Lynell George reviews The Compton Cowboys, Janet Fitch continues “Writing Wednesday” live on Facebook, Lian Dolan launches The Sweeney Sisters, get a dose of noir with Gary Phillips’ story in The Faking of the President, indulge in poetry with Red Hen Press’s “Poetry Hour,” check out the review of Aimee Liu’s new release Glorious Boy, and did you know Flintridge Bookstore has “call-in” service?
Get all the details – and so much more! – at
LitFest Pasadena News Update:
March 16, 2020
On March 15, the CDC recommended cancelling events for the next 8 weeks that would have more than 50 people in attendance. Under that recommendation, we are cancelling the upcoming LitFest Pasadena, scheduled for May 16-17, 2020.
Naturally, this is disappointing, but the correct decision at this time. We’ll keep everyone updated as we move forward.
In the meantime, good health to you all, and to all of your loved ones and neighbors as we work together as a community and nation to get through this crisis together.
The LitFest Pasadena team
Jervey Tervalon, LitFest Pasadena Co-Founder and Artistic Director
Tom Coston, Light Bringer Project, Chair
Paddy Hurley, Light Bringer Project, Managing Director
Kat Ward, Light Bringer Project, Event Manager
Angelina Coppola, Light Bringer Project, Education Outreach
LitFest Pasadena Planning Committee:
Colleen Dunn Bates, Prospect Park Books
Tobi Harper, Red Hen Press
Julia Callahan, Rare Bird Books
Gary Phillips, writer of television & novels
Dana Middleton, author, children’s books
Monica Fernandez, Red Hen Press
Jessica Calderon, Playhouse District Association
Xach Fromson, Shades & Shadows
Nairy Kevork, poet and writing coach
Christine Sneed, Northwestern University, author
Leah Clancy, poet and writer
Science Fiction writers!
Updated details regarding the Tomorrow Prize for LA County high school students, as well as the Roswell Award for science fiction-writing adults the world over…
Submissions are now
for LitFest Pasadena 2020
Thank you to everyone
who submitted proposals!
SAVE THE DATE!
Presented at venues throughout the
beautiful and historic Playhouse District
LitFest Pasadena is coming…
May 16-17, 2020
Offering panels, readings,
workshops, and performances
that engage and instruct, question and discuss, stimulate and inspire.
And, it’s all free!
is committed to highlighting local authors,
poets, and publishers
– though everyone is welcome! –
and to featuring events that mirror
our community’s diversity and depth.
Soon we’ll be
putting out the call for proposals,
so start mulling over submission ideas!
More details to come!
LitFest Pasadena is presented by
Light Bringer Project
and sponsored by…
Scenes & Words from the
2019 LitFest Pasadena Weekend!
Unless otherwise noted, all photos are thanks to LitFest Pasadena official photographer Brian Biery.
I spent an invigorating weekend at LitFest Pasadena soaking in the rich L.A. writing community, and picked up these book gems from Lisa See, Nina Revoyr and Kate Jonez. Had a blast watching crime fiction writers Gary Phillips, Steph Cha, Tod Goldberg, Joe Ide, and Paddy Hirsch answer hilarious questions by Naomi Hirahara at Vroman’s Bookstore. Hung out (and ate!) at The Stand while listening to Noir at the Bar readings from Ryan Gattis, Sarah M. Chen, and hosts Eric Beetner and Steve W. Lauden. Then came back the next day for HWA friends Lisa Morton, Kathryn E. McGee, and Kate Maruyama.…. What a weekend! Feeling very grateful to live in Los Angeles.—Tori Eldridge
Before it begins…
… and then they came…
It was a full house at the Playhouse for
“Lisa See and Nina Revoyr in Conversation with Janet Fitch“…
Litfest is an amazing, first class event,
giving writers exposure and exposing readers to writers they may not be familiar with.
It puts great literature out on the street for passersby to discover and enjoy!
Poets in Distress are tremendously grateful at having been included.
—Johnny Bender / Brutus Chieftain, “Poets in Distress Melting Mountains”
A great way to kick off our weekend – celebrating Bookstores We Love! Thank you, Jen Ramos of our beloved Vroman’s, Dan Whitmore of Whitmore Rare Books, Jenny Tarzian of Flintridge Bookstore, as well as Mary Williams of Skylight Books for bringing a bit of Los Feliz our way, and Katie Orphan representin’ downtown LA and The Last Bookstore. Moderated by Julia Callahan of Rare Bird Books.
