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Tucson Festival of Books

Nuestras Raices: Celebrating Mexican-American Authors, Arts and Culture at 2011 Tucson Festival of Books

Poesía and Prose: The Spoken Palabras from Two Very Diverse Poets
Poets and authors Benjamin Alire Sáenz and Michele Serros share a spoken word performance of their respective works. In "Juarez Doesn't Stop at the Border", Benjamin Alire Sáenz focuses on the violence and chaos affecting the border region of Ciudad Juarez/El Paso. In honoring March as Women's History Month, Michele Serros shares stories and poems centered around female empowerment--from Tupperware and TV to chola cashiers and supermarket activism. Moderated by Maria Elena Wakamatsu.
Listen now (running time: 59:37)
A Conversation with Luis Alberto Urrea
Author Luis Alberto Urrea discusses the importance of Chicano/Latino literature and debuts a "special advanced preview" of the sequel to his national bestselling novel, "The Hummingbird's Daughter." Moderated by Ernesto Portillo, Jr.
Listen now (running time: 56:44)
La Llorona, El Cucuy, Y Más! Mexican-American Ghost Stories & Folklore
La Llorona and El Cucuy have scared and intrigued generations of Mexican-American children--and adults. Authors Joe Hayes and Stella Pope Duarte share scary cuentos de fantasmas and highlight the cultural and historic importance of these stories. Moderated by Tomas Leon.
Listen now (running time: 1:07:56)
An Interview with Teen Fiction Author Malin Alegria
Teens from the local organization Voices: Community Stories Past and Present, Inc. interviewed Ms. Alegria about her work and how she got her start as a writer. Ms. Alegria is the author of Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico and Estrella's Quinceanera.

Listen now (running time: 26:44)

Nuestras Raices: Celebrating Mexican-American Authors, Arts and Culture at 2010 Tucson Festival of Books


Photo of Matt de la Pena
Matt de la Peña Talks to Teens

Author of We Were Here and Ball Don't Lie, Matt de la Peña reveals the inspiration for his books and shares his experiences about life and growth. Mr. de la Peña was interviewed by students Ana Verdugo, Stephanie Miranda and Diana Aguirre who were all very familiar with his work. All three students, as well as audio editor Ana Verdugo and sound engineer Francisco Cardenas are members of the Kino Teen Advisory Board at the Quincie Douglas Branch Library.

Listen now (Running time: 38:04)

Photo of Silviana Wood
Silviana Wood - What's in a Name

Listen now (Running time: 1:21:17)

Silviana Wood, local writer and artist, presented an interactive program at the Nuestras Raices Literary Festival about personal names and nicknames of people who grew up in Tucson's barrios. Origins of nicknames like Güero, Chapa and Chito were explored. How were these names and nicknames chosen? What is the story behind your name or nickname?

Photo of Betty Webb
Betty Webb Introduces Her New Mystery Series

Listen now (Running time: 1:21:17)

Betty Webb, author of the hard-hitting Lena Jones Mystery series, has created a new series that combines her passion for zoos, animals, house boats and humor.

The first book in the new series, Anteater of Death, takes place at the Gunn Zoo in a small harbor town in California. Lucy, the zoo's anteater, at first appears to have killed a visitor! Zookeeper Teddy can not believe her beloved anteater could be capable of such a thing, and is vindicated when a bullet is found in the body. Teddy then goes on a quest to find the doer of the dastardly deed and restore Lucy's good name.

Listen to a fascinating discussion by Betty Webb about life, love and Lucy.

Visit Betty's website.

Photo of Nancy Turner
A Visit with Author Nancy Turner

Listen now (Running time: 43:32)

Nancy Turner discussed her book These Is My Words, the 2008 OneBookAZ selection, and answered questions from the audience at Joel D. Valdez Main Library during a Food for Thought presentation. Learn more about OneBookAZ

Photo of Mem Fox
Creating a Community of Readers ...Starting at Birth - featuring Mem Fox

Presentation: The Importance of Reading Aloud - Listen now (Running time: 01:11:02)

This presentation looked at the enthusiastic use of books, poems and reading aloud as a way of preparing children in the happiest manner for their entry into the world of literacy. It also explored ways in which teachers in elementary school can ensure these students continue their eager journey on the road to literacy success.

Mem Fox was an Associate Professor in Literacy Studies at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, where she taught teachers for twenty four years until her early retirement in 1996. She has received many civic awards, honours and accolades in Australia, including two honorary doctorates. She has visited the United States ninety seven times, mostly in her role as a literacy expert although she is also a well-known author in America. She is an influential international consultant in literacy, but she pretends to sit around writing full time.

Inside the Writers Workshops
  • Listen to Shannon Cain and Lucy Corin Shannon Cain, curator and host of Inside the Writers' Workshop, is a creative writing coach and the executive director of Kore Press, an independent publisher of literature by women writers. Lucy Corin is the author of a collection of stories, The Entire Predicament, and a novel, Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls. Shannon Cain will talk with Lucy Corin about the process of writing fiction. How do stories start and where do they come from? What actually happens in revision after spellcheck? How do you know when a story is done or when to give up? How do you let go or move on? What's different when you're working on a novel?
    Ms. Corin will also read briefly from her new book The Entire Predicament (Tin House, 2007). The conversation promises to be filled with anecdotes from experience that will enhance your reading life, concrete strategies you can use in your own creative work, plenty of differing opinions, and lots of fun.
Photo of Richard Shelton

Going Back to Bisbee, the award-winning memoir by Tucson author Richard Shelton, was chosen as OneBookAZ in 2007. This heart-warming road trip through the desert Southwest is the one book everyone will read and talk about during Arizona's annual celebration of books and reading.

Going Back to Bisbee is a captivating journey of discovery. From behind the wheel of his sturdy blue van, Shelton is an able guide as he navigates through the desert landscape, sharing observations about unique flora and fauna, examining historic sites, and pausing for reflection or refreshment in a cool-running stream. It won the Western States Book Award for Creative Nonfiction in 1992. The judges noted, "If you love the Southwestern deserts you will love this book. If you don't know them, this book will lead you to them."

SciFi Pros on SciFi Prose
Science Fiction artwork by Liz Danforth
Authors Dennis McKiernan, Emma Bull, and John Vornholt discuss the pros and cons of writers groups, what has worked successfully for them and when groups have turned out badly. Get ideas about how to make a group work for you! (September 2007)
Pima County Website