Editor’s Note: Big rain is expected this weekend, so the inaugural LitFest Pasadena, which was going to be largely outdoors at Central Park, has been postponed until Saturday, May 12th. Look for the same great panels, events, signing, and children’s activities. We’ll be there in May!
St. Patrick’s Day may conjure visions of pints of green beer and staggering pub crawls, but this year certain folks in Pasadena are looking to tweak this holiday in a major way.
This Saturday, March 17th, LitFest Pasadena, the area’s first community-wide book festival, has it’s coming-out party.
The idea germinated with Pulitzer Prize-winner Jonathan Gold and novelist and National University Creative Writing teacher Jervey Tervalon. They in turn approached public editor of the Pasadena Star-News Larry Wilson, who had himself been ruminating over creative ideas and events for the city. Rounding out the threesome, Light Bringer Project president and Doo Dah Parade tour de force Tom Coston came on board with his treasure trove of experience. LitFest Pasadena was on it’s way to fruition.
Two stages shall accommodate ten panels, two interviews, a reading of the play “The Yellow Wallpaper,” as well as a reading by Lian Dolan (Helen of Pasadena) from her newest book, and a performance by the remarkable Marshall Fundamental School Chorus.
The LitFest panels vary from “Cookbooks in the Age of Epicurious” featuring Jeanne Kelley, author of Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes, to 21st Century Los Angeles noir fiction, moderated by bestselling mystery writer Denise Hamilton.
“Youth Knows No Bounds: Breaking Cliques and Clichès of YA Literature” will be a panel moderated by Sherri L. Smith with Lisa Yee, Lauren Kate, Cecil Castelluci and Ron Koertge, while author Michele Zack will preside over the question of how “replacing history with fiction can create problems, opportunities, and, often, great reading.” Amongst her panelists will be William Deverell (see Creative Types), Cathy Gudis, Max Benavidez and Judith Freeman.
You’ll get a glimpse (or more so) of another Pulitzer-Prize winner, Daniel Howe (History, 2008), who will be part of the panel “Letting Down Our Hair: Reader-Friendly Books from the Ivory Tower,” along with Peter Stallybrass and Karen Lystra, and moderated by Colleen Jaurretche of Libros Schmibros.
Our very own Prospect Park Media‘s Colleen Bates will be leading “Where New York Dominates, L.A. Innovates: Six Local Publishers,” which shall include representatives from Slake, Ammo Books, Angel City Press, Rare Bird Lit, and Red Hen Press (exhibitors: all).
David Kipen will interview Jonathan Gold on the appropriately named “Julia Child” stage, and Larry Wilson will interview authors Mona Simpson and Michelle Huneven.
Whether you like poetry, graphic novels, L.A. authors, want to learn about writing with a partner (“Writing in Collaboration: Creativity and Soul-Crushing Compromise,” moderated by Andrew Nicholls), or all of the above (and more!), LitFest Pasadena will be a day of information, delights, wonder, fun, and sunshine! (Come on, Sun Gods—Arinna, Apollo, Huitzilopochtli, and Ra—we’re talking to you.)
The Chefs Center will have food trucks to re-energize and satisfy the famished, while the variety of books offered by thirty-nine exhibitors—from Vroman’s, 826LA, the Pasadena Public Library, and Write Bloody Publishing, to Little Junebugs and Once Upon a Time—will infuse the book-lover’s soul like a veritable elixir.
Saturday, March 17, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., rain or shine
Central Park, 275 S. Raymond Ave. at Del Mar Blvd.
For a complete list of exhibitors and schedule of events, visit litfestpasadena.org