Of Lone Star Pride and Federal Prejudice


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Join us for six sessions on books, writing and culture!

The Second Annual Texas Observer Writers’ Festival

Sarah Bird Portrait


  reading from her new novel The Gap Year

  Saturday, April 2, 2011  |  11:30 – 6:00 pm

  Pine Street Station, Austin, Texas
  1011 E 5th St | Corner of E 5th and Waller | Austin Tx


Enjoy sessions, books sales and sponsor tables all at Pine Street Station in Austin, a funky, art-filled space. Beer and wine served.


11:30 – 12:00     The Writers’ Festival opens. Take some time to visit our sponsor tables and socialize.

12:00 – 12:30     Poets – Austin & the World with Carrie Fountain, Hoa Nguyen and Carolina Ebeid.
Poets read and discuss their work, including Carrie Fountain, winner of the National Poetry Series and professor at St. Edwards University, Hoa Nguyen, author of Red Juice and co-editor of Skanky Possum, and Carolina Ebeid, a Michener Center fellow at work on her first poetry manuscript.

12:50 – 1:30      Sarah Bird reads from her new novel The Gap Year.
Sarah Bird is the author of many nationally acclaimed novels, including The Flamenco Academy and The Yakota Officers Club.  She will be reading from her novel to be published in July, The Gap Year, which Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban, called “a pitch-perfect portrayal of a mother and teenage daughter on the precipice of seismic change.” Expect to be delighted.

1:50 – 2:30       Why Do So Many Writers Call Texas Home? with Doug Dorst, Ruth Pennebaker and Oscar Casares.
Doug Dorst is author of The Surf Guru and Alive in Necropolis. Ruth Pennebaker is author of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough and a Texas Observer columnist. Oscar Casares  is author of Amigoland and Brownsville. Moderator Cyndi Hughes is executive director of the Writers’ League of Texas.

2:50 – 3:45       Creative Writers’ Circle with Myrna Cabello, Oscar Casares and Deborah Paredez.
A unique multi-media session on the creative process. Myrna Cabello is an accomplished actor, singer and artist. Oscar Casares is a celebrated novelist, author of Amigoland and Brownsville. Deborah Paradez is a poet and scholar and newly-named director of the Center for Mexican American Studies at UT Austin.

4:05 – 4:45       Memory and Trauma with Leila Levinson, Deborah Paredez and Sherry Matthews.
Each of these authors explore aspects of trauma and its complex effect. Deborah Paredez’ latest book is Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory. Leila Levinson has just published her first book, Gated Grief: The Daughter of a GI Liberator Faces Her Inheritance of Trauma. Sherry Matthews has also published her first book, We Were Not Orphans: Stories from the Waco State Home. Former Texas Observer editor Geoff Rips moderates.

5:00 – 5:45       Writing the Legislature with Dave McNeely, R.G. Ratcliffe, Abby Rapoport, Paul Burka and Corrie MacLaggan.
In the heart of one of the most brutal legislative sessions in memory, The Texas Observer gathers seasoned writers on the Texas Lege to talk about reporting and politics. Political columnist Dave McNeely is considered by many to be the dean of the Texas capitol press corp, R.G. Ratcliffe is former Houston Chronicle senior writer, Corrie MacLaggan is an Austin-based national correspondent for Reuters America Service,  Abby Rapoport is a reporter for The Texas Observer and Paul Burka is a longtime writer and blogger for Texas Monthly. Observer editor Bob Moser moderates.

SPONSORS: Badgerdog Literary Publishing, The Austin Bat Cave, Texas Institute of Letters, University of Texas Press, WritebyNight, Wings Press and the Writers’ League of Texas

For more information, contact Julia Austin (austin at texasobserver dot org).