Patricia Hayes Workman

Patricia is an experienced public speaker of over 40 years, inspiring audiences as a Keynote, conference presenter and facilitator. A licensed attorney, she has served in senior leadership roles to a State Senator, Lieutenant Governor, Commissioner of Education and University System Chancellor. She served as the first African American and female Vice Chancellor at the Texas State University System. She is an award winning community leader and hosts a weekly live show online, Coffee Time Career Chat for professionals.

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



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.

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.

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

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.

2023 Internship Applications Now Open


2023 Texas Book Festival internship applications are now open! We are pleased to offer internships across several departments: Literary Programming, School and Community Programs, Marketing & Design, Event Production, Development, and Communications & Public Relations. Each intern reports to specific staff members; all interns, however, will assist the entire staff in the production of the Festival and its programs as needed. This includes participating in occasional after-hours literary events, with duties including event setup, registration, and clean-up.

Internships require a commitment of 8 hours per week. They will usually work in-person for one four-hour shift and remotely for a second shift each week. Fall internships span from early August to mid-November; the School and Community Programs intern may continue their position into the spring. All interns are required to work the Gala and Festival Weekend (November 9-12, 2023); thus, applicants who can guarantee their availability will be prioritized in the selection process. Internships must be scheduled during the Texas Book Festival’s operating hours (9 AM through 5 PM, Monday through Friday). Interns will receive a $500 stipend on completion of their internship; the School and Community Programs intern will receive an additional $500 stipend if they continue their internship through the spring semester.

For more details on our available internship roles and how to apply, please visit our Internship Opportunities page.

A farewell note and invitation from departing Executive Director, Lois Kim

The end of April marks my tenth year as TBF’s Executive Director, and it turns out, it will also mark my last. After an incredibly full and fulfilling ten years, I’m pushing off from TBF’s shore to embark on a new challenge as the Chief Development Officer at the Harry Ransom Center at UT Austin. I’m excited to serve the mission of the arts and education in a different way, and I’m beyond grateful for the immeasurable rewards that serving in this role has given me. 

Working at TBF changed my life, and it changed me. The pace was tremendously fast and the world of possibility addictive. Around every corner was another way to introduce a child to a book, to partner with an organization whose mission we loved and respected, to never say no to an event opportunity that brought the community together around books, and always, always to support more authors so worthy of being seen and celebrated.

Yeah, TBF is big on celebration, and I have loved the big, Texas-sized way we go about championing authors and the act of loving and sharing books. I have adored being part of the biggest annual book party in Texas and the joy it brings to so many. 

When your life is planning events, there’s always the payoff of pulling off a big event successfully. Happy faces, funds raised, getting to say those beautiful words: “it’s a wrap.” But what I will miss the most are the spontaneous moments of TBF life: running into friends at the Fest; the long staff text chains during events full of photos, jokes, and cheering on; the most epic (maybe only) wedding proposal ever made at a book event (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, google “Tom Hanks Texas Book Festival wedding proposal”); and the countless moments when an author-moderator conversation just gob-smacked me with its insight, humor, or sharp clarity about the human condition.

I could say I will miss all the excellent people involved in TBF. I’ve been lucky to work with the most generous-of-spirit-minded folks: board members, fellow staffers, donors, partners, and volunteers. But thankfully, I won’t need to miss everyone, I won’t need to miss YOU, because I am not leaving TBF, as I will continue to volunteer and donate to this wonderful organization.

I’m proud to announce I’ll be an inaugural member of the Foreword Society, a new TBF giving group whose members make a two-year pledge to support the work of the organization. The benefit I receive from being a Foreword Society member is the satisfaction in knowing that I’m helping sustain TBF and the magic it creates each year. Join me as a founding member of the Foreword Society, and I’ll see you November 11 – 12 at the 28th annual Texas Book Festival!

With love and gratitude,




El Paso Roundup

We were thrilled to launch programs in El Paso for the first time this year! Bringing Texas Book Festival to El Paso is a goal that we’ve had since before the pandemic, and it was great to finally turn this dream into a reality. We are deeply grateful to Maria and Darren Woody, Jordan Foster Construction, and the El Paso Community Foundation for their support of these programs.

Like our annual Festival in Austin, our El Paso programs encompassed a range of events, from school programming to a free public program with journalist and author Maria Hinojosa to a free family program with children’s authors on Saturday morning.

It all started off with Reading Rock Stars at Aoy and Hart Elementary Schools: 


For those not familiar with the program, Reading Rock Stars is Texas Book Festival’s elementary-focused initiative that brings nationally recognized children’s authors to Title I elementary schools in regions across Texas. Authors inspire young readers by sharing engaging presentations and taking time to personally connect with students. TBF also donates a copy of a featured book, signed by the author, for each student to take home to start or add to their personal library. Texas Book Festival funds and coordinates these author visits and also donates copies of the books to each school’s library. 

These first-time RRS schools knocked it out of the park and kicked off a wonderful welcome for TBF and authors Rebecca Balcárcel, Zeke Peña, and Raúl the Third. Each author presented their book to different grade levels at each school and every student had a chance to meet one of the authors. There were lots of questions, lots of drawing demonstrations, and lots of smiles as the authors bounced from Aoy to Hart Elementary. Overall, almost 800 students were able to go home with their very own book, and we can’t wait to come back and work with these schools again next year. 


But our day didn’t stop there! After finishing up at the schools (and sampling a local restaurant for lunch), the Texas Book Festival headed to the Philanthropy Theatre to host Maria Hinojosa, trailblazing journalist as well as anchor and executive producer of Latino USA. Maria joined Robert Moore, founder and CEO of El Paso Matters on stage for this free program, open to the public and hosted in partnership with the El Paso Community Foundation. Attendees filled the theatre and experienced a wide-ranging conversation about journalism and the importance of reporting on some of the most difficult and critical issues of our time.

The El Paso Community Foundation hosted a reception later that evening to benefit Texas Book Festival and El Paso Matters, where ticket holders were able to dine and mingle with Maria Hinojosa and leave with a signed copy of her memoir, Once I Was You. We are incredibly grateful to our partners for working with us to host such a memorable evening and to our featured speakers for helping us launch programs in El Paso in a very big way. 


We finished up our time in El Paso at the El Paso Museum of History, where author/illustrators and El Paso natives, Zeke Peña and Raúl the Third, engaged children and families in a fun and interactive family program. Zeke and Raúl talked about their work, their professional journeys, and their El Paso roots. They also guided attendees through live drawing activities that captured the attentions of kids and adults alike. TBF gave away almost 100 books to families that participated in the morning’s program, which the authors signed for their newest fans and longtime supporters. Many families joined us for this special program and were excited to meet the authors and go home with copies of My Papi Has a Motorcycle, ¡Vamos! Let’s Cross the Bridge, and Lowriders to the Rescue. This was a fun and heartwarming way to conclude our time in the region. 

Many El Pasoans thanked the authors and members of the TBF staff for bringing our program to their beautiful, dynamic city. TBF is working on building a foundation to sustain this vital new area of our outreach and cannot wait to go back to El Paso.

The Texas Book Festival El Paso were made possible due to the generous funding of the following donors: Maria and Darren Woody, Jordan Foster Construction, the El Paso Community Foundation, John Pesce and Trusted Capital Group,  Kevin and Tamis Bright, Angel and Rosalia Beltran, Holly and Greg Trubowitsch, Adair and Dee Margo, Georgian Whitenight, Rosana and William Kell, John and Shelly Martin, Lone Star Title Company, Holly and Reverend Bill Cobb, Sylvia Verghese, and Isha Rogers Santamaria.