Contact: BIPOC Book Fest
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2022
BIPOC BOOK FEST LAUNCHES FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND LITERARY FESTIVAL IN HOUSTON
HOUSTON, Texas – In its inaugural year, BIPOC Book Fest is writing its own chapter to bolster literacy efforts and the joy of reading in one of the most diverse regions in the country.
With a model of encouraging reading through representation and a mission of inclusion and dialogue, the two-day book festival aims to amplify the works of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in the literary space in an approachable and celebratory setting.
Day one of the festival, held at Buffalo Soldiers Museum on Saturday, April 23, geared towards adult and teen readers with a book fair featuring dozens of books by authors of color, author showcases, library materials, and panels on book banning, comic books, critical race theory, and the state of Latino literature and publishing.
Texas Poet Laureate Lupe Mendez and Houston Youth Poet Laureate Avalon Hogans will take part in a poet showcase featuring diverse poets from across the city. Eater Houston will present a panel on the legacy of Houston’s recipes, featuring James Beard Award-nominated chefs Chris Williams and Christine Ha, and Alba Huerta, the award-winning mastermind behind the James Beard Award-nominated cocktail bar, Julep. The festival will offer an intimate conversation with Texas native Joya Goffney, author of “Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry,” on the heels of her new book, and will invite guests to enjoy cocktails at the festival’s “LIT Lounge,” sponsored by the Ciroc, DeLeon Tequila and Crown Royal.
Additional programming includes poet buskers and a writing workshop by Inprint Houston. Tickets cost $10 and can be found on Eventbrite.
The Little BIPOC Book Fest, held on April 24, is a free event for children at Smither Park aimed at developing readers and accessibility. It will feature book giveaways, writing workshops, crafts, and other activities to empower young readers. Readings by Jasminne Mendez, the Afro-Latina author of “Josefina’s Habichuelas,” and Alda P. Hobbs, anchor the children’s fest. RSVP is required.
Books for purchase on both days will be provided by local partners including Kindred Stories, a Black and female-owned bookstore in Third Ward; local and independent book haven Brazos Bookstore; Red Planet Books & Comics of Albuquerque, N.M., the only Indigenous-owned comic bookstore in the world; Third Ward’s indie comic book shop Gulf Coast Cosmos Comicbook Co., Arté Publico Press — the largest publisher of Hispanic literature, and SOA Co. Books, independent, Black and female-owned pop up bookstore based in Houston. Houston Public Library; Harris County Public Library; Inprint Houston; and Writers in the Schools (WITS) will also table and provide programming, along with countless others whose generosity and enthusiasm drive this debut event to success.
BIPOC Book Fest, LLC is fiscally sponsored by Nuestra Palabra, a Latino-rooted literary and creative arts nonprofit led by activist and media personality Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante; and is funded by gifts from H-E-B; Prairie View A&M University; Black-owned financial firm Dawson Private Wealth in Dallas; positivity platform Upworthy, and private crowdfunding efforts.
This event was founded by Houston journalists Jaundrea Clay, Brittany Britto Garley, and Brooke Lewis. Jaundréa Clay is editor of the Houston Chronicle’s HouWeAre newsletter. Brittany Britto Garley is an award-winning journalist and editor of Eater Houston; and Brooke Lewis, a Houston native, is an award-winning journalist and currently working on a book about faith, love, and friendship.
For more information on the event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or the website at bipocbookfest.com.
Spotlighted authors and creators
Natasha Carrizosa, National Poetry Award winner for multicultural poet of the year
Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, media personality, and director of Nuestra Palabras, Latino Writers Having Their Say
Alda P. Dobbs, author of “Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna,” which was named on the Texas Bluebonnet Master List
Tarfia Faizullah, award-winning poet and author of “Seam”
Joya Goffney, author of “Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry”
Christine Ha, author and James Beard Award-nominated chef behind The Blind Goat and Xin Chao, winner of Master Chef Season 3
Avalon Hogans, Houston Youth Poet Laureate
Alba Huerta, award-winning bartender, author, and owner of James Beard Award-nominated cocktail bar Julep
Dr. Rhea Lawson, executive director of Houston Public Library
Jasminne Mendez, award-winning poet and author of “Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays and Poetry” and “Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e? It’s Islands Apart: Becoming Dominican American”
Lupe Mendez, Texas Poet Laureate, founder of Tintero Projects and author of “Why I Am Like Tequila”
Dr. Melanye Price, endowed professor of political science at Prairie View A&M University, director of PVAMU’s Center for Race and Justice
Chris Williams, James Beard Award-nominated chef, co-owner and executive chef of Lucille’s Gwendolyn Zepeda, Houston’s first poet Laureate from 2013-2015
BIPOC Book Fest
Date/Time: 10 am.-6 p.m. Saturday, April 23, 2022
Location: Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, 3816 Caroline St, Houston, TX 77004
Little BIPOC Book Fest
Date/Time: 10 am.-2 p.m. Sunday, April 24, 2022
Location: Smither Park, 2441 Munger St, Houston, TX 77023