LA Times Festival of Books logo 2023
April 21, 2023

UC Riverside faculty and alumni at this year’s LA Times Festival of Books

The annual literary event takes place April 22-23

Author: Sandra Baltazar Martínez
April 21, 2023

This year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the annual literary event in Los Angeles, includes a stellar lineup of UC Riverside authors.

UCR faculty and alumni will be participating in this literary festival, which takes place at the University of Southern California April 22-23. More than 500 authors, poets, artists, chefs, celebrities, and musicians will participate in this year’s festivities. 


Meet UCR’s authors:

Alex Espinoza

Espinoza was born in Tijuana, Mexico and holds an MFA from UC Irvine’s Program in Writing. He’s the author of the novels “Still Water Saints” and “The Five Acts of Diego León,” both by Random House. His nonfiction book, “Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime,” was published by Unnamed Press in 2019. His newest novel, “The Sons of El Rey,” is forthcoming from Simon and Schuster. Espinoza teaches at UC Riverside where he serves as the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair of Creative Writing.


Sunday, Apr 23, 10:30- 11:30 a.m.

Memoir: The Intersection of Life and Art--Panel 2141--Tickets Required

Albert and Dana Broccoli Theatre

Elizabeth Crane and Emily Rapp Black
Elizabeth Crane

Crane is the author of two novels and four collections of short stories, most recently the novel “The History of Great Things” and the story collection “Turf.” She is a recipient of the Chicago Public Library 21st Century Award. Her work has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts and adapted for the stage by Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater. Her debut novel, “We Only Know So Much,” has been adapted for film. She teaches in the low residency masters program at UC Riverside Palm Desert. Her debut memoir, “This Story Will Change,” is out now from Counterpoint Press.

Emily Rapp Black

Rapp Black is the author of five books of nonfiction, including “Poster Child: A Memoir” (BloomsburyUSA) and “The Still Point of the Turning World” (Penguin Press), which was a New York Times Bestseller and a finalist for the PEN Center Literary Award in Nonfiction. She is professor of creative writing at UC Riverside and at the UCR School of Medicine.


Saturday, April 22, 4- 5 p.m. 

Memoir: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes--Learning to Move On--Panel 1135--Tickets Required

Ray Stark Family Theatre

Tod Goldberg

Goldberg is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen books, including “The Low Desert: Gangster Stories,” a Southwest Book of the Year, “Gangsterland,” a finalist for the Hammett Prize, “Gangster Nation,” and “Living Dead Girl,” a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He directs the Low Residency MFA at the University of California, Riverside. His next book, “Gangsters Don’t Die,” will be released this coming fall.


Sunday, April 23, 10-11 a.m. 

Mystery/Thriller: International Intrigue & Adventure--Panel 2121

Norris Theatre

Mark Haskell Smith 

Haskell Smith is the author of six novels with one-word titles including “Moist, Salty, and Blown”; as well as the non-fiction books “Rude Talk in Athens: Ancient Rivals,” the “Birth of Comedy, and a Writer’s Journey through Greece”; “Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup”; and “Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist’s Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World.”


Sunday, April 23, 11 am.- noon  

Bent Perspectives: Dare You Not to Laugh--Panel 2101

Taper Hall 101

Ivy Pochoda 

Pochoda is the author of the critically acclaimed novels “Wonder Valley,” “Visitation Street,” and “These Women.” She won the 2018 Strand Critics Award for Best Novel and the Prix Page America in France, and has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Edgar Award, among other awards. For many years, Pochada taught creative writing at Studio 526 in Los Angeles's Skid Row. She is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California Riverside Palm Desert low-residency MFA program. Her new novel, “Sing Her Down,” will be published by MCD on May 23, 2023.  


Sunday, April 23, 11 a.m.- noon 

Walter Mosley, Author of  “Every Man a King,” in Conversation with Ivy Pochoda--Panel 2041--Tickets Required

Bovard Auditorium

Jane Smiley 

Smiley, professor emeritus, is a novelist and essayist. Her novel “A Thousand Acres” won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992, and her novel “The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton” won the 1999 Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. She has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1987. Her most recent novel, “A Dangerous Business” was published in 2022. Her forthcoming literary collection “The Questions That Matter Most” debuts summer of 2023, her first literary nonfiction since 2005’s best-selling “Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel.”


Saturday, Apr 22, 1-2 p.m. 

Arts and Culture: The First Rule of Write Club is...--Panel 1133--Tickets Required

Ray Stark Family Theatre

Susan Straight

Straight’s most recent novel, “Mecca,” was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize and a national bestseller. “Mecca” was also chosen as Southwest Book of the Year for Fiction. She is the author of 10 novels, including a nationally recognized memoir, “In the County of Women,” “Highwire Moon,” and “A Million Nightingales.” Straight is a distinguished professor of creative writing with deep roots in the Inland Empire. 


Sunday, Apr 23, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Fiction: Writing California--Panel 2134--tickets required

Ray Stark Family Theatre

David Ulin

Ulin is the former book critic of the Los Angeles Times. A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, he is the author or editor of nine books, including “Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles,” the novella “Labyrinth,” and “The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time.” He teaches at the UCR Palm Desert low residency MFA program. 

Multiple event details: 

Saturday, April 22, 11:15 a.m.- noon 

What Fiction Has to Offer: Rachel Kushner and Ottessa Moshfegh in Conversation with David L. Ulin--Panel 1122

Norris Theatre

Saturday, April 22, 3-4 p.m. 

Dave Eggers, Author of  “The Eyes and the Impossible,” in Conversation with David L. Ulin--Panel 1024

Town and Gown

Sunday, April 23, 12:30 p.m.- 1:20 p.m.

Doing the Work: Talking with Chowdhury Prize Recipient Victoria Chang

Poetry Stage

UCR Palm Desert low residency MFA Alums:
Annie Connole

Sunday, April 23, 2 p.m.

Chin Music Press booth 51; Signing copies of "The Spring"

Natashia Deón

Deón is a two-time NAACP Image Award nominee, practicing criminal attorney, and college professor. A Pamela Krasney Moral Courage Fellow, Deón is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel “Grace,” which was named a Times Critics’ Top Book of 2016 by The New York Times. She has been awarded fellowships by PEN America, Prague Summer Program for Writers, Dickinson House in Belgium, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.


Sunday, April 23, 2-3 p.m. 

Fiction: American Gothic--Panel 2013--Tickets Required

Hoffman Hall, Edison Auditorium

Ashley Jean Granillo

Sunday, April 23, 11am-1pm

Malik Books Booth 880 signing copies of "Where Monsters Lurk & Magic Hides"

Liska Jacobs

Jacobs is the author of Catalina, The Worst Kind of Want, and The Pink Hotel. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in Literary Hub, The Millions, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Rumpus, among other publications. She divides her time between Berlin and Los Angeles.


Saturday, April 22, 1:30- 2:30 p.m.  

Fiction: The Challenges of Modern Life--Panel 1023--Tickets Required

Town and Gown

Kathryn McGee

Saturday, April 22, 3-5 p.m.

Horror Writers Association booth #902. Signing "Mondays are for Meat" and the "Chromophobia" anthology

Heather Scott Partington

Scott Partington is a writer, teacher, and book critic. She is president of the National Book Critics Circle. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Alta Journal, among other publications. 


Sunday, April 23, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Fiction: Everybody's Got One--Families and Secrets--Panel 2132

Ray Stark Family Theatre

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