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LitFest Pasadena

LitFest Pasadena 2018

The city and Southland’s free books-and-authors festival, returns for its 7th year with two-days of panels, discussions, readings, and literary activities with local authors. LitFest Pasadena is held here at Vroman's as well as the Pasadena Playhouse, Zona Rosa Cafe, and many other local establishments! The following events are to be held at Vroman’s Bookstore in the event space or outside on the Vroman’s Stage. Please visit http://litfestpasadena.org/ for a more complete listing of events and locations.

SATURDAY, MAY 19, 2018 

POLITICIANS WHO READ: THE BOOKS THAT MOTIVATE

3:00PM - 4:00PM • Vroman's Bookstore - Upstairs

Books shape and inspire us, but what books shape and inspire our leaders? Local, state, and national leaders join LitFest Pasadena to discuss the books that have motivated them - then and now. Featured Guests: Congressperson Adam Schiff, Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek, and more to be announced! Moderated by Larry Wilson. 

MOUNTAIN LIONS, WATER, & SAND: ECO-NARRATIVES TO CHANGE OUR LIVES AND ILLUMINATE OUR WORLD

4:15PM - 5:15PM • Vroman's Bookstore - Upstairs

Narratives of our relationship with nature and the challenges of sustainability increasingly infuse our culture. But how do we make these narratives personal and effective? Three writers guided by LA County Natural History Museum Community Science Senior Manager Lila Higgins will seek to answer these questions: Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, the California Director of the National Wildlife Federation on a mission to build a 101 freeway wildlife crossing, Florencia Ramirez who's challenged the nation to reduce our water intake, and Vince Beiser, who's telling the story of the hugely important but diminishing resource, sand. Featuring: Beth Pratt-Bergstrom (When Mountain Lions are Neighbors), Florencia Ramirez (Eat Less Water), Vince Beiser (The World in a Grain - out in August 2018), Lila Higgins, Los Angeles County Natural History Museum - Moderator

WRITING THE SPORTS NARRATIVE: GOING BEYOND BOX SCORES AND TIMES

4:15PM - 5:15PM • Vroman's Bookstore - Courtyard

Often sports writing is the summation of events with the occasional dramatic flourish.  Rarer is the sports writer who has emotional skin in the game, where objectivity is second to the immediacy of experience and deep reflection of what that experience means. Featuring: Donnell Alexander, David Davis, Mirin Fader, Pete Magill, Elliot Wynton Seymour, and more! Jinghuan Liu Tervalon - Moderator

WORD: THE RETURN OF THE SPOKEN WORD POETRY PANEL

5:30PM - 6:30PM • Vroman's Bookstore - Courtyard

Lend us your ears! The return of LitFest Pasadena's spoken word poetry panel! We tend to think of literature as happening inside bound books, or in newspaper articles, or, even worse in an academic journal stuck on a library bookshelf at some college far, far away. We forget that literature came from poetry, poetry came from song, and song came from the word, the spoken word, the recited story. The African griots were the first such artists of the word and, later, came the Greeks of antiquity and their Western hemisphere descendants. Bob Dylan has won a Nobel Prize for literature. Nas and Ursula Rucker and Saul Williams await their awards. And here in this sun-washed land we have our own griots. They are poets and storytellers of the moment as well as the page, the Sapphos and Homers and Gil-Scott Herons of East and South Los Angeles, downtown and Oaktown. This performance panel introduces Pasadena to the voices of several of our great griots, Traci Kato-Kiriyama, Mike Sonksen - Moderator, Doug Brown, and Raphael Cohen.

LITFEST OUTER LIMITS: NOTES & LETTERS - SPOKEN WORD POETRY & IMPROVISED MUSIC

5:30PM - 6:30PM • Jones Coffee Roasters at Vroman's - Outdoors

Notes & Letters offers a unique look at the world by blending music and writing. Featuring: Bill Cushing and Chuck Corbisiero


SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2018 

DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR

3:00pm - 4:00pm  • Vroman’s Bookstore Upstairs

Drag Queen Story Hour is a storytime event for children of all ages! Los Angeles' most glittering, magical drag queens read quirky and progressive children's books, followed by a simple craft. Featuring Queen Devan M and hosted by Michael Roybal-Gonzales.

CLASS, RACE, & POWER: OCTAVIA BUTLER'S LEGACY IN SOCIETY & THE SOUL

4:15pm - 5:15pm  • Vroman’s Bookstore Upstairs

Class, race, and power: Octavia Butler explored these themes with an unflinching intensity that broke new ground for science fiction and demanded hard self-reflection from her readers. She was called, “...among the best SF writers, blessed with a mind capable of conceiving complicated futuristic situations that shed considerable light on our current affairs." Butler influenced how we think about these issues and she shaped the entire sci-fi genre. A Pasadena native who made Los Angeles part of her narratives, her legacy also shapes her community. Journalist and Octavia Butler historian Lynell George, novelist  and  American Book Award winner Tananarive Due, and LA Review of Books Editor Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn discuss the facets of Octavia Butler's work and her enduring influence. Featured Authors: Lynell George (After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame), Tananarive Due (Ghost Summer: Stories), Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn, Moderator, and more!

THE WORKING WRITER'S LIFE: HOW THE SAUSAGES GET MADE WITH JERRY STAHL & GARY PHILLIPS

5:30pm - 6:30pm  • Vroman’s Bookstore Courtyard

Jerry Stahl (Old Guy Dad: Weird Shit Happens When You Don't Die Young) and Gary Phillips (The Obama Inheritance: Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir, Editor) talk slaughterhouses, books, films and the joy of when the check clears. Featuring: Jerry Stahl (Old Guy Dad: Weird Shit Happens When You Don't Die Young) and Gary Phillips (The Obama Inheritance: Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir, Editor)

POETIC EXPRESSION ON HOT SOCIOPOLITICAL TOPICS

5:30pm - 6:30pm  • Vroman’s Bookstore Upstairs

Three distinguished Pasadena poets discuss how poetry has enabled them to best express their angst, hopes, and perspectives on major controversial sociopolitical issues that have beset American society, especially in recent times. They will read from their published works, talk about how political challenges affect them directly, and engage with the audience on our individual and collective visions moving forward. Featuring: Peter J. Harris (Black Man of Happiness), Thelma T. Reyna - Moderator, Carl (CaLokie) Stillwell, and Karineh Mahdessian

WOMEN WITH EDGE IN COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

6:30pm - 7:45pm  • Vroman’s Bookstore Upstairs

Featuring Christa Faust (Peepland Vol. 1) and more.

LITFEST OUTER LIMITS: THE STORYTELLERS OF OUR COMMUNITY 

6:30pm - 7:45pm  • Vroman’s Bookstore Courtyard

Featuring Erika Ayon, Nadia Hunter Bey, Tommy Domino, Penelope Lowder, Jaha Zainabu. Hosted by Hiram Sims. 

Event date: 
Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 9:00am to Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 9:00pm
Event address: 
695 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101
Store: