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Imagine Oklahoma at Red Dirt Book Festival

SHAWNEE—More than 70 well-known writers, entertainers, and scholars with Oklahoma roots are preparing to be in Shawnee, Okla. on November 6 and 7 to present 40 programs for hundreds of reading enthusiasts and aspiring writers. The fourth biennial Red Dirt Book Festival will be held at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center on Friday, November 6, and at Oklahoma Baptist University on Saturday, November 7. The public is invited to attend any or all of the programs associated with the festival. Registration for most Red Dirt Book Festival events is free and can be done online at through October 15.

Imagine Oklahoma is the conversational theme for the 2009 festival, and will be illustrated by several featured presenters who help the world image Oklahoma through their work on television. Ron Stahl, co-host of the Integris Discover Oklahoma series will speak at the Opening General Session at the Expo Center at 9 a.m. Friday, November 6. The luncheon speaker on Friday is Susan Miller, producer of the Gallery series on OETA-TV. The Friday evening banquet speaker is Galen Culver, producer of the Is This a Great State or What! series for KFOR-TV. Also performing at the banquet which will be held at the Potawatomi Cultural Heritage Center are the Red Dirt Rangers.

The featured author for the 2009 festival is Billie Letts, best known for her debut novel, Where the Heart Is which became a York Times Best Seller, an Oprah Book Club selection, and a major motion picture. Letts has written three more novels, all with Oklahoma settings and characters. Her latest work, Made in the USA, was published in 2008. Letts will speak at OBU’s Raley Chapel at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 7. Copies of her novels will be available for purchase and autographing following the presentation.

Previous featured authors have included Tony Hillerman, the first American author whose work was featured on the PBS series, Mystery!; Bob Burke, 2006 Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductee who has written 70 historical non-fiction books; Fred R. Harris, former U.S. Senator from Oklahoma and widely published author of nonfiction, including Does People Do It? A Memoir; and Carolyn Hart, master of mystery and suspense and the first author to win all three major mystery awards for her novels--the Agatha, the Anthony, and the Macavity awards.

Those interested in attending any portion of the festival may visit their nearest hometown public library in Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie counties to pick up a free copy of the winter 2009 edition of WORD Magazine which contains complete festival information including a list of presenters and donors.

Major support for the festival is provided the Pioneer Library System, the Oklahoma Humanities Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ar-Hale Family Foundation, Dougherty Fund, and Kirkpatrick Family Fund. Additional support comes from the Shawnee Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Oklahoma Baptist University and St. Gregory’s University and many local donors and volunteers.
Pioneer Library System
Galyn Cresap , Public Relations Specialist
Telephone; 701-2674