BTW News Briefs
- By Liz Button
Lambda Literary Foundation Welcomes New Board Leadership
KC MacGregor and John Rochester will assume the roles of president and vice president of the Lambda Literary Foundation, the LGBT organization announced on Monday.
The foundation is currently in its 27th year of advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender literature and continues to strengthen and expand its programs for writers and readers, including the annual Lambda Literary Awards, which took place earlier this month.
MacGregor, an author with a Ph.D. in mass communications research, brings scholarly and business management experience to the organization. MacGregor has written more than 20 lesbian romance novels, all published by Bella Books.
Rochester, who also serves as Board president for Santa Fe Performing Arts, is a vice president at Morgan Stanley. He has received a number of awards for his charitable work, including National Volunteer of the Year for Colin Powell’s America’s Promise and the Point of Light Award (the United States President’s Volunteer Service Award).
Lambda also announced that Jerome Murphy will be the Board’s incoming secretary and that J. Michael Samuel will continue, for a fourth term, as the foundation’s treasurer. Lambda Literary’s other board members are Lisa Girolami, Sandra Nathan, Denise Penn, Amy Scholder, S. Chris Shirley, and Jan Zivic.
“The Other NBA” Hosts Basketball Game to Benefit BookUp
The Other NBA has drafted top talent from the literary world to compete in a writers vs. publishers charity basketball game in Brooklyn, New York, on June 20 with proceeds benefitting BookUp, the National Book Foundation’s reading program for middle school students in low-income communities.
The name, The Other NBA, is inspired by Twitter’s confusion between the National Basketball Association (#NBA) and the National Book Awards (#NBAwards).
Participating authors, editors, and publishers will include Rodrigo Corral (Farrar, Straus & Giroux); Jonny Diamond (LitHub); John Freeman (Freeman’s); Katie Freeman (Riverhead Books); Steph Opitz (Texas Book Festival); Alex Gilvarry (From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, Penguin Books); Mitchell S. Jackson (The Residue Years, Bloomsbury); Valeria Luiselli (The Story of My Teeth, Coffee House Press); Arthur Bradford (Turtleface and Beyond, Farrar, Straus & Giroux); and Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins, Harper Perennial).
Tickets for the event, which is open to the general public and takes place at the St. Francis College gym at 180 Remsen Street, start at $25, and a student discount is available. Proceeds will help open a new BookUp site in Detroit. The game’s sponsors include Bronx Brewery, Penguin Random House, Nike, Amazon, and Out of Print.
First-Ever Mississippi Book Festival to Take Place August 22
The first annual Mississippi Book Festival to promote literature, libraries, and literacy in the state will take place August 22 at the State Capitol in Jackson, Shelf Awareness reported.
The nonprofit festival, which was organized by Mississippi independent bookstore Lemuria Books, University of Mississippi Press, the Mississippi Library Commission, and other groups, will feature more than 75 authors who will read, sign, and participate in 20 panels, as well as more than 50 exhibitor booths, themed tents, live music, food booths, and children’s activities.
All independent bookstores in the state have been invited to exhibit and sell books, and two booksellers — Turnrow Book Co. owner Jamie Kornegay, author of Soil (Simon & Schuster), and co-owner of Square Books Lisa Howorth, author of Flying Shoes (Bloomsbury) — will appear at the festival as participating authors.
Legal thriller giant John Grisham is scheduled to host the official kickoff of the festival and will later appear on the panel “What Reading Means for Our Culture: Reading, Writing and Journalism’s Influence in Mississippi.” The festival will also host former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, author of America’s Great Storm: Leading Through Hurricane Katrina (University Press of Mississippi, August 10), as well as Sara Gruen, Rick Bragg, Ellen Gilchrist, Greg Iles, and Steve Yarbrough.
The inaugural festival’s board of directors includes John Evans, owner of Lemuria in Jackson; Kornegay from Turnrow in Greenwood; Richard Howorth, co-owner of Square Books in Oxford; and Scott Naugle, co-owner of Pass Christian Books/Cat Island Coffeehouse in Pass Christian. Additional organizers of the festival include the Mississippi Development Authority, the Mississippi Arts Commission, and Mississippi Public Broadcasting.