Kent State celebrates local authors with book festival

Keely Kennedy

The Kent State bookstore will celebrate local authors, including Kent State faculty, staff, alumni and the Kent State University Press on Sept. 30.

Authors will be available from 3 to 7 p.m. to meet patrons and sign books.

There will be 16 authors attending, with each of their books available for purchase.

One featured work is “The Baseball Stadium Insider,” written by Kent State senior communication studies major Matt Lupica.

“The Baseball Stadium Insider” is “a comprehensive dissection of all 30 (current) ballparks, the legendary players, and the memorable moments,” Lupica said.

It also features more than 300 quotes from players, broadcasters and managers.

“As always with book signings, I’m looking forward to not only meeting with people who share the same passion as I do for the game of baseball,” Lupica said, “but also hearing their stories of memorable times spent with loved ones at the ballpark.”

While this is Lupica’s first year at the event, he has worked in conjunction with the bookstore in past events.

Another featured work is “Exiled in America: Life on the Margins in a Residential Motel” written by Christopher Dum, an assistant professor of sociology.

The piece chronicles the year Dum spent renting a room in a residential motel that had a reputation for housing marginalized populations, such as sex offenders, the mentally ill, parolees and those on welfare.

“Exiled in America” paints a portrait of a vibrant community whose members forged identities in response to overwhelming stigma and created meaningful lives despite crushing economic instability.

“I am incredibly excited to be a part of this event,” Dum said. “I love Kent State and am excited to contribute to the culture of writing at the university.”

Other books set focus on memorable spots that people return back to in Kent, like Ray’s Place.

Ray’s Place is known for being a gathering spot for friend and family reunions.

The book “Meet Me at Ray’s,” written by Patrick O’Connor, associate professor of teaching, learning and curriculum studies, features 200 stories submitted by Kent State alums to depict what Ray’s Place means to them.

“Since Ray’s is so closely associated with Kent, Kent State University, and Kent State University alumni, it makes sense for me to attend a book signing during Homecoming,” O’Connor said. “We also participated last year.”

Other books to be displayed are: “You Got This: A Mantra Coloring Book,” “Ohio’s Craft Beers,” “The Best of One Tank Trips with Neil Lurcher” and “The Great Forgetting: A Novel.

Keely Kennedy is the student life reporter, contact her [email protected].