The Lone Star Book Festival Launches Next Weekend

Article by ben

Ask anyone: Houston is a city on the rise, expanding so rapidly that sometimes the Loop feels like a belt on a guy who suddenly realizes he’s gained twenty points. (Or is this the right simile to use? After all, the pounds are welcome ones, mostly.) Talking about Houston on the rise has become, in the last few years, a bit of a cliché: everyone knows it, but where can you actually see it?

Consider Houston’s literary scene. Yes, there are the giants, great because of their longevity and attention to the larger community: Inprint, obviously; the University of Houston Creative Writing Program; and, if I may humbly add, Brazos Bookstore. Then, there are plenty of spots—like Poison Pen, for instance—that are relatively new but already feel inveterate, essential. But even still, enough demand exists for new organizations—like literary nonprofit Writespace—to crop up every few months.

Of course, all of the abovementioned exist inside the Loop. But what about people elsewhere in the greater Houston area? At Lone Star College, John Barr decided to add another essential piece to the puzzle, something every great literary city needs: a book festival.

Enter the Lone Star Book Festival, two days of panels, readings, and signings (April 8-9). This is the festival’s first year, but already Barr seems to be doing everything right. And in accordance with Houston’s expansion, Barr is nothing if not ambitious. When he first approached Brazos about being the festival’s bookseller, Barr told us he wanted forty authors; now, a year later, his creation will debut with nearly 150 authors—not only Houston favorites like Chitra Divakaruni, Nick Flynn, Rich Levy, Matthew Salesses, but also authors from all around the country. Also in attendance: many aspiring authors with self-published books, eager to cultivate an audience, in some cases for the first time.

It’s an impressive achievement—and one that the greater Houston area can probably look forward to for many years to come!

Browse the full schedule online and make plans to attend on April 8 and 9, 2016.

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