West Virginia Book Festival

Iconic New Deal photos collected in new book

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Betty Rivard

After a 25-year career as a social worker and planner for the state, Betty Rivard became an award-winning professional fine art landscape photographer. When she discovered more than 1,600 photographs that were taken in West Virginia by 10 government photographers on the Library of Congress website, she was inspired to share these photographs and their story. The resulting book is “New Deal Photographs of West Virginia, 1934-1943,” published by West Virginia University Press.

Rivard will speak about the process of creating her book and present some of the most iconic images in the collection during her talk at the West Virginia Book Festival on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 10 a.m. Her program is sponsored by West Virginia University Press.

Rivard has a  photography business, West Virginia Homeplace, and two part-time jobs: secretary for the WV House of Delegates and producer of the FestivALL Charleston art fairs. She lives in Braxton County.

Charlaine Harris, best-selling urban fantasy novelist; Craig Johnson, author of the “Longmire” series of mystery novels; Dan Chaon, former National Book Award finalist; and Tamora Pierce, author of 28 fantasy novels for teens, have already been announced as part of the line-up for the festival, which will be held Oct. 13 and 14 at the Charleston Civic Center. The annual, two-day event celebrates books and reading and offers something for all age groups. A variety of authors will attend, participating in book signings, readings, workshops and lectures. Activities for children include special programs and a section of the Marketplace filled with children’s activities. Admission to the festival is free.

The event is presented by The Library Foundation of Kanawha County, Inc., Kanawha County Public Library, West Virginia Humanities Council, The Charleston Gazette and the Charleston Daily Mail and is sponsored by The Martha Gaines and Russell Wehrle Memorial Foundation; Pamela D. Tarr and Gary Hart; the Friends of The Library Foundation of Kanawha County; West Virginia Library Commission and West Virginia Center for the Book; BB&T West Virginia Foundation; Books-A-Million; and William Maxwell Davis. For more information, visit www.wvbookfestival.org.