Scott Martin-Rowe

Local Authors from Local Presses: Reading
Saturday, May 7, 5:30pm
Red Hen Press

Scott Martin-Rowe is a National Board Certified teacher librarian in the Los Angeles Unified School District and the first in his family to graduate from college. Aside from teaching, he enjoys reading, writing, running, and spending time with his family and friends. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, writer Kate Martin Rowe, his four energetic children, one lazy dog, and an opinionated cat. Though he has many favorite students from his 15 years of teaching, Katherine Trejo is one of his most favorite (but don’t tell the others).

Sehba Sarwar

Reading at LitFest Pasadena
Saturday, May 14, 5:15pm
Vroman's Courtyard

Sehba Sarwar’s writings and art focus on migration and displacement. Her essays, fiction, and poems have appeared in publications including The New York Times’ Sunday Magazine, Asia: Magazine of Asian Literature, Callaloo and elsewhere. Her short stories are anthologized by Feminist Press, Akashic Books, and Harper Collins India, while the second edition of her novel Black Wings (Veliz Books) was released in spring 2019. Born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, Sarwar spent the first half of her life in a home filled with artists, activists, and educators. She is based in Los Angeles County, and her papers are archived at the University of Houston.

Shahé Mankerian

Zephyr Poets - Reading
Saturday, May 14, 2:45pm
Vroman's Courtyard

Poet Shahé Mankerian is the principal of St. Gregory Alfred & Marguerite Hovsepian School in Pasadena, California. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors at the International Armenian Literary Alliance (IALA). He co-directed the Los Angeles Writing Project at California State University, Los Angeles from 2008-2018. He has served on the board of Mizna and assisted as a contributing editor at Rockvale Review. Shahé received the 2017 Editors’ Prize from MARY: A Journal of New Writing. Mankerian’s debut poetry collection, History of Forgetfulness, which was published by the Fly on the Wall Press in the United Kingdom in October of 2021, has been a ?nalist at four prestigious competitions: the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, the Bibby First Book Competition, the Quercus Review Press, Fall Poetry Book Award, and the White Pine Press Poetry Prize.

Shonda Buchanan

Sci-Fi, Race & Empowerment: How Octavia Butler Changed the American Literary Landscape
Saturday, April 30, 5:00pm
Mountain View Mausoleum

Pushcart nominee, USC Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow and Department of Cultural Affairs City of Los Angeles (COLA) Fellow, Shonda Buchanan is the author of five books, including the award-winning memoir, Black Indian. Board of Trustees President at Beyond Baroque, Shonda is the recipient of the Brody Arts Fellowship from the California Community Foundation, a Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and several Virginia Foundation for the Humanities grants. A Sundance Institute Writing Arts fellow and a PEN Center Emerging Voices fellow, Shonda is a finalist for the 2021 Mississippi Review poetry contest. Shonda’s memoir, Black Indian, won the 2020 Indie New Generation Book Award and was chosen by PBS NewsHour as a “top 20 books to read” to learn about institutional racism. A journalist for 25+ years, Shonda has published in the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, AWP’s The Writer’s Chronicle, Los Angeles Times Magazine and Indian Country Today. A professor at her alma mater, Loyola Marymount University, Shonda completed a collection of poetry about Nina Simone and is working on her second memoir.

Silvia Vasquez-Lavado

Resilience: An Open Book Memoir Panel
Saturday, May 14, 4:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Silvia Vasquez-Lavado is a humanitarian, adventurous mountaineer, explorer, social entrepreneur, and author. In The Shadow of The Mountain, Silvia’s critically acclaimed memoir was released February 2022. In 2016, Silvia became the first Peruvian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. By 2018, she completed climbing 7 Summits (the tallest mountain in each continent), becoming the first openly gay woman to do so. Silvia founded Courageous Girls, an organization to help survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking with opportunities to find their strength courage and cultivate their voice. Silvia is a fierce advocate for LGTBQ+ equality and women’s rights. Silvia’s achievements led her to be recognized as an Ambassador in Peru and a symbol of women empowerment worldwide. Silvia is a member of the prestigious Explorers Club, a sought-out public speaker, and a passionate mentor. Silvia’s journey will be turned into a feature film featuring Selena Gomez as Silvia.

Steph Cha

The Geography of Crime
Saturday, April 30, 2:00pm
Mountain View Mausoleum

Steph Cha is the author of Your House Will Pay, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the California Book Award, and the Juniper Song crime trilogy. She’s a critic whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, where she served as noir editor, and is the current series editor of the Best American Mystery & Suspense anthology. A native of the San Fernando Valley, she lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Tembi Locke

Telling on Yourself: The Challenges and Rewards of Writing Memoir
Saturday, May 14, 3:00pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Tembi Locke is a TV producer, actor, author and screenwriter with a passion for connecting with an audience both on the page and on the screen. Her memoir, From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home is a 2019 Reese’s Book Club pick and New York Times bestseller, and she is currently adapting the book as a limited series for Netflix with Hello Sunshine. She is an accomplished actor with over sixty film and television credits, currently recurring on Never Have I Ever. Offscreen, Tembi is a nationally recognized speaker for her keynotes on resilience, loss, and motherhood; her TEDX talk has been viewed by individuals and nonprofits worldwide. Through her work, she aims to inspire people to embrace resilience, love, and the power of community.

