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12/20/10

WILL WE SEE ANOTHER RED DIRT BOOK FESTIVAL?


As one of the many who greeted the first RDBF with great excitement, and have attended each one since 2005, I am hoping that support comes forward to insure this vital event continues and is allowed to become a staple of Oklahoma's event landscape.

From the RDBF website:

The Pioneer Library System Red Dirt Book Festival scheduled for Fall 2011 is postponed. A new library, new staff and new ideas for the Festival have all contributed to the decision to postpone.

Pioneer is committed to continuing the Red Dirt Book Festival in Shawnee and will look for a future date for Red Dirt #5. The earliest date will be fall of 2012, but it could possibly be as late as fall 2013 if we encounter conflicts with other book festivals/events.

Thank you for your support of the Red Dirt Festival."


It began as a dream to showcase and encourage Oklahoma's authors and would be authors. Anyone with dreams could come and take away with them wonderful, practical workshops filled with inspiration, instruction, and direction. It was broad enough to include oral storytelling, and visual storytelling, along with the written word.




Most importantly it provided support for literacy by emphasizing the writers among us, in our history, and in our communities. It supported literacy by bringing together those who write, the libraries and book sellers who make them accessible, and the people who would enjoy the words of these writers.



In focusing on the 'everyone' audience, it was made even more accessible. In realizing the diversity of voices, expression, and tone is merely reflective of the society of Oklahoma, the opportunity of strengthening literacy across the state improves geometrically.






Funding needs to go back to this wonderful event to restore it as an important literary event for the common reader as well as the academic. The top flight authors should be showcased but the voices on the way up should also be encouraged and Oklahoma youth should be encouraged from Kindergarten to college to write their stories, share their tales, and do their research to fill the libraries of the future.






So, plan events to take up the book festival slack currently in Oklahoma - such s the Duncan Book Festival (Chisholm Trail) - but keep the Novembers free (just in case) for the next RED DIRT BOOK FESTIVAL.