Have you been itching to find new books and connect with fellow book lovers and authors? If so, mark your calendar for Saturday, March 6 and Sunday, March 7, 2021! On those days, the Tucson Festival of Books will take place. This year, the organizers of the event have adapted to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and are excited to offer a new, all-virtual experience for readers like you.
The two-day event will take place completely online and will showcase live author events for adults and children from many categories. In addition, it will feature familiar venues, such as the Arizona Daily Star stage, the Pima County Public Library Nuestras Raíces stage, and the Western National Parks and Science stage. Most content will be provided live or with live Q&A, with select sessions on demand.
The event creators are very enthusiastic to provide a safe yet engaging experience in the midst of the cancellation of last year’s festival due to the pandemic. “We value the safety of the Tucson community and are excited to share this immersive, virtual experience with all book lovers and fans of the Tucson Festival of Books,” festival executive director Melanie Morgan said in a statement to thisistucson.com.
When March arrives, don’t miss this amazing, one-of-a-kind festival! More information about the festival can be found here.
Location: Online Date: Saturday, March 6, and Sunday, March 7
The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing will be hosting their fourth annual ASU Undergraduate Writers Showcase on November 19, 2020. Join fellow ASU faculty and students as they support emerging voices in the undergraduate writing community.
Six talented writers will be sharing their work at the live reading. You can view their bios and learn more about them here. This event is a great opportunity to show your support for ASU’s undergraduate writing community and discover impressive contemporary voices.
The event will take place over Zoom and is free to attend. The reading will be open to the public but “seats” are limited, so be sure to reserve a spot through the link provided below.
For more information, or to reserve your spot, click here. We look forward to seeing you there!
Location: Zoom Date: November 19, 2020 Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Most of us grew up reading Fairy Tales. They are both bizarre and alluring and for many of us, they continue to interest us well into our adulthood. Best-selling author James Riley takes an in-depth look at fairy tales: why they are so strange, the logic within them, and why we are so fascinated by them.
Riley has written his own collection of fairy tales, which he will use to illustrate some of their most peculiar features. If you’re interested in learning more about fairy tales, this event might be perfect for you!
If you are interested in creative writing and social justice, this event might be perfect for you! This symposium will center around using creative writing as a tool for community-building, as well as for resilience. It is for anyone between the ages of 13–24 and will include panels, workshops, and time for people from the community to share their experiences. Aliento and RE:Frame Youth Arts Center have partnered together to create this event.
Tuesday’s theme is “Words that Heal,” Wednesday’s is “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action,” and Thursday’s is “Undoing to Become: Uplifting the Body, Living the Word.” This is a free event, but you must RSVP in advance because space is limited. It will be a time of reflection, learning and growth. We hope to see you there!
Date(s): July 14–16, 2020 Location: Online Time: 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Are you interested in investing some time in your writing now that you have some extra time at home on your hands? In the age of the internet, it can feel like an infinite amount of learning is at our fingertips—but something about the vastness of search engine results can make finding the right resource daunting. Luckily, ASU’s own Professor Matt Bell has a new feature on his website where he sends writing exercises right to your inbox. These exercises often make reference to a published piece of fiction and so far have ranged from writing suspense to character development.
To sign up for the writing exercises, and to check out the existing exercises, visit Matt Bell’s website here.
So, we are in our homes. There’s no getting around that. While going outside in the sunshine is great, and I definitely enjoy a long, leisurely afternoon walk, a new free-time inspired exercise regime is unlikely to happen in my world. I much prefer to curl up in a cozy sweater on a soft bank of pillows with a cup of tea and a good book. I don’t often get a chance to do this, as many of us don’t. Our lives are busy, and reading for pleasure can become a luxury which falls by the wayside.
Right now, many of us are being given a moment of pause from the to and fro of our normal lives. While this can be scary and intimidating, it can also be a time for us to reconnect. We have a moment to rediscover those things about which we are passionate. For us bibliophiles and lovers of literature, that is books and anything to do with the books. With many bookstores and libraries closed, the normal venues where we get our fix seem out of reach. To remedy this situation, authors, publishers, and book lovers the world over are uniting to establish a strong online literary community.
