2017 LITFEST VENUES
El Portal Restaurant (North Courtyard)
695 E. Green St., Pasadena 91101
Pasadena Central Library
285 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, CA 91101
39 S. El Molino Ave. Pasadena 91101
36 S. El Molino Ave. Pasadena 91101
El Molino at Colorado Blvd. sidewalk
Walt Girdner Photo Studio and Gallery
27 S. El Molino, Pasadena, CA 91101
695 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena 91101
Zona Rosa Caffe
15 S. El Molino Ave. Pasadena 91101
Schedule as of 4/21/17 (subject to updates)
SATURDAY, MAY 20 | 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Flights of Fantasy Story Theater (Children’s Event) – Pasadena Central Library, Donald R. Wright Auditorium
Pasadena Public Library is pleased to present Flights of Fantasy Story Theater with a story time titled: “It’s All How You Look At It.”
SATURDAY, MAY 20 | 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Squirrel! Spontaneity in Conversation and Writing – Walt Girdner Photo Studio and Gallery
Capturing the unpredictable or random thought, in jokes, poems, scenes, stories. Lassooing mistakes, mishearings, misreadings. Cultivating the non-sequential mind. FREUD’s definition of a mistake: “a deliberate mental act resulting from the interference of two mutually conflicting intentions.” This is an interactive discussion and audience participation is welcome!
Janis Hirsch, Ellis Weiner, Tim Stiles, and Jervey Tervalon; Andrew Nicholls, Moderator
Poets and Allies for Resistance Headed by Khadija Anderson – Location TBD
Poets & Allies for Resistance is a monthly social justice themed reading and open mic which features 2 Black poets on the first Monday of the month at The Sidewalk Cafe in Pasadena.
Khadija Anderson, Moderator
Sunshine Noir – Vroman’s Bookstore – Courtyard
Join a lively panel of L.A. mystery writers as they explore the inspirations, challenges, and adventures involved in writing about crime, danger, mystery, death, and even evil in the land of sunshine, surf, and optimism.
Phoef Sutton, Naomi Hirahara, Adam Walker Phillips, Steph Cha; Gary Phillips, Moderator
The Impossibility of L.A. – Vroman’s Bookstore – Upstairs
Los Angeles is a city like no other, one that countless writers have attempted to tell the tale of. Artists, entertainers, moguls, immigrants, commoners, it’s a world city and the world within a city. So how does any one person write about it all? Los Angeles-based poet Mike Sonksen, novelist Daniel Olivas, Chiwan Choi and Traci Kato Kuriyama will tackle the topic in this panel just as they tackle it again and again in their work.
Mike Sonksen, Moderator
Writing Indigenous California from Island of the Blue Dolphins to American Genocide – Sculpture Plaza – The Stand
Description to come
Luis Rodriguez, Greg Sarris, Dr. Melissa Leal, Rose Davis; Shonda Buchanan, Moderator
SATURDAY, MAY 20 | 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Las Lunas Locos’ Poems on Demand – El Molino at Colorado Blvd. sidewalk
Las Lunas Locas is a safe space for a community of self-identifying womyn to write, right, and rite. They meet at Avenue 50 Studio every Monday night at 7pm.
SATURDAY, MAY 20 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Cute Filipinos on a Saturday Afternoon – Walt Girdner Photo Studio and Gallery
In the Raymond Chandler novel, The Big Sleep, a female character asks famed detective Philip Marlowe if she looks cute. Marlowe responds with “Cute as a Filipino on a Saturday night.” This reference to a community in 1930s Los Angeles has drawn ire and confusion–what does “Cute as a Filipino on a Saturday night” mean? “Cute” writers Noel Alumit, Boni Alvarez, Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard, Angela Penaredondo and Chris Santiago reflect on writing about and by the second largest Asian American group in the United States.
Boni Alvarez, Cecilia Manguerra-Brainard, Angela Penaredondo and Chris Santiago; Noel Alumit, Moderator
Choices and Chances: An Immersive Readings Experience from Literature for Life – Friendship Room at Pasadena Playhouse (off courtyard)
Immerse yourself in choices and chance, experience and life in a special preview reading by authors from Issue 5 of the Literature for Life literary journal. Hear stories and poems that take you deep within the minds and lives of their characters and explore what is choice, what is chance, and what lies somewhere in between?
Veda Stamps, Ximena Salas, Candace Pearson, Sofia Leggio, Bill Cushing; Rosalind Helfand, Moderator
Running and Writing: The Soul’s Escape – Vroman’s Bookstore – Courtyard
In a time when millions of American run marathons, half marathons and elite runners try to break the 2-hour barrier for marathon, runners and writers are finding ways these two activities connect. Here’s how an Atlantic article describes it: “the steady, repetitive movement of distance running triggers one’s intellectual autopilot, freeing room for creative thought. Neuroscientists describe this experience as a feeling of timelessness, where attention drifts and imagination thrives.” Running offers writer escape with purpose; writing is the ultimate creative output from running.
