Erickson, Gwynne, McCay, and more dazzle fans at 2017 Lubbock Book Festival

Wenthe named Lubbock's 2017–18 poet laureate

LUBBOCK — Some 500 bookfans of all ages converged on the various venues of the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (LHUCA) and the Charles Adams Studio Project (CASP) Oct. 28 for the city's first all-day book festival, involving more than 50 featured and local authors.

The city named its 2017–18 Lubbock Poet Laureate, award-winning poet William Wenthe of the Texas Tech University faculty, on Saturday evening following readings by several other poets and Tech faculty and student writers during the afternoon.

Festival events too place in venues at LHUCA and CASP in Lubbock’s downtown Cultural District, as part of LHUCA's 20th anniversary celebration. Click here for a full photo album of the event.

Festival keynoters included S. C. Gwynne of Austin, author of the nonfiction bestsellers Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches and Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson. Gwynne explored how the passing game revolutionized Texas’ most popular sport in The Perfect Pass: American Genius and the Reinvention of Football‎, including a nod to the innovations of Mike Leach, former Texas Tech University head coach.

Numerous regional and national bestselling authors also gave solo readings and talks, or participate in multi-author panels. Jodi Thomas of Canyon, distinguished Texas Tech alumna and a member of the National Romance Writers Hall of Fame, discussed her Ransom Canyon series of novels, and ohn R. Erickson of Perryton, creator of the beloved Hank the Cowdog series for young readers, presented a program on Saturday afternoon.

Newcomer to the book scene Karin McCay, news co-anchor of Lubbock’s KCBD-TV, read from her Magic Mommy series of titles for children, assisted by KCBD reporter Shaley Sanders and introduced by KCBD meteorologist John Robison.

During the lunch hour, celebrity chef Adán Medrano of Houston, author of the cookbook Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes, and Lubbock Avalanche-Journal food columnist Angelina LaRue from Idalou, author of The Whole Enchilada: Fresh and Nutritious Southwestern Cuisine, teamed up for a festive Southwest-themed luncheon and cooking demonstration.

Fans also enjoyed appearances by writers Terry Jennings of Waco — son of the late musician Waylon Jennings and author of the heartfelt memoir/biography Waylon: Tales of My Outlaw Dad; Texas Tech alum Rachel Caine of Fort Worth, author of The Great Library series and other fiction for adults and young adults; and Patrick Dearen of Midland, author of numerous Western fiction and nonfiction titles and most recently a Western Writers of America Spur Award winner for The Big Drift and multi-award finalist for Dead Man’s Boot.

Other favorite authors with nonfiction topics included former Texas Tech All-Conference football standout R. Gaines Baty of Dallas (Champion of the Barrio: The Legacy of Coach Buryl Baty); Harvey Girl descendant and former bookstore owner Rosa Walston Latimer of Post (Harvey Houses of Texas and similar histories of Harvey Houses in other states); and Frank Sikes of Lubbock (West Texas Middleweight: The Story of LaVern Roach).

Novelists reading and discussing their books included James R. Dennis and John T. Davis of San Antonio (two-thirds of the team writing as Miles Arceneaux) with their mystery series set on the Texas coast; bestselling romance author Linda Broday of Amarillo (Men of Legend series); Texas Tech alum and Dallas-area resident Melissa Lenhardt with her Western historical novels Sawbones, Blood Oath, and Badlands; and Timothy Lewis of Canyon (Forever Friday).

Amarillo author A. G. Howard drew a young adult audience, while San Antonio graphic novelist Xavier Garza’s books (Maximilian and the Lucha Libre Club and The Donkey Lady Fights La Llorona and Other Stories) also appealed to younger readers as did Lubbock author S. J. Dahlstrom, Texas Tech engineering professor Michelle Pantoya and Lubbock authors Tim A. McKenzie and Dolores Mosser.

Poets Laura Van Prooyen of San Antonio, author of the prize-winning Our House Was on Fire, and Scott Wiggerman of Albuquerque, N.M., author of Leaf and Beak: Sonnets and coeditor of anthologies gave readings.

Poetry ws among the genres featured in sessions throughout the day by Texas Tech faculty authors Curtis Bauer, Kurt Caswell, Katie Cortese, D. Gilson, Jacqueline Kolosov, John Poch, and Diane Hueter Warner.

Writers from Texas Tech’s creative writing graduate program Jasmine Bailey Epstein, Chen Chen, Scott Morris, and Katie Simonian also read on Saturday afternoon.

