Some of the country's top writers will be in Tulsa this weekend for a "Celebration of Books." Three Pulitzer Prize winners are among the 75 authors appearing at the two-day event sponsored by the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers.
The Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers opened at OSU-Tulsa five years ago.
Director Teresa Miller, an author herself, was surprised to discover how many working writers live here. She founded the Center to highlight and support their efforts.
"As a native Oklahoman, I have struggled with the stereotype that many people have of Oklahoma as a backward area," said Miller. "Yet we're one of the most literate states you can find anywhere. So what we're doing is celebrating Oklahoma's literary heritage."
The Center is gearing up now for its fifth annual Celebration of Books, featuring 75 writers on subjects from mystery writing to the American West. Miller says the event is not just for writers. "It's for people from all walks of life who want to visit with writers or just enjoy some of the personalities," she said. "I know a lot of people are coming this year just to see actress Barbara Rush do a scene from the book, "A Woman of Independent Means." Other noted authors will also be at the event, including Frank McCourt, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for the memoir of his Irish childhood, "Angela's Ashes." Native American author N. Scott Momaday, Oklahoma's only Pulitzer winner, will also attend.
Tulsa author William Bernhardt says the Center is doing an important job of spreading the word about Oklahoma writers. Bernhardt, author of 15 books including the popular "Justice" crime series, calls the Celebration a great book festival. "I've been to a lot of book festivals in the last few years," said Bernhardt. "The one in Tulsa is of the best and probably one of the largest in this region of the country, and certainly one of the most fun."
The Center says the weekend event is for everyone who loves writing or reading what others write. It's a celebration of storytelling, and everyone's invited. Tickets and information on the Celebration of Books are available at most area bookstores, or call the Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa.