Todd Parr, the New York Times bestselling author of children's books like Love the World, The Family Book and It's Okay To Be Different will be speaking at the Pima County Public Library on Oct. 28. It's hard to imagine a more wholesome and pleasant experience than attending this event (sponsored by the library's LGBT Services Committee for its 20th anniversary) where the speaker has penned such phrases as "it's okay to eat macaroni and cheese in the bathtub," "every one of us can help protect the earth and make it feel good," and "peace is having enough pizza for everyone in the world."
Gecko Gals Ink presents the All-Zona Book Fest on Sunday, Oct. 15, at the Tucson Jewish Community Center. There will be a meet & greet with local authors like Kelli Peacock, a local mystery writer, and Gayl Zhao, who specializes in fantasy, both urban and otherwise. Admission is free, but one of the event's goals is to collect 500 children's books for Make Way for Books, an organization that works to provide books to schools and childcare centers in disadvantaged areas and offer literacy workshops for parents and educators.
The Poetry Center is presenting an array of presentations by poets and authors, followed by Q&A and book signings. A sampling:
Reginald Dwayne Betts went to prison for more than eight years for stealing a car when he was 16, and then completely turned his life around. The Yale Law School Graduate, author of two poetry collections and a memoir, and recipient of a Soros Justice Fellowship, a Ruth Lily Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship and an NAACP Image Award will be doing a reading Thursday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.
Jorie Graham, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1996 for her work The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994, will be speaking Thursday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. Former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, Graham is currently the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University, the first woman to serve in the position.
Giancaro Huapaya, the author of several books, the editor of one anthology, a curator of visual poetry and the founder and editor of the nonprofit publishing house Cardboard House Press, will speak Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 6 p.m.
Aimee Nezhukumatathil was named the campus-wide Hagan Young Scholar and awarded a Chancellor's Medal of Excellence at the State University of New York at Fredonia where she teaches. She is the poetry editor for Orion magazine, the author of three books of poetry and the co-author of of one chapbook. She will speak at the Poetry Center Thursday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.
Martín Espada has published nearly 20 books and has received an American Book Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award, the PEN/Revson Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Odilia Galván Rodríguez has written six volumes of poetry and has worked as an editor for several magazines, currently the Cloud Women's Quarterly Journal online.The two writers, who both work to give a voice to minority communities, will speak on a panel moderated by Mari Herreras on Thursday, October 12, at 7 p.m. at the Center for Creative Photography. Herreras is a contributor to Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice, edited by Rodríguez.
The UA Prose Series, which presents distinguished prose writers, will also be hosting events throughout the season. A sampling:
Joy William, author of five story collections and four novels, and National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize nominee, is speaking Thursday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m.
Rubén Martínez is an artist-in-residence at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts and holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature and Writing at Loyola Marymount University. He has written four books and received Emmys for his work as a journalist.
Charles Yu is the author of three books, one of which was named one of the year’s best books by Time Magazine and was a New York Times Notable Books. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, and The New York Times, and has received two WGA nominations for his writing for HBO’s Westworld. The two will speak Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.
A three-day conference that examines work at the intersection of creative writing and critical race theory will feature keynote speakers Roberto Tejada and Trish Salah, as well as a reading from Thinking Its Presence Founder Prageeta Sharma and guest James Thomas Stevens on Thursday, Oct. 19.
Friday, Oct. 20 (which is free and open to the public) will feature keynotes Urayoán Noel and Douglas Kearney, with multimedia collaborator Val Jeanty.
Saturday, Oct. 21, will include a performance by collaborative group “The Buffalo,” comprised of Kendra Mylnechuk, Ciara Rose Griffin, and Sukha Belle PotterTalk, and readings from honored guests Patricia Spears Jones and Erika Hunt.
Timothy Yu’s debut poetry collection, 100 Chinese Silences, was published in 2016, but he has also written three chapbooks, several essays and serves as the editor of Nests and Strangers: On Asian American Women Poets.
The 71st edition of the Sonora Review, one of the oldest grad student literary journals in the country, is coming out. Antigone Books will be celebrating with a release party at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1. Mario J. Gonzales, Cassie Gonzales and Caroline Chavatel, all contributing authors to the journal, will be reading selections of their work.
Clark Norton, known for his expertise in Baby Boomer travel, will be having a book launch party for his book 100 Things To Do in Tucson Before You Die on Friday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. Norton has worked as a freelance journalist and writer for decades, authoring or coauthoring 15 travel guidebooks, and now he’s writing about the town he calls home.
Pulitzer Prize Finalist and author of Sweet Lamb of Heaven Lydia Millet will be reading alongside Fenton Johnson, author of Everywhere Home: A Life in Essays on Friday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. Millet is known for her dark humor and love of animals, while Fenton’s memoir focuses on questions of identity.
Adam Rex, local children’s author behind Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich, will be reading from his newest picture book that helps young readers come to grips with one of life’s harshest truths: Nothing Rhymes With Orange. Be there 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30.
To Tell Our Stories
The Jewish History Museum is hosting a reading by the Holocaust survivors and authors of To Tell Our Stories: Holocaust Survivors of Southern Arizona on Thursday, Nov. 9 from noon to 1:30. The book will be available for purchase at the event, and proceeds will help provide services for Holocaust Survivors at the JFCS of Southern Arizona.
Events for Writers
The Tucson Romance Writers of America will host Michael Hauge, who worked as worked as an author, lecturer and Hollywood script consultant, on Saturday, Nov. 18. Hauge will share storytelling methods with aspiring novelists, as well as tips on how to get a manuscript read.
The 23rd annual Women Writing The West conference will be held at Loew’s Ventana Canyon Resort Oct. 26-28. Keynote speakers Meg Files and Maribel Alvarez will speak about how writing what you know, and using food in your writing, respectively. There will be sessions on the both the business and art of writing, as well as critique sessions, pitch appointments and the announcement of WILLA award winners.
Words on the Avenue, the local open mic dedicated to providing a supportive network for writing of all types and writers of all backgrounds will be hosting.