Denise Hamilton, Pete Magill, Carolina Miranda, Dr. Steve Smith, Keenan Norris, George Wright; Jinghuan Liu Tervalon, Moderator
15 Poets – Vroman’s Bookstore – Upstairs
Description to come
Thelma Reyna, Moderator
SATURDAY, MAY 20 | 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Reiyukai America Hosts Crafting with Recycled Materials (Children & Family Event) – Pasadena Central Library, Great Hall
Pasadena Public Library presents crafting with recycled materials with Reiyukai America.
SATURDAY, MAY 20 | 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Making Space, Holding Space: When ‘Community’ Is Not Just a Marketing Term – Walt Girdner Photo Studio and Gallery
What does it mean to have an event or venue in a quickly changing landscape where residents and neighbors are being displaced and erased? A discussion surrounding literary activism, community building and community protection in a hyper-Capitalist and emerging Fascist world.
Eric Eztli (Proyecto Vecindad), Peter Woods (#90X90LA), F Douglas Brown (Un:Fade:Able), Karineh Mahdessian (La Palabra); Chiwan Choi (Writ Large Press), Moderator
The Roswell Award! Dramatic Readings of the Best in Short SciFi from Writers at Home and Around the World – Friendship Room at Pasadena Playhouse (off courtyard)
Experience readings of the world’s top scifi short stories by adults at The Roswell Award! Special guest performers will treat audiences to a dramatic reading of the works of five finalists for The Roswell Award. After the reading, a prize will be awarded to the top story writer! This program is presented by Sci-Fes L.A. and Light Bringer Project with the support of Mysterious Galaxy Books and Hi De Ho Books & Comics.
Refugee America – Vroman’s Bookstore – Upstairs
Some of us can’t go home because home doesn’t exist anymore. With refugee crises and debates around immigration exploding all over the Western world, this panel of novelists whose works explore the refugee experiences of displaced Sri Lankans, Guatemalans, and Iranian-Americans speak to a subject as dire, contested and vital as any our world.
Laleh Khadivi, Nayomi Munaweera, Micheline Aharonian Marcom; Keenan Norris, Moderator
L.A. Times Restaurant Critic Jonathan Gold on the Legacy of Julia Child with Special Guests – Vroman’s Bookstore – Courtyard
L.A. Times Restaurant Critic Jonathan Gold in conversation with special guests on the legacy of Julia Child: legendary chef, writer, television personality, and Pasadena native.
Red Hen Press Poetry Reading – Sculpture Plaza – The Stand
Red Hen Press is a Pasadena press that loves Pasadena poets. Come hear them read and you’re sure to love them too!
Lisa C. Krueger, Genevieve Kaplan, Douglas Kearney, Ron Koertge; Tobi Harper, Moderator
SATURDAY, MAY 20 | 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Shades and Shadows Reading Series – Friendship Room at Pasadena Playhouse (off courtyard)
Description to come
SATURDAY, MAY 20 – SUNDAY, MAY 21 | 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
“Expressing Feelings Through Art” Annual Art Exhibition – Art Center College of Design, South Campus
Light Bringer Project presents works created by L.A. County High School Youth accompanied by written statements expressing the emotions in their art.
FREE. Open for Viewing Saturday & Sunday. Located off Site at Art Center College of Design, South Campus, 950 S. Raymond Avenue (& Glenarm Street).
SUNDAY, MAY 21 | 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
The Kurdish Trilogy Author Laleh Khadivi In Conversation with Keenan Norris – The Makineni Library at Pasadena Playhouse
Iranian-American novelist and documentary filmmaker Laleh Khadivi is the author of the Kurdish Trilogy, including her debut novel, The Age of Orphans, which received the Whiting Award for Fiction. Her debut documentary film 900 WOMEN aired on A&E and premiered at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. Her fiction and non-fiction can be found in The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, VQR, The Sun and other publications. She is the recipient of a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Grant and a 2016 Pushcart Prize for her story Wanderlust. She lives in Northern California where she teaches at the University of San Francisco.
Laleh Khadivi; Keenan Norris, Moderator
The Humor & Heartbreak of L.A. – Friendship Room at Pasadena Playhouse (off courtyard)
The L.A. Times’s great columnist Jack Smith once wrote, “The real Los Angeles is invisible.” Critic and essayist David Ulin moderates a conversation with four novelists who have all set stories in L.A, with varying degrees of humor and heartbreak, realism and imagination, fame and invisibility. What makes L.A. work as a setting for these perceptive novelists?
Nina Revoyr, Lian Dolan, Christopher Noxon, Dana Johnson; David Ulin, Moderator
Getting Published – Sculpture Plaza – The Stand
Literary agent B. J. Robins will answer your questions on publishing.
