Open Mic with Austin Youth Poets: New Year's Poems
Saturday, January 29th | 1:00 pm
In celebration of the new year, the Austin Youth Poet Laureate and the finalists invite you to join them in reading poems that celebrate the new year and a new relationship to writing poetry. The youth poets will each read an original poem, and they invite you to read one of your own as well. If you are new to poetry, don't worry! This reading is free and open for all, regardless of age or experience in poetry. We're here to share our hopes for the new year and any resolutions you might have.
The youth poets hope to inspire you with this prompt: "Write a poem about new beginnings. You can interpret this as broadly or as literally as you want. Think of old friends, rites of passage, changes, growth, rebirths, transformations, and resolutions. Have regrets from the old year and hopes for the new? We would love to hear these poems at our open mic."
Mayor's Book Club: Interior Chinatown with Charles Yu
Thursday, October 21st | 7:00 pm
Charles Yu's National Book Award-winning novel Interior Chinatown follows an Asian American character actor who stumbles into the unexpected spotlight after a lifetime of stereotypical bit roles. Yu weaves together themes of pop culture, immigration and assimilation, and family history in an entertaining and moving novel. At once funny and sincere, Interior Chinatown gives a voice to the complex and crucial stories too often buried or shunted to the side.
Join us for a virtual event with Charles Yu as part of this year's Mayor's Book Club! Yu will read from and discuss Interior Chinatown in this conversation moderated by Austin Asian American Film Festival Executive Director Hanna Huang.
Event is free and open to all.
Writing Your Community’s History: A Workshop with Fatima Shaik
Tuesday, May 25th | 7:00 pm
Historical resources for writing about a community are endless in every environment. For example, they exist in material culture--cloth, food, language, and song, and in traditions. A writer can take these touchstones and go into archives to build a context in which to frame an article and fiction or non-fiction book by using newspapers, genealogy sites, and primary documents in addition to interviewing.
This workshop explores these universal writing basics through the lens of ethnicity. There are millions of good stories in communities that never leave the kitchen table, even when writers are actually “in residence” for most of their lives. Writers may be stymied by a lack of knowledge—a single vein which is mined over and over. Or they have problems organizing information. The difficulties are compounded by a perceived lack of history, an idea held by either the writer or the culture, sometimes both.
The story of Black people (or POC) in the United States does not need to be mired in loss but achieve a common humanity which addresses universal themes. Even distinct families or communities have common experiences with others. And storytelling is an effort to make others understand something that we know. The workshop will also serve activists who may not consider themselves writers but are always called upon to tell their story or the story of their organization.
Badgerdog Young Authors Reading Series: Ren Koppel Torres
Thursday, May 6th | 7:00 pm
Ren Koppel Torres has adored fantasy books since the dawn of time and started The Shadow in Her Pocket at nine years old, publishing it at sixteen. Ren was born in New York City in a Jewish-Mexican-American family and now lives in Austin, Texas. Ren is passionate about advocating for child literacy and is donating a portion of the proceeds from book sales to Bookspring, a nonprofit in Central Texas. Ren writes for publications including Writer's Digest and Pipeline Artists, and has been featured in cartoons in The New Yorker and LitHub. Ren is also a visual artist, a guitarist in a rock band, a succulent aficionado, and a high school student.
At this reading event, Ren Koppel Torres will read from The Shadow in Her Pocket and talk about the writing process. Tune in live at 7:00pm CST on Thursday, May 6 to celebrate Ren's success. This event is free and open to the public. It will be streamed live on The Library Foundation's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LibraryFoundationATX
Badgerdog Young Authors Reading Series: Akshara Reddy
Tuesday, April 13th | 7:00 pm
During the summer of 2020, Akshara Reddy attended a virtual writing workshop through The Library Foundation's Badgerdog Creative Writing Camp. There she honed her skills and passion for storytelling. But Akshara's journey didn't end there! In the months following camp, she continued to cultivate her voice as a writer and published her debut book Zero Gravity.
At this reading event, Akshara Reddy will read from Zero Gravity and talk about her experience writing her first novel. Tune in live at 7:00pm CST on Tuesday, April 13 to celebrate Akshara's success. This event is free and open to the public. It will be streamed live on The Library Foundation's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LibraryFoundationATX
Badgerdog Young Authors Reading Series: Zahra Bryan
Thursday, March 25th | 7:00 pm
During the summer of 2020, Zahra Bryan attended a virtual writing workshop through The Library Foundation's Badgerdog Creative Writing Camp. There she honed her skills and passion for storytelling. But Zahra's journey didn't end there! In the months following camp, she continued to cultivate her voice as a writer and published her debut book Black Girl Magic.
At this reading event, Zahra Bryan will read from Black Girl Magic and discuss the importance of sharing her story with a wider audience. Tune in live to celebrate Zahra's success and experience some magic for yourself. This event is free and open to the public. It will be streamed live on The Library Foundation's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LibraryFoundationATX