April 13, 2024


  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am
  •    |   Location of Session: Russell Hill Rogers Tent
  • Adult Sessions
  • Start of Signing: 11:15 am
  •    |   Signing Location: Festival Marketplace

About the Event

Sandra Cisneros returns to the San Antonio Book Festival with a conversation curated right from her bookshelf. Join Cisneros and authors Paul Alexander (Bitter Crop: The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday’s Last Year), Jan Beatty (The Body Wars: Poems), and Richard Blanco (Homeland of My Body: New and Selected Poems) to hear from writers exploring subjects often avoided.


Paul, Jan, and Richard will be signing their books after the session ends at the Nowhere Bookshop Tent, in the Festival Marketplace. Sandra Cisneros has already autographed copies that are available for purchase in the Nowhere Bookshop tent. She will not be doing any additional signing on the day.

About the Authors & Introducer

Paul Alexander - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Michael Lionstar

Paul Alexander

Paul Alexander has published eight books, among them Rough Magic, a biography of Sylvia Plath, and Salinger, a biography of J. D. Salinger that was the basis of a documentary that appeared on American Masters on PBS, Netflix, and HBO. His journalism and commentary have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers, among them New York TimesLos Angeles TimesBoston GlobeNewsdayNew York, GuardianNationWashington Post, and Rolling Stone. He teaches at Hunter College. His latest work is Bitter Crop: The Heartache and Triumph of Billie Holiday’s Last Year.

Jan Beatty - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Beth Kukucka

Jan Beatty

Jan Beatty is the author of eight books, including the forthcoming Dragstripping. Her memoir, American Bastard, won the Red Hen Nonfiction Award. Other books include Jackknife: New and Selected Poems, which received the Paterson Poetry Prize and was named Sandra Cisneros’s favorite book of 2019. Beatty has worked as a waitress, an abortion counselor, and in maximum security prisons. She is Professor Emerita at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, where she directed the Madwomen in the Attic Writing Workshops and the MFA program. She is a contributor to Texas, Being: A State of Poems. Her most recent book is The Body Wars, praised by The New York Times: “…Beatty’s new poems shimmer with luminous connection, travel a big life and grand map of encounters.” 

Richard Blanco - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Matt Stagliano

Richard Blanco

Selected by President Obama as the fifth Presidential Inaugural Poet in United States history, Richard Blanco was the youngest, the first Latinx, immigrant, and gay person to serve in that role. In 2023, Blanco was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Biden from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Born in Madrid to Cuban exile parents and raised in Miami in a working-class family, Blanco’s personal negotiation of cultural identity and the universal themes of place and belonging characterize his many collections of poetry, including his most recent, Homeland of My Body, which reassess traditional notions of home as strictly a geographical, tangible place that merely exist outside us, but rather, within us.

John Olivares Espinoza


John Olivares Espinoza - The San Antonio Book Festival

Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, performer, and artist. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, a MacArthur Fellowship, national and international book awards, including the PEN America Literary Award, and the National Medal of Arts. More recently, she received the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change Fellowship, was recognized with the Fuller Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature, and won the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. In addition to her writing, Cisneros has fostered the careers of many aspiring and emerging writers through two nonprofits she founded: the Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. As a single woman she made the choice to have books instead of children. A citizen of both the United States and Mexico, Cisneros currently lives in San Miguel de Allende and makes her living by her pen.

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