Also on Saturday afternoon, several authors of recent Texas Tech University Press titles will discuss their nonfiction books: Nancy Draves of San Antonio; Bob Horton of Lubbock; Ruben Molina of Los Angeles, Calif.; and Janet M. Neugebauer of Lubbock — all of whom were also featured at the Literary Lubbock fund-raising gala dinner on the Tech campus Fridya evening.

More than a dozen local authors signed their books in hourly stints in LHUCA’s Main Gallery, including Mary Andrews, Willa Finley, Thom Vines, Thomas J. Nichols, Sue Swinson, Vaun Murphrey; Melody Robinette; Alan Burton; Teddy Jones; Maria Hoagland; K. J. Waters; Chad Cartwright; and Kim Hunt Harris, and Kay Ellington & Barbara Brannon.

A printmaking demonstration was presented by in the CASP/5&J Printmaking Studio by Curtis Bauer of Q Ave. Press.

Exhibitors in the Main Gallery includes Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Dos Gatos Press, Iron Horse Literary Review, Texas Tech University Creative Writing Program, the Remnant Trust, and Texas Tech University Press.

The Lubbock Book Festival was funded in part by the generous support of The CH Foundation. Lead partners include LHUCA, the Lubbock Arts Alliance, Literacy Lubbock, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Lone Star Literary Life, CASP/Charles Adams Studio Project, and Visit Lubbock. Other sponsors include the City of Lubbock, Texas Commission on the Arts, Odessa Arts, Texas Tech University, Texas Tech Libraries., and Texas Tech Friends of the Libraries. Media sponsors include KTTZ Public Media (radio), KCBD-TV (television), and A-J Media (Lubbock Avalanche-Journal /Lubbock Magazine).

Festival steering committee members Kay Ellington (chair), Barbara Brannon (publicity chair), Courtney Burkholder, Jean Caslin, Joanna Conrad, Kaley Daniel, Genevieve Durham DeCesaro, Terry Handley, Lindsey Maestri, Mica McGuire, John Poch, Elizabeth Regner, Jakob Reynolds, Gretchen Scott, Marilyn Westfall, and Andy Wilkinson have worked for nearly a year to organize and promote the event. Dozens of other local volunteers have contributed their time to assisting with Festival activities.

ABOUT THE LOUISE HOPKINS UNDERWOOD CENTER FOR THE ARTS   Known locally as LHUCA (pronounced Luca), the center was founded in 1997 through the leadership of Louise Hopkins Underwood, a longtime Lubbock patron of the arts. The center’s galleries and performance spaces host a busy schedule of film screenings, exhibitions, concerts, literary readings and dance performances. The Lubbock Book Festival is in keeping with a quote from George Washington, appropriately lettered above the door of LHUCA’s southeast entrance: “To encourage literature and art is the duty that every good citizen owes to his country.”

Festival admission is free and open to the public; tickets will be required for some free events as well as Saturday's cookbook luncheon. A full schedule and lineup is in progress at, with further events to be announced as festival time approaches.

(Information from organization's press release)

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7th annual Dobie Dichos to celebrate works of J. Frank Dobie Nov. 3

Bring a lawn chair, eat a bowl of chili, and listen to top Texas authors and storytellers read from/tell stories from the works of noted folklorist J. Frank Dobie under the stars at the Historic Oakville Jail town square

Presented by George West Storyfest Association, Inc., the annual Dobie Dichos event honors Live Oak County’s most famous son, author J. Frank Dobie, to celebrate his works and contributions to literature, folklore, and storytelling. This year, the Dobie Dichos evening is slated for Sun., Nov. 3, 2017, from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.00–$15.00 per person.

Featured presenters are Cary Clack, Sarah Cortez, Dudley R. Dobie Jr., Stephen Harrigan, Stan Mahler, Carolina Quiroga-Stultz, Taylor Tomlin, and Bill Witliff. Screenwriter William Jack Sibley will serve as master of ceremonies.

Texas writers/authors and storytellers read from or tell stories from Dobie’ works under the stars on the grounds of the Historic Oakville Jail, located on IH-37 in Live Oak County. The meal consists of a bowl of chili, pan de campo, a bottle of water, and dessert. Beer is available for purchase.

“If Dobie had left instructions in his will,” said author and poet Nan Cuba, “the Dobie Dichos readings would be exactly as they are now. Stories told around a countryside campfire, friends eating barbecue and feeling blessed by the stars. Listen, our literary father’s clapping.”

