Brunch with Edward Lee

When: Sunday, October 28 at 11am-1pm

Where: Olamaie
1610 San Antonio Street
Austin, TX 78701

Tickets: Include three-course brunch and copy of Buttermilk Graffiti

Tickets now available!

We are thrilled to partner with Olamaie to host Edward Lee for an exclusive brunch on Sunday, October 28, at 11 a.m. Tickets are now on sale for this special event, and will include a three-course brunch featuring recipes Chef Michael Fojtasek will present with his own spin from both of Lee’s cookbooks, including his latest, Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine, along with Olamaie biscuits and brunch cocktails.

The morning will kick off with passed appetizers from Olamaie, with Lee onsite to welcome and mingle with guests and explain the inspiration for his dishes. Tickets for the limited seating event are priced at $125 per person and are available now. Tickets include one signed copy of Buttermilk Graffiti along with food and cocktails at brunch.

Edward Lee is the chef and owner of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, Kentucky, and culinary director of Succotash in National Harbor, Maryland, and Penn Quarter, Washington, DC. He appears frequently in print and on television, including earning an Emmy nomination for his role in the Emmy Award-winning series The Mind of a Chef. Most recently, he wrote and hosted the feature documentary Fermented. Lee has released two cookbooks, Smoke & Pickles and Buttermilk Graffiti. In his latest release, which was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Food Books for spring 2018, Lee delves into the intersection of food and culture on an epic trip across America where he finds exceptional food in unconventional places.

Lee will also be at the Texas Book Festival in the Central Market Cooking Tent on Saturday, October 27, in the afternoon. The schedule details will be available on the Texas Book Festival website.

Purchase your brunch tickets today!

Exciting News: TBF is Moving!

Hey Booklovers! We’ve got exciting news: we’re moving!
While the Texas Book Festival will still take place in and around the Texas State Capitol in downtown Austin, our 6th street office—our home since the Festival’s beginning in 1995—is officially closed.

But don’t worry! We aren’t going far.

We are excited to be joining the Center for Social Innovation at Springdale General on the east side of Austin later this summer, and can’t wait to share photos of our new digs with you!  In the meantime, please save our current mailing address:
PO Box 6020
Austin, TX  78762

Keep an eye out for moving updates on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Preview: African American Book Festival

This Saturday, June 23rd, the 12th annual Austin African American Book Festival will take place from 9:30 – 5:00 pm at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center.

The mission of this festival, which began in 2007, is to, “…promote empowerment through literature. We are a community event that brings readers and writers together and produces and facilitates collaboration, dialogue, creativity and activism.” The event is free and open to the public.

In addition to author signings, the festival will host several panels, including a new author showcase, children’s story time, and a Black Sci Fi Writers and Readers Meetup. This year’s keynote speaker is Paul Coates, founder of Black Classic Print and father of bestselling author Ta-Nehisi Coates. The 2018 author lineup also includes Victoria Christopher Murray, Evan Narcisse, Brooke Obie, Lori Aurelia Williams and Don Tate.

Victoria Christopher Murray is the author of more than 30 books including If Only for One Night, Temptation: The Aftermath, It Should’ve Been Me and Fortune & Fame. The prolific author is an Essence bestselling author and the winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Fiction.

Evan Narcisse is the journalist turned comic book author behind the new Rise of the Black Panther series, co-written with bestselling author Ta-Nehisi Coates. Rise of the Black Panther follows the life of young T’Challa, crown prince of the powerful kingdom of Wakanda, as he copes with the death of his father, and battles T’Chaka for the throne that is his birthright. Narcisse, along with Coates, has released six comics thus far.

Brooke Obie is the author of the award-winning novel Cradled Embers, the first book in the Book of Addis series. Cradled Embers is the story of a young woman, Addis, who has escaped the man that enslaved her and is now on the run. This story about oppression, love, loss, and freedom won the 2017 Phillis Wheatley Book Award for First Fiction and the 2017 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Award for self-published fiction.

