MEMOIRS: BLOOD AND EARTH - San Antonio Book Festival
April 13, 2024


  • 10:30 am - 11:15 am
  •    |   Location of Session: Swartz Room
  • Adult Sessions
  • Start of Signing: 11:30 am
  •    |   Signing Location: Festival Marketplace

About the Event

Loose of Earth covers 13 months of author Kathleen Dorothy Blackburn’s childhood, when her former Air Force pilot father was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer and her devout mother insisted faith (and an extreme diet) would heal him. The likely and unsolvable cause: repeated exposure to PFAs that contaminated the drinking water of every military site where he lived and worked in Texas. Denise Tolan’s Italian Blood follows the emotional minefields of life with her father, whose erratic anger ruled their home. She lays out how the origins of violence can infect a family tree, and what grows from those roots. These memoirists will discuss everything from environmental justice to writing about complicated families and how the body keeps the score.

About the Authors

Kathleen Dorothy Blackburn - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kathleen Dorothy Blackburn

Kathleen Dorothy Blackburn

Kathleen Dorothy Blackburn is a lecturer at the University of Chicago Creative Writing program. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in Bellingham ReviewCrazyhorseColorado ReviewDIAGRAM, and River Teeth, and was listed as notable in Best American Essays. Her debut book is Loose of Earth: A Memoir.

Denise Tolan - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Alexander Devora Photography

Denise Tolan

Denise Tolan’s work has appeared in The Penn ReviewAtlas and AliceHobartLunch Ticket, and The Best Small Fictions, among others. Denise was a finalist for Best of the Net 2022 and the 2019 and 2018 International Literary Awards’ Penelope Niven Creative Nonfiction Award. Her memoir is Italian Blood


Denise Tolan - The San Antonio Book Festival

Georgia Erck

Georgia Erck is a writer, former mentee of the Gemini Ink Mentorship Program and winner of Pitchapalooza. She has performed personal stories for live audiences including Listen to Your Mother, Worth Repeating and Stories Run Amok. The essay “I Smell Gas” from her recently completed memoir Shocking Happy was published in the book Worth Repeating, from Trinity University Press and Texas Public Radio in August 2023.

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