Texas Book Festival’s Literary Libations Events Start This Week

Cocktails and books go together like poetry and pickle backs

Booze and literature are well-established as bedfellows powerful enough to form their own minor genre. Take the Kingsley Amis’ poetic musings on the existential hangover, for example, or Sweetbitter, last year’s smash hit novel that took readers behind the scenes of New York’s whiskey-fueled restaurant industry.

Or the famous Algonquin round table, whose denizens were more concerned with the three martinis than the lunch. For the second year running, the good people of the Texas Book Festival invite you to join that tradition with their Literary Libations celebration, a three-day bacchanal whose proceeds benefit Lit Crawl Austin. This year, they’re partnering with Austin Film Society, American Short Fiction, and Chicon Street Poets to host three unique events.

First up, on August 12th, is the film screening at Austin Film Society, a special showing of the Marx brothers film The Cocoanuts, a 1929 musical taking place in a tropical Miami hotel. Before the film, expect Algonquin themed cocktails (plus hopefully a few more tropical tipples taking inspiration from the daiquiris Groucho might have sipped off screen, away from the prohibition era censor’s eye), and a book swap. The key move here, folks, is staying sober enough to make sure you get a good book. Don’t martini yourself into trading that copy of Everyday Drinking for a battered reissue of Chicken Soup for the Single’s Soul.

On August 14th, American Short Fiction brings a literary arts program to Prohibition Creamery, where you can celebrate the move of booze onto the big screens and out of the shadows. Groucho would be proud. Try a couple of scoops of their signature bourbon, and rejoice, with a reading, you don’t have to worry about dripping ice cream onto your book and sticking the pages shut. Special literary themed drinks and ice cream will be available for purchase, benefitting the lit crawl.

Don’t eat too much of that boozy ice cream though, because the very next day Chicon Street Poets (who claim they’re “Where Dive and Verse Come Together”) hold a showcase at Stay Gold, a Lit Crawl standby where every year the group hosts a roster of local written and spoken word poets. Sip one of the special literary themed cocktails that will be on the menu to benefit Lit Crawl, and savor the experience. It’s not every day you get to combine poetry with a pickleback!

For more details, including a coupon code, see the Texas Book Festival's Literary Libations page.

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