Lori Aurelia Williams is the YA author of When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune, Broken China, Maxine Banks is Getting Married and Shayla’s Double Brown Baby Blues. Williams is also a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and recipient of a James A. Michener Fellowship. Born in Houston, Williams currently resides in Austin.

Don Tate an illustrator and author with more than 50 children’s books to his name including Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch and Ron’s Big Mission. Tate’s books tend to focus on historical events, he is the two-time recipient of an Ezra Jack Keats Book Author Award, the winner of a 2016 Christopher Award and a 2016 Texas Institute of Letters book award.

For more information, visit: http://www.aabookfest.com/

Lineup Sneak Peek: Fifteen Authors presenting at the 2018 Texas Book Festival

We are thrilled to give you a sneak peek at our 2018  Texas Book Festival Lineup! These fifteen authors are set to present their books over the Festival Weekend, October 27 and 28, in and around the Texas State Capitol in downtown Austin.

We’ll reveal our full lineup of authors presenting at the 2018 Festival in August—in the meantime, you can catch all TBF news and announcements by signing up for our newsletter, and following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

 

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Alexander Chee – How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

Bestselling author of  The Queen of the Night, Alexander Chee, has now put himself on the map as the next great essayists of his generation with How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, his first work of nonfiction. In a collection of essays about his life, Chee details events both deeply impactful to him, like the death of his father, and to the nation, like the AIDS crisis, and 9/11. With a voice that is both commanding and honest, Chee stuns in his nonfiction debut.

 

Alfredo Corchado – Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexian-American Migration

The second book from Mexican-American journalist Alfredo Corchado, Homelands tells the story of Mexican immigration through three decades. Centered around four friends, an activist, an entrepreneur, a lawyer, and Alfredo himself, Corchado tracks the changes and challenges of  immigration through their relationships with one another. Homelands is both a beautiful story about friendship and required reading for our current political state. Corchado is currently the Mexico City bureau chief of The Dallas Morning News.

 

Erin Entrada Kelly – You Go First

We are proud to welcome Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly to the 2018 Festival. Author of several middle grade novels, including Hello, Universe, Kelly’s latest novel, You Go Firstfollows the lives of young Charlotte and Ben, two kids with little in common outside of an online Scrabble game. Kelly’s gem of a book tackles bullying, family, and the ultimate struggle that is middle school in a beautiful and engaging way.

 

David Grann – The White Darkness

Acclaimed author and New Yorker staff writer David Grann follows his two bestselling books, Killers of the Flower Moon and The Lost City of Z, with a brand new true story of adventure. The White Darkness follows Henry Worsley and his fascination with Ernest Shackleton, the explorer who attempted to be the first person to reach the South Pole and cross Antarctica on foot. Grann brings an impossible story to life with a powerful prose about a man and his obsessions.

 

Sandra Cisneros – Puro Amor 

We are proud to present much-beloved poet and author, Sandra Cisneros, winner of the American Book Award and acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street. Cisneros’s latest book is a bilingual blend of fiction and illustration about love, devotion, and a house full of animals. Sweet, poignant, and full of life, Puro Amor is illustrated throughout with the author’s original line drawings. 

 

Fatima Farheen Mirza – A Place for Us

The debut novel from Fatima Farheen Mirza, A Place For Us explores themes of family, sense of self, and belonging. The first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, A Place for Us features a less-than-perfect family with less-than-perfect relationships. Parents struggle with the decisions of their children, daughters choose to marry for love and not tradition, and a son tries to make his way home. Brimming with both love and loss, Mirza writes with an eloquence deserving of praise.

 

V.E. Schwab – Vengeful

We are pleased to announce New York Times bestselling author of the Shades of Magic series, This Savage Song, and Our Dark Duet, and master of contemporary science fiction and fantasy, V.E. Schwab, will be attending the 2018 Texas Book Festival! Schwab’s newest is the highly anticipated sequel in her Villains series, Vengeful (following Vicious, which was re-released earlier this year).

