March 12, 2013

Library’s annual Edible Books Festival is April 1

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Eating your words will take on a whole new meaning at the third annual Edible Book Festival at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Morris Library.

The festival is set for April 1 in the library’s Hall of Presidents and everyone is welcome to participate. Entry is free.  Students, faculty, staff and community members can put their creativity to the test by crafting predominately edible “books” and entering the contest, where winners earn great prizes.

The competition draws imaginative entries, each mostly consumable and bearing a title that references an actual book title.  Viewers have enjoyed such “punny” creations as “Big Macbeth,” “The Old Man and the Pea,” “Tequilla Mockingbird,” “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Peep” and “Green Eggs and Spam.”

There is no pre-registration, and set-up begins at 2:30 p.m.  Viewing is from 3 to 4 p.m.   This year’s judges are SIU’s very own William “Chef Bill” Connors, Dean of Library Affairs Anne Cooper Moore, and Barbara Bickel, art education assistant professor and co-creator of the “Dreamworking II”, an installation showcased in the library rotunda in February. 

Those attending the fest may cast their ballots to select the “Public’s Favorite.”  There will also be prizes for “punniest,” most edible, least edible and best book structure.  Category winners will receive gift cards, and the grand prize best-of-show winner will get an Amazon Kindle.  Fan voting is from 3 to 3:45 p.m.  The winners’ announcement is at 4 p.m.

Refreshments and coffee will be available. 

The Edible Books Festival is an international event that takes place sometime around the April Fool’s birthday of Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826).  Brillat-Savarin wrote the famous and witty food meditation “Physiologie du gout.” The books inspired Judith A. Hoffberg and Béatrice Coron to found the International Edible Books Festival, now celebrated around the world (

During its first two years at SIU, the event has drawn dozens of creative entries and large crowds.  Morris Library, The Friends of Morris Library and Chartwells are sponsoring the 2013 event.

For more information contact Julie Mosbo, preservation librarian, at or by calling 618/453-2947.