Join AFS for Two Special Screenings!

This July, we are partnering with Austin Film Society to present two days of author events at AFS Cinema. On Friday, July 22, director Anne Rapp presents her documentary feature on Texas writer Horton Foote with a panel discussion following the screening featuring Rapp, author Tim O’Brien, and filmmaker Richard Linklater. O’Brien returns the next afternoon on Saturday, July 23, for a screening of the documentary THE WAR AND PEACE OF TIM O’BRIEN with director Aaron Matthews. Tickets are now on sale for both shows.

Friday, July 22 at 7:00 PM

A documentary that chronicles the creative journey of acclaimed Texas writer Horton Foote. Foote, who was born and raised in Wharton, Texas, went on to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, the winner of two Academy Awards for screenwriting (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and TENDER MERCIES), an Emmy Award for television writing (Adaptation of Williams Faulkner’s “Old Man”), and was the recipient of the National Medal of Arts among numerous other theatrical and literary prizes.

Director Anne Rapp is a Texas-born filmmaker, screenwriter, and script supervisor. She has worked on more than 50 feature films since 1981 and collaborated with filmmaker Robert Altman during the last decade of his career.

Horton Foote is the 1999 recipient of the Texas Writer Award, formerly known as the Bookend Award, which is given to a Texas writer in recognition of outstanding contributions to Texas literature.

Saturday, July 23 at 4:30 PM

Author Tim O’Brien and director Aaron Matthews will join AFS for this special screening of the new film documenting the National Book Award winner’s arduous journey through the writing process of his latest work, his first in twenty years and an immensely painful meditation about a subject he knows only too well—war.

Tim O’Brien has been called “the best American writer of his generation,” and “our poet laureate of war.” A Vietnam veteran, and National Book Award-winner, O’Brien is one of the great voices in modern American literature. The Library of Congress named his groundbreaking novel about the Vietnam War, “The Things They Carried,” one of the 65 most influential books in American history.

Tim O’Brien is the 2012 recipient of the Texas Writer Award.


Celebrate Juneteenth Across Texas!

Juneteenth celebrates and commemorates the official end of slavery in the United States. The holiday is historically rooted in Texas due to the arrival of Union soldiers in Galveston on June 19, 1865. We here at the Texas Book Festival would like to share a variety of events and activities across the state to reflect on this important day of freedom and unity for so many in the African American community and beyond. Check out the full list below to celebrate Juneteenth and share any other events with us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Austin & Surrounding Areas


Saturday, June 18

2022 Historical Juneteenth Parade 
10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Britton, Durst, Howard, Spence Bldg. (Chestnut House), 1183 Chestnut Avenue, Austin, TX 78702
Late Registration: June 9, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Juneteenth Park Festival
12 – 10 p.m., Rosewood & Boggy Creek Park, 2300 Rosewood Avenue, Austin, TX 78702

Black Makers Market – Juneteenth Market
11 a.m.-3 p.m., George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, 1165 Angelina St, Austin, TX 78702

Soul Food Truck Fest
11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Huston-Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St, Austin, TX 78702
Admission: $15 General Admission

Texas Farmers’ Market Juneteenth Celebration
9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Texas Farmers’ Market at Lakeline, 11200 Lakeline Mall Drive, Austin, TX 78613
Admission: Free

Freedom Fest 2022
1 – 4 p.m., 7201 Colony Loop Drive, Austin, TX 78724
Admission: Free

Sunday, June 19

Texas Farmers’ Market Juneteenth Celebration
10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Texas Farmers’ Market at Mueller, 2006 Philomena Street, Austin, TX 78723
Admission: Free

Stay Black and Live: Juneteenth Weekend Festival
12 – 6 p.m., George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, 1165 Angelina St., Austin, TX 78702


Saturday, June 18

Juneteenth Celebration
10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Buda Amphitheater & City Park, 100 San Antonio St, Buda, TX 78610


Saturday, June 18

Juneteenth Celebration
11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Georgetown Community Center, 445 E Morrow St, Georgetown, TX 78626
Admission: Free


Saturday, June 18

Freedom March and Juneteenth Festival
March –> 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. (Gathering Location TBD)
Festival –> 1:30 – 6 p.m., Adam Orgain Park (Formerly Brushy Creek Park), 1001 Co Rd 137, Hutto, TX 78634


