The 27th Annual Texas Book Festival kicks off this weekend, November 5-6, at the State Capitol in Austin. This free event strives to bring authors and readers together to inspire a love of reading. This year, more than 250 authors will participate in sessions for readers of all ages. Below are some of our favorite authors who will be attending, along with their featured book for you to check out.
Alice Faye Duncan majors in writing picture books. Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free is her celebration of the Juneteenth holiday and Texas history. Her newest book, Yellow Dog Blues, is a snappy blues fable about love, loss, and liberty. The illustrator is two-time Caldecott winner, Chris Raschka. Alice Faye is a National Board Educator. She lives in Memphis, Tennessee, that big river city famous for Graceland, blues music, and barbecue.
Featured Book: Yellow Dog Blues
Alison Macor is a freelance writer and former film critic for the Austin Chronicle and the Austin American-Statesman. She has a PhD in radio-television-film from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Chainsaws, Slackers, and Spy Kids: Thirty Years of Filmmaking in Austin, Texas and Rewrite Man: The Life and Career of Screenwriter Warren Skaaren.
Brian T. Atkinson is the author of I’ll Be Here in the Morning: The Songwriting Legacy of Townes Van Zandt, The Messenger: The Songwriting Legacy of Ray Wiley Hubbard, and Looks Like Rain: The Songwriting Legacy of Mickey Newbury and coauthor of Kent Finlay, Dreamer: The Musical Legacy behind Cheatham Street Warehouse. He lives in Austin.
Darden Smith is a Texas-based musician and artist whose career of over thirty-five years continues to evolve and grow. He has released seventeen critically acclaimed albums and toured extensively in both the US and Europe. Among his other diverse projects, Smith has composed a symphony, scored three full-length dance theater works, produced a documentary for BBC2 Radio and written music for film and TV. His visual art is in both private and corporate collections as well as the Library of Congress. He is the cofounder and former creative director of both SongwritingWith:Soldiers and Frontline Songs, which bring collaborative songwriting to veteran and healthcare communities. The Habit of Noticing: Using Creativity to Make a Life (and a Living), a collection of his writings, photos and drawings, was published in 2018. His latest work, Western Skies (2022), is a sprawling multimedia collection comprising photography, lyrics and essays, an album of new music, a separate spoken word album (Western Skies—The Essays), videos, a suite of lithographs, and a theater performance piece that brings together the music, writings, and images.
Featured Book: Western Skies
Elisa Albert is the author of After Birth, The Book of Dahlia, and How This Night Is Different and is the editor of the anthology Freud’s Blind Spot. Her stories and essays have appeared in Time, the Guardian, the New York Times, n+1, Bennington Review, Tin House, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Literary Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. She lives in upstate New York.
Featured Book: Human Blues: A Novel
Elizabeth Alexander is a prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author, renowned poet, educator, scholar, and cultural advocate. Among the fifteen books she has authored or co-authored, her memoir, The Light of the World, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2015 and her poetry collection American Sublime was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 2006. Her most recent book, The Trayvon Generation, was released in April 2022. Notably, Dr. Alexander composed and recited “Praise Song for the Day” for President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Over the course of an esteemed career in education, she has held distinguished professorships at Smith College, Columbia University, and Yale University, where she taught for fifteen years and chaired the African American Studies Department. Dr. Alexander is currently president of the Mellon Foundation, the nation’s largest funder in the arts, culture, and humanities.
Featured Book: The Trayvon Generation
Fernando A. Flores was born in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and grew up in South Texas. He is the author of the collection Death to the Bullshit Artists of South Texas and the novel Tears of the Trufflepig, which was long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and named a best book of 2019 by Tor.com. His fiction has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books Quarterly, American Short Fiction, Ploughshares, Frieze, VICE, and elsewhere. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Featured Book: Valleyesque
Lance Scott Walker is originally from Texas and is now based in New York. He is the author of Houston Rap Tapes and collaborated on the companion photo book Houston Rap. He has written for the Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Red Bull Music Academy, Vice, Wondering Sound, Fader, and The Wire.
Featured Book: DJ Screw: A Life in Slow Revolution
Marcia Hatfield Daudistel is co-author of Authentic Texas: People of the Big Bend and the Women of Smeltertown. She is also the editor of Grace and Gumption: The Women of El Paso and Literary El Paso and is an officer of the Texas Institute of Letters. She is the recipient of two Border Regional Library Awards. Marcia was selected as the recipient of the 2012 Literary Legacy Award from El Paso Community College and is a 2013 inductee into the El Paso Commission for Women Hall of Fame A longtime resident of El Paso, Texas, she now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Featured Book: Across the Border and Back: Music in the Big Bend
Margo Price is a Nashville-based singer-songwriter. She has released three LPs and has earned a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist and performed on Saturday Night Live. She is the first female musician to sit on the board of Farm Aid.
Featured Book: Maybe We’ll Make It: A Memoir
Priscilla Oliveras is a USA Today bestselling author and 2018 RWA RITA double finalist who writes contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Proud of her Puerto Rican–Mexican heritage, she strives to bring authenticity to her novels by sharing her Latinx culture with readers.
Her books have earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Booklist along with praise from O, The Oprah Magazine, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Frolic, and more. She earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, where she currently serves as adjunct faculty while also teaching the online class “Romance Writing” for ed2go. A long-time romance enthusiast, Priscilla’s also a sports fan, beach lover, and Zumba aficionado, who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock.
Featured Book: West Side Love Story