LitFest Pasadena

Jonathan Gold

In Memoriam: 2019’s LitFest Pasadena was dedicated to Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize winning food critic, who was a frequent participant and supporter of ours. He was also a contributor to our Literature for Life online publication and teacher resource, which brings authors into classrooms in Los Angeles public schools.

Scenes & Words from the
2019 LitFest Pasadena Weekend!

Unless otherwise noted, all photos are thanks to LitFest Pasadena official photographer Brian Biery.

 

Photo by Tori Eldridge

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

Tori Eldridge and author Gary Phillip

 

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Before it begins…

 

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… and then they came…

 

It was a full house at the Playhouse for
Lisa See and Nina Revoyr in Conversation with Janet Fitch“…

 

 

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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

Poets in Distress; photo by Rene Bender.

 

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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

 

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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

 

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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One of our favorite spots for a panel – the historic and cozy Pasadena Playhouse Library

L-R: Patrick Howell, Pete Magill, Bob Kulhan, and Bruce Craven: “How to Lead Without Losing Your Head.”

Community Storytellers” with Joshua Castro, Sonia Grace, Penelope Lowder, and Jaha Zainabu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L-R: Christina Hoag, Sheila Sobel, Ann Rednisch Stampler, and Jeff Sweat: “Writing Strong YA Female Characters in the #MeToo Era.”

L-R: Vanessa Carlisle, Natalie West, and Christa Sacco in “#WeToo: Sex Work in the Wake of a Movement.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nefertiti Austin speaking during “Queer, Adoptive, and Nontraditional Families: Writing Our Truth.”

Pat Alderete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queer, Adoptive, and Nontraditional Families: Writing Our Truth.”

L-R: Carla Sameth, Cheryl Klein, Nefertiti Austin, and Pat Alderete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Lead Without Losing Your Head
Lessons in Leadership from Game of Thrones, Second City, and the Third World
with
Patrick Howell, Pete Magill (moderator), Bob Kulhan, and Bruce Craven

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Stepping Up for Open Mic
in Zona Rosa Alley

 

 

 

 

 

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The Citizen Poets Sparking Our Civic Imagination
with the
Pasadena Rose Poets
Gerda Govine Ituarte, Toni Mosley, Shahé Mankerian, and Hazel Clayton Harrison

 

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Four Pelekinesis authors meet for the first time and discuss
A Stranger Comes to Town
with
David Scott Ewers, Sean Pravica, Justin J. Murphy, and Adam Greenfield

 

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As the sun sets and the lights turn on in the lovely Pasadena Playhouse courtyard…
poets
Douglas Manuel, Michelle Brittan Rosado, William Archila, and Lory Bedikian
read their own work
in
Diving into the Wreck
The Inheritance of Trauma

 

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Thank you, Georgia Jeffries, for moderating
Book to TV
with
Attica Locke, Gina Fattore, and Jim Gavin

 

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The Playhouse District is magical…

Vroman’s Bookstore Courtyard, the Pasadena Playhouse, Zona Rosa Caffe Alley, The Stand, and El Portal

 

 

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The Modern Wave of Middle Grade
with
Leslie Margolis, Kitty Felde, Jerry Mahoney, Doreen Spicer-Danelly, and Dana Middleton (moderator)

 

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L-R: Colleen Dunn Bates, Thomas Backer, PhD., and Annabel Warren during “Collaboration in Publishing: What Works—and What Doesn’t?

Editor Susan LaTempa speaks during “Collaboration” panel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Creating the Creator
Do Our Institutions Do Enough to Sustain the Literary Arts?
with
Meng Jin, Kirin Khan, Nick Taylor (moderator), and Joel Tomfohr

 

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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!

 

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Sean Bernard moderating “Behind the Scenes of Southern California Lit Journals” with Allie Vernon, Kevin Brown, Emily Schuck, Viva Padilla, and Anna Leahy.

