Exhibition, Reading and Reception for Nick Flynn: Sacred Trash

Texas Book Festival is proud to partner with Prizer Arts and Letters to celebrate the opening-night of Nick Flynn’s new exhibition of collage work. That evening, we will host a reading from Nick’s new book, and a reception will follow. Flynn will also be a featured author at the 2023 Texas Book Festival. The exhibition, titled Nick Flynn: Sacred Trash, contains gathered ephemera collaged by Flynn over many years. During the pandemic, Flynn started writing a poem a day in response to his collages. These poems are now part of his forthcoming book, Low (Graywolf), from which Flynn will read at his opening and which will also be part of our Festival lineup.

Join us for this event at Prizer Arts and Letters on Saturday, October 14 from 6–9 p.m. (2023 E. Cesar Chavez Street). A selection of Flynn’s book will be available for sale at the event.

Artist Statement

“Sacred Trash is the title of a book by Adina Hoffman and Peter Cole. Its subtitle is The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza. A geniza is a synagogue’s repository for worn-out texts. These repositories were packed not with gold but with paper—contracts, letters, lists of workers, money orders, prescriptions, poems, needed supplies. The belief was that any word or image written out could be (or was) the word of God, and therefore must be saved.

Throughout my life I’ve gathered ephemera (from sidewalks, brochures, magazines, children’s drawing). I cannot say why I do this, but I’ve always had a hard time ignoring an interesting scrap of paper, especially one with some scrawl on it. From this gathering I developed a collage practice, which continues to this day. Inspirations are Kurt Schwitters, Robert Rauschenberg, Hannah Höch—I am drawn to this work, it seems more intuitive, somehow closer to a collective unconscious (if such a thing exists).

In late 2020, at the tail-end of our first long pandemic year, I began a practice of writing a poem a day in response to each of the collages. It was daily meditative practice, which carried over into now. Those poems are now gathered together in my latest book, Low (Graywolf, 2023). To coincide with the release of Low, I’m thrilled to have this chance to present these collages at Prizer Arts and Letters, in collaboration with The Texas Book Festival.”

About Nick Flynn

Nick Flynn is a writer, poet and memoirist. Selected books include Some Ether (2000), Blind Huber (2002), The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands (2011), My Feelings (2015), Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (2004), Being Flynn (2005), The Ticking is the Bomb (2010), and The Reenactments (2013). Many of Flynn’s books are structured by using a collage technique, and he carries this format into his visual work.

BookPeople & Texas Book Festival Present Rick Riordan: THE CHALICE OF THE GODS

Texas Book Festival is proud to partner with BookPeople in welcoming Rick Riordan to celebrate Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Chalice of the Gods!

This event is ticketed. Get your tickets HERE.

  • Start time: 6:30 P.M.
  • Run time: 45-60 minutes
  • Location: AISD Performing Arts Center (1500 Barbara Jordan Boulevard Austin, TX 78723)

If you buy a ticket and are unable to attend:

  • We will hold your book at BookPeople for 30 days after the event.
  • We cannot guarantee that your book will be signed. While we do our best to try and get all event books signed, priority is given to event attendees and any extra stock is dependent on the author’s availability.


  • Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • There will not be a live stream or recording available.
  • BookPeople reserves the right to cancel or postpone this event if necessary.
  • If you have any other questions, please visit our Eventbrite FAQ. If your question is not covered by the FAQ, feel free to email us at online@bookpeople.com.

About the book:

After saving the world multiple times, Percy Jackson is hoping to have a normal senior year. Unfortunately, the gods aren’t quite done with him. Percy will have to fulfill a new quest in order to get the necessary letter of recommendation from Mount Olympus for college.

Readers new to Percy Jackson and fans who have been awaiting this reunion for more than a decade will delight equally in this latest hilarious take on Greek mythology.

About the author:

Rick Riordan is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and the Heroes of Olympus series for children and the multi-award-winning Tres Navarre mystery series for adults. For fifteen years, Riordan taught English and history at public and private middle schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Texas. In 2002, Saint Mary’s Hall honored him with the school’s first Master Teacher Award. His adult fiction has won the top three national awards in the mystery genre—the Edgar, the Anthony, and the Shamus. His first Percy Jackson book, The Lightning Thief, was a New York Times Notable Book for 2005. The Sea of Monsters was a Child Magazine Best Book for Children for 2006 and a national bestseller. The third title, The Titan’s Curse, made the series a #1 New York Times bestseller, and the fourth title, The Battle of the Labyrinth, had a first printing of one million copies. The series concluded with The Last Olympian, which was also a major national bestseller. Rick Riordan now writes full-time. He lives in Boston with his wife and two sons.