 

Tommy Orange – There There

Breakthrough author Tommy Orange’s debut novel, There There, has been one of the most highly praised books of 2018 thus far. There There is a multi-generational story that follows the lives of twelve characters all headed to the Big Oakland Powwow for different reasons. A powerful book about the plight of the urban Native American, The New York Times has called it “groundbreaking” and “extraordinary.”

 

Mary Pope Osborne – Magic Tree House#30: Hurricane Heroes in Texas 

The 30th installment of Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House series, Hurricane Heroes in Texas, series brings Jack and Annie to our own great state for the 1900 Hurricane in Galveston, Texas—the most devastating natural disaster in the history of the Western Hemisphere. Osborne’s historical fiction books for young readers has become an internationally-beloved and bestselling series and is supplemented by nonfiction companion books.

 

Tayari Jones – An American Marriage

New York Times Bestseller and a 2018 Oprah Book Club pick, Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage has been called “haunting … beautifully written” by the New York Times, and “A tense and timely love story’ . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class,” by People magazine. A stunning love story from the author of Silver Sparrow, An American Marriage is a brilliant as it is heartbreaking, following newlyweds Roy and Celestial as they begin to build a life together, only to have it torn apart by unforeseeable circumstances.

 

Chloe Benjamin – The Immortalists

From the author of The Anatomy of Dreams comes The Immortalists, one of the year’s first big bestsellers. The New York Times Book Review calls it, “A captivating family saga.” Benjamin’s novel follows the four Gold children whose lives are dictated by the prophecies of a traveling physic who claims to be able to predict the day someone will die. A novel of family and the power we give to our beliefs, The Immortalists is a stunner of a story.

 

Sandhya Menon – From Twinkle, With Love

New York Times bestselling Young Adult author of When Dimple Met Rishi, Sandhya Menon’s latest novel From Twinkle, With Love has been called “utterly charming” by NPR. Following aspiring filmmaker Twinkle Mehra as she chases her dreams—and her heart—Menon’s sophomore novel is just as perfect and endearing as her first. We are elated to welcome Menon to the Festival!

 

Leslie Jamison – The Recovering 

Bestselling author of The Empathy Exams, and columnist for the New York Times Book Review, Leslie Jamison’s latest book, The Recovering, is part memoir, part investigative work. Focused on addiction and the narrative surrounding it, Jamison includes her own story, along with others including John Berryman and Billie Holiday, in order to examine who we are and why we need. Keen observations and unique voice make for a starkly real story about addiction and recovery which Entertainment Weekly called “Achingly wise.”

 

Walter Mosley – John Woman

From the beloved author of 47, Down the River Unto the Sea, Blonde Faith, and Devil in the Blue Dress, comes a new literary novel, John Woman, the riveting tale of a young New Yorker who transforms himself into Professor John Woman after the death of his father and the disappearance of his mother. Author of more than forty-five works of fiction and nonfiction, Walter Mosley is one of the most prolific authors of our time.

 

Joe Holley – Hurricane Season: The Unforgettable Story of the 2017 Houston Astros and the Resilience of a City

Journalist and native Texan Joe Holley has written for The Washington Post, Texas Monthly, Columbia Journalism Review, and The Houston Chronicle. His latest work, Hurricane Season, follows the Houston Astros’ journey to their first-ever World Series win in 2017, following the devastation caused when Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast earlier that year. Chronicling both the story behind the team as well as the hearts of its players, Holley’s story is as bold and beautiful as the city of Houston itself.

Announcing our 2018 Festival Poster Artist!

 

We are thrilled to announce we have selected our 2018 Festival poster artist, Austin-based painter Valerie Fowler! Fowler’s oil painting, Spring, Everything Changes, will be featured on this year’s Festival poster and will represent our annual Festival Weekend.

Fowler’s career has spanned more than thirty years and includes a wide variety of works, from oil on canvas paintings to commissioned murals, CD art for local musicians, and even a fully illustrated 64 page book called “Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase,” to accompany a musical project written, recorded, and produced by her husband Brian Beattie. Fowler’s work most often explores the wildly diverse natural world of Texas and describes “a natural world of extreme beauty and vigor while also conveying nature’s sensitive vulnerability.”

