Upcoming literary events in Austin.
Inside Books Project
Austin's Inside Books Project, a nonprofit that distributes books free of charge directly to Texas prisoners, needs donations of books, time, and money. Prisoners write to Inside Books, requesting specific titles or genres, and Inside Books sends them what they want. But there's always a backlog of requests to fill (right now, in fact, Inside Books is working on requests from last September); here's how to help: Drop off books, preferably paperback, at 12th Street Books (827 W. 12th ) between 10am and 6pm Monday through Saturday. Especially needed are dictionaries (the most requested items), GED training books, books teaching English as a second language, books in Spanish, and trade/job skills manuals, though books of most any topic, fiction or nonfiction, can be put to use. Or donate supplies (manila envelopes, package tape, markers, stamps) or your time by answering mail from inmates and filling their orders. Call 647-4803 for more information.
Shelby Hearon will be at BookPeople on Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 7pm, to read from her new novel Ella in Bloom... Elmer Kelton will be at BookPeople on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 7pm, to read from his latest Western, The Badger Boy...
The Michener Center is bringing Michael Cunningham (The Hours, A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood) to town to read from his work on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 7:30pm, in the Avaya Auditorium in the new A.C.E.S. building on the UT campus (on the southeast corner of Speedway and 24th streets). Call 471-1601 for more information... Red Salmon Arts presents John Ross, Mexican author, poet, correspondent, and activist presenting his latest work, The War Against Oblivion: Zapatista Chronicles, 1994-2000 (Common Courage Press, $18.95), a season-by-season, six-and-a-half-year saga of the rebellion of Chiapas. Monday, Feb. 5, at 7pm, at Resistencia Bookstore (1801-A S. First St.). Call 416-8885 for more information.
Creative Nonfiction Conference
The weekend of March 3-4, the Austin Writers' League will present a conference titled "Exploring the Creative in Nonfiction." Lee Gutkind (Many Sleepless Nights, An Unspoken Art), the "grandfather of creative nonfiction" who founded the Creative Nonfiction journal and is the editor of the Creative Nonfiction Reader series, will be the keynote speaker. The conference is designed to assist writers who may be looking for advice about structure and form and who would like to meet other writers working on creative nonfiction. On Saturday, Gutkind will conduct a workshop titled "The Architecture of the Creative Nonfiction Essay: Style and Substance," though there are other aspects of the conference that are devoted to the business side of writing -- how to get published, etc. Robert Draper, Don Graham, Skip Hollandsworth, Arturo Longoria, and Joe Nick Patoski, among others, are scheduled to participate. Cost is $135 for AWL members, $200 for nonmembers. Call 499-8914 for more information or see www.writersleague.org.