Upcoming ...

We survey the landscape of upcoming literary events and author appearances.

Sharon Bridgforth
Sharon Bridgforth

If you're waiting like a saint for the Texas Book Festival -- with the likes of Michael Lind, Walter Mosley, E. Annie Proulx, and soon-to-be Austin resident Neal Pollack in attendance -- or the Jewish Community Center's 18th Annual Jewish Book Fair -- with Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated) stopping by on his way to earthly riches and immortal genius -- you'll have to wait until November. That's about four months. With the second great depression, the advancing stages of the war on terrorism, and, most disturbingly, the possibility of a Major League Baseball Players Association strike looming on the horizon, four months is thinking a bit too ahead, if you ask me. For now, let's concentrate on September, when Southwest Texas State University will welcome Ai, whose collection Vice won the 1999 National Book Award for poetry, as its Roy F. and Joanne Cole Mitte Chair in Creative Writing. Ai, taking over for Tim O'Brien, will give a reading in the fall and three presentations in the spring, all of which are TBA and open to the public. Also in September, on the 12th and the 23rd, respectively, SWT and the recently dedicated National Literary Landmark Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center will host Junot Diaz (Drown) and alumnus and debut novelist Diana Lopez, whose Sofia's Saints has been published by Arizona State University's Bilingual Review Press. In October, watch for Shelby Hearon; November (I know, I know), National Book Critics Award Finalist for Poetry Jane Hirschfield (Given Sugar, Given Salt). And I shouldn't even mention the fact that Harry Matthews (The Journalist), Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic (The World Doesn't End), and Barry Hannah (Yonder Stands Your Orphan), the enigmatic emperor of contemporary Southern literature himself, will show up sometime in the spring ... but I just couldn't resist. For more information, call 512/268-6637, or visit www.english.swt.edu/MFA.html and www.english.swt.edu/KAP.

Now, let's get really immediate ...

Philip J. Kaplan, founder of FuckedCompany.com and author of F'd Companies: Spectacular Dot-Com Flameouts (Simon & Schuster, $18), will be at BookPeople, tonight, Thursday, July 18, 7pm. Early reports from his book tour indicate that his appearances are as irreverent and unpredictable as his life's work: skewering idiotic venture capitalists and their spawn, the ill-conceived and spontaneously combustible online companies that in a simpler world once dominated the socioeconomic landscape. But the way he puts it is much funnier than that, and BookPeople has rated his sailor-mouth schadenfreude act as adults only... I have a feeling that poet and playwright Sharon Bridgforth couldn't care less what one might rate her release party and reading of dyke/warrior-prayers da re-mix, the limited edition chapbook companion to the Root Wy'mn Theatre Company's Sonja Parks-starring dyke/warrior-prayers. On Wednesday, July 24, 7pm, Heather Bishop, Florinda Bryant, and Aisha Conner will join Bridgforth at the Austin Latino/Latina Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization's space, 701 Tillery St., for "jazz/blues/prayer poems & performance stories." Fun for the whole family.

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