TeenBookCon set for April 11 in Houston

Twenty-eight authors and illustrators will be showcased in Houston Sat.,, April 11, 2015, for TeenBookCon, a free, all-day event at Alief Taylor High School designed to connect Houston teens with national authors and illustrators of young adult fiction and graphic novels. TeenBookCon is a day-long event featuring panel discussions on topics ranging from fantasy to realistic fiction.

Gayle Forman, best known for her If I Stay duo of books (the first is a major motion picture starring Chloë Grace Moretz) will open the event.

David Levithan and Ally Carter will close TeenBookCon. Levithan is the author or co-author of eighteen books for teens and adults, including Two Boys Kissing. Carter is best known for her multi-award winning Gallagher Girls series.

Texas authors slated to appear at TeenBookCon include Houston’s Jennifer Mathieu (The Truth About Alice) and Joy Preble (Finding Paris); Austin’s Joe Shine (I Become Shadow); and San Antonio’s Guadalupe Garcia McCall.

Teens and their parents are encouraged to pre-register. TeenBookCon is organized by a committee of local school, public, and private school librarians with the support of Blue Willow Bookshop.

23rd Austin International Poetry Festival April 9-12, 2015; Poet, Author, and Activist Nikki Giovanni to Headline April 11

Renowned poet, author, and activist Nikki Giovanni will be among scores of poets of all ages taking part in the world’s largest non-juried poetry festival, in Austin April 9-12, 2015 at a variety of locations throughout the city. All registered poets attend free.  Tickets are available to the public for $20-60 each.

Now in its 23rd year, the festival is an international non-juried event that is distinctively Austin. Unlike many poetry events, the AIP welcomes any registered poet to perform at AIPF, an approach that has fostered participation from a diverse audience and an array of poets from around the globe.

Giovanni will take the stage on April 11 to read a selection of poems, and speak about art and diversity. The evening will also include readings by other featured poets.

The author of thirty books, and one of the most widely-read American poets, Giovanni prides herself on being “a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a and a professor of English.” Giovanni is a Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech in Blackburg, Virginia, where she has taught since 1987. She is also the recipient of the NAACP Image Award and the Langston Hughes Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Arts.

“We are so excited to bring an artist of Nikki Giovanni’s caliber to Austin,” said Austin International Poetry Festival Director Joe Brundidge. “At its heart the Austin International Poetry Festival is about celebrating diversity—celebrating different voices and perspectives. Nikki is a wonderful fit for our mission.”

Giovanni’s early works were inspired by the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s. Her larger collection of works has been called “spiritually and socially aware.”

For more about the AIP, including schedule and online registration, visit http://www.aipf.org