Saturday, June 11

Juneteenth Celebration
9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Mary Kyle Hartson Park, 101 S Burleson St, Kyle, TX 78644

Friday, June 17

Dialogue for Peace and Progress
7 p.m., Kyle City Hall, 100 W. Center St, Kyle, TX 78740


Sunday, June 19

2nd Annual Juneteenth Pfamily Reunion
12 – 7 p.m., Wells Point Sports Park, 800 S Heatherwilde Blvd, Pflugerville, TX 78660
Admission: Free

Round Rock

Wednesday, June 15

Juneteenth Storytelling with Decee Cornish
7-8 p.m., Round Rock Public Library, 216 E. Main St., Round Rock, TX 78664
Admission: Free

Saturday, June 18

Poetry in Motion
1:30 – 3 p.m., Round Rock Public Library, 216 E Main Ave, Round Rock, TX 78664
Admission: Free

Juneteenth Festival Round Rock
4-11:30 p.m., Old Settlers Park, 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock, TX 78665
Admission: Free

Sunday, June 19

Pieces of My Story: Juneteenth Edition
2 – 4 p.m., Round Rock Public Library, 216 E Main Ave, Round Rock, TX 78664
Admission: Free

San Marcos

Friday, June 17 – Saturday, June 18

Juneteenth Charity BBQ Cook-Off
Friday –> 1 – 9 p.m.
Saturday –> 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Plaza Park on the River, 206 N. C.M. Allen Pkwy, San Marcos, TX 78666

Saturday, June 18

Juneteenth Unity Walk
9 a.m., Route starting at the intersection of LBJ & MLK, San Marcos, TX (see website for map)

Corpus Christi

Saturday, June 11 – Sunday, June 19

Juneteenth Jubilee Celebrations
Various Times & Locations


Saturday, June 18

2022 MLK Juneteenth 3K Walk & Festival
9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, 2922 MLK, Jr. Blvd., Dallas, TX 75215
Admission: Free

El Paso

Tuesday, June 14 – Sunday, June 19

Las Cruces Jazz Festival
Various Times & Locations

Saturday, June 18

Juneteenth Celebration
12 – 3 p.m., McCall Neighborhood Center, 3231 East Wyoming Avenue, El Paso, TX 79903
Admission: Free

Fort Worth

Saturday, June 18

I Am Juneteenth Festival
4 p.m., Panther Island Pavilion, 395 Purcey St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
Admission: $20 (Early Bird)


Sunday, June 12

Pre-Juneteenth Poetry Sessions
9 a.m. – 12 p.m., Galveston’s Own Farmers Market, 28th & Market St, Galveston, TX 77550

Saturday, June 18

Juneteenth Festival
12 – 8 p.m., Menard Park, 2222 28th St, Galveston, Texas 77550

Sunday, June 19

Juneteenth Jubilee
3 – 6 p.m., Absolute Equality Mural, 2201 Strand St, Galveston, TX 77550
Admission: Free


Saturday, June 18

Juneteenth Celebration
10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Children’s Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz St, Houston, TX 77004
Admission: $15


Saturday, June 18

Juneteenth Jubilee
4-8 p.m., Leander Old Town, 100 N. Brushy, Leander, TX 78641


Wednesday, June 15 – Sunday, June 19

Annual Juneteenth Celebration
Various Times & Locations
Schedule of Events

San Antonio

Friday, June 17

Juneteenth History Harvest
11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Comanche Park, 2600 Rigsby Avenue, San Antonio, TX 78222

Saturday, June 18

Juneteenth Block Party/Fair
3 – 9:30 p.m., Alamo Beer Company, 202 Lamar, San Antonio, TX 78205
Admission: Free

Playdates in the Park

Join the Austin Parks Foundation for their Playdates in the Park series this June at an Austin park near you! Enjoy story time, make crafts, and MOVE AND GROOVE with Creative Action! Don’t miss children’s author Nicholas Solis for a storytime reading of The Staring Contest on June 25th!

Saturday, June 25 – Martin Park

Martin Park

1626 Nash Hernandez Senior Rd, Austin, TX 78702

Time: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Author: Nicholas Solis with The Staring Contest

Reserve your spot here!