Many bookstores are providing curbside and online shopping via web stores or social media. Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe and Phoenix will assemble a custom book care package tailored just for you or someone you love. This is just one of the many offerings being made by local bookstores—so be sure to check your local listings and see what’s available near you. Although live, in-person events have been canceled or postponed, book tours and public literary lectures are being moved to web-based platforms for home viewing. Libraries and online magazines are offering their archives for free. A simple web search will bring you hundreds of resources, at your fingertips, for your reading pleasure. Use this time of interlude and rekindle your fire for the written word! Here are a few links to get you started:
https://www.quarantinebookclub.com/ – The Quarantine Book Club is a Zoom-based platform which hosts weekly author events. Their tag-line, “You’re stuck at home. Chat with an author,” pretty much sums up how it works. In the meetings, authors discuss their work and answer audience questions.
http://www.gutenberg.org/ – Project Gutenberg is an online library with over 60,000 books in a wide-range of subjects. These books are free for download or online viewing.
https://electricliterature.com/ – Electric Literature is a nonprofit digital publisher whose website contains essays, criticism, and literary news. Along with this content, Electric Lit’s digital magazines, Recommended Reading and The Commuter offer short stories, novel excerpts, poetry, flash fiction, and graphic narrative.
For the Kids
https://www.storylineonline.net/ – Storyline Online is a streaming platform which hosts celebrity actors reading children’s books aloud alongside colorful illustrations. Readers such as Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, James Earl Jones, and Betty White bring children’s stories to life. The site also offers supplemental educational curriculum developed by educators with each book.
https://www.weareteachers.com/virtual-author-activities/ – We Are Teachers virtual community has gathered its “Big List of Children’s Authors Doing Online Read-Alouds & Activities” here. Many of these events are available via social media, and accessible using your smartphone or other mobile device.
The Kennedy Center Artist-In-Residence, Mo Willems, welcomes readers, writers, artists, and creative people everywhere to join him for Lunch Doodles. This fun series is being hosted online by The Kennedy Center daily at 1:00 pm Eastern Time. In these sessions, Willems uses his doodles to teach artists of all levels how to get creative with written and visual art. Each day, Willems is providing new inspiration and fun ideas to keep our creative sides busy while we keep our bodies healthy.
Don’t worry if you can’t be there for the 1:00 pm live stream, each session is recorded and can be found on The Kennedy Center website or on YouTube for free streaming! Go join Willems on his journey to spread the joy of art in its simplest form: doodling.
For more information about this series, click here.
It’s likely that your daily life has been affected by the spread of COVID-19 in the United States. News sources and social media are constantly being inundated with updates on cases, school closures, and panic buying. Amidst the chaos, it’s important to help one another in these tremulous times.
While everyone’s lives are being affected by this pandemic, some suffer more than others. Across the U.S., millions of children depend on schools to provide them not only to learn, but also to eat. In light of nationwide school closures, Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams have teamed up with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry to create #savewithstories. Celebrities across the nation are reading children’s stories through Instagram and Facebook, as well as collecting donations to ensure that school and community programs are well-equipped to keep kids fed and learning.
For more information about this program, and to donate, click here, and be sure to follow this initiative on Instagram at @savewithstories.
The Tucson Festival of Books takes place next Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This event includes panels from over 350 visiting authors, as well as countless activities and performances. If you are interested in attending but want to avoid a cumbersome drive, Changing Hands Bookstore is offering a bus ride to the festival on Saturday, March 14!
Tickets can be purchased any time from March 1–14 for $65 per person. Those looking to attend this event should arrive at either Changing Hand’s Phoenix location at 6:45 a.m. or the Tempe location at 7:15 a.m. Tickets also include a continental breakfast, coffee, water, and a goodie bag with advanced reader copies of books! Participants will arrive in time for the festival’s opening and will be able to spend the day as they please, reconvening with the bookstore group at 5:45 p.m.
For more information about this event, and to purchase tickets, click here, and to learn more about the Tucson Festival of Books, click here.
Guest speaker Professor Ruben Espinosa is coming from El Paso to ASU! He will speak about the intersection of Shakespeare and Latinx culture in film, media, fiction, and social networks.
Using border epistemologies to analyze the significant literary legacy for Latinxs, Espinosa will discuss the value of recognizing the influence of the underrepresented Latinx perspectives in the ongoing study of Shakespeare.
You won’t want to miss this free, public, thought-provoking talk!
Ruben Espinosa, an associate professor of English at the University of Texas at El Paso, serves on the Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Association of America and is co-editor of “Shakespeare and Immigration.”