Teresa Mei Chuc

Pasadena Rose Poets - Reading
Saturday, May 14 , 2:00pm
Vroman's Courtyard

Teresa Mei Chuc was born in Sài Gòn, Việt Nam and immigrated to the U.S. as a refugee with her mother and brother shortly after the Việt Nam War while her father, who had served in the Army of the Republic of Việt Nam, remained in a Viet Cong “reeducation” prison camp for nine years. Poet Laureate Emerita of Altadena, California (Editor-in-Chief) 2018-2020 and a member of the Pasadena Rose Poets, Teresa Mei Chuc is the author of three collections of poetry, Red Thread (Fithian Press, 2012 & republished by Shabda Press, 2021), Keeper of the Winds (FootHills Publishing, 2014) and Invisible Light (Many Voices Press, 2018). Teresa and Doug Rawlings, American veteran of the Việt Nam War, published a collaborative poetry book, Cầu Tre / Bamboo Bridge: Conversations between a Vietnamese Boat Refugee and an American Veteran of the Việt Nam War – Told in Poetry and Prose (November 2021).

Tessa Dare

Modern Love
Saturday, May 14, 4:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty historical romances.

Mixing wit, sensuality, and emotion, Tessa writes Regency-set romance novels that feel relatable to modern readers. With her bestselling “Spindle Cove”, “Castles Ever After”, and “Girl Meets Duke” series, she has had great fun creating heroines who defy the conventions of their time—engaging in “unladylike” pursuits that range from paleontology to beer-making—and dreaming up the strong-willed, sexy heroes who find their hearts ensnared by them.

A librarian by training and a book lover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties.

Thelma Reyna

2 Covid Books: Local Poets, Doctors, Frontliners, in Poems & Personal Stories
Saturday, May 14, 1:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Thelma T. Reyna’s books have collectively won 20 national book awards. She has written 6 books– a short story collection, 2 poetry chapbooks, and 3 full-length poetry collections– and has edited 3 anthologies: as Poet Laureate in Altadena, CA in 2014-2016, she edited the Altadena Poetry Review Anthology in 2015 and 2016. Then in 2020, Thelma edited a ground-breaking anthology, When the Virus Came Calling: COVID-19 Strikes America.

Tim Stiles

Friendship and the Literary Life
Wednesday, May 11, 6:00pm
Altadena Library

Tim Stiles’ poems, stories and lyrics have been published/recorded throughout the USA and Great Britain. His poetry-photography collaboration with photographer Jay Tyrrell, entitled Botmerica: Repeat After Me was published in 2016. He won the Seven Hills Review 2020 Creative Nonfiction Award for his story, “Bizzy Bone’s Cousin,” is the recipient of LitFest Pasadena’s 2021 Jonathan Gold Award, and won the 2021 Thirty West Publishing Broadside Pt. 2 competition.

Tina Pasadena

Poets in Distress - Reading
Saturday, May 14, 5:40pm
Vroman's Courtyard

Wordsmith, Creator, and Advocate

Tobi Harper

Local Publishing Panel
Saturday, May 7, 1:00pm
Red Hen Press

Tobi Harper is Marketing and Deputy Director of Red Hen Press, Founder and Editor of Quill, Publisher of The Los Angeles Review, and Instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program for Publishing and Editing. Harper also serves as a genderqueer and neurodivergent speaker, event curator, literary warrior, tech wiz, and jello wrestler.

Traci Kato-Kiriyama

Reading at LitFest Pasadena
Saturday, May 14, 5:25pm
Vroman's Courtyard

Traci Kato-Kiriyama (they+she), residing on Tongva land, is the author of Navigating With(out) Instruments (The Accomplices/Writ Large Press); a principal writer/performer of PULLproject Ensemble (TALES OF CLAMOR, NEFA awarded); Director/Co-Founder of Tuesday Night Project (presenter of Tuesday Night Café, the longest-running Asian American public arts series in the nation); a core artist with Vigilant Love; an organizer on the Nikkei Progressives/NCRR Reparations Committee; a member of the Okaeri Nikkei LGBTQ+ Network; and for over the past 25 years, has toured extensively to hundreds of venues throughout the country as a writer/author, performer/actor, storyteller, theatre deviser, educator, and arts & culture and community organizing consultant.

Wendy Heard

Mysterious Dimensions
Saturday, April 30, 5:00pm
Mountain View Mausoleum

Wendy Heard is the author of thrillers for adults and teens. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America, and is a contributor at and Writer’s Digest. Wendy lives in Los Angeles, California.

Zabe Ellor

Yay, YA!
Saturday, May 14 , 4:30pm
Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Zabe / Z. R. Ellor is a writer and literary agent from Washington, DC. He holds a BA in English Lit and biology from Cornell University. When not writing, he can be found running, playing video games, and hunting the best brunch deals in Dupont Circle. May the Best Man Win was released in 2021 and Silk Fire will be launched in July 2022.