The Birmingham Public Library Will Host the Second Eat Drink Read Write Festival, September 8-15, 2012

EDRW poster
The Birmingham Public Library has joined forces with several Birmingham food organizations to present the second Eat Drink Read Write Festival, September 8-15, 2012. Presentations will include good food and good conversation from national and local food and beer experts.

All events are free and will feature food tastings, a cooking class, a food documentary, and more. Events will be held at the Central Library, Pepper Place, and the Desert Island Supply Co. in Woodlawn.

"It's going to be a fun way to explore food, literature, books and film," said Shaun Chavis, founder of the Birmingham Foodie Book Club, one of the participants in this year's festival. "There will be opportunities to taste things that you read about here in Birmingham and opportunities to tell your own food stories."

EDRW coordinator and BPL employee Haruyo Miyagawa said last year's festival had a large attendance and proved that food is a topic that's near and dear to many. She said this year's lineup is even stronger. "We're offering something to suit all tastes, whether you're a food activist, a poetry lover, beer enthusiast, or connoisseur of ethnic cooking," she said. "And it couldn't happen without the support of our wonderful partners, who helped us plan programs with wide appeal. EDRW funding was made possible by Friends of the Birmingham Public Library.

Eat Drink Read Write T-shirts are $15 and can be found at the Friends Bookstore on the second floor of the Central Library, The J. Clyde, MIX Bakery and Cafe, Whole Foods Market, and at each EDRW event. Earth Creations of Bessemer made the T-shirts, which are colored with Alabama clay dyes.

The schedule:

Saturday, Sept. 8, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Pepper Place Saturday Market, 2829 Second Ave. South
Birmingham storyteller Katie Elkins will perform stories related to food. The Desert Island Supply Co. will lead informal produce-themed writing workshops for children and adults. The library will offer food-related crafts.

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 6 p.m. Central Library, Arrington Auditorium, 2100 Park Place
Reservations are required at
The Birmingham Foodie Book Club Presents The World in a Skillet by Paul and Angela Knipple. This Memphis couple will discuss their book The World in a Skillet: A Food Lover's Tour of the New American South, which focuses on restaurants run by first-generation immigrants in the South. Mr. Chen's Authentic Chinese Cooking of Hoover is mentioned in the book and will cater the event. (NOTE: Printed material for EDRW shows a $12 fee for this program. BPL is now offering this program free to participants.)

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m. Desert Island Supply Co., 5500 First Ave. North
Reservations are required at
Participants will have five minutes to tell a true, personal story about food. No notes are allowed in this challenge, known as "Food Stories.'' Participants approach a mic and reveal stories that truly grab the audience. This entertaining presentation is modeled after National Public Radio's The Moth: True Stories Told Live. Birmingham Originals member restaurants will provide refreshments. Two free drinks (craft beer or wine) will be provided, courtesy of The J. Clyde. A cash bar will also be available.

Thursday, Sept. 13, 6:30 p.m. Central Library, Arrington Auditorium
Reservations are required at
Tuscaloosa filmmaker Andrew Beck will share his documentary Eating Alabama: A Story About Why Food Matters and then lead a discussion about it. The film is about a young couple setting out to eat the way their grandparents did, locally and seasonally. However, they soon realize that nearly everything about today's food system has changed from the past. Birmingham Originals member restaurants will provide refreshments. Two free drinks (craft beer or wine) will be provided, courtesy of The J. Clyde. A cash bar will also be available.

Friday, Sept. 14, 6:30 p.m. Central Library, Arrington Auditorium
The library's popular Bards & Brews monthly poetry performance and beer-tasting event will be packed with activities on this night. Chef Corey Hinkel of MIX Bakery and Cafe will discuss beer and cheese pairings. Chef Chris Dupont of MIX Bakery and Cafe and Cafe Dupont will prepare appetizers, using ingredients donated by Whole Foods Market. There will also be a poetry slam and prizes to the top three winners. Avondale Brewing Co., Back Forty Beer Co., Bell's Brewery, and Good People Brewing Co. will furnish the beer. The Reflections, a band made up of library employees, will perform. Attendees must be at least 18 to attend and 21 or older to be served.

Saturday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m. European Kitchen of Alabama
Reservations are required at
Brooklyn-based chef and author Tamar Adler will lead a "bring-your-own'' cooking class, where attendees are invited to bring items such as old herbs, leftover pasta, and even fading vegetables from their fridge or pantry. Adler will take the ingredients and make a meal from scratch. Birmingham Originals member restaurants will provide additional refreshments. Two free drinks (craft beer or wine) will be provided, courtesy of The J. Clyde. A cash bar will also be available.

NOTE: Different Birmingham Public Libraries will offer EDRW storytimes and after-school events for children. Check out for dates, times, and locations for the children-themed events.

For more information:
Phone: 205-226-3670
Twitter hashtag for event: #EDRW