Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Reading the World X and Border Book Festival

Reading the World X
A Conference Celebrating Multicultural
Literature for Children and Young Adults

February 16 & 17, 2008

Guest Speakers | Alma Flor Ada, Ashley Bryan, Sarah Ellis, Naomi Shihab Nye, Doris Orgel, Peter Sís, Leslie Tryon, Rita Williams Garcia, Laurence Yep, and Jack Zipes!

There will also be workshops by educators, librarians, authors, illustrators, and scholars in the field of children's literature, not to mention the Book Market and scheduled book signings with guest authors and artists!

Location | University of San Francisco, Presentation Theatre, School of Education Building, 2350 Turk Boulevard, San Francisco, California.

The Story of Reading the World

The story of Reading the World begins with the late Dr. Marilyn Nye, head of the Teacher Education Department at California State University, Hayward. She developed a Certificate in Children’s Literature and originated a “Celebrating Children’s Literature Conference.” It was a unique, one-day event. It ran for nine years, featuring one author, one illustrator, a storyteller, and 25 workshops.

Beverly Hock, then a graduate student at the University of San Francisco was a presenter at that conference and a former student of Dr. Nye. After the last CSUH conference, a group of students at the University of San Francisco were disappointed that such a worthwhile event was ending. Agreeing it was a loss to see the cancellation of such an enriching experience, six graduate students, in a class taught by Dr. Alma Flor Ada, determined to work together to create a similar conference. They decided to build on the CSUH tradition and make it grow. Dr. Nye agreed to help them get started on the planning. This new conference would be entirely organized by students under the guidance of Dr. Ada. The conference name comes from the writings of Paolo Freire, the great Brazilian educator and philosopher, who encouraged learners to challenge and change the world.

Reading the World I took place in 1998. It ran for two days, featured seven keynote speakers and 40 workshops. Reading the World II added an art show of children’s book illustration. A Celebration Dinner was added to Reading the World III. Reading the World IV, “Global Connections,” was a joint venture between USF and the International Board on Books for Young People. This conference again featured seven keynote speakers. All participants had the opportunity to be present at each of the major talks and enjoy three breakout sessions for the workshops. Once again the committee hosted a welcome reception on Friday evening and a dinner on Saturday evening in which the main speakers tell stories and read poetry.

Reading the World V, in March 2003 had an increased number of keynote speakers, four breakout sessions, and was honored to have the representatives of the International Children’s Digital Library send representatives for their meeting and participation.

This conference is a significant contribution to the Bay Area, as there are currently only one or two children’s literature conferences west of the Mississippi and none focus on the multicultural aspects of the field. The goal is to invite speakers of all ethnicities and nationalities and to acquaint our audience with the rich materials available. The conference committee is very proud that all the artists, authors, and presenters stay for the two days to converse and interact with the participants, a feature unknown at other conferences.

Presented by the International and Multicultural Education department at the USF School of Education, Reading the World is a creative and imaginative addition to the goal of seeking to develop critical literacy geared to promote social justice, equality, inclusion and peace, objectives in line with the mission statement of the University.

We strive to enhance the “magical encounter” between children and books -- our hope for all children.

What does Return mean? In Spanish the word is Retorno. Or Regresar. It could also be Devolver, to give back. Or Volver, to come back. What does the word Return mean to you? Maybe there is an object that you need to return to someone or is there something that needs to be returned to you? Have you lost something that can never be returned? How does that make you feel? Maybe it's a book you borrowed or something you've been meaning to give someone for a long time. Or maybe something or someone so meaningful and indispensable has been lost and you wonder how it can ever be returned? Should some things never return or be returned? What is it that needs to be "returned" in a very physical and actual sense? What can never be returned?

Libros y Más, the festival Trade show will take place on the historic Mesilla Plaza and features local, regional, national and international authors, presses and artists. Other festival highlights include al fresco readings and music on the Mesilla Plaza, a children’s storytelling tent, and the 3rd annual Children’s Book and Pet Parade. The School Outreach Program’s “Visit with An Artist” is an important and vital component of the festival and allows visiting authors to visit local and area schools during the festival week.

2008 Invited writers and artists include:
• Cristina García, author of Dreaming In Cuban/Soñar en Cubano and A Handbook to Luck
• Quincy Troupe, jazz poet, author of Miles and Me and The Architecture of Language
• Perla Batalla Grammy nominated vocalist, composer, and arranger, CD’s include Mestiza, Discoteca Batalla, What I Did On My Summer Vacation and Bird on a Wire (Perla’s tribute to Leonard Cohen),
• Amy Costales, author of Abuelita Full of Life/Abuelita Llena de Vida and Hello Night/Hola Noche
• Xavier Garza, author of Lucha Libre, the Man in the Silver Mask and Juan and the Chupacabras
• Susan Lowell Humphries, author of Josefina Javelina and Little Red Cowboy Hat, as well as various cookbooks and art books
• Alex Espinosa, author of Stillwater Saints/Los Santos de Agua Mansa, California
• Don Usner, photographer and author of Benigna’s Chimayó and Sabino’s Map: Life in Chimayó’s Old Plaza
• Adalucia Quan, potter and author of The Magic of Clay and La Chica de Mendiburo
• La Familia Vigil, featuring Cipriano Vigil, New Mexican folk singing legend, American treasure
• Other local, regional and national writers and storytellers who will offer panels, workshops and readings throughout the festival
Interested in volunteering? Let us know. We will find a fun and exciting job for you to do. Come by the Cultural Center to look over the job list.

We ask you also to reflect on the 2008 festival theme “Return” and let us know in a short essay what it means to you as a writer and artist. Our festival is a familia/family dedicated to bring transformative and healing work to the community. As such, if you are selected to be part of the festival, you become part of this global connection that works toward goals of peace and understanding among all sentient beings. All festival authors are selected because their work reflects in some way the festival theme.

The Border Book Festival (BBF), founder of the Cultural Center of Mesilla is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit literary, literacy and storytelling organization based in Mesilla, New Mexico. Founded in 1995 by a group of writers, artists, and community people committed to celebrating literature and the art of storytelling in the southern United States-Northern México border region, the BBF believes that literature and the arts can transcend the many perceived orders—racial, ethnic, generational, cultural, socio-economic, and gender-based—that divide our communities. We are a grass roots organization that impacts our local, regional and global community by offering programs that are blueprints of positive communication, interaction, connection and healing between people.

The Border Book Festival, Inc.
P.O. Drawer T
Mesilla, NM 88046.

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