lit and libations
Literature-loving bar crawlers hit the Austin streets for Texas Book Festival
If the forthcoming end of the year reminded you of those reading goals yet to be crossed off your list, you’re not alone. One way to get back in that reading groove is — believe it or not — a bar crawl.
The Texas Book Festival, a free event series and market from November 11-12, is rounding up book-lovers to hit the streets for Lit Crawl Austin, promising a night full of literary fun. The annual book crawl returns on November 11, stopping at four venues around East Austin and hosting nine events to satisfy readers of all genres.
The crawl acts as a novel (pun intended) buffer between stationary festival events, providing unique opportunities for readers to engage with the writers’ work and vice-versa.
Some serious-yet-fun planning is required if an Austinite aims to go to all the events, as many of the times overlap. To help with the task, here’s everything going down during Lit Crawl Austin.
The crawl kicks off at Vintage Bookstore & Wine Bar on 11th Street with a happy hour at 5:30 pm, giving festival attendees a chance to mingle and relive their favorite moments from the day or to hatch a plan for the night's events. Poetry and memoir writers follow up with readings from their newly released works in a showcase presented by TORCH Literary Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to elevating Black women writers. "Noir at the Bar" rounds out the readings with a suspenseful and eerie twist as crime fiction writers such as Chandler Baker, Mike McCrary, Amanda Moore, and James Wade, and others take center stage.
Around the corner, Gin Bar on 6th Street will set four authors head-to-head in a literary competition like no other during "Literary Death Match" at 7 pm. The traveling series describes itself as "part literary event, part comedy show, part game show"; this hard-to-pin-down variety show has been going on since 2006. That's followed by the "Battle of the Craft Experts," another game show featuring craft writers Andrew Sean Greer, Angie Kim, and Andrew Porte to name a few.
At Daydreamer, also on 6th Street and starting at 7 pm, authors will provide advice straight from the pages of their work to participants who get a chance to enquire about love, life, and everything in between. Right after, the Writers’ League of Texas's “Build a Story” event will showcase how a three-part story gets crafted in real time with randomly selected prompts from the audience.
Austin Bat Cave brings a storytelling riff inspired by The Moth at 7:30 pm at the next venue, Saddle Up on Rosewood Ave, where Austin Book Festival authors tell true stories inspired by the theme "Freedom to Read." Staying on theme, "Banned Book Bash" highlights current and formerly banned books, plus more writing inspired by them or that is "so freakin’ good they are bound for banning," all run by Librotraficantes. Participating authors include Alma García, Esmeralda Santiago, Jennifer De Leon, and more.
Lit Crawl Austin and Texas Book Festival are both free to attend. For more information regarding event details and schedules visit texasbookfestival.org.