Edible Book Festival – April 14, 2012

Edible Book Festival Image
Illustration by Amanda Cassingham-Bardwell

The Edible Book Festival is an annual event held in April at locations around the world. Participants create edible books that are exhibited, documented for the international edible book archive, judged for fabulous prizes, and then eaten by attendees. Get started planning your edible book creation today and join us at the Alvar branch of the New Orleans Public Library for an afternoon of literary, gustatory, and artistic fun.

Date: Saturday, April 14, 2012
Location: Alvar Library Garden, 913 Alvar Street, New Orleans
Admission: Free with an entry of an Edible Book or a canned food item to donate to the library’s Food for Fines program.

Register edible book entries: 1:00-1:45 pm
Community judging: 1:45 – 3:00 pm
Eating: 3:00-4:00 pm

What is an edible book?  An edible book is something “bookish” made of 100% food materials. Your entry must be made entirely of edible elements, as all entries will be consumed during the festival. Entries could be bookish through the integration of text, literary inspiration, or just being in a book-like form. It could look like a book, be a pun on a book title, a reference to a character or scene from a book, or an artist’s book made entirely of edible materials. Visit www.books2eat.com for inspiration and photos of edible books from past festivals.

Who can participate? Everyone is welcome, kids and adults. You can participate by making an entry or by joining us in celebrating, judging, and devouring the tasty tomes.

Is there a fee to participate? The event is free if you bring an edible book entry. Otherwise there is a suggested donation of a canned food item for the New Orleans Public Library’s Food for Fines program.

Who is judging? Everyone who participates will help choose the winners in different categories, including a special category for entries cooked up by kids 12 and under.

Are there prizes? Absolutely.

Can I volunteer? Yes! We need volunteers to help register entries, oversee the kids activity table, tally votes, and set-up and breakdown the event space. E-mail info@www.siftart.org.

Thanks to everyone who came out to our first annual Edible Book Festival in April. We were thrilled with the creativity from the edible book artists and everyone enjoyed the delicious eating portion of the festival.

The ribbons were awarded based on anonymous voting by everyone who came to the festival. In the end, we could only award one ribbon per category, but every edible book entry received votes in at least one category, a testament to how delectably divine everyone’s edible books were.

The Novel Eats award, for most inspired use of literature or literary reference, went to Infinite Zest, by Savanna and Chris. The Cooked Book award, for best use or exploration of a book-like structure, was awarded to There Was an Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoeshi by Libby. The Bound for Greatness award, for best in show (youth 12 & under), went to The Very Hungy Caterpillar by Tiba and Simsim. Our Upper Crust Award, for best in show (adults), went to Love in the Thyme of Cauliflower, by Anais.

We’re pretty sure that New Orleans has pushed the envelope of the definition of an edible book, including a spectacular book of termite wood. It’s true, nobody defined that the entries had to be edible by humans.

The festival was a such a success that SIFT plans to make this an annual tradition, so if you missed out this year, be sure to join us next year.

Special thanks again to the Alvar Branch of the New Orleans Public Library, Taylor Lasseigne at Slices of America for documenting the day, and all of our amazing volunteers whose efforts helped make the event such a success.

Check out more photos of all the edible book entries at our Flickr photostream.

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