Staff Reads for Pride Month

The Texas Book Festival is reading with pride to recognize LGBTQ+ lived experiences reflected and championed in the pages of great storytelling. Below is a list of our recommended pride reads to celebrate LGBTQ+ authors, literature, and culture! Tag us on social media at @texasbookfest and #readwithpride to let us know what you are reading for pride month.

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

I guess 1985 was a long time ago, making Jeanette Winterson’s debut novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit a classic. Winterson’s writing contains so much craft and beautiful imagery, while still being about the lives of real people. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a coming-of-age story about a young girl torn between religion and her own sexuality, told with humor and sadness. — Claire Burrows, Deputy Director

The Work Wife by Alison B. Hart (Preorder now)

I’m a sucker for stories about navigating the glitz, glamour, and sometimes glib Hollywood life. Even more so, I’m quite fond of stories about the folks behind-the-scenes who are just trying to get by while creating paths for the stars to shine. A job is a job – even while working in Tinsletown. I am looking forward to reading Alison B. Hart’s The Work Wife, a tale of a personal assistant walking the tightrope of life working for a movie mogul and his family. What would you do to get the job done? — Ke’ara Hunt, Communications and Marketing Coordinator

R E D by Chase Berggrun

Chase Berggrun’s R E D is a book-length erasure of Bram Stoker’s Dracula which creates a new narrative of gender transition and selfhood. More than clever and thoughtful, the chapters of R E D drip of hurt and want, particularly in lines like “A detail in a pool of blood / the body gathered in an awkward kink / I dress myself in easy anything.” — Gavin Quinn, Programs and Financial Coordinator

Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote

Truman Capote’s first novel is a dreamy coming-of-age story set in a decaying Mississippi mansion. As always, Capote writes with great tenderness, and while the book isn’t actually an autobiography, the characters and themes of his life percolate in this early work. You can see a foreshadowing of the brilliant, humorous, and tragic legend he would ultimately become. — Susannah Auby, Development Manager

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Leah Johnson’s debut novel tells the story of high school senior, Liz Lighty, and her unexpected quest to become prom queen, a very big deal in her prom-obsessed Indiana town. Liz doesn’t fit in but, despite her intense social anxiety, agrees to participate in the contest in hopes that the prize money will get her one step closer to attending her dream college and living the life she’d always dreamed about. Once Mack, the new girl in town and fellow prom queen contestant, enters the scene, the rom-com vibes begin. This book was such a joy to read and Liz Lighty might just be my favorite YA character of all time. — Michelle Hernandez, School and Community Programs Coordinator

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

I am not a graphic novel expert with a Ph.D. in the topic like our own Claire Burrows, but I really enjoyed Bechdel’s coming-of-age memoir in which Bechdel traces her journey to self-awareness that she is gay as well as her complex relationship with her closeted gay father. Poignantly told with humor and honesty, Bechdel details the perspective of a child coming into the knowledge of herself, her family, and the world. The musical was great also, which I took my then-14-year-old son to when the show came through town and we both loved it. — Lois Kim, Executive Director

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Heartfelt and funny, this fictional—and Pulitzer Prize-winning— portrait of a midlife author balancing a career and revisiting his past was one of my favorites of 2017. Read it before the next book in the series—Less Is Lost—releases this fall. — Matt Patin, Literary Director

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

David Sedaris never fails to impress, and though I’m only halfway through this essay collection, I can easily say this is the most I’ve laughed at reading a book in a long time. Sedaris approaches blunders in life with eager eyes and a pen in his hand, ready to turn any embarrassment or tragedy into stand-up comedy. That being said, the essays are not without merit, and while you may laugh your way through them, you’ll also inevitably feel some sort of truth about the human experience that lingers on your mind for weeks following their conclusion. — Olivia Hesse, Event Production and Logistics Coordinator

Olivia Hesse

Olivia serves as the Texas Book Festival’s Event Production and Logistics Coordinator, responsible for organizing volunteers, general setup, and logistics for festival weekend. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, along with a Certificate in Creative Writing. She’s lived in the Austin area her whole life, is passionate about the art of storytelling in whatever form it may take, and served as the Events Production intern for TBF prior to joining full time. Her favorite book genres are literary fiction, personal essays, and fiction short stories. Outside of work you can find her running very slowly around Town Lake, reading at Zilker, or looking for the best vegetarian restaurants in town.