B. J. Robins, Moderator
Travel Panel – El Portal Restaurant – North Courtyard
Description to come
Caroline Allen, Leo Bulgarini, Tom Lutz; Jervey Tervalon, Moderator
HUIZACHE [wee-sah-chae]: A Panel On and Readings from the Country’s Premiere Latino Lit Magazine – Zona Rosa Caffe
Huizache [wee-SAW-chay] Magazine: Writers Jesús Treviño, Abel Salas and Alana Hinojosa represent the “Chicano,” “Chican@” and “Xicanx” eras, respectively. While each hails from a distinct generation in the history of Mexican American letters and literature, they have all written for HUIZACHE, the nation’s preeminent Latino literary magazine, a six-year-old publication which also frequently features Black, Asian and Native American authors alongside writing from the western U.S. by storytellers and poets who are not always “exotic” imports. They are just as likely to be wordslingers whose histories and written narratives actually precede the arrival of “frontier” settlers and their mythical–as well as much exaggerated–“taming” of the west. As inter-media and cross genre documentarians, poets and journalists and writers of fiction, the panelists are emblematic of why critics have described Huizache as “The Paris Review of Latino lit in the U.S.
Alana de Hinojosa, Jesús Treviño; Abel Salas, Moderator
SUNDAY, MAY 21 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
The Tomorrow Prize! Dramatic Readings of the Best in Short SciFi by L.A. County’s Teens – Sculpture Plaza – The Stand
Experience readings of L.A. County’s top teen scifi short stories at The Tomorrow Prize! Special guest performers will treat audiences to a dramatic reading of the works of five finalists for The Tomorrow Prize. After the reading, prizes will be awarded to the top story writers! This program is presented by Sci-Fes L.A. and Light Bringer Project with the support of Mysterious Galaxy Books and Hi De Ho Books & Comics.
Queer and Trans Authors of the Valley – Location TBD
Queer and trans authors of the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys discuss how intersecting identities affect and are affected by writing and publishing.
Blas Falconer, Josh Gershick, Bonnie S. Kaplan, C.B. Lee; Tobi Harper, Moderator
Mixed-Race and Interracial Experience To Make Meaning in a Time of Protest – El Portal Restaurant – North Courtyard
With issues of race, ethnicity, identity and citizenship very much at the forefront of our national dialogue, great writers play a more important role than ever in picking through the chatter, the soundbites and the propaganda that passes for news. Award-winning novelists Heidi Durrow (The Girl Who Fell from the Sky) and Natasha Deon (GRACE) join Pasadena Lit Fest 2017 for a compelling discussion about the experience of being of mixed race in modern times and of interracial union in antebellum America.
Heidi Durrow, Natasha Deon; Keenan Norris, Moderator
The L.A. Cookbook: How the City Eats & Cooks – Friendship Room at Pasadena Playhouse (off courtyard)
Some say Los Angeles is the country’s best food city, and who are we to argue? Joseph Shuldiner of The Institute of Domestic Technology will moderate a discussion among some of the city’s most interesting cookbook authors about immigrant influences in SoCal cuisine, the accessibility of ingredients, hybrid cooking styles, and how L.A.’s food is influencing the world. Presented by LitFest Pasadena and Prospect Park Books.
Bill Esparza, Amelia Saltsman; Joseph Shuldiner, Moderator
Hostile Environment Reporting for Young Female Journalists – The Makineni Library at Pasadena Playhouse
The award-winning author and journalist Jean Guerrero discusses her experience reporting out of hostile environments in Latin America, including the most transited drug and human smuggling routes at the U.S.-Mexico border, opium poppy plantations in southern Mexico and the sewers of Tijuana. She will be in conversation with Alex Trafton, U.S. Operations director for Global Media Risk, who has extensive experience conducting risk consultancy and training for journalists in conflict zones and accompanied her for coverage on a PBS NewsHour feature that won several San Diego Press Club awards.
Jean Guerrero, Brooke Binkowski; Alex Trafton, Moderator
Poetry with Jessica Ceballos Campbell of Avenue 50 – Zona Rosa Caffe
Description to come
SUNDAY, MAY 21 | 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Writing in the Times of Black Lives Matter & Resistance to Trumpism – Friendship Room at Pasadena Playhouse (off courtyard)
Description to come
Dana Johnson, Nalo Hopkinson, Lisa Teasley; Jervey Tervalon, Moderator
Poet Laureates – Zona Rosa Caffe
Description to come
Gentrification and Displacement, in Relation to Spaces and Art – Location TBD
Description to come
“Fusion-Ha!”: Manga Influences on American Comic Books – The Makineni Library at Pasadena Playhouse
Sailor Moon! Pokemon! DragonBall Z! Today, we are seeing the impact manga and anime have had on American comics and culture, from Nickelodeon’s show Avatar the Last Airbender, to Marvel and DC’s manga-influenced artists Babs Tarr (Batgirl), Annie Wu (Black Canary), and Kris Anka (Captain Marvel), to the rise of award-winning webcomics Megatokyo and MFK. Join us in a discussion on manga’s effect on American comics and what that means for its future.
Small Presses – El Portal Restaurant – North Courtyard
Description to come
Tunnel Magazine – Sculpture Plaza – The Stand
Tunnel Magazine is an online and irl art community for young people, based in Los Angeles but drawing submissions from around the globe. Editors of the magazine, all teens, discuss the importance of creating and sharing art in a short panel. This will be followed by an open mic and artmaking workshop, focused on sharing ideas about the Teen Experience. Accompanied musically by Nathaniel Stephens and Timothy Franco.
Amelia Anthony, Brandon Jung