Author Robert Flynn described Dobie Dichos as “the next best thing to hearing Dobie tell his stories around a campfire.”

And as Dobie himself said, “Any tale belongs to whoever can best tell it.”

Proceeds benefit restoration of the Dobie-West Performing Arts Theatre in George West. To learn more about the Historic Oakville Jail, visit For more event tickets, visit

(Information from organization’s website and press release)

Texas book fest announces full schedule with special Antone’s music stage, author panels, lit crawl, kids’ activities, and more

AUSTIN — The Texas Book Festival announced today the 2017 schedule, which features 300 renowned authors, panels, book signings, live music, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, and more. The 2017 Texas Book Festival Weekend will take place on November 4 and 5 on the grounds of the Texas Capitol. The complete schedule is available now at

(Information from organization’s press release)

Eighth Annual Lit Crawl Austin takes place Sat., Nov.4

AUSTIN — Lit Crawl Austin will celebrate its eighth year of irreverent literary programming on Saturday evening, November 4. Join participants on the East Side for a night of performances, games, trivia matches, music, and all-ages storytelling sessions.

At the North Door, 7 p.m., four authors and three judges will take part in the return of  Literary Death Match. Judges will be Dan Chaon (literary merit), Elena Passarello (performance), and Maya Perez (intangibles). Contestants: Melissa Febos, Ladee Hubbard, Simeon Marsalis, and Rakesh Satyal. Suggested donation is $10.

(Information from organization’s press release)

Odessa Council for Arts & Humanities offers drawing for two tickets to “An Evening with David Sedaris”

ODESSA — David Sedaris, award-winning author and critic, will appear at the Wagner-Noël Performing Arts Center in Midland Tues., Nov. 7, 2017, at 7 p.m.

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, Sedaris has become one of America’s preeminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. Sedaris is the author of the collections of personal essays Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, all of which have become bestsellers. Sedaris’s pieces appear regularly in the New Yorker and have twice been included in Best American Essays. Since 2011, he can be heard annually on a series of live recordings on BBC Radio 4 titled “Meet David Sedaris.”

Sedaris’s new book is a collection of his diaries, titled Theft By Finding: Diaries (1977–2002).

Reserved tickets are still available at the Wagner-Noël website, ranging from $11 to $52. But you can register to win tickets by emailing us here by OCTOBER 18, 2017. The winner will be notified by email or phone and announced in the Oct. 29, 2017 issue of Lone Star Literary Life. Questions? Email us at

McAllen Book Festival to feature eighteen authors in fourth year, Nov. 11

McALLEN — Benjamin Alire Sáenz, the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the American Book Award, will be among 18 authors at the Fourth Annual McAllen Book Festival to be held Saturday, Nov. 11 at the McAllen Public Library, 4001 N. 23rd.

A free event sponsored by the McAllen Public Library the festival will also feature Rachel Caine, a multiple New York Times bestselling author of books in a wide variety of genres, including thriller, mystery, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, science fiction, and young adult. She has published more than fifty novels to date. Her notable series are Stillhouse Lake (thriller), The Great Library (young adult), Morganville Vampires (young adult), and Weather Warden (urban fantasy).

Other authors include Xavier Garza, author, artist, teacher, and storyteller whose work is a lively documentation of life, dreams, superstitions, and heroes in the larger-than-life world of South Texas. Garza has exhibited his art and performed his stories in venues throughout Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. He is the author and illustrator of several children’s and young adult books, including Maximilian and the Lucha Libre Club and The Donkey Lady Fights La Llorona and Other Stories. Garza lives in San Antonio, Texas, with his family.

Ashley Hope Perez, author of the award-winning historical fiction for young adults, Out of Darkness, also joins a diverse group of author who will appeal to children, young adults and parents.

The McAllen Book Festival will also have music, storytelling, hot dogs, lemonade and more—all at the McAllen Public Library.

McAllen’s Main Library is a reclaimed former Walmart big box store. Opened in December 2011, it is the largest single-floor library in the United States, occupying 125,000 square feet, or two and a half times the area of a standard U.S. football field.

The design, by Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle Ltd. of Minneapolis, won the International Interior Design Association 2012 Library Interior Design Competition. In 2013, the design also won the Honor Award for Interior Architecture, which is the highest honor for interior design awarded by the American Institute of Architects. In July 2016, McAllen’s Main Library was chosen as the most beautiful library in Texas by tech, science, innovation and culture digital publication Tech Insider.

For more information, visit

(Information and image from organization’s press release)

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