“The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to feature Valerie Fowler’s work this year,” says Lois Kim, executive director of Texas Book Festival. “Her beautifully alive paintings convey the fantasy in our imaginations and the energy of what lies just beneath the surface. They perfectly capture the creative spirit of our Festival.”

The painting selected for our 2018 Festival poster features a gorgeous, surrealistic interpretation of Fredericksburg peach trees in bloom, evoking a sense of storybook wonder and the unique possibility of the Texas landscape.

“I hope my paintings bring recurring pleasure,” Fowler says. “Having a work of art you come back to is much like reading a favorite novel—every time you return to it, it takes you back to moments from earlier in your life: who you were before, who you’ve been since, and also gives you something new. When a painting keeps giving each time you come back to it, that’s part of what really makes it a successful painting.”

Our tradition of choosing a representative work by a Texas artist began in 1998, and the honor has been shared by acclaimed artists and photographers such as Lance Letscher, Julie Speed, Randal Ford, Dan Winters, Kate Breakey, and Jack Unruh.

“The Texas art community, I would say, is wide open, just like our skies, and we’re lucky to see so many diverse genres and types of art. The uniqueness is that there’s so much variety in Texas. Beyond even the differences in styles and influences between regions, you find a wide variety inside those regions—each city and area holds as much variety as the state itself, and the vastness of our state really lends itself to growing that variety.”

Join us this year on October 27 and 28 in downtown Austin for the 2018 Texas Book Festival!

 

Announcing the Recipients of our Harvey Relief Fund!

 

Last November over the 2017 Texas Book Festival Weekend, Festival-goers from all across the state helped us raise money to provide relief for school libraries affected by Hurricane Harvey. With matching grants from The Tocker Foundation and the Texas Book Festival, we were able to raise $10,000 to help five school libraries in Houston and the Gulf Coast area recover.

“These rebuilding grants are a wonderful example of the local community joining two Texas nonprofit literacy organizations to support Texas libraries in need. We are looking forward to seeing the new books on the shelves of these worthy schools.”  —Lois Kim, Executive Director

 

The five school libraries selected for funding are Aransas ISD Little Bay Primary and four
schools in Houston ISD: Forest Brook Middle School, Mitchell Elementary, Martinez Elementary, and Robinson Elementary.

Aransas ISD’s Little Bay Primary was heavily damaged during the storm and will not reopen. Its pre-kindergarten classrooms received substantial damage and all mentor texts for classroom libraries were lost. Funds will be used to purchase new classroom books for the 2018-2019 school year at Aransas ISD’s new campus, the Discovery Learning Center.

More than 20,000 books were destroyed in the four Houston ISD school libraries selected for funding. Forest Brook Middle School, Mitchell Elementary, Martinez Elementary, and Robinson Elementary will receive funds to help replace the books that were lost at each campus.

Thanks to you, these libraries will be able to replace books lost to flooding. 
Together, we keep our state #TXBookStrong!

Explore Your Local: El Paso’s Newest Independent Bookstore, Literarity Book Shop

El Paso, TX. West Texas. Mountain Time. Desert. Borders.

The 915 is El Paso’s area code, and also how young natives refer to their city after singer Khalid popularized it in his song, “American Teen.” El Paso is the sixth largest city in Texas, which many don’t know because it’s over 552 miles away from the other large cities in the state. With this geographical isolation and distance, El Paso harnesses a unique culture, encompassing both the cozy small town feel while also promoting it’s progressive urban environment. El Paso is also a proud border town, sharing its border with New Mexico and Mexico, which houses a diverse population of Latinx peoples, among other immigrants from around the world. From this powerful culture, El Paso has given us such important art, specifically literary art.

 

Our intern Paulina, a native El Pasoan, is proud to present a two-part tour of on El Paso’s literary community: second, featuring Literarity Book Shop.

