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Are you ready for an inspiring day of free author readings and literary fun? Then you’re in luck, because Books in Bloom is back on Oct. 10 with an in-person (and masked) festival, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones as the headliner. Returning to Columbia, Maryland, for its fifth year, this outdoor festival offers readings, panels, a pop-up bookstore from Busboys and Poets, and a wide variety of literary activities for children. Books in Bloom aims to be a progressive community event and, according to a press release, the 2021 festival will continue its activism through literature efforts by “encouraging open dialogue on themes of diversity, racism, inequality, and culture.” Executive Director of the Downtown Columbia Partnership Phillip Dodge says they’re “honored to welcome Dr. Nikole Hannah-Jones,” creator of the 1619 Project, as this year’s headliner. Hannah-Jones will discuss her new books, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story and The 1619 Project: Born on the Water (the latter was cowritten with Renée Watson); both should be released in November. “This event is needed now more than ever, as communities like ours across the country are having important conversations about equality, justice, and race,” Dodge writes in the release. Other authors to appear at this year’s event include Jake Tapper, Laura Lippman, Stacey Vanek Smith, Ram Devineni, and Amy Argetsinger. Books in Bloom takes place Oct. 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Color Burst Park, 6000 Merriweather Dr., Columbia, MD. booksinbloommd.com. Free.
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