We’re a week away from the Celebration.  October 23rd at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.

If you’ve been reading this blog any length of time, then you know about my involvement.  For the last 8 1/2 years I’ve been working for it, trying to make it better, five of those years as president.  We’ve done some pretty cool things in that time.

The Missouri Center for the Book has, like most such organizations, been undergoing some ups and downs the last few years.  We have been reorganizing in order to be a more vital part of the literary and reading community in Missouri.  Among the things that we have done over the last few years is the establishment of the Poet Laureate office for the state.  We are instrumental in running the program and selecting the candidates for the post every two years.  The program has been very popular.  We also continue to run the state Letters About Literature Awards for students.  Every year we send representatives to the National Book Festival.

And we put on our annual Celebration.

There are more things we’re planning for the future, but the Celebration is our signature event.  Public participation and support are essential.  While we are technically a state agency, we receive no direct financial aid from the state, and must rely on people who appreciate what we do for support.  This year’s Celebration is important for a number of reasons, but mainly public participation will determine what kind and whether we will have one next year.

So I’m asking people to come.  Money is fine, we can always use money, but we’d like to see a crowd this year.  We’d like to see you.  There’s nothing like a roomful of warm bodies appreciating what’s on stage to keep something like this going, to keep it alive, to keep it relevant.

Soon we’ll be launching our new website, which will have blogs and discussion boards, and we can draw the whole state into a wonderful conversation about books and authors.  But even a healthy internet presence and participation by a big online community isn’t the same as people walking through the door, sitting down, and listening to our authors and presenters.

So plan a weekend, show up.  And next year, we’ll do it again.

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Category: Art, Education, Noteworthy, Writing

About the Author ()

Mark is a writer and musician living in the St. Louis area. He hit puberty at the peak of the Sixties and came of age just as it was all coming to a close with the end of the Vietnam War. He was annoyed when bellbottoms went out of style, but he got over it.

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