 

 

Situated on the westside of El Paso, and a short drive away from the University of Texas at El Paso, Literary Book Shop opened its doors on July 5th, 2017. Owners Bill Clark and Mary Anna Clark had been collecting books for about 30 years. The couple had lived in Los Angeles for several years, and missed the accessibility to independent bookstores in El Paso. Their solution? To open up their own independent bookstore.

 

 

Inside Literarity, I felt like I was walking through someone’s personal library. It was cozy and colorful, with little scrabble tiles decorating shelves with genre names. It made sense that this book shop felt like someone’s personal library because Bill and Mary Anna focused on incorporating their own collection alongside local author works and classics.

 

 

The phrase “open books open minds” is sprawled out on the shop’s back wall and encompasses the importance of both independent bookstores and literature itself.

“Books play an important role both in a local community and in society as a whole,” Bill Clark said. “Bookstores for many years have become a place where people can gather and exchange ideas and be exposed to new ways of thinking.”

 

To El Paso, this is special because of how diverse our community is. El Paso is a haven for immigrants from Latin America, Asia, and other parts of the world. The community has access to such different cultural experiences and mindsets because of our symbiotic border. So representation is a must for our literary community, and Literarity stocks both classics and a curated selection of new books, including works from local publishers Cinco Puntos Press and Veliz Books, as well as works from Dallas’ local publishing press, Deep Vellum. The shop has on its shelves works by Filipina author Sasha Pimentel, who lives in El Paso and teaches in the bilingual MFA program at UTEP. Literarity also has a great collection of Rosa Alcalá’s works. Other notable El Pasoan authors that grace Literarity’s shelves are Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Alfredo Corchado, and Phillip Connors.

 

 

Yet, because El Paso is over seven hours away from the other large Texas cities, it can feel like El Paso  is isolated from the rest of the Texan literary community. However, Bill stated “the support all starts here, locally,” and we couldn’t agree more. El Paso is thriving as a literary community because of the increased support that its local authors have been receiving, and will hopefully keep increasing as the scene gets bigger.

 

Bill was also nice enough to share his latest book picks and personal staples with us:

Since Literarity is still new, they do not have an online store just yet, so we highly encourage physically stopping by the shop to inquire and purchase any books! Otherwise, we have linked the following recommendations with BookPeople, our official Texas Book Festival book seller.

 

Homelands by Alfredo Corchado

BookPeople’s Description: “When Alfredo Corchado moved to Philadelphia in 1987, he felt as if he was the only Mexican in the city. But in a restaurant called Tequilas, he connected with two other Mexican men and one Mexican American, all feeling similarly isolated. Over the next three decades, the four friends continued to meet, coming together over their shared Mexican roots and their love of tequila. One was a radical activist, another a restaurant/tequila entrepreneur, the third a lawyer/politician. Alfredo himself was a young reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Homelands merges the political and the personal, telling the story of the last great Mexican migration through the eyes of four friends at a time when the Mexican population in the United States swelled from 700,000 people during the 1970s to more than 35 million people today. It is the narrative of the United States in a painful economic and political transition.

As we move into a divisive, nativist new era of immigration politics, Homelands is a must-read to understand the past and future of the immigrant story in the United States, and the role of Mexicans in shaping America’s history. A deeply moving book full of colorful characters searching for home, it is essential reading.”

 

Song for the River by Phillip Connors 

BookPeople’s Description: “From one of the last fire lookouts in America comes this sequel to the award-winning Fire Season–a story of calamity and resilience in the world’s first Wilderness. A dozen years into his dream job keeping watch over the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico, Philip Connors bore witness to the wildfire he had always feared: a conflagration that forced him off his mountain by helicopter, and changed forever the forest and watershed he loved. It was merely one of many transformations that arrived in quick succession, not just fire and flood but illness, divorce, the death of a fellow lookout in a freak accident, and a tragic plane crash that rocked the community he called home. At its core an elegy for a friend he cherished like a brother, A Song for the River opens into celebration of a landscape redolent with meaning–and the river that runs through it. Connors channels the voices of the voiceless in a praise song of great urgency, and makes a plea to save a vital piece of our natural and cultural heritage: the wild Gila River, whose waters are threatened by a potential dam. Brimming with vivid characters and beautiful evocations of the landscape, A Song for the River carries the story of the Gila Wilderness forward to the present precarious moment, and manages to find green shoots everywhere sprouting from the ash. Its argument on behalf of things wild and free could not be more timely, and its goal is nothing less than permanent protection for that rarest of things in the American West, a free-flowing river–the sinuous and gorgeous Gila. It must not perish.”

