Here is how it began, in the words of South End author Alison Barnet:
“1n early 2015, Mel King said to Alison Barnet—both had new books coming out—“We should have a South End book festival.” It sounded good to Alison so she began compiling lists of authors who lived in the South End, or used to, or wrote about the South End. A committee was formed: Anne Smart, Russ Lopez, Charley Caizzi, Paul Wright and a USES staff member. South End Historical Society director, Lauren Prescott joined us later.
The First South End Author’s Book Festival was held at the Harriet Tubman House on November 16, 2015. Sitting at long tables with their books for sale were: Blackfoot Warrior, Gary Bratsos, Charley Caizzi, Thom Donovan, Philip Gambone, Jean Gibran, Ralph Kee, Mel King, Steven Kinzer (made an appearance), Bill Kuhn, Aaron Lecklider, Russ Lopez, Bonita McIlvaine, Ife Oshun, Mari Passananti, Florence Potter, Lynne Potts, Matt Regan, Hope Shannon, Sylvie Tissot (represented by Tony Piccolo), Gabriel Valjan, Bessel Vander Kolk, Lydia Walshin with her Little Free Library, and Paul Wright.
By the Third Annual Book Festival we had moved to the Harry Dow room at Tent City. Among authors who now joined us were: Stephanie Schorow, Sue Miller, Karilyn Crockett, and Lorraine Elena Roses. Fred Dow (son of Harry) was an impromptu speaker, giving us the idea of inviting Fred back and having other speakers as well at our Fourth Book Festival in 2018.”
Titles by current participating authors are on display in the library window and are part of the digital presentation on the flat screen.