Library Foundation flapping red cape for the bullish on books

"Toro Obscuro," Joel Salcido, poster artist for San Antonio Book Festival 2013,

“Toro Obscuro,” Joel Salcido, poster artist for San Antonio Book Festival 2013, http://www.joelsalcidogallery.com/

A full day of readings by recently published Texas authors is on the horizon for Saturday, April 13. No need to steel yourself for a drive up I-35 because the San Antonio Public Library Foundation is bringing a fresh edition of the Texas Book Festival here to the Central Library and the Southwest School of Art for seven hours of readings, discussions and signings.

logoThe preliminary schedule is so packed I assembled links to resolve (or attempt to resolve) conflicting pulls among the readings in advance. Definitely check the official website for updates before heading downtown:

All Day

  • Book Sales
  • Coloring Station, Painting Bookmarks; H-E-B Children’s Area
  • Latino Leadership for the Library En Nuestras Palabras: My Story Van, Stories on the Porch, Create A Story, Meet the Story Tellers, Stories are Milagros for the Future; Central Library Plaza Walk

10 a.m.

10:45 a.m.

  • Elaine Scott (Buried Alive!: How 33 Miners Survived 69 Days Deep Under the Chilean Desert); Children’s Area, Central Library
  • Storytelling with Sarah Loden; H-E-B Children’s Area

going-clear-cover11 a.m.

11:15 a.m.

  • Celebrating Small-Town Texas Souls with Liza Palmer and Lynda Rutledge; Moderator, Josie Seeligson; Southwest School of Art, Ursuline Campus

11:30 a.m.

SweetOnTexasNoon

12:15 p.m.

12:30 p.m.

  • A Sense of Birthplace: Investigating the Past: Beatriz de la Garza and Sarah Cortez; Moderator, Yvette Benavides; Southwest School of Art, Navarro Campus

oleander12:45 p.m.

1 p.m.

  • Sandra Cisneros performs from Have You Seen Marie?; Moderator, John Phillip Santos; Central Library

I always tell people that I became a writer not because I went to school but because my mother took me to the library.

Sandra Cisneros

job-cover1:45 p.m.

2 p.m.

2:15 p.m.

alicia2:30 p.m.

2:45 p.m.

  • At War Over the Environment: Two Experts on the Politics of Parks and the Natural World with George Bristol and Char Miller; Moderator, Weir Labatt; Southwest School of Art, Navarro Campus

3 p.m.

  • Esmeralda Santiago on Conquistadora; Moderator, José Rubén De León, Central Library
  • For readers of Young Adult fiction: Summer of the Mariposas with Guadalupe Garcia McCall; Moderator, Yvette Benavides; Southwest School of Art, Navarro Campus
  • Thinking caps and creativity crowns; H-E-B Children’s Area

3:15 p.m.

4 p.m.

4:15 p.m.

site-map

An incredible agenda for a first-time event (May there be many more).

Of course you will need breaks, so there will be children’s activities and music throughout the day.

And nourishing your mind makes you hungry, so some of San Antonio’s favorite food trucks will be parked nearby for refueling.

Hmm, this is San Antonio. Wonder where the beer stand is….

cafeNote to Austinites: Your turn to hit I-35.

Note to Self: Never get so excited about something you decide to post the whole schedule – with custom links – again.

And thanks to the Mister Barista for that caffe corretto blast.

April 12, 2013, Update:

Just received the schedule for the Latino Leadership for the Library area just outside the Central Library, and it adds another slew of author appearances.

latino-leadership2

latino-leadership

Barbara Ras’ ‘Elephant’ in ‘New Yorker’

Barbara Ras, director of Trinity University Press, has one of her poems featured in the March 15 issue of The New Yorker:

Washing the Elephant

by Barbara Ras, March 15, 2010

Isn’t it always the heart that wants to wash
the elephant, begging the body to do it
with soap and water, a ladder, hands,
in tree shade big enough for the vast savannas
of your sadness, the strangler fig of your guilt,
the cratered full moon’s light fuelling
the windy spooling memory of elephant?

What if Father Quinn had said, “Of course you’ll recognize
your parents in Heaven,” instead of
“Being one with God will make your mother and father
pointless.” That was back when I was young enough
to love them absolutely though still fear for their place
in Heaven, imagining their souls like sponges full
of something resembling street water after rain.

Still my mother sent me every Saturday to confess,
to wring the sins out of my small baffled soul, and I made up lies
about lying, disobeying, chewing gum in church, to offer them
as carefully as I handed over the knotted handkerchief of coins
to the grocer when my mother sent me for a loaf of Wonder,
Land of Lakes, and two Camels.

If guilt is the damage of childhood, then eros is the fall of adolescence.
Or the fall begins there, and never ends, desire after desire parading
through a lifetime like the Ringling Brothers elephants
made to walk through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel
and down Thirty-fourth Street to the Garden.
So much of our desire like their bulky, shadowy walking
after midnight, exiled from the wild and destined
for a circus with its tawdry gaudiness, its unspoken pathos.

It takes more than half a century to figure out who they were,
the few real loves-of-your-life, and how much of the rest—
the mad breaking-heart stickiness—falls away, slowly,
unnoticed, the way you lose your taste for things
like popsicles unthinkingly.
And though dailiness may have no place
for the ones who have etched themselves in the laugh lines
and frown lines on the face that’s harder and harder
to claim as your own, often one love-of-your-life
will appear in a dream, arriving
with the weight and certitude of an elephant,
and it’s always the heart that wants to go out and wash
the huge mysteriousness of what they meant, those memories
that have only memories to feed them, and only you to keep them clean.

Barbara, who will publish a collection of poems, The Last Skin, later this month, also had a poem appear in The New Yorker in 2006.  She will be one of the more than 20 writers in the spotlight for Wordworkers, an exhibit opening at Bihl Haus Arts from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, March 19.   During the opening, poets photographed by Melanie Rush Davis “will scrawl their poetry on gallery walls.” 

Other featured writers include Carmen Tafolla, Marian Haddad, Naomi Shihab Nye, Sandra Cisneros, Nan Cuba, Rosemary Catacalos, Jenny Browne, John Phillip Santos and Bryce Milligan.  As the exhibition at Bihl Haus continues, there will be a reading and small press book fair from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 27, and a poetry reading by Jim LaVilla-Havelin from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 8.  Bihl Haus Arts is located at 2803 Fredericksburg Road.

Barbara’s “Washing the Elephant” brought forth memories of the weekly visits to the confessional that forced me, as well, to make up imaginary sins to tell the rigid Father Habit at Star of the Sea.

Note Added on May 9Review of “Washing the Elephant” and Ras’ The Last Skin

Update on November 5:  Barbara Ras will discuss The Last Skin at The Twig Book Shop at Pearl Brewery from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 14.

Update on September 11, 2012: Gemini Ink is honoring Barbara Ras at its 15th Annual Inkstravaganza at Pearl on Thursday, September 27, and one should never miss an opportunity to hear the utterances emitted by Coleen Grissom.