Technically, the 2019 edition of BookFest St. Louis starts at 7 p.m. Friday, September 20, with a marathon reading of Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" at the Mahler Ballroom (4915 Washington Boulevard) to celebrate the American poet's bicentennial. To put that in literary terms, it's the equivalent of the introduction. The actual plot of BookFest kicks off at at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 21, and concludes at 8:30 p.m. In between are a children's storytime, presentations on young adult fiction, literature, poetry and a panel on writing for LGBTQIA teens. All of these sessions include multiple working authors, poets and authors discussing their works and books. Among the many participants are Elizabeth McCracken, Sonali Dev, John Hendrix, Aaron Coleman and Mary Engelbreit. BookFest St. Louis takes place at several locations in the Central West End, with the main tent set up near the intersection of Euclid and McPherson avenues (www.bookfeststl.com). Left Bank Books will be selling copies of everybody's books, and authors will be available to sign copies after their presentations. Best of all, admission is free, which is very easy on any book budget.
Price: free admission