The Texas Book Festival again will provide programming in two languages for a growing segment of its audience, with presentations throughout the festival as well as two days of Latinx authors in the space formerly known as the ¡Ahora Sí! Tent.
“We are 100 percent committed to offering Latinx programming through a dedicated venue at our annual book festival," said Lois Kim, executive director of the Texas Book Festival. "While the festival has always featured Latinx authors, we launched the tent in 2015 to make our Latinx programming more visible and also hopefully to entice more Latinx communities in and beyond Austin to come and experience what our free festival has to offer.”
¡Ahora Sí!, the Spanish weekly of the Austin American-Statesman, ceased publication on Oct. 11, and the new name for the book fest tent is Latinx Lit. The “x” signifies a gender-inclusive term for Latinos, and at the tent, there will be plenty of ideas, inspiration and stories for everyone.
“Of course, we want to continue to serve the Latino community and we’ve seen over the last few years how popular it’s been, how much readers have come and engaged in conversation, so it’s natural for us to continue to have it,” said Julie Wernersbach, literary director of the Texas Book Festival.
In addition to the ever-popular bilingual story times, which this year will include Xavier Garza ("Just One Itsy Bits"), there will be two children and young adult award sessions. The Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award will celebrate authors Celia c. Perez, Erika L. Sanchez, Xelena Gonzalez and Adriana M. Garcia, while the new Pura Belpré Award panel will recognize authors Juana Martinez/Neal and Pablo Cartaya. Both awards panels will be conducted in English.
Another session will feature the topic of “Dreamers”, young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Yuyi Morales and Julissa Arce ("Someone Like Me") will share their own immigration stories with young readers. This discussion will take place in Spanish.
Another session in Spanish has local novelist Natalia Sylvester ("Everyone Knows You Go Home"), whose family is originally from Peru, and award-winning author Luis Alberto Urrea ("House of Broken Angels") discussing migration experiences and ideas.
Authors Fey Berman ("Mexamérica") and Reyna Grande ("A Dream Called Home") talk about how the Mexican and American cultures are coming together and creating something new. This discussion will be in Spanish.
An interdisciplinary discussion in English will feature poet Daniel Garcia Ordaz and photographer Michael Cirlos exploring mixing genres, approaches and styles.
LATINX TENT SCHEDULE
(Subject to change; a few sessions were pending at press time.)
10:15 to 10:45 a.m. Bilingual Storytime with Xavier Garza: He’ll read his new book, "Just One Itsy Bitsy Little Bite."
11 to 11:45 a.m. Inspiring Dreamers (in Spanish): Award-winning authors Yuyi Morales ("Dreamers") and Julissa Arce ("Someone Like Me") share their personal stories of adapting to new homes and cultures, while celebrating the places they came from.
12:15 to 1 p.m. Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award (in English): The winners of this year’s Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award — Celia C. Perez, Erika L. Sanchez, Xelena Gonzalez and Adriana M. Garcia — will talk about the award and their work. Moderated by Sandra Murillo-Sutterby.
1:30 to 2:15 p.m. Todos en la Familia (in Spanish): Natalia Sylvester ("Everyone Knows You Go Home") and Luis Alberto Urrea ("House of Broken Angels") talk about the experience and long-term effects of migration.
11 to 11:45 a.m. Two of this year's 2018 Pura Belpré Award winners — Juana Martinez-Neal and Pablo Cartaya — talk about their work. (in English).
12 to 12:45 p.m. Connecting with Community in Innovative Mediums (in English): Poet Daniel Garcia Ordaz and photographer Michael Cirlos discuss working in different creative mediums, and how they mix different genres, approaches and styles to connect with their subjects and audience.
1 to 1:45 p.m. These Stories Are Ours: New Fiction of the Border (in English): Daniel Peña talks about writing border narratives while breaking stereotypes. His latest novel, "Bang," is about two undocumented brothers from Harlingen who crash-land in Mexico and confront the violence of drug smuggling and the complexities of the past.
2 to 2:45 p.m. Mexamerica: Merging Cultures (in Spanish): Authors Fey Berman ("Mexamerica") and Reyna Grance ("A Dream Called Home") talk about the new cultural landscape and communities forming as Mexican and American cultures and traditions continue to blend.
3 to 3:45 p.m. Chicana Movidas: Activism and Feminism in a New Era: Martha Cotera and Brenda Sendejo examine the intellectual and political legacies of early Chicana feminism.