“As a first time panelist, I had a wonderful time being included in the “Bookstores We Love” conversation. Julia was a great moderator and kept the conversation flowing and interesting. It was wonderful to see the audience grow as we went along, clearly enjoying hearing a little bit about the behind the scenes workings of independent bookstores.”
“For my first visit to Pasadena LitFest, I greatly enjoyed the clear organization (and helpful map!) behind the festival. There was a wide variety of interesting panels and panelists. Set in the heart of Pasadena, there was easy access to great food, tons of parking options, and an excitement and love of books readily found. Quirky booths, and interesting folks filled a happy afternoon.”
—Jenny Tarzian of Flintridge Bookstore, Bookstores We Love, LitFest Pasadena 2019
Our thanks to Leah Clancy and Erick Szentmiklosy of The Haiku Guys + Gals
for creating free haiku
… and thanks to Garrett of Time Travel Typewriters and Aaron of Typewriter Connection
for the Typewriter Guys’ pop-up
with fabulously restored vintage “writing machines.”
History sits before us,
the “clack, clack, clack”
Remembrance of sound
Memoirs of Black LA
The Burning Desire to Remember
“Inspired, and inspiring.”
—Erin Aubry Kaplan
Thanks to panelists, writers, and authors
Tori Reid, Eric Priestly, Michael Datcher, Jervey Tervalon, and Erin Aubry Kaplan
Thanks to the Northeast Mental Health and Wellness Center, and thank you to all the writers and poets who participated in this powerful, fun, and moving reading, “From Silence to Song.”
Watch this reading on YouTube here.
One of our favorite spots for a panel – the historic and cozy Pasadena Playhouse Library…
How to Lead Without Losing Your Head
Lessons in Leadership from Game of Thrones, Second City, and the Third World
Patrick Howell, Pete Magill (moderator), Bob Kulhan, and Bruce Craven
Stepping Up for Open Mic
in Zona Rosa Alley
The Citizen Poets Sparking Our Civic Imagination
Pasadena Rose Poets
Gerda Govine Ituarte, Toni Mosley, Shahé Mankerian, and Hazel Clayton Harrison
Four Pelekinesis authors meet for the first time and discuss
A Stranger Comes to Town
David Scott Ewers, Sean Pravica, Justin J. Murphy, and Adam Greenfield
As the sun sets and the lights turn on in the lovely Pasadena Playhouse courtyard…
Douglas Manuel, Michelle Brittan Rosado, William Archila, and Lory Bedikian
read their own work
Diving into the Wreck
The Inheritance of Trauma
Thank you, Georgia Jeffries, for moderating
Book to TV
Attica Locke, Gina Fattore, and Jim Gavin
The Playhouse District is magical…
Vroman’s Bookstore Courtyard, the Pasadena Playhouse, Zona Rosa Caffe Alley, The Stand, and El Portal
The Modern Wave of Middle Grade
Leslie Margolis, Kitty Felde, Jerry Mahoney, Doreen Spicer-Danelly, and Dana Middleton (moderator)
Creating the Creator
Do Our Institutions Do Enough to Sustain the Literary Arts?
Meng Jin, Kirin Khan, Nick Taylor (moderator), and Joel Tomfohr
The Pasadena Playhouse courtyard was busy! LitFest fans listened to waves of poetry readings, ventured into the lobby to shop for author’s books at Vroman’s “satellite” store, sat with Nairy Fstukh for a one-on-one writing session, and extended an arm for an original Abby Edelstein henna design!
Writing for the Theatre
SoCal Playwrights Share Insights on Playwriting
Jonathan Josephson, Josh Gershick, Roger Bean, Diana, Burbano, and Sarah Tuft
Writing Our Own Codices
Acts of Resistance to 500 Years of Detentions and Killings
Sandy Rodriguez, Adrian Arancibia, Darren J. de Leon,
Leticia Hernández, Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, Arminé Iknadossian,
Yago S. Cura, Dr. Diana Magaloni, and Linda Ravenswood.