 

For Want of Water by Sasha Pimentel

BookPeople’s Description: “El Paso is one of the safest cities in the United States, while across the river, Ciudad Juarez suffers a history of femicides and a horrific drug war. Witnessing this, a Filipina’s life unravels as she tries to love an addict, the murders growing just a city–but the breadth of a country–away. This collection weaves the personal with recent history, the domestic with the tragic, asking how much “a body will hold,” reaching from the border to the poet’s own Philippines. These poems thirst in the desert, want for water, searching the brutal and tender territories between bodies, families, and nations.”

 

 

 

Myother Tongue by Rosa Alcalá

BookPeople’s Description: “‘Rosa Alcalá’s new poemario, Myother Tongue, begins in the archives of what has yet to be written. She writes with precision and dynamism from the borders between death (of a mother) and birth (of a daughter). What a body produces, and what produces a body: labor, trauma, memory, sacrifice, pain, danger, and language formed both on the tongue and in the culture and the spaces between what can be said and what is missing, the linguistic and existential problem of not having the right words. The darknesses in Alcala’s work emerge from what happens when we don’t see ourselves in the languages that both form and destroy us as we labor in this ‘dream called money.’ Alcala is a {un}documentarian of the highest order, a {un}documentarian of what history and memory try to erase. Her poems are urgent, demanding and haunting.’  –Daniel Borzutzky”

 

 

 

Contract Logistics & Volunteer Coordinator

2018 CONTRACT LOGISTICS AND VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR JOB DESCRIPTION

 

This position is in review. Applications are currently closed.

Required hours:

June 18 – September: 20 hours per week

October 5- 6: all day availability to work Texas Teen Book Festival

October: 40 hours per week

October 25- 29: all-in availability to work Texas Book Festival Weekend and post-Fest cleanup

Texas Book Festival Coordination and Logistics

  • Serve as primary liaison with Texas Book Festival Volunteer Committee Chairs (VCCs) managing all aspects of volunteer coordination including recruitment, meetings, correspondence, requests, retention, goodwill, and events
  • Serve as liaison with contract Festival logistics team, working with them and Executive Director to help manage Festival venues, tents, maps, banners, signage, exhibitors, and food vendors
  • Work with TBF Literary Director and Literary Communications Coordinator on all Festival venues as they relate to literary programming (set-up needs for A/V, furniture, backdrops, signage, green room, etc).
  • Help produce and set-up Festival session signage with TBF Literary Director and Lit/Comm Coordinator
  • Assist with TBF merchandise inventory and 2018 order, working with TBF staff, TBF Store Volunteer Committee Chair, and merchandise vendor on deadlines and deliverables
  • During Festival Weekend, manage VCC communication and assist with Festival set-up and break down, including step and repeat banners, Author Green Room supplies, trash collection, signage, and VCC supply return
  • Run logistics-related errands leading up to and during Festival Weekend, including printing and merchandise pick-ups/drop-offs, special event deliveries, special programming-related book deliveries, and errands as needed
  • Coordinate VCC Festival Weekend kickoff/appreciation event held during the week leading up to the Festival, including organizing catering, preparing supply bags, and preparing pre-Festival materials for the VCCs
  • Manage over-street banner placements with City of Austin, including communication, drop-off and pickup.
  • Assist with site logistics for Festival Author Lineup Announcement and other summer/fall events, as needed

Texas Teen Book Festival Coordination and Logistics

  • Serve as logistics coordinator for Texas Teen Book Festival, serving as liaison between TTBF director and TBF staff to coordinate tent and other rental needs, medical services tent, signage, and other logistical needs.
  • Serve as TTBF exhibitor coordinator, serving as point of contact for all TTBF exhibitors and being on-site contact during the TTBF on October 6, 2018
  • Assist with Texas Teen Book Festival set-up at St. Edward’s University on Friday, October 5, 2018, including coordinating exhibitor move-in and assisting with placement of Festival signage, wayfinding signs and any other set-up materials.

