A Book Festival Worth Devouring in Jackson, Mississippi

On August 19, the Mississippi Book Festival will unite readers and authors in an exhilarating celebration of books on the grounds of the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, dubbed “Mississippi’s Literary Lawn Party.”

Woman making Poppy Pies at MS Book Festival

Popular topics range from kids’ fiction to politics, but food is always top of attendees’ minds at the Mississippi Book Festival.

To that end, Jackson, chef and creator of Fauna Foodworks, Enrika Williams, will moderate a panel featuring three books dedicated to the love of Southern food culture. The Mississippi native is a sought-after guest chef at festivals and restaurants nationwide, which makes the Mississippi Book Festival a day that can’t be missed. Chef Williams is creatively, socially, and radically vested in changing the conversation and expanding the culinary landscape across the South.

This Year’s Food Panel:

Ed and Ryan Mitchell posing together for a headshot
  • Ed and Ryan MitchellsEd’s Mitchell’s Barbeque (Ecco, 2023). “In his first cookbook, a collaboration with his son, Ryan, and written with Zella Palmer, Ed explores the tradition of whole-hog barbecue… a method passed down through generations over the course of 125 years that hearkens back even further than that, to his ancestors who were plantation sharecroppers and, before that, enslaved. From cracklin to hush puppies, fried green tomatoes, deviled eggs, okra poppers, skillet cornbread, potato salad, and pickled pigs’ feet, their book is filled with delicious and essential recipes. 
  • Jocelyn Delk AdamsEveryday Grand: Soulful Recipes for Celebrating Life’s Big and Small Moments: A Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, 2023). The author offers “a joyous cookbook full of gratitude, positivity, and 80 plus Southern-inspired comfort food recipes from the culinary sweetheart and blogger behind Grandbaby Cakes. Her approachable take on comfort food features Southern-steeped recipes that are jazzed-up, remixed classics, all sprinkled with the vibrant, colorful personality she’s known for.
Erika Council wearing an apron for her headshot
  • Erika Council’s Still We Rise: A Love Letter to the Southern Biscuit with Over 70 Sweet and Savory Recipes (Clarkson Potter, 2023) is “a love letter to the Southern biscuit… (with) over 70 unique recipes for biscuits, spreads, sandwiches, and a convenient home biscuit mix that will have you whipping up fluffy biscuits and bis-cakes in minutes.” The author highlights “black excellence, resilience, and heritage in the American South.” 

The Mississippi Book Festival is sure to draw book lovers from across the South and will include activities for all ages. A host of known and up-and-coming authors will sell their work in Author’s Alley, and food trucks of diverse cuisines line downtown streets. Centered each August in the air-conditioned spaces of the Mississippi State Capitol Building and nearby Galloway Church, the festival annually transforms the shaded lawn and surrounding streets into a bustling scene of vendors, booksellers, and family-friendly activities.

For more on the Mississippi Book Festival, browse

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