What You Need to Know About Publishing
Julia Callahan (Red Bird Books), Patty Rodriguez (Lil Libros), Olivia Taylor Smith (Unnamed Press),
Colleen Dunn Bates (Prospect Park Books), Carrie Paterson (Doppelhouse Press), and Tobi Harper (Red Hen Press)
Book Club for Kids
A Live Podcast Taping
Voice over artist Veronica Lopez, radio legend Kitty Felde, and Peasprout Chen author Henry Lien
Writers of Color Disrupting Traditional Literary Zones
Veronica Reyes, Angelina Sáenz, Olga Garcia Echeverría, Sehba Sarwar, and Tanya Ko Hong
Celebrating the bicentennial and “radical optimism” of America’s “first bard of democracy.”
Happy Birthday, Walt Whitman!
Amber West, Dominiqua Dickey, and Susannah Rodríguez Drissi
Is Traditional Masculinity Toxic?
Matt Englar-Carlson, Ioakim Boutakidis, Sehba Sarwar, and Jinghuan Liu Tervalon (moderator)
Thelma Reyna, Elline Lipkin, and Pauli Dutton
editors of the award-winning Altadena Poetry Review Anthology
host a reading by Pushcart Prize-nominees
Letters Under Rock
Cindy Rinne & Bory Thach
Corey Roskin moderates
You Might As Well Live
Traversing Pain, Pleasure, and Everything In Between in the Queer Memoir
Alex Espinoza, Karen Tongson, Carla Sameth, and Ali Liebegott
No Longer the Scream Queens
Women’s Roles in Horror
Ashley Santana, moderator
Kate Jonez, Kate Maruyama, Kathryn McGee, and Lisa Morton
Be True to You
“Own Voices” and Empathy in YA
Jeff Sweat, moderator
Karol Ruth Silverstein, Kayla Cagan, Abdi Nazemian, and CB Lee
Southland Poets Laureate
A Celebration of Literature
Ron Koertge, Charles Flowers, Teresa Mei Chuc, Hazel Clayton Harrison, and John Brantingham
Race & the Literary Life
Jervey Tervalon, Jean Guerrero, Keenan Norris, Abel Salas, Tim Stiles, and Kia Penso
Making Great Audio Books
Jeffrey Kafer, Steve Sidawi, Petrea Burchard (moderator), Jamie Dupras, and Amy Rubinate
The Roswell Award 2019
Tomorrow Prize 2019
Thanks to moderator Justin Chapman
Editor Kevin Uhrich, Deputy Editor André Coleman, Arts Director Carl Kozlowski, and columnist Ellen Snortland
Alternative News Sources
How Alternative Newsweeklies Are Going Strong in Changing Times
Red Hen Presents
Poems in Conversation
Kim Dower, William Archila, Doug Manuel, and Ron Koertge
Motels, Money, Murder, and Mayhem
True Crime as Entertainment
Frank Girardot, Jr. (moderator), Kari Martin, Dr. Scott, and Dr. Shiloh
Three Shades of Mystery
Sisters in Crime LA
GB Pool, Janet Elizabeth Lynn, Anne Louise Bannon (moderator), Nancy Cole Silverman, and Sybil Johnson
Shades & Shadows
presented by Xach Fromson
Maria Alexander, Wesley Chu, Christa Faust, Cody Goodfellow, and Lucio Rodriguez
Sunday Open Mic
How Jonathan Gold Reinvented Los Angeles
Amy Scattergood, Laura Gabbert, Laurie Ochoa, John Powell, and Jervey Tervalon
On behalf of Light Bringer Project, the LitFest Organizing Committee,
and all of our sponsors,
thank you for joining us at LitFest Pasadena 2019!
LitFest Pasadena 2019 Schedule
Saturday & Sunday, May 18 & 19
1:00pm to 10:00pm
The city and Southland’s free books-and-authors festival returns for its 8th year with two days of panels, discussions, readings, workshops, performances, and literary activities. Over 150 authors and special guest speakers will appear in more than 50 events from the afternoon into the late evening. LitFest Pasadena is held throughout the historic Playhouse District at Vroman’s Bookstore, the Pasadena Playhouse, and other local establishments within walking distance.
Authors’ books available for purchase at Vroman’s Bookstore and its “satellite” location in the Pasadena Playhouse lobby.
Support your authors and take home some books!