Flights of Literary Fantasy

L.A. Times Book Festival features Latino authors & entertainers

By David Garcia
Published on LatinoLA: April 24, 2003

Flights of Literary Fantasy

The eighth annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will feature seven stages offering a variety of entertainment, including children's television characters, storytelling by authors, actors and television personalities, poetry readings by some of the most popular poets in the country, cooking demonstrations, classical theater, and dance and musical performances.

More than 325 of the country's best-selling authors are scheduled to participate in this year's festival, which will be held from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 27.

Stage performances are free and do not require tickets. On-campus parking is $7.
Event information is also available online at http://www.latimes.com/festivalofbooks or by calling 1-800-LA TIMES, ext. 7BOOK.

The Festival of Books -- one of the nation's premier public literary festivals -- was created in 1996 by The Times to promote literacy, celebrate the written word and bring together those who create books with the people who love to read them. It is presented in association with UCLA.

The Barnes & Noble Stage (author discussion) will feature Jorge Ramos ("No Borders: A Journalist's Search for Home") while the Cooking Stage will host
television and radio show hosts and restaurateurs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger ("Cooking with Too Hot Tamales," "Mexican Food for Dummies") and chef and restaurateur Alice Tapp ("Tamales 101").

On Sunday, Marcos Villatoro will host a live broadcast of KPFK-FM's "Shelflife," in conversation with Cristina Garcia, author ("Monkey Hunting") and editor of "Cubanismo!: An Anthology of Contemporary Cuban Literature." PEN Center USA will present a series of readings by "PEN in the Classroom" students and "Emerging Voices" fellows.

Entertainment includes Afro-Cuban Latin jazz by Susie Hansen's Latin Band; traditional Filipino dance and music by the Kayamanan Ng Lahi Ensemble; classic guitar performance by The Duo; music and dance by L.A. Nation; and Native American music and poetry by John Trudell.

The Great Works Stage is a new venue for the festival and will feature continuous readings from "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac and "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

Poetry Stage (readings) includes contributions by Sandra Cisneros ("Caramelo") and Juan Felipe Herrera ("Notebooks of a Chile Verde Smuggler").

The Reading by 9 Storytelling Stage will feature Juan Felipe Herrera ("Grandma and Me at the Flea"); Kathleen Krull ("Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez") and bilingual author, singer and songwriter Jose-Luis Orozco on Saturday. And on
Sunday, readings by WB Network's Sara Paxton and Julio Oscar Mechoso from the television series, "Greetings from Tucson".

Entertainment will include a multicultural literacy program presented by the Los Angeles Children's Museum Reader's Theatre Project and storytelling theater by Flights of Fantasy.

Other authors, poets, entertainers and illustrators participating include: Joe Cepeda, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Maria Amparo Escandon, Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, Robert Lopez, Cheech Marin, Adam Rivera, Richard Rodriguez, Thomas Sanchez, Gary Soto, Alicia Guadalupe Tapp, Umbalaye, and James Diego Vigil.

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