By purchasing a book from BookPeople, you are not only supporting a local, independent business – you’re showing publishers that they should continue sending authors to BookPeople.

Thank you for supporting Rick Riordan, Texas Book Festival, and your local independent bookstore!

In Conversation: Terrance Hayes & Roger Reeves

Texas Book Festival and The Library Foundation are thrilled to co-present another In Conversation event featuring Terrance Hayes and Roger Reeves in an author-to-author dialogue on August 2, 2023, at 7 PM in Austin Central Library’s Gallery Room. The event is free and open to the public, and books will be available for purchase thanks to Black Pearl Books. Find tickets here.

Terrance Hayes is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow and the author of So to Speak, a powerful and timely new collection of poems, and the brilliant essay collection Watch Your Language (Penguin). Roger Reeves is the winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize and the author of the groundbreaking essay collection Dark Days: Fugitive Essays (Graywolf).

The In Conversation series is sponsored by Amplify Credit Union.

2023 Juneteenth Texas Events Roundup

On June 19, 1865, two years after the emancipation of enslaved Africans in America, Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas with news of freedom. More than 250,000 African Americans claimed their freedom that day on what would become known as Juneteenth or Freedom Day.

Texas Book Festival has gathered a list of 2023 Juneteenth events around Texas.

Location Date Event
Austin June 12 – 19   Stay Black and Live: Austin Juneteenth Festival
Austin June 17   2023 Historical Juneteenth Parade
Austin June 17   Juneteenth Park Festival
Austin June 17   Juneteenth Black Makers Market
Austin June 17   Freedom Fest 2023
Austin June 17   Juneteenth – Family Fun at the Carver Library
Austin June 18   Black History Social Bike Ride
Austin June 18   Juneteenth Celebration at the Neil-Cochran House Museum
Austin June 20   Carrying the Torch by Torch Literary
Buda June 18   Juneteenth Celebration
Corpus Christi June 16 – June 18   10 Days of Juneteenth Jubilee Celebrations
Corpus Christi June 17   6th Annual Juneteenth Fest in the Park
Dallas June 17   Juneteenth 4K Freedom Walk and Festival
Dallas June 18   Dallas Juneteenth Festival
El Paso June 17   2023 Juneteenth El Paso Celebration
El Paso June 17   Juneteenth & Jams
Fort Worth June 18   Fort Worth Juneteenth Event Line-Up
Galveston Through July 13   Juneteenth and Beyond Guided Tours
Galveston June 17   Juneteenth Emancipation Block Party and Reenacent March
Galveston June 19   Clear Lake AME Annual Juneteenth Celebration
Georgetown June 17   Juneteenth Program & Festival
Houston Several Days   158th Juneteenth Houston 2023
Houston June 14 – July 17   2nd Annual Juneteenth HBCU Fest
Houston June 16   Juneteenth Kickback by Project Row Houses
Houston June 17   17th Juneteenth Freedom Ride
Houston June 17   Juneteenth Speaker Series Program
Houston June 17   A Juneteenth Journey Through Fort Bend County
Houston June 17   Juneteenth Concert at Emancipation Park
Houston June 17   The Generation Park Juneteenth Celebration at Redemption Square
Houston June 17   Annual Juneteenth Celebration at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church
Houston June 17   Juneteenth Celebration at Children’s Museum
Hutto June 17   Juneteenth Freedom March and Festival
Kyle June 16   Dialogue for Peace and Progress 2023 – Celebrating Juneteenth
League City June 19   Juneteenth Open Mic (Music, Poetry, Hip Hop, Jazz)
Midland June 18   Juneteenth ’23 Brunch and Day Party
Midland June 19   Juneteenth Open Mic
Odessa June 14 – June 18   Annual Juneteenth Celebration
Pflugerville June 19   Amazon’s Juneteenth Family Day
Rio Grande Valley NA   University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Library Juneteenth Reads
Round Rock June 17   Juneteenth Festival
Round Rock June 17   Poetry in Motion: Juneteenth Edition
San Antonio June 16   Juneteenth Farmers Market
San Antonio June 17   Juneteenth Block Party: Celebrating Community & Health
San Antonio June 17   2023 San Antonio Juneteenth Block Party & Fair
San Antonio June 17   2023 City of San Antonio Juneteenth Health & Wellness Fair
San Antonio June 17   Juneteenth Market Pop-Up Shop hosted by MAAT Market
San Antonio June 19   A Gospel Celebration of Juneteenth
San Antonio June 19   2023 Annual Juneteenth Golf Tournament
San Marcos June 17   Dunbar Heritage Association’s Juneteenth Celebration
San Marcos June 17   Juneteenth Freedom Run


