Whether you're a fan of YA, horror, romance, or poetry, it's time to book it. The San Antonio Book Festivalis back on April 15 with a lineup sure to delight local bibliophiles.
Now in its 11th year, the free festival will take place at the Central Library and University of Texas San Antonio campus downtown from 9 am-5 pm. Alamo City readers can participate in dozens of activities, including author presentations, panel discussions, book sales, signings, and children's and teen activations.
This year's lineup features literary luminaries ranging from acclaimed novelists to young adult scribes. Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Rebecca Makkai will promote her latest book, I Have Some Questions for You. Matthew Desmond, a MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize winner, will participate in the festival with his new nonfiction book Poverty, By America. National Book Award honorees Marytza Rubio and Alejandro Varela will additionally be on hand.
Additional award-winning authors participating in the festival include Pulitzer Prize–winning Geraldine Brooks with her book Horse; 2022, MacArthur Fellow Kiese Laymon and his memoir Heavy;New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones with new thriller Don't Fear the Reaper; and Pulitzer Prize–winning Jane Smiley with a new novel, A Dangerous Business,.
Several children's, middle-grade, and young adult authors like New York Times bestsellers Adam Silvera and Melissa de la Cruz will enchant audiences. The esteemed lineup also includes Brandon Hobson, Christina Soontornvat, Claudia Guadalupe Martinez, Shannon Hale, and LeUyen Pham.
Texas' literary heritage is covered with Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, Elizabeth McCracken, Jeff Guinn, and San Antonio's Lewis F. Fisher and Marcia Argueta Mickelson. Festival favorite Sandra Cisneros will promote her first published collection of poems in twenty-eight years, Woman Without Shame / Mujer sin vergüenza.
According to San Antonio Book Festival Literary Director Anna Dobben, there is a particular focus on genre fiction. For the first time, the festivities will incorporate a panel devoted to romance books.
"The past year in US publishing has been vibrant and varied. Readers sought romance books in greater numbers, thanks to the rise of BookTok (TikTok, but for book lovers)," says Dobben via a release. "There's also been a trend towards thriller and horror lately, with authors using the genre to discuss trauma and mental health, likely because the past few years have been so anxiety-provoking."
Hungry readers can purchase street foods at trucks or nosh at three Book It! Luncheons with Ada Calhoun, Dean King, and Reza Asla. Kicking off the celebration will be a new 21-plus event on April 14, Lit Happens. An ode to the narrative word and community, the party will kick off with an outdoor poetry activation featuring Jose Olivarez and San Antonio Poet Laureate Andrea "Vocab" Sanderson at 6 pm. Guests can also take in Worth Repeating at Texas Public Radio, a storytelling session similar to The Moth's events and a Literary Death Match with Texas-connected writers V. Castro, Rubén Degollado, Bobby Finger, and Jonny Garza Villa.
The full author lineup can be viewed on the festival's website. Locally owned and operated Nowhere Bookshop will again be the Festival's official bookseller.
"What makes the Book Festival a perfect San Antonio event is that we truly offer something for everyone," said Lilly Gonzalez, the festival's executive director. "From the subjects in our books—heavy-hitting nonfiction dealing with environmental issues, immigration stories, and wealth inequality—to the brand new Friday night event that we're calling LIT HAPPENS, designed as a block party for book lovers, the Book Festival is for every San Antonian."