The first annual #MLAF18, founded by the Center for Southern Literary Arts in 2017 by writers & native Memphians Jamey Hatley, Molly Rose Quinn, and Zandria F. Robinson, strives to be a world-class festival celebrating storytelling and the city’s unique arts, culture, and historical legacies. Dozens of authors & speakers from across the South and the country gather for a day of readings, conversations, and performances, with a Street Fair featuring local vendors, publishers, and community organizations. Food trucks, outdoor entertainment, incredible authors, artists, and speakers including Kiese Laymon, Hanif Abdurraqib, Siphne Aaye, Eloise Amezcua, Jenny Johnson, Kaitlyn Greenidge, Arthur Flowers, Daniel Jose Older, Ashante M. Reese, Osayi Endolyn, and many more. Sponsors & partners include the Downtown Memphis Commission, the Oxford American, Novel Memphis, Literacy Mid-South, the Southern Foodways Alliance, and many more to be announced. A benefit dinner ($85 - $125) happens Friday, June 15 at Premiere Palace and a special After Party featuring DJ Siphne Aaye happens Saturday, June 16 at Premiere Palace (open to the public).