JaxbyJax Literary Arts Festival VIII is coming from 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 15 through 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 16, 2021. The event will be held at the Jessie Ball DuPont Center at 40 E. Adams Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202.

The event kicks off Friday at 7 pm with a dramatic reading of the new play Reposessions: Mass Shooting in Baymeadows by local author Tim Gilmore. Directed by Barbara Colaciello, the play is based on Gilmore’s book The Repossession of James Edward Pough, which tells the true story of a mass shooting in Jacksonville in 1990. A Q&A with Gilmore, Colaciello and the cast will follow the reading.

Tim Gilmore

Saturday will feature readings by a number of local authors, which mostly reflect the event’s two themes: gun violence and civic engagement. Events begin at 10 a.m. with three concurrent one-hour writing workshops. The first round of readings begin at 11 a.m. in the Auditorium and Rooftop Garden. Speakers include:

  • Auditorium: Valarie Esguerra, Michelle Parker Randall, Linda O’Connell, & Johnny Masiulewicz
  • Rooftop Garden: Taryn “Love Reigns” Wharwood, Julie Delegal, Erica Susan Saffer, & Andres Rojas

Bill Delaney

A student showcase will follow at 12:30 featuring writers from local high schools and colleges. At 2 p.m., Jaxson cofounder Bill Delaney will read from his new book Secret Jacksonville on the Loading Dock. At 2:30, the second set of eight writers will do readings in the Auditorium and Rooftop Garden:

  • Auditorium: Damon Thomas, Tayve Neese, Sohrab Homi Fracis, John Aloszka
  • Rooftop Garden: Bill Delaney, Melissa Gopp Warner, Cheri “Junebug” Royal, Kayla Frances Murray, Princess Simpson Rashid

At 4 p.m. will be readings by featured memoirist Tricia Booker, featured poet Yvette Angelique Hyater Adams, and featured Pplaywright Tim Gilmore, followed by readings at 5 p.m. from featured authors Rodney Hurst and Dr. Rudy Jamison, co-authors of Never Forget Who You Are.

The writers will be available to chat with fans and sell and sign books in the Grand Foyer between sessions from 12-12:30 p.m., 3:30-4 p.m. and 5:30-6 p.m. After the day’s readings, guests are invited to drinks, hors d’oeuvres and live music by John Guinta while meeting with authors, students and fans at the afterparty in the Grand Foyer from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Brad Kuhn at (321) 287-7243 brad@bradkuhnandassociates.com.

Jaxson cofounder Bill Delaney will read from his new book Secret Jacksonville at the festival. To order a copy of the book, go to thejaxsonmag.com/books. Check out other Secret Jacksonville events and walking tours here.