Second Annual Bay Area Book Festival at Berkeley Announces Schedule with 280 Authors, Film & Literature Series, 50,000Book Public Art Installation
The Bay Area Book Festival returns to downtown Berkeley, over the weekend of June 4-5, 2016. The two-day, free festival will welcome 280 local, national, and international authors and speakers in 120 literary sessions (panels, interviews, keynotes, and performances) throughout a 10-block radius of downtown Berkeley.
Highlights include appearances by Irish novelist Colm Tóibín (interviewed by UC Berkeley’s Chancellor Nicholas Dirks); recent Pulitzer Prize winners T. J. Stiles and William Finnegan; past Pulitzer winners Richard Russo, Adam Johnson, and Robert Hass; U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera; Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang; and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, launching her memoir.
Among dozens of best-selling American writers speaking at the festival will be Sherman Alexie, Daniel Handler, Jonathan Lethem, Rebecca Solnit, Dana Spiotta, and Jacqueline Winspear. Spokenword poet and musician Saul Williams, who has performed in 30 countries in venues ranging from Lincoln Center to the Louvre, will appear in a special performance on June 2.
This year the festival has significantly expanded its children’s and teen programs, even creating separate web pages for age categories. A special focus is diversity, particularly in children’s literature, with panels such as “Inshallah! A Celebration of Muslims in Children’s Literature” and “Diverse Books Matter (to Kids and Everyone).”
The 105 indoor sessions will take place in 14 venues throughout downtown Berkeley. Sessions are free, though for most of them, half of the seats have been made available beforehand (at $5/each) for festivalgoers who prefer to avoid lines and guarantee themselves admission.
Outside, over 220 exhibitors, almost of all of them literary-related, will fill downtown Berkeley. Streets will be closed for pedestrian-only access.
Festivalgoers also will participate in a dazzling public art installation made entirely of 50,000 physical books, which are free for the public to take.
This year the festival launches a film and literature screening series in collaboration with the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA). Guest-curated for BAMPFA by Tom Luddy, co-director of the Telluride Film Festival, “Author, Auteur” includes ten films that directly relate to writers and writing and are introduced by the filmmakers or by distinguished writers.
For more information, visit: baybookfest.org.