A communion of interiorities: At Bay Area Book Festival, readers and writers make personal, social discourses heard

Bookfest panelists and organizers
Emily Bi/Senior Staff

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As pieces of art open for the consuming, books operate within a paradox of sorts. The mechanical processes of both writing and reading are overwhelmingly solitary activities, in which the author and reader both have the chance to engage with their interiorities. And yet the effects of such communication is inherently social, with books allowing for the shattering of paradigms and the broadening of horizons.

The Bay Area Book Festival embodies the communal aspect of literature — its potential to bridge differences and highlight commonalities. In the contemporary world of noise, bright colors and a desire for immediate gratification, the book festival resoundingly proclaims the continued relevance of literature not only as a vehicle for social discourse and justice, but also simply as a means of pleasure shared by many. From book-based conversations on queer poetics to San Francisco literary icons, from literary lust to the perils of a warming planet, The Daily Californian is exploring the nuances of this Bay Area celebration of reader and writer alike.      

— Ryan Tuozzolo

At Bay Area Book Festival’s ‘On Not Mothering,’ talk of freedom, lack of direction

Choosing whether or not to have children, the panelists noted, is one of the most consequential decisions a woman has to make.

— Julia Mears


Bay Area Book Festival honors local powerhouse at ‘Lawrence Ferlinghetti at 100: A Tribute’

On March 24 of this year, he turned 100 years old — an event that warranted celebration all around the world, including a birthday party at City Lights.

— Alex Jiménez


Poets discuss future of artistic queerness at Bay Area Book Festival’s ‘Queer Poetics’

“Each poet sitting next to me here is considering queer pasts, writing from the present afterlives of colonial expansion … and plotting the queer future.”

— Alex Jiménez


Laurie R. King moderates panel of 4 European crime writers at Bay Area Book Festival

Considering a rise in true crime documentaries and an ongoing horror film renaissance, it seems that the entertainment world has developed a taste for the dark and dramatic in recent years — and the realm of literature is no exception.

— Lauren Sheehan-Clark


David Wallace-Wells, author of ‘The Uninhabitable Earth,’ argues for role of alarmism in confronting climate change

On July 9, 2017, an article in New York Magazine shocked the world with its forthright and brutal descriptions of the dangers that could arise from global warming.

— Lauren Sheehan-Clark


David Thomson discusses cinematic voyeurism for his book ‘Sleeping with Strangers: How the Movies Shaped Desire’

Thomson said his book begins with the fascinating subject of sex and the movies and how desire on screen has shaped the idea of desire in real life.

— Julia Mears

Contact Alex Jiménez at [email protected]. Tweet her at @alexluceli.
Contact Julia Mears at [email protected].
Contact Lauren Sheehan-Clark at [email protected].