SABF Staff Recommendations for the 2017 Festival Schedule

  • March 15, 2017
SABF Staff Recommendations for the 2017 Festival Schedule - San Antonio Book Festival

Our schedule of events is out! You can now browse through all the sessions and start planning your day. Our new build-your-own-schedule feature allows you to create and print your customized schedule. 

With 100+ authors and 76 sessions to choose from, we thought it might be helpful if we offered some of our staff’s recommendations on sessions to attend. Truth be told, though, you can’t go wrong playing choosing blindly; they are all fantastic!

Katy Flato, Executive Director

“So, of course I want to recommend seeing all 76 sessions! Sadly, that’s not physically possible, but the good news is you really can’t go wrong with the depth and variety of our choices.

Never miss an opportunity to hear the brilliant Larry Wright on “The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State.”

I know what “Zapruder film” means to me, so I think Alexandra Zapruder’s personal history sounds fascinating.
A Personal History of the Zapruder Film with Alexandra Zapruder

Every US service dog in the world has come through Lackland for training, so Maria Goodavage’s book on Secret Service Dogs just got even more interesting. 
All the President’s Dogs: Heroic Tales of Secret Service Dogs with Maria Goodavage

I love the title of this panel (& the optimism): The Future Is Female: Feminism for the Real World with Kelly Jensen, Jessica Luther, & Siobhan Vivian

And how can this not be fun!? Not Our First Rodeo: A Texan-Off with Andrea Valdez

Shannon Stephens, Community Engagement Director

“Oh my god, everyone should go see Billy Taylor. I read a lot of YA books in the past few months for work and, hands down, the funniest book I’ve read in a long time is Thieving Weasels.

But if I had the luxury, I would sit myself down in the Auditorium all day. All those sessions sound outstanding.”

My Life with a Few Thieving Weasels with Billy Taylor

Lilly González, Communications Director

“I’m loving all the girl power in our schedule. We’ve got poet laureates and female detectives and nasty women fighting back and girls running the world in YA lit…it’s empowering.

I’d like to catch Magik Theatre’s performance of “The Three Little Pigs” this year. The Children’s Area, in general, is such a magical place. You walk around and you see the joy in those kids’ faces and how inspired they are by stories and by books; it warms my cold, cold heart.

I still can’t believe we have Martín Espada in our lineup. His poems jolt you awake. They make me want to slow clap, every time.”

Vivas to Those Who Have Failed: Poems for Unknown Heroes with Martín Espada

Sherry Layman, Managing Director

“Having worked in the corporate world most of my life, I know how difficult it is for women to crack that glass ceiling. Julissa Arce’s story is so amazing because she accomplished it all the while being undocumented.”

My (Underground) American Dream: My True Story as an Undocumented Immigrant Who Became a Wall Street Executive with Julissa Arce

Ben D’aurizio, Intern

“I researched all of this year’s poets as part of an internship assignment and I’m excited to see Nikki Grimes, particularly the Harlem Renaissance session. It sounds compelling and seems really well planned with the perspectives of a poet, a novelist, and a researcher at the table.” 

The Harlem Renaissance: The Cultural Capital of Black America with Nikki Grimes, Renée Watson & Michael Soto

Jamie Niland, Intern

“In general, I’m excited about this year’s Geektown. There are so many great, interactive activities for teens all day long. But I think the Poetry Slam 101 course presented by Fresh Ink is going to be a lot of fun for teens. They’ll get to learn how a slam works and how the performance elements come into play.”

Fresh Ink Youth Slam presents Poetry Slam 101

Katy Fitzharris, Intern

“I’m torn between the Laini Taylor session and the cosplay contest. I think I’ve found my patronus in Laini, but the cosplay contest is just going to be so much fun! I can’t wait to see the costumes teens come up with.”

Moths & Monsters: A Conversation with Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer)

Fictional Characters IRL—Geektown’s Literary Cosplay Contest

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