Home > NewsRelease > In Conversation With Joy Pope Joy Pope, Interim Director, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival
In Conversation With Joy Pope Joy Pope, Interim Director, Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival
Norm Goldman --  bookpleasures.com Norm Goldman -- bookpleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal, QC
Wednesday, April 14, 2021


Bookpleasures.com onceagain welcomes as our guest, Joy Pope.

Joy holds a dual-genre MFAin Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She previously earned aMaster’s degree in the Liberal Arts from St. John’s College,famous for its Great Books curriculum, and she has a BA in Englishfrom the University of Oregon.

Prior to joining theAtlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival as interimdirector, she was the Journalism Educator at the Andrew P. StewartCenter’s after-school studio program that serves the children ofAtlanta’s Pittsburgh neighborhood. She has lived in Decatur withher husband and two daughters since 2006.

Norm: Good day Joy and thanks for taking part in our interview

Norm: Why did you decide tobring back Joshilyn Jackson Reads in 2021?

Joy: Last year, during theearly spring, we were trying to figure out what to do about COVID-19.Joshilyn and I had already begun programming a series with her as thecurator and host, but it was supposed to be for the physical festivalthat would occur over Labor Day weekend. By mid-March, it was clearthat this wasn’t going to happen. I asked Joshilyn what she thoughtabout switching to a virtual program and she said, “let’s do it!”It was pure experimentation.

We were learning how to do it as we weredoing it. I was pretty stressed out. Technology isn’t my wheelhouseso I didn’t feel at all comfortable. During the first event, lastMay, the author’s WIFI was pretty shaky and I was so nervous, butpeople were really responding in the chat. They seemed to be enjoyingthemselves. After it was over, I got emails from people saying thankyou.

This kept happening. People were excited to arrive into thevirtual space, listen to authors talk about their work, and engagewith their fellow attendees in the chat. And more emails. People weregrateful for a salve during the stressful early days of the pandemic.After we assessed our successes and challenges of 2020, the JoshilynJackson series was the first thing on the list that we wanted to doagain. 

Norm: Who selected the authorsthat will be included in this year's event?

Joy: Joshilyn selected thebooks from stacks and stacks that Joe Davich (Georgia Center for theBook) and I dropped off at her house. It’s her series, so she gotcuratorial freedom. She did consult with Nicki Salcedo, herco-captain, but Joshilyn got final say.

Norm: How does this event fit inwith the Decatur Book Festival? Is it like a satellite event? Whocame up with the idea?

Joy: The idea of this virtualseries was born out of a number of conversations about what to do, soreally it was synergy that made it happen. 

We’ve never really hadyear-around programming, but we’ve wanted to. This series, I think,might be something we continue even after the pandemic is over andthe festival is back as a face-to-face event. 

What is the most importantthing that people don't know about this virtual author series thatthey need to know?

Joy: People need to know thatthey can register by going to our WEBSITE , and that all of the events are freeexcept for the one with Stacey Abrams on May 18th.

Tickets include acopy of the book and there are some signed copies availablefirst-come, first serve. People should know that by purchasing one ofthe Stacey Abrams tickets, they are helping the festival, GeorgiaCenter for the Book, and the bookstore, and all of us therefore areable to include debut or lesser-known authors who are gettingstarted. So the ticket revenue doesn’t stop with the registrationof this specific event; instead, it’s just a part of the process ofpaying it forward that the festival engages in. 

Norm: Why is the promotion ofindependent book authors important?

Joy: Literature is so good forpeople’s lives, and for our culture in general. By supportingindependent voices, we get access to everybody’s stories and thatmakes literature all the more interesting. Independent booksellersare part of this, too, and they all need our support.

Norm: Where can our readers findout more about Joshilyn Jackson Reads?

Joy: Go to our WEBSITE for moreinformation:

Norm: Thanks once again

 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Norm Goldman
Group: bookpleasures.com
Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 514-486-8018
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