Inside Columbia


Unbound Book Festival Brings Authors From Near And Far

By Jordan Durham

Today through Sunday, restaurants and venues in downtown Columbia are hosting the 2024 Unbound Book Festival. The festival will bring over 45 nationally and internationally acclaimed authors to discuss writing and read from their works.

Tonight begins the festivities with the LitCrawl starting at 8 p.m. Numerous author readings will occur at multiple venues downtown. Throughout the day on Friday, authors will be appearing in Boone County classrooms and the Missouri Theatre. They will talk with students about writing and the writing process.

At 7:30 p.m., Emily St. John Mandel takes the stage as the keynote author. Perhaps best known for her novel, Station Eleven, — a National Book Award finalist and adapted into a TV series on HBO Max — she has also written The Glass Hotel, and most recently, Sea of Tranquility.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, authors will be in conversation, on panels and reading from their published and upcoming works. The Write On! Workshop begins on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for writers looking for inspiration. This event is $50 to attend.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the Unbound Book Festival for the first time, and to get to take part in this year’s dynamic festival, which includes so many writers whose work I love, including Emily St. John Mandel, Kazim Ali, Kevin Prufer, and so many others,” says Alexandra Teague, author of three books of poetry, a novel, and her latest nonfiction book, Spinning Tea Cups: A Mythical American Memoir. She has also co-edited a collection of poetry titled Bullets into Bells: Poets & Citizens Respond to Gun Violence.

Along with her poetry reading at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday at Top Ten Wines, Teague will take part in a panel called Beyond Thoughts and Prayers from 3:15-4:30 p.m. in the Katy Ballroom at The Broadway. “I’m particularly honored to have been asked to talk about the role of literature in relation to gun violence on a panel with Anne Valente and Jerri Bell,” Teague says. “While I very much wish this weren’t a topic we have to keep discussing, I’m grateful that Unbound is making the space for this important conversation.” Teague also will be signing books at Skylark Bookshop from 5:30-6:00 p.m. on Saturday.

The festival ends on Sunday night with a showing of Once Upon a River with a Q&A with Bonnie Jo Campbell after from 7-9 p.m. at Ragtag Cinema.

For more information on the festival schedule, authors, map and other specifics, visit the Unbound Book Festival website.

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