Texas Lit Events

Literary happenings in Austin and ’round the State you won’t want to miss – author sightings, readings, panels, parties . . . a variety of literary events you might enjoy.  

If you are an author, publisher, bookstore, literary organization and have an event happening in Texas that you would like listed to be considered, please send all the pertinent info to: bookfest@texasbookfestival.org

Symposium for African Writers @ The University of Texas at Austin
Dec 2 @ 7:00 pm – Dec 3 @ 6:30 pm

The Ethnic & Third World Literatures specialization at the University of Texas at Austin invites you to a landmark symposium featuring five of the most powerful, popular, and innovative writers in contemporary African literature: Taiye Selasi, Maaza Mengiste, Sofia Samatar, Nnedi Okorafor, and Laila Lalami.

Selasi’s Ghana Must Go (2013) challenges us to think about family and love across nation-states and continental imaginaries; Samatar’s A Stranger in Olandria (2013) uses epic fantasy to engage themes of imperialism and exile; Mengiste’s Beneath the Lion’s Gaze (2010) brings to life the intimate tragedies of the “Red Terror” in 1970’s Ethiopia; Lalami’s The Moor’s Account (2014) tells the story of the New World’s first explorer of African descent, Estevanico; and Okorafor ranges prolifically across science fiction, fantasy, young adult fiction, and Afro-futurism.

To describe these writers as either “American” or “African” would be to miss what is most vital about authors whose literary horizons are not bound by birthplace, passport, or skin color. We are excited to welcome them to UT Austin for a two-day symposium featuring readings and rich discussions of their work, and we hope you will join us!


Tuesday, Dec 2, 2014 – UNB 3.502 (Santa Rita Suite)
Opening introduction by Bernth Lindfors
7:00-9:00pm Taiye Selasi

Wednesday, Dec 3, 2014 – CLA 1.302E
Opening introduction by Toyin Falola
1:00-2:30pm Laila Lalami, Maaza Mengiste
3:00-4:30pm Nnedi Okorafor, Sofia Samatar
5:00-6:30pm Lalami, Mengiste, Okorafor, Samatar, Selasi

CONVENERS: Aaron Bady, Barbara Harlow, and Neville Hoad

UT AUSTIN SPONSORS: This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of: @The UT Department of English, University of Texas E3W, The UT Africa Program, and the Michener Center for Writers News & Events.

For more information, please visit their website and Facebook page.

Scott Blackwood @ Zilker Park Clubhouse
Jan 27 all-day

Show your support for the Austin Public Library and join Scott Blackwood on January 27, 2015 at Zilker Park Clubhouse for live music and a discussion of his latest novel See How Small. Donations are encouraged and will be collected at the door. All proceeds will go toward supporting the Austin Public Library.

Scott Blackwood’s See How Small is a fictional account of the unsolved murder of teenage girls in Austin, Texas, the scars of which still linger in the city twenty-three years later. It is a tale of the survivors’ family members, witnesses, and suspects enduring tragedy’s aftermath, as well as a tale of elusive justice, dark and sweet memories, and the tenuousness of human connections. With his new novel, Blackwood masterfully compresses calamity and loss into a lyrical and mesmerizing novel that will both amaze and haunt.

Scott Blackwood is the author of two previous books of fiction, In the Shadow of Our House and We Agreed to Meet Just Here, and the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award. He’s also the author of The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, a book of narrative nonfiction. A longtime resident of Austin, Blackwood now lives in Chicago.

Austin International Poetry Festival
Apr 9 – Apr 12 all-day

The world’s largest non juried poetry festival has opened world wide registration for its annual Anthology and four-day festival slated for April 9–12, 2015. Hosted in the heart of Texas, the Festival utilizes more than 20 unique Austin venues. The annual four-day poetry celebration includes a wide array of events such as open mic readings, appearances by international and national headlining poets, workshops, live music, a Haiku Death Match, plus youth and adult poetry slams. By registering for the Austin International Poetry Festival, any poet of any age can read their work before an engaged and interested audience, and have a chance to be published. Registration for the April 9–12, 2015 Festival ranges from $35 to $55 per person, and INCLUDES the entry of three poems into the annual juried Anthology. Although full participation in the Festival is encouraged, poets who wish to participate but can not attend may do so by registering and submitting their works for the Anthology. The deadline for registration, which includes submissions to the Anthology, is January 1, 2015. To register for the Austin International Poetry Festival, or for more details, visit www.aipf.org.

San Antonio Book Festival @ Central Library and Southwest School of Art
Apr 11 all-day

On Saturday, April 11th, 2015, the Library Foundation presents its third annual San Antonio Book Festival. This all-day, free event is held downtown at the Central Library, Southwest School of Art and the Empire Theater, where book lovers of all ages and interests have a chance to get up close to their favorite authors at engaging readings, panel discussions, sales and signings. There are topics for everyone, from politics and fiction to poetry and cookbooks. The lineup of nearly 90 authors showcases acclaimed national and regional writers who reflect the best books that American publishers are currently offering, while local talent adds a unique sense of place and reflects South Texas’ rich cultural heritage.

For more information on the Festival, please click here.