April 24, 2008KR BlogReading

It’s Coming! 2008 LA Book Fest

Speaking of the death of books, if you happen to be in Los Angeles this weekend, stop by UCLA for the UCLA/Los Angeles Times 2008 Festival of Books! The arena is huge–which is why it is championed as America’s largest public literary festival. With 6 outdoor stages, 300+ exhibitors, and hundreds of author panels, readings, and interviews, it’s a sort of marathon-48hours for the book lover. This year the festival has added a new feature–writing seminars. Usually all of the events are free. In previous years I’ve been 10 feet away from Alice Walker, and have had a personal conversation about “fictionalized memoirs” with Joan Didion. I’ve even hopped up onto the Open Mic Poetry Stage and read my own work, then grooved to bands in the later hours of the day after spending half my rent on books and journal subscriptions. This year I wasn’t deterred by the $100 bucks requested for a 50-person limit seminar with Robert Pinsky on “The Vocality of Poetry.” I’ll probably hit a few panels too, but will be sure to attend the Novel Collaboration awards, where readers have been working together on some wacky prose! Noon today, PST is the last opportunity to add your 600 words. See you Saturday and Sunday! I’ll be the one wearing the bright green Kenyon Review Young Writers t-shirt, as modeled in these photos.