Communication and Administrative Support

  • Contact potential local and regional advertisers for program insert. Coordinate ad deadlines and deliverables
  • Other duties as assigned

Application Instructions:

To apply, submit the following to Maris Finn at maris@texasbookfestival.org

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • References upon request

Application deadline: May 31
Start date: June 18

TBF Throwback: A Summer Reading List

This summer, we’re taking a look back at some of the amazing authors we’ve been lucky to host at the Texas Book Festival by recommending their books as summer reading. Join us as we pair these books with great local places to visit as you read!

Check back here weekly as we add more titles, recommended by the TBF team, our dedicated volunteers, and friends of the Festival.

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Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson  |  Miracle’s Boys by Jacqueline Woodson

 

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Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

 

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Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony Johnston

 

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A House of My Own by Sandra Cisneros

 

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The Audacity of Hope by President Barack Obama

 

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Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte

 

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You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

The 915 – Cinco Puntos Press

El Paso, TX. West Texas. Mountain Time. Desert. Borders.

The 915 is El Paso’s area code, and also how young natives refer to their city after singer Khalid popularized it in his song, “American Teen.” El Paso is the sixth largest city in Texas, which many don’t know because it’s over 552 miles away from the other large cities in the state. With this geographical isolation and distance, El Paso harnesses a unique culture, encompassing both the cozy small town feel while also promoting it’s progressive urban environment. El Paso is also a proud border town, sharing its border with New Mexico and Mexico, which houses a diverse population of Latinx peoples, among other immigrants from around the world. From this powerful culture, El Paso has given us such important art, specifically literary art.

Our intern Paulina, a native El Pasoan, is proud to present a two-part tour of on El Paso’s literary community: first, featuring Cinco Puntos Press.

 

 

Cinco Puntos Press is a small, independent publishing company about three miles from the U.S. – Mexican border, founded in 1985 by Bobby and Lee Byrd. When I visited them, I was immediately immersed into the colors of their office. Everywhere I turned, I saw their published books displayed among other distinctly El Pasoan decorations.

One of Cinco Puntos’ first published books in 1987 was Joe Hayes’ La Llorona / The Weeping Woman. Bobby Byrd still regards this work as one of their best, mainly because he felt that Cinco Puntos Press did something that no other publishing firm had before. Cinco Puntos credits their familiarity with Mexican culture as one of the main reasons that La Llorona did so well across the country because the novel felt authentic to its cultural roots. La Llorona is also bilingual, which definitely reflects our border town lifestyle. 

 

 

But why, I asked, is this publishing press in El Paso? Why is it not in New York City like the majority of the industry? To this Bobby responded, “because this is where we live.” Being in El Paso offers a unique community and the ability to see hands-on how people from all walks of life are able to thrive in such a bi-national community. For a unique city, we need an exceptional publishing press, a press that is willing to offer a space for its authors to work hands-on with them.

Philip Connors, author of the soon to be released memoir, A Song for the River, was present during my visit, and spoke about how he loved that he was able to come into Cinco Puntos and literally sit down with the staff and work alongside them as he revised his manuscript. Although not a native El Pasoan, Connors was drawn to Cinco Puntos because of how well they published Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club

 

 

As I walked around the office, I was happy to notice that many of the authors were Latinx, like me. What’s the importance of a diverse range of books? Why does Cinco Puntos value diversity in their literature? “Well, that’s where we live,” Bobby responded to this with a smile. Unlike many publishing companies, Cinco Puntos does not need to go out of their area and look for a diverse authorship because El Paso already cultivates such a diverse community. Bobby emphasized how Mexican Americans make up such a large percentage of the U.S. population, and how it’s not a niche market, so why wouldn’t Cinco Puntos Press be publishing books by and for Mexican Americans? In these moments during my visit I felt so proud that this publishing press has been doing so much not just for my El Paso community, but also for immigrants like myself that have such powerful stories just by living on the border.

