Monday, March 31, 2014

Chican@ and Latin@ authors show up in great numbers at the 2014 Tucson Festival of Books

Perhaps it is appropriate that today, César Chávez Day, I bring to La Bloga’s readers photographic reportage of the strong showing made by Chican@ and Latin@ authors at this year’s Tucson Festival of Books that was held on the beautiful University of Arizona campus the weekend of March 15 and 16. It is estimated that more than 120,000 people showed up over the course of this two-day event that has become one of the largest book festivals in the country.

But why do I believe it is appropriate to showcase these wonderful photographs today? Well, as several of us noted during our panel discussions, publishing our words is a political act. When we speak for ourselves, we diminish the power of those who attempt to speak for us. César Chávez knew this. We know this. And the festival allowed us to share and discuss our literature in a perfect setting.

Before I share the beautiful images from the festival, I want to thank the festival organizers for bringing so many of us to participate in the celebration. I also want to thank the Arizona Daily Star, the University of Arizona Press, the many wonderful sponsors, and the enthusiastic volunteers who made the festival possible. So, enjoy these moments from the 2014 Tucson Festival of Books with the caveat that I could not document every Chican@ and Latin@ writer who participated, but I tried my best. Perhaps the best remedy for this is to come to Tucson next year!

Luis Alberto Urrea and Tim Z. Hernandez at reception the night before the festival.

Kristen Buckles (U of Arizona Press), Tim Z. Hernandez, Kathryn Conrad (U of Arizona Press), and me at reception.

Richard Russo wins the Founder's Award (here speaking at the reception).

Keynote speaker Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of PBS Masterpiece.

Even the ceiling was literary at the reception!

Rigoberto Gonzalez prepares for a day of panels at the Tucson Festival of Books.

Abby Mogollon and Holly Schaffer of the University of Arizona Press.

A parade breaks out.

Rigoberto Gonzalez and Tim Z. Hernandez signing books at the University of Arizona Press tent.

Rigoberto Gonzalez in the green room with Cindy and Luis Alberto Urrea.

Matt Mendez in the green room.

Luis Alberto Urrea and Sarah Cortez in the green room.

Rigoberto Gonzalez and Sarah Cortez at Pima County Public Library tent before panel discussion.

Art Meza and Santino J. Rivera in the green room.

Benjamin Alire Saenz and Tim Z. Hernandez.

Monica Ortiz Uribe pondering the ancient question: Do they have dessert at the dive bar?

At that dive bar: authors Philip Connors and Benjamin Alire Saenz lookin' like the "Color of Money."

After our wonderful magical realism panel, T, Allison Vaillancourt and me.

Tim Z. Hernandez in the Nuestras Raices tent before I interview him about his beautiful novel.

Rigoberto Gonzalez reading poetry in the Kiva room.

Tim Z. Hernandez reading poetry in the Kiva room.

Nothing better than seeing children at the festival.

Volunteer Gene Crandall who got me to where I had to be at the Tucson Festival of Books!


Unknown said...

It looks like a great event. I should think about going next year. The Los Angeles Times festival of books is April 12 & 13 at the University of Southern Catlifornia. All of you should consider attending.

Guillermo Luna
The Odd Fellows

Daniel A. Olivas said...

Thank you! Ironically I am a Los Angeles writer but the L.A. Times never invites me to be on a panel. But I will go and visit friends.

Kathleen Alcala said...

How do I heart this?

Daniel A. Olivas said...

yYou just did!

Unknown said...


They didn't pick me for any panels either but that's okay. My publisher paid for a booth and seven of us Bold Strokes Books writers are going to man the BSB booth over Saturday and Sunday. I'll be in the booth Saturday between 1pm and 3pm and Sunday between 11am and 1pm. Stop by!