UCR Creative Writing Faculty and Alumni to Appear at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Here are the panel discussions, book readings, and signings and where you’ll find them throughout the weekend.

pile of books on table

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books runs April 21-22.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is right around the corner and a number of faculty and alumni from UCR’s Department of Creative Writing and the UCR Palm Desert Center’s Low-Residency MFA program will be participating in a host of conversations and readings. The largest of its kind in the United States — attracting approximately 150,000 attendees each year — the annual festival will feature hundreds of free events on the University of Southern California campus April 21-22.

Here’s the lineup:

UCR Department of Creative Writing


Reza Aslan
Sunday, April 22 | 3-4 p.m.
Reza Aslan in Conversation with Jonathan Kirsch, Conversation 2014

John Jennings
Sunday, April 22 | 3-4 p.m.
Getting Real: Young Adult Fiction and Social Justice, Conversation 2034

Allison Benis White
Sunday, April 22 | 2:40-3 p.m.
Allison Benis White, Reading from “Please Bury Me in This”

Laila Lalami
Saturday, April 21 | 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Ngugi wa Thiong’o in Conversation with Laila Lalami, Conversation 1022

Sunday, April 22 | 2-3 p.m.
Fiction: Epics Old & New, Conversation 2023

Susan Straight
Saturday, April 21 | 3-4 p.m.
Fiction: The Art of the Short Story, Conversation 1054


Maurya Simon
Sunday, April 22 | 11:20-11:40 a.m.
Maurya Simon, Reading from “The Wilderness”

Juan Felipe Herrera
Saturday, April 21 | 10-10:20 a.m.
Juan Felipe Herrera, Reading from “Jabberwalking”

Saturday, April 21 | 11:30-11:55 a.m.
Juan Felipe Herrera, Author of “Jabberwalking”

Saturday, April 21 | 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Jabberwalking: A Conversation and Live Poetry Workshop with Juan Felipe Herrera & HS Insider

UCR Palm Desert Center Low-Residency MFA


Elizabeth Crane
Saturday, April 21 | 3-4 p.m.
Fiction: The Art of the Short Story, Conversation 1054

Gina Frangello
Saturday, April 21 | 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Fiction: The Meaning of Family, Conversation 1095

Tod Goldberg
Saturday, April 21 | 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Crime Fiction Under The Sun, Conversation 1093

Sunday, April 22 | 11 a.m.
Book signing in booth 159 (Counterpoint Press)

Rob Roberge
Saturday, April 21 | 2-3 p.m.
Memoir: The Past is Never Past, Conversation 1023

Mark Haskell Smith
Saturday, April 21 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Fiction: Coming of Age, Conversation 1021

Deanne Stillman
Sunday, April 22 | 1:30-2:30 p.m.
History: Telling Hidden Stories, Conversation 2013

David L. Ulin
Sunday, April 22 | 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Photography & Narrative, Conversation 2112

Sunday, April 22 | 3-4 p.m.
The Politics of L.A. Spaces: From Architectural Icons to Homelessness and Gentrification, Conversation 2144


Yennie Cheung and Kathryn McGee
Saturday, April 21 | TBA
Book signing in booth 184 (Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network)

Natashia Deon
Saturday, April 21 | 4:30-5:30 p.m.
You Go Girl: Women in Charge, Conversation 1055

Saturday, April 21 | 1:30 p.m.
Book signing in booth 159 (Counterpoint Press)

Liska Jacobs
Sunday, April 22 | 2-3 p.m.
Crime Fiction: The Dark Side, Conversation 2043

Lon Varnadore
Saturday, April 21 | 3-5 p.m.
Book signing in booth 912 (Black Chateau)

Additional Events and Information

The Low-Residency MFA program will be at booth 134, located along the main fairway on Trousdale, just north of Tommy Trojan, for the duration of the Festival. Program administrators, professors, students, and alumni will be there to provide information for those interested in applying to the program. Students and alum are welcome to use their charging stations, grab water and candy, and store their festival purchases.

Pen & Paper Writing Workshops, run by Low-Residency MFA alumnus Charles Thompson, will be in booth 065 during the festival. He’ll be joined by fellow alumni and authors Senta Scarborough, Sara Marchant, Lia Langworthy and holding several contests with the winners receiving free classes. Information and pricing for their classes, along with plenty of free swag, will also be available.

Shades & Shadows, run by Low-Residency MFA alumus Xach Fromson, will be hosting an off-site event on Saturday, April 21 at the Last Bookstore, with special guests Cory Doctorow, Gretchen McNeil, Jennifer Brody, Christina Cigala, Bobby Goldstein, CB Lee, Michael Paul Gonzalez, Kate Maruyama, and Samuel Satin. It begins at 7 p.m.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is free, but reserving tickets is required to attend individual Conversations. Find more information about the festival here.

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