San Antonio Book Festival to celebrate 10th anniversary May 21

Attendees of the 2018 San Antonio Book Festival wait to pay for their books. The 10th annual book festival returns as an in-person event May 21 for the first time since 2019. (Courtesy San Antonio Book Festival)
Attendees of the 2018 San Antonio Book Festival wait to pay for their books. The 10th annual book festival returns as an in-person event May 21 for the first time since 2019. (Courtesy San Antonio Book Festival)

Attendees of the 2018 San Antonio Book Festival wait to pay for their books. The 10th annual book festival returns as an in-person event May 21 for the first time since 2019. (Courtesy San Antonio Book Festival)

The San Antonio Book Festival, returning as an in-person event May 21 for the first time in three years, announced the author lineup for this year’s edition.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the festival and a return to an in-person format after the book festival was canceled in 2020 and held virtually in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scheduled to be held at the Central Library and Southwest School of Art in downtown San Antonio, the book festival will begin at 9:30 a.m. with an opening ceremony featuring remarks by Mayor Ron Nirenberg, according to a news release.

Event organizers said featured guests will include local poet Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson and local authors Naomi Shihab Nye, Sandra Cisneros, Fernando Flores, Lupe Mendez, Stephen Harrigan and Jericho Brown.

The San Antonio Book Festival is a free, family-friendly event that draws more than 18,000 festivalgoers for a full day of author presentations, panel discussions, book sales, signings, children’s and teen activities, and food trucks, the release said.



Event organizers said they are eager to hold an in-person event for the first time since 2019 and look forward to connecting readers of all ages with their favorite writers and offering opportunities for attendees to explore up-and-coming artists.

“Book festivals foster a sense of community and inspire people to think beyond their individual experiences,” SABF Executive Director Lilly Gonzalez said. “Reading is a solitary act, and for the past two years, Texas readers have been plunged deeper into isolation, with books serving as a vital gateway to connecting with the world. It feels extra special to be able to come together for this milestone year.”

In addition to the in-person events, the festival will include an all-virtual tent featuring a small number of prerecorded sessions from authors and poets, such as Pulitzer Prize winner Margo Jefferson, David Hassler, Tyler Meier and Joshua Prager.

Other notable San Antonians will be featured at the book festival, including former San Antonio Mayor Phil Hardberger, who will promote his photography book, “Phil Hardberger Park: A Story in Photographs”; and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who will promote his latest book, “The Mayor and the Judge: The Inside Story of the War Against COVID.”

The book festival will host numerous children’s book authors, including Mac Barnett and local writers Chef Cariño Cortez and Stephen Briseño.

Locally owned and -operated bookstore Nowhere Bookstore will be the festival’s official bookseller, the release said.

Additionally, the book festival’s singular fundraiser, the Book Appétit Literary Feast, featuring author Susan Orlean, will take place May 19 at the Witte Museum.

The Central Library is located at 600 Soledad St. Southwest School of Art is located nearby at 300 Augusta St. Visit www.sabookfestival.org for festival details.

By Edmond Ortiz
Edmond joined Community Impact as a reporter in August 2021, helping to launch new editions in the San Antonio market. Edmond covers various beats in the North San Antonio coverage area. He previously was the main reporter for Local Community News, covering several areas in and around San Antonio, first as a freelancer and then staff member. Prior to that, Edmond was a community news reporter for Prime Time Newspapers and the San Antonio Express-News, including editing two community weeklies. He's a San Antonio native, and studied mass communications at San Antonio College and Texas State University.