On March 14 and 15, book lovers from around the country were able to convene at the University of Arizona’s campus to take part in the Tucson Festival of Books, presented by the Arizona Daily Star. Approximately 300 local and internationally recognized authors were attending the event, participating in lectures, interviews and book signings. As a book lover, I was looking forward to attending the festival with my fellow bibliophiles.

Many of the featured authors also teach at the University of Arizona. One author who was at the Tucson Festival of Books is Luci Tapahonso, a professor of American Indian Studies and English at the University. She is an award-winning author and poet and recently published a collection of poems and short stories entitled Radiant Curve (source). Anyone who’s ever seen her in person becomes completely enthralled in her reading because she juxtaposed English and the Navajo language in her works.

In addition to presentations by authors at the Tucson Festival of Books, aspiring writers were able to participate in workshops. The workshops gave these prospective writers suggestion on ways to improve their writing and increase their prospects of being published. Writers could also participate in poetry reading and contests.

All members of the family were also able to participate in a number of activities. There were more than 40 events that cater to children, including presentations, storytelling, arts and crafts, and dance. Many of these activities reflected the diverse cultures that exist in the state of Arizona. Children and their families could take part in bilingual activities in Spanish and the languages of the numerous Native American tribes in the state. This was a perfect opportunity to get children excited about reading.

There were a few activities for teenagers. The Pima County Public Library presented an event called Never-Ending Story and an open-mic poetry reading. Aspiring teen authors had the opportunity to meet published teen writers. Local high school bands also performed at the festival. If teens got bored, they could watch the Dance Dance Revolution competition.

As with any kind of festival, attendees could enjoy food, crafts and other goods when they attended the Tucson Festival of Books. They could also enjoy live music as they walk to the different events at the festival.

One of the great things about this festival is that money from the Tucson Festival of Books supported literacy programs in Southern Arizona.