2023 Pride Month Reads

Texas Book Festival is #ReadingWithPride. The LGBTQIA+ stories in the pages of these staff-picked titles remind us of the importance and power of being our authentic selves every day. Let us know what you’re reading on all of our social platforms @texasbookfest on Instagram and Twitter and @TexasBookFestival on Facebook.

The Town of Babylon, Alejandro Vela

“This richly layered polyphonic novel explores the question of whether one can go home again. Here, the home in question is a homogenous New England suburb, and the character in question is a gay Latinx man whose discomforts with the place he came from have only grown sharper with age. The story shifts between the present day, where Andrés navigates his 20th high school reunion and his complex relationships with family and people from his past, and flashbacks that reveal his parents’ immigrant experience and other narratives that lend depth and context to Andrés and his hometown. I love a novel that can pivot between the personal and universal, allowing us to get to know an utterly unique cast of characters while illuminating human experiences that we all share.” – Dalia Azim, Interim Executive Director

All Boys Aren’t Blue, George M. Johnson

“Having made the list of most frequently banned books across the US in 2022, this book is more important than ever. This intimate memoir is both a coming-of-age story and an exploration of race and gender. Amidst a world that prioritizes whiteness and heteronormative ideals, Johnson creates a safe space for boys who defy societal norms. Growing up, George Johnson didn’t have anyone like him to look up to, so to ensure representation for Black queer boys of the next generation, Johnson decided to share his story with the world. Even though this book is intended for a young adult audience, it’s packed with deep insights that should resonate with audiences of all ages. I highly recommend this book to anyone that seeks a better understanding of humanity and how gender, race, and sexual orientation define our society.” – Hannah Gabel, Literary Director

My Government Means to Kill Me, Rasheed Newson

“After seeing a recording of Rasheed Newson reading from My Government Means to Kill Me in Literary Death Match, I knew I needed to read his book. This debut fiction novel reads like a memoir, and within the first few chapters, I found myself pausing to look up Newson’s history to compare to the protagonist, Trey’s. He captured the coming-of-age story of a young black gay man in the 80s as if he wasn’t still in diapers when all of it took place. Through intertwining history with the personal drama of Earl “Trey” Singleton III as he comes into his own in New York City, any reader will walk away from this book both endlessly entertained and with a deeper understanding of the culture and the laws surrounding gay rights, race, and AIDS in the last few decades of the 20th century.” – Olivia Hesse, Event Production & Logistics Coordinator

If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, Translated by Anne Carson

“This was assigned in one of the most memorable and enlightening undergraduate poetry honors classes I had at Texas State University. Sappho’s original poems were written on papyrus, a material that was long eroded once finally discovered, leaving only fragments of the original works. What remains is a collection of delicate allusions to a larger lyrical picture of her desire, her sexual and emotional conflict, and the morsels of intimate longing that would inspire leagues of romantics for millennia. ‘Of the nine books of lyrics that Sappho is said to have composed,’ writes Anne, ‘one poem has survived complete. All the rest are fragments.’ ”- Jose, Communications & PR Coordinator

Before Lawrence v. Texas: The Making of a Queer Social Movement, Wesley G. Phelps

Before Lawrence v. Texas delves into the history of grassroots movements and local activists that laid the groundwork for the titular court case. This information-rich text introduced me to Lawrence v. Texas — a landmark case that overturned anti-sodomy laws across the nation — along with a host of other court cases that bolstered the movement for LGBTQIA+ rights in and beyond Texas. Delving into the history of discriminatory laws and the activists who opposed them, Phelps celebrates the Texan activists who have led the movement for legal equality. Through its interviews and archival narratives, Before Lawrence v. Texas tells a story of hope and empowerment, reminding readers of the impact that local grassroots activism can have on both a single state and the whole country.” – Anna Dolliver, Operations & Literary Coordinator



Becky Gomez

Becky serves as the Digital Content & Design Coordinator for the Texas Book Festival. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University in Industrial Engineering with a minor in Art & Art History. Prior to joining TBF, she worked as a product designer in New York City but decided to move her pursuits of a creative career to her hometown, Austin TX. As a creative with a passion for self-expression in many forms, she is excited to pursue her role with the hope of continuing to tell visual stories. Her love for reading can be traced to bedtime stories her parents would read to her, and memories made with TBF programming growing up. In her free time, she can be found collaging, crocheting, acting, or styling herself or others for her small personal styling business.