Staff Reads for AAPI Heritage Month

In celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander heritage month, the staff at Texas Book Festival presents some of our favorite AAPI stories. From love stories that transcend time, delicious recipes that come to life on Instagram, sound advice to navigate working on a K-drama, and more! Check out the full list below and follow us on social media (@texasbookfest) to let us know your AAPI recommendations!

Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Malinda Lo’s beautifully written, award-winning YA novel is a love story set in and around 1950s Chinatown. I was immediately drawn in by protagonist Lily’s story and fascinated by the navigation of the intersection of being both Chinese-American and queer during a time when it wasn’t safe to be either. If you want to take a deep dive into the author’s research and story after reading the book, I highly recommend you visit Malinda Lo’s blog. Michelle Hernandez, School & Community Programs Coordinator 

Flip the Script by Lyla Lee

Check out Texas author Lyla Lee’s Flip the Script. Not only is this a game-changing YA romance novel, but it’s also fun, sweet, and set in the world of K-dramas. Make sure to follow Lyla on Instagram for some of the best bookish social media out there. – Claire Burrows, Deputy Director

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

I have a soft spot for stories about stories — particularly if they’re about bringing people together. Trung Le Nguyen’s The Magic Fish centers on a son who is having trouble coming out to his mom as gay, but the pair navigate this unfamiliar gap in their relationship by reading fairy tales from the library. This tender premise is intimately brought to life with Nguyen’s monochromatic illustrations. – Gavin Quinn, Programs & Financial Coordinator

 The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee

A sweeping history of cancer from an expertly informed medical and scientific perspective, for certain, but also from a deeply human one. It’s precisely what I was searching for not long after my own family faced this “regal” malady, and it’s a book I sometimes recommend—when asked and when the time is right—to friends whose families have faced the same. – Matthew Patin, Literary Director

The Korean Vegan by Joanne Lee Molinaro

This year I’m shaking up my at-home meals! I’ve been vegan for nearly three years now but I’ve become way too comfortable with the recipes that I tend to cook up. I discovered Joanne’s videos on Instagram a year ago and I must say that they are a work of art! Every meal has a story and Joanne’s shared wisdom will not only make you hungry, but you will feel the urge to step into your kitchen to cook something that will make you feel good – body and soul. I cannot wait to test out these recipes! Check out this great compilation video of #KoreanAuntyGivesAdvice! – Ke’ara Hunt, Communications & Marketing Coordinator

The Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian

While this imaginative and riveting story has the Indian American coming of age experience at its heart, it also asks difficult questions about what parents will do to ensure the success of their offspring and how those fierce ambitions shape the children well into adulthood. This book is begging for deep discussions! – Susannah Auby, Development Manager




Bring Reading Rock Stars to your school!

UPDATE: Thank you for your interest in the Reading Rock Stars program. The application submission window is now closed.

Want to bring Reading Rock Stars to your school? Since the inception of the Reading Rock Stars program, the Texas Book Festival has donated more than 151,000 books to students in Title I schools and provided 675 author visits.

Applications will be accepted no later than Friday, June 17, 2022.

Read Together: Storytime with Anne Wynter

Texas Book Festival is partnering with Waterloo Greenway and Austin Allies for the Read Together event on Tuesday, May 3 at 10 a.m. CT. Don’t miss the outdoor storytime with Austin author, playwright, and copywriter Anne Wynter and her presentation of Everybody in the Red Brick Building. This event is part of Morning Glories, a weekly early childhood education event series. Learn more about the event on the Waterloo Greenway website.

Continue reading “Read Together: Storytime with Anne Wynter”

Poetry Recommendations by TBF Staff

In celebration of  National Poetry Month, the Texas Book Festival staff would like to share some of our favorite poems. Poetry is a great way to strengthen reading, writing, and listening skills for all age groups. It also helps us to think of new ideas and improve the way we think about old ones.  At its core, poetry allows us to heal and weigh our hearts and our minds – amplifying the ways in which we communicate our feelings and tell our stories.

Below are just some of the poets who have left an impression on our team, but we would love to know what poems you recommend! Share your favorite poems with us on social media (Instagram/Twitter @texasbookfest and Facebook @texasbookfestival).

