For the last several years, the Los Angeles Times has sponsored the Festival of Books at the campus of UCLA. The event is a two-day celebration of books for adults, teens and children. And it?s free! Sprawling throughout a corner of the large campus, people can enjoy book readings, author panels, children?s activities, great food, music and prizes.
This year, the festival will be held the weekend of April 24 and 25. Though certain events require tickets, you can obtain them free of charge at various Ticketmaster outlets (you can find Ticketmaster at Ritmo Latino, Tower Records, Wherehouse Music and Robinsons-May). For more information regarding events, parking, tickets, and other details, go to http://www.latimes.com/extras/festivalofbooks/.
As you peruse the list of panel discussions, you?ll see that Latino/a authors are well represented. So, don?t miss a chance to hear and meet such wonderful writers as Sandra Cisneros, Michael Jaime-Becerra, Felicia Luna Lemus, Gary Soto, Luis Rodriguez, and many others. Panels include titles as "Latino Writing" and "The Golden Door: Mexico Now, California Tomorrow." Most panels allow for questions and answers so you might be able to participate in the give-and-take on these compelling issues.
You can drop by booths sponsored by many fine, independent Latino bookstores such as Artesania Mexicana & Bilingual Books, Cultura Latina Bookstore and the Ethnic Edge. Also, you might want to catch Danza Azteca Xochipilli perform traditional Aztec dance on Sunday, April 25, at 2 p.m.
In the end, a broad array of literature and cultures will be represented at this celebration of books. So, take some time and enjoy as much as you can. See you there!
Daniel A. Olivas:
Daniel A. Olivas is a Chicano writer living in the San Fernando Valley. He most definitely will visit the Festival of Books. His website is www.danielolivas.com.