New Series Launch: In Conversation

The Library Foundation and Texas Book Festival are thrilled to launch a new author series. In Conversation pairs writers for intimate discussions of their work.

The inaugural In Conversation features Katie Gutierrez and Rubén Degollado, whose novels explore families encountering folkloric curses, secret double lives, and the generational passage of time.

Gutierrez’s debut literary novel, More Than You’ll Ever Know, follows a woman caught leading a double life after one husband murders the other, and the true-crime writer who becomes obsessed with telling her story. Degollado’s debut, The Family Izquierdo, weaves together the lives of three generations of a Mexican American family bound by love, and a curse.

The free event is at 7 p.m. on June 21 at the Austin Central Library. The authors will sign books following the program. Books will be available for purchase thanks to Black Pearl Books. Get tickets here.

Rubén Degollado’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Lit Hub, Texas Highways, The Common, and the anthologies Living Beyond Borders and Nepantla Familias. His YA novel, “Throw, “was published in 2019 and won the Texas Institute of Letters 2020 Award for Best Young Adult Book, was included on the Texas Library Association 2020 TAYSHAS list of best books for teen readers. Rubén’s debut literary novel, “The Family Izquierdo”, published in 2022 by W.W. Norton, was longlisted for the PEN/Faulkner Award, is a Texas Institute of Letters Best Fiction Award finalist, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2022. rubendegollado.com

Katie Gutierrez is the author of the national bestselling debut novel “More Than You’ll Ever Know” (Morrow/Michael Joseph), which is also a Good Morning America Book Club pick for June 2022. She is a National Magazine Award finalist whose writing has appeared in TIME, Harper’s Bazaar, the Washington Post, Longreads, and more. She has an MFA from Texas State University and lives in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband and their two kids. katiegutierrez.net

The In Conversation series is sponsored by Amplify Credit Union.

Amplify Credit Union and Texas Book Festival Presents: Laekan Zea Kemp

Amplify Credit Union and Texas Book Festival are thrilled to present author, Laekan Zea Kemp, discussing her new young adult novel-in-verse, An Appetite for Miracles, in conversation with fellow author, Jennifer Ziegler (Worser, How Not to Be Popular). The event will be held at 6 PM on Thursday, June 8, 2023, at Amplify Credit Union’s Esperanza event space (2800 Esperanza Crossing #2, Austin, TX 78758). Admission is free and tickets are available here.

The event will include a reading and moderated Q&A followed by a signing line. Masks are encouraged but not required. Amplify will provide hand sanitizer and masks onsite. Seating will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. For additional questions or concerns, please contact feedack@goamplify.com.

About An Appetite for Miracles:
Danna Mendoza Villarreal’s grandfather is slowly losing himself as his memories fade, and Danna’s not sure her plan to help him remember through the foods he once reviewed will be enough to bring him back. Especially when her own love of food makes her complicated relationship with her mother even more difficult. Raul Santos has been lost ever since his mother was wrongly incarcerated two years ago. Playing guitar for the elderly has been his only escape, to help them remember and him forget. But when his mom unexpectedly comes back into his life, what is he supposed to do when she isn’t the same person who left. When Danna and Raul meet, sparks fly immediately and they embark on a mission to heal her grandfather…and themselves. Because healing is something best done together—even if healing doesn’t always look the way we want it to.

About the Author:
Laekan Zea Kemp is a writer living in Austin, Texas. Her debut novel, Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet was a 2022 Pura Belpré Honor Recipient. She has three objectives when it comes to storytelling: to make people laugh, cry, and crave Mexican food. Her work celebrates Chicane grit, resilience, creativity, and joy while exploring themes of identity and mental health.

About the Moderator:
Jennifer Ziegler is the author of several novels for young and young-at-heart readers, including Worser, Revenge of the Flower Girls, and How Not to Be Popular. She also serves as faculty co-chair of Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. A native Texan of Mexican American heritage, Jennifer lives in Austin with her husband (and favorite author), Chris Barton, and their boss, a terrier mix named Ernie.