AJC Decatur Book Festival names James Diedrick as new board chair

Agnes Scott College professor of English has sat on the board since 2011; he succeeds founding board member Judy Turner

Dec 06, 2016

The AJC Decatur Book Festival (DBF) has named James Diedrick, Agnes Scott College professor of English, as its new board president to succeed founding board member Judy Turner, the former president of Private Bank of Decatur.

Diedrick, who formerly served as Associate Dean of the College and Associate Vice President for Special Programs at Agnes Scott, has sat on the board since 2011 and he also has served on DBF’s planning committee. During his time on the board, he has helped to create partnerships between Agnes Scott and DBF, including a concert series at the college’s Presser Hall. Diedrick and his wife LeeAnne Richardson, an English professor at Georgia State University, also have volunteered at DBF for years, serving as stage captains.

In assuming his new role, Diedrick credited the work of Turner, his predecessor, who will continue to serve on the board.

“Judy Turner has left the festival in incredibly good hands, especially in terms of fiscal wisdom, and that’s important to me because I come more from the creative and artistic side of the world,” Diedrick said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get more deeply involved in the festival, which I’ve always thought of as one of the crown jewels of metro Atlanta. I’m honored that such a great staff asked me to serve and I’m looking forward to the work.”

Founding Executive Director Daren Wang said he looks forward to working with Diedrick as DBF marks its 12th festival over the 2017 Labor Day weekend.

“I’ve learned so much from working with Judy over these years, and I’m looking forward to having her continue on the board,” Wang said. “Jim is the perfect person to succeed Judy. He’s been a great, creative problem solver for the AJC DBF over the years and, as a newly published author, he adds a great new perspective in the chair.”

Diedrick said he wants to think of creative ways to continue to improve the quality and diversity among the programming, participants, and the audience at DBF. He also said that he wants to continue to strengthen DBF’s role within metro Atlanta’s cultural community and its partnerships with other arts organizations.

Diedrick’s publications include the forthcoming biography of 19th century German-born English poet Mathilde Blind by the University of Virginia Press. He also co-edited an anthology of essays on filmmaker Stanley Kubrick.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical (DBF) is the largest independent book festival in the country. Over Labor Day weekend tens of thousands from metro Atlanta and beyond share the historic Decatur Square with world-class authors, illustrators, editors, publishers and booksellers for a weekend filled with literature, music, food and fun. For more information, visit www.decaturbookfestival.com,“like” Decatur Book Festival on Facebook or follow @DBookFestival on Twitter.