Cinco Puntos also prides itself of commissioning local El Pasoan artists to design book covers, such as David Bowles’ Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky. This artist duo Los Dos (or Lxs Dos) are El Paso/Juarez natives that make murals in both of the sister cities.

 

Bobby Byrd in front of Cinco Puntos’ mural of Oscar Acosta by local artist duo Los Dos.

 

Cinco Puntos Press is distributed by Consortium Books, so it’s easy to come by their works at several bookstores in Texas. Here are some recommendations from both Bobby and myself:

 

A Song for the River:

Publisher’s Description: “The Gila River and Wilderness are the heart and soul of A Song for the River. Every summer since 2002, Connors has been perched in a tower 50 feet above the Gila Wilderness, watching for fire. His first book, Fire Season (which saw 30,000 copies sold), recounted the deep lessons learned about mountains, wilderness, fire, and solitude. A Song for the River, its sequel, updates and deepens the story: the mountain he loves goes up in flames; a lookout on another mountain whom he has come to love as brother dies in a freak accident; and three high school students he admires die tragically in an airplane crash while researching the wilderness and the wild river they wish to save. Connors channels their voices in a praise song of great urgency and makes a plea to save a vital piece of our natural and cultural heritage: the wild Gila River, whose waters are threatened by a potential dam.”

 

 

Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky

Publisher’s Description: “The stories in Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky trace the history of the world from its beginnings in the dreams of the dual god Ometeotl, to the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in Mexico and the fall of the great city Tenochtitlan. In the course of that history we learn about the Creator Twins, Feathered Serpent, and Dark Heart of Sky, and how they built the world on a leviathan’s back; of the shape-shifting nahualli; and the aluxes—elfish beings known to help out the occasional wanderer. And finally, we read Aztec tales about the arrival of the blonde strangers from across the sea, the strangers who seek to upend the rule of Motecuhzoma and destroy the very stories we are reading.

David Bowles stitches together the fragmented mythology of pre-Colombian Mexico into an exciting, unified narrative in the tradition of William Buck’s Ramayana, Robert Fagles’ Iliad, and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Myths. Readers of Norse and Greek mythologies will delight in this rich retelling of stories less explored.”

 

All Around Us 

Publisher’s Description: “Grandpa says circles are all around us. He points to the rainbow that rises high in the sky after a thundercloud has come. “Can you see? That’s only half of the circle. That rest of it is down below, in the earth.” He and his granddaughter meditate on gardens and seeds, on circles seen and unseen, inside and outside us, on where our bodies come from and where they return to. They share and create family traditions in this stunning exploration of the cycles of life and nature.

Xelena González has roots in San Antonio, Texas, but has stretched her wings to fly all the way to Guangzhou, China, where she works as a librarian in an international school. She studied journalism at Northwestern University and library science at Texas Woman’s University, but her true training as a storyteller has come from getting to know other living beings—including plants, animals, and people who happen to speak different languages or see the world in unusual ways. All Around Us is her first book.

Adriana M Garcia, an award-winning artist, muralist, and scenic designer was born and raised on the west-side of San Antonio. She received her BFA From Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and studied fine arts in Valencia, Spain. ”

 

Folly Cove

Publisher’s Description: “Against a 1970s backdrop of Vietnam, political corruption, and radical activism, comes the true story of a loose confederacy of thrill-seeking opportunists and disaffected veterans who pulled off the largest, most audacious pot smuggle yet attempted—over twenty-eight tons of primo Colombian headed for the densely populated coast of Massachusetts in a rusty shrimp boat at the height of hurricane season. From the borderland of El Paso to the High Sierra of Mexico to the coast of South America and back, this is how they parlayed their first puff into truckloads, planeloads, and ultimately, the mother lode. Folly Cove is a high-spirited tale of the early days, when the business of pot was a benign crusade to keep America high. “