 

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Writing for the Theatre
SoCal Playwrights Share Insights on Playwriting

with
Jonathan Josephson, Josh Gershick, Roger Bean, Diana, Burbano, and Sarah Tuft

 

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Writing Our Own Codices
Acts of Resistance to 500 Years of Detentions and Killings
with
Sandy Rodriguez, Adrian Arancibia, Darren J. de Leon,
Leticia Hernández, Adolfo Guzman-Lopez, Arminé Iknadossian,
Yago S. Cura, Dr. Diana Magaloni, and Linda Ravenswood.

 

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What You Need to Know About Publishing
with
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)

 

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Book Club for Kids
A Live Podcast Taping
with
Voice over artist Veronica Lopez, radio legend Kitty Felde, and Peasprout Chen author Henry Lien

 

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Lenguas Revoltosas
Writers of Color Disrupting Traditional Literary Zones
with
Veronica Reyes, Angelina Sáenz, Olga Garcia Echeverría, Sehba Sarwar, and Tanya Ko Hong

 

 

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Celebrating the bicentennial and “radical optimism” of America’s “first bard of democracy.”

Happy Birthday, Walt Whitman!
with
Amber West, Dominiqua Dickey, and Susannah Rodríguez Drissi

 

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Is Traditional Masculinity Toxic?
with
Matt Englar-Carlson, Ioakim Boutakidis, Sehba Sarwar, and Jinghuan Liu Tervalon (moderator)

 

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Thelma Reyna, Elline Lipkin, and Pauli Dutton
editors of the award-winning Altadena Poetry Review Anthology
host a reading by Pushcart Prize-nominees

 

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Letters Under Rock
Cindy Rinne & Bory Thach

 

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Corey Roskin moderates
You Might As Well Live
Traversing Pain, Pleasure, and Everything In Between in the Queer Memoir
with
Alex Espinoza, Karen Tongson, Carla Sameth, and Ali Liebegott

 

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No Longer the Scream Queens
Women’s Roles in Horror
Ashley Santana, moderator
with
Kate Jonez, Kate Maruyama, Kathryn McGee, and Lisa Morton

 

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Be True to You
“Own Voices” and Empathy in YA
Jeff Sweat, moderator
with
Karol Ruth Silverstein, Kayla Cagan, Abdi Nazemian, and CB Lee

 

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Southland Poets Laureate
A Celebration of Literature
with
Ron Koertge, Charles Flowers, Teresa Mei Chuc, Hazel Clayton Harrison, and John Brantingham

 

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Race & the Literary Life
with
Jervey Tervalon, Jean Guerrero, Keenan Norris, Abel Salas, Tim Stiles, and Kia Penso

 

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Literary Listening
Making Great Audio Books
with
Jeffrey Kafer, Steve Sidawi, Petrea Burchard (moderator), Jamie Dupras, and Amy Rubinate

 

 

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The Roswell Award 2019

 

 

 

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Tomorrow Prize 2019

 


 

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Thanks to moderator Justin Chapman
and the
Pasadena Weekly
with
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

 

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Red Hen Presents
Poems in Conversation
with
Kim Dower, William Archila, Doug Manuel, and Ron Koertge

 

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Motels, Money, Murder, and Mayhem
True Crime as Entertainment
with
Frank Girardot, Jr. (moderator), Kari Martin, Dr. Scott, and Dr. Shiloh

 

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Three Shades of Mystery 
Sisters in Crime LA
with
GB Pool, Janet Elizabeth Lynn, Anne Louise Bannon (moderator), Nancy Cole Silverman, and Sybil Johnson

 

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Shades & Shadows
presented by Xach Fromson
with
Maria Alexander, Wesley Chu, Christa Faust, Cody Goodfellow, and Lucio Rodriguez

 

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Sunday Open Mic
hosted by
Ricardo Reyes

 

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How Jonathan Gold Reinvented Los Angeles

with
Amy Scattergood, Laura Gabbert, Laurie Ochoa, John Powell, and Jervey Tervalon

 

 

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On behalf of Light Bringer Project, the LitFest Organizing Committee, 
and all of our sponsors,
thank you for joining us at LitFest Pasadena 2019!

 

 

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LitFest Pasadena 2019 Schedule

Saturday & Sunday, May 18 & 19
1:00pm to 10:00pm
Playhouse District
FREE

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!


Saturday, May 18

 


Sunday, May 19