Los Angeles Times Festival of Books: April 22-23, 2017

Experience the largest literary festival in America.

Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Facebook

The 22nd annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is taking place on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23 at the University of Southern California (USC). The annual celebration of ideas, creativity and the written word is the largest literary festival in America. The weekend-long festival welcomes more than 150,000 attendees to experience conversations, live performances and demonstrations led by 500 authors, celebrities, musicians, artists and chefs.

Authors and celebrities scheduled to appear at the festival include: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Margaret Atwood, Andrew Aydin, T.C. Boyle, Michael Connelly, Bryan Cranston, Ayesha Curry, Roxane Gay, Dave Grohl, Virginia Grohl, Hannah Hart, Chris Hayes, Tippi Hedren, Marlon James, Clinton Kelly, Rep. John Lewis, Cheech Marin, Danica McKellar, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Joyce Carol Oates, Kelly Oxford, Chuck Palahniuk, Nate Powell, Mary Roach, Luis J. Rodríguez, George Saunders, John Scalzi, Scott Simon, Nancy Silverton, Angie Thomas, Stephen Tobolowsky and Ngugi Wa Thiong'o.

Hoy Stage at Los Angeles Times Festival of Books
Hoy Stage | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Facebook

Additional festival highlights:

  • 10 outdoor stages - Acura Cooking Stage, Hoy Stage, L.A. Sound Stage, L.A. Times Central, L.A. Times Main Stage, Poetry Stage, Reading by 9 Children's Stage, Travel & Wellness Stage, USC Stage and YA Stage
  • Street-art-style mural installations curated by Branded Arts; finished murals will be donated to the Dr. Maya Angelou Community High School
  • Center Theatre Group performance of songs from the musical Into the Woods
  • Hundreds of exhibitors with books and merchandise for sale, giveaways and activities
  • Musical performances, food trucks and more

Conversations

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books - Conversations at Bovard Auditorium
Conversations at Bovard Auditorium | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Facebook

Attend indoor discussions ranging from enlightening to epic, with today's most talked about authors as well as exclusive film screenings. Q&As to follow. Advance ickets to Conversations are free with a $1 service fee, and are now on sale at Eventbrite.

37th Annual BOOK PRIZES (APRIL 21, 2017)

Ruebén Martinez
Ruebén Martinez | Photo courtesy of Chapman University, Facebook

Hosted by comedian Tig Notaro, the 37th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes will honor 11 outstanding literary works published during the last year. Taking place at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 21, the ceremony will be held at Bovard Auditorium on the USC campus. Reading and educational activist Ruebén Martinez will be presented with the Innovator’s Award, which recognizes the people and institutions that are doing cutting edge work to bring books, publishing and storytelling into the future. Novelist Thomas McGuane is this year’s recipient of the Robert Kirsch Award, which recognizes a body of work by a writer living in or writing about the American West. Tickets are now on sale at Eventbrite

FESTIVAL AFTER DARK: Book Drop Bash (April 22, 2017)

Rotunda at the Central Library in Downtown L.A.
Rotunda at the Central Library | Photo courtesy of Candice Montgomery, Flickr

Celebrating the literary and cultural life of Los Angeles, the 6th Annual Book Drop Bash is the largest Library party of the year. Taking place from 8-11 p.m., the Book Drop Bash invites members of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles to join authors from the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the historic Central Library.

Bring a book with you and swap it out for a new one to take home; enjoy complimentary snacks, desserts, local brews, and delicious coffee while listening to the sounds of KCRW DJ Eric Lawrence; participate in some tequila tasting; and get home safely by taking a Lyft with a discount code.

RSVP now to throw all the Library rules out the window and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Come for the legendary Book Swap, stay for the literary libations. This event fills up every year, so be sure to RSVP early.

FESTIVAL AFTER DARK: Losing My Religion (in 140 characters or less)

By Hannah C. Langley
Directed by Emily Chase
Charity, prized daughter of a radical anti-gay church, struggles with her faith after failing to convert a nice Jewish boy over Twitter. With the guidance of her alter ego, Judy Garland, and a curious bartender, Charity sees the light, leaving her church and its hateful ways behind. This is Play 3 of the New Works Festival Year Two, a workshop of diverse new works by the USC School of Dramatic Arts’ second Year MFA Dramatic Writing students.

Massman Theatre

  • Friday, April 21, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 22, 2:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 22, 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 23, 2:30 p.m.

FESTIVAL AFTER DARK: Spring Awakening

By Frank Wedekind
Translated by Edward Bond
Directed by Laura Flanagan
First performed under heavy censorship in Germany in 1906, Frank Wedekind’s play follows the dawning sexual awakening of a group of teenagers. The source for the Broadway musical, this boldly honest and cutting-edge classic launched 20th century avant-garde theater, yet manages to remain fresh and unsettling even in our own sex-saturated culture.

McClintock Theatre

  • Thursday, April 20, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, April 21, 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 22, 2:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 22, 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 23, 2:30 p.m.

Metro Discount

Expo Park/USC Station on the Metro Expo Line
Expo Park/USC Station on the Metro Expo Line | Photo by Daniel Djang

Go Metro and save 10% on your total purchase of official 2017 Festival of Books merchandise, including mugs, t-shirts, and more. The Expo Line drops riders directly at the south end of the Festival of Books. For exact routing, fare information, bike lockers/racks throughout the system and tips on purchasing your TAP fare card in advance, visit metro.net or call 323-GO METRO (323-466-3876).

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