“Black Lead in a Nancy Meyers Film” by Rio Cortez

Aging, at all. I want that. And to fall
perhaps most honestly in love
beside the ocean, in a home I’ve paid
for by doing as I like…

Ke’ara Hunt, Communications & Marketing Coordinator: My obsession with rom-coms has a tight hold on the way I view my life and society. Sometimes I’ll sit in a coffee shop and imagine that I can read the thoughts of men or that I’ll graciously stumble upon the perfect macaroon to match my vibrant energy. It’s all harmless daydreaming, but it can be a little detrimental as I don’t exactly fit the description of a Nancy Meyers leading lady. This poem by Rio Cortez is a little reminder that it’s okay to love…love, but I have to remember to set my own scene and cast myself as the leading lady in this beautiful thing called life.

Goldenrod by Maggie Smith
“The Grand Scheme of Things”

Claire Burrows, Deputy Director: You’ve probably read or listened to Maggie Smith’s poem “Good Bones“, and wept. Smith’s poetry is beautiful and honest and personal and feels personal for me as the reader. Her poems are sweeping and focused at the same time. Her latest book Goldenrod will make you think and remember and imagine. The poem “In the Grand Scheme of Things” ends with the lines,

We say in the grand scheme of things

as if there were one. We say that’s not how

the world works as if the world works.

Customs by Solmaz Sharif

Gavin Quinn, Programs & Financial Coordinator: A book of traveling and the spaces in-between. What does it look like to live in one country, but to have strong roots in another? In addition to these things, this book is often a critique of social and poetry customs – consider the last lines of “Patronage”:

I said what I meant
but I said it

in velvet. I said it in feathers.
And so one poet reminded me

Remember what you are to them.

Poodle, I said.

And remember what they are to you.


“The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Susannah Auby, Development Manager: Mary Oliver’s poems are filled with imagery that vivifies the natural world in all its beauty. Just when you are feeling as though everything is outside of your control, she takes you back to the one thing that is truly yours.

Honey, I Love by Eloise Greenfield

Michelle Hernandez, School & Community Programs Coordinator: When I was an elementary school teacher and it was time to read and teach and write poetry with my students, my worn copy of Eloise Greenfield’s Honey, I Love and Other Love Poems was always our favorite. When I became a mother, it was the book I used to introduce my daughter to poetry. On occasion, I reread the pages, savoring each verse, and falling in love over and over again.

My mama’s on the sofa sewing buttons on my coat
I go and sit beside her. I’m through playing with my boat
I hold her arm and kiss it ‘cause it feels so soft and warm
Honey, let me tell you that I LOVE my mama’s arm
I love to kiss my mama’s arm…

“The Jungle” by Carrie Fountain

Lois Kim, Executive Director: Sometimes a poem is lovely to read by oneself, a private affair carried out curled up on a sofa, a private exchange between poet and reader. Sometimes a poem’s power is most felt when read by the poet in front of a lot of people, with hundreds following the peaks, valleys, and turns of the poem, feeling in their bones the simplicity and complexity in all that the poet and poem are saying and doing. I felt the latter when Carrie Fountain read “The Jungle” at our recently held Gala and recommend the former for any of the poems in her latest collection, The Life.

In motherhood I begin
to celebrate my own

smallest accomplishments,
as when I wake to find

I’ve slept through the night
and I feel a little healed

because sleeping is something
I didn’t learn how to do until

I was an adult…

“Poem for Jon” by Joaquín Zihuatanejo

Matthew Patin, Literary Director: Educator and spoken-word artist Joaquín Zihuatanejo was this month named the first poet laureate of the City of Dallas, and while exploring his work, I stumbled upon a gem that demonstrates that some of the most moving poetry is neither spoken nor written:

National Poetry Month with TORCH

Celebrate National Poetry Month with TORCH Literary Arts and their April Feature, Toi Derricotte! Derricotte is the recipient of the Academy of American Poets’ 2021 Wallace Stevens Award, the 2020 Frost Medal from The Poetry Society of America, and cofounder of Cave Canem Foundation. Visit the TORCH website to read new work, an interview with Derricotte, and more creative writing by Black women from around the world.

Torch Literary Arts is a 501c3 nonprofit organization established to publish and promote creative writing by Black women. They publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers alike. TORCH has featured work by Colleen J. McElroy, Tayari Jones, Sharon Bridgforth, Crystal Wilkinson, Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Elizabeth Alexander, and others. Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and retreats.