The Utah Humanities Book Festival kicks off later this month, and Weber County is doing it up right with more than a dozen author events taking place over the next five weeks.
Kathy Gambles is chairwoman of Weber Book Links, an organization specifically created to raise the statewide festival’s presence in the county. She calls the annual literary celebration an “author-rich” experience not to be missed.
“It’s a free event offered to the community to invite conversations with authors,” Gambles said. “It’s an opportunity to meet engaging writers and have conversations with them about their ideas and their books.”
Now in its 22nd year, the Utah Humanities Book Festival started out as an annual event in Salt Lake City during National Book Month, which is celebrated each October. About six or seven years ago, organizers decided to start spreading out the festival’s activities around the state.
Gambles said Weber County has put together some “nice events” for this year’s festival. For example, on Sept. 26, Utah Poet Laureate Paisley Rekdal will make a presentation on Chinese railroad workers. Rekdal, who was commissioned by the Spike 150 organization to create a poem in honor of the transcontinental railroad sesquicentennial, will be talking about the largely overlooked Chinese railroad workers who made up a large part of the labor force for that endeavor. She’ll also be reading from her poem.
In addition, the PBS program “The Futures of America’s Past” — which concentrates on the most misunderstood parts of the country’s history — will be on hand to film Rekdal’s presentation.
“It will be an incredible evening,” Gambles said.
Another event that stands out, according to Gambles, is the Sept. 28 presentation by poet Katharine Coles and beekeeper Vic Bachman, held at Deseret Hive Supply, in Ogden.
“They’ll be connecting poetry and science,” Gambles said. “She’s share poetry about bees, and he’ll talk about the science behind them.”
Gambles is also looking forward to the debut of “Literary Death Match” on Oct. 5 at Good Company Theatre in Ogden.
“The way it’s advertised, it’s four authors, three judges, two finalists, one champion, and all kinds of hilarity in between,” she said.
The book festival’s events will be held in a variety of venues — a children’s museum, a beekeeping business, a bookstore, a nature center, schools and libraries.
“We really work to have a variety of venues,” Gambles said.
The goal of the festival is to offer a little something for everyone in the 15 planned presentations being offered here in Weber County.
“We have something for kids, for young adults and for older adults — in a variety of interests,” she said. “The whole purpose is to engage readers with authors. I don’t know what else to say, other than, ‘Oh my goodness, don’t miss out.’”
All events are free and open to the public.
Here’s a list of the Weber County-based events in the 2019 Utah Humanities Book Festival:
• Sam Payne and Clive Romney, historical writers and musicians, 6 p.m. Sept. 24, Treehouse Children’s Museum, 347 22nd St., Ogden
• Paisley Rekdal, poet, 7 p.m. Sept. 26, Union Station, 2501 Wall Ave., Ogden
• Environmental writers Julia Corbett and Nicole Walker, 7 p.m. Sept. 27, Ogden Nature Center, 966 W. 12th St., Ogden
• Former Utah Poet Laureate Katharine Coles and beekeeper Vic Bachman, 4 p.m. Sept. 28, Deseret Hive Supply, 1516 Washington Blvd., Ogden
• Artist/writer Ben Behunin, 7 p.m. Oct. 1, Southwest Branch of the Weber County Library, 2039 W. 4000 South, Roy
• “Best Books for Book Clubs” discussion, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3, Weber County Library, 2464 Jefferson Ave., Ogden
• “Literary Death Match” featuring competitive poetry, 7 p.m. Oct. 5, Good Company Theatre, 2404 Wall Ave., Ogden
• Young adult writer Erin Stewart, various times Oct. 7, at schools in the Ogden School District
• Science writer Brian Switek, 7 p.m. Oct. 7, Southwest Branch of the Weber County Library, Roy
• Poet Ada Limon, 7 p.m. Oct. 8, Ogden High School auditorium, 2828 Harrison Blvd., Ogden
• Science fiction writer Robison Wells, 7 p.m. Oct. 9, Weber County Library, Ogden
• Poet Z.G. Tomaszewski, 7 p.m. Oct. 15, Southwest Branch of the Weber County Library, Roy
• Fantasy writer J.M. Sullivan, 7 p.m. Oct. 15, Pleasant Valley Branch of the Weber County Library, 5568 Adams Avenue Parkway, Washington Terrace
• Paranormal writer Jennifer Jones, 7 p.m. Oct. 22, Queen Bee Bookstore, 270 Historic 25th St., Ogden
• Authors Courtney Craggett, Rob Carney and Sunni Brown Wilkinson, 7 p.m. Oct. 24, Weber State University, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden (exact location to be determined)