Austin Events for the Literati – May

Literati Events BannerEach month I’ll be investigating events around town that might pique the interest of the book nerds, the literature obsessed, and those who enjoy stimulating entertainment and/or socializing. Not surprisingly, Austin has a number of things going on every month the Book People community would enjoy. 

Dionysium – Spring Show: Identity

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017, 7:00 pm

Alamo Village on Anderson


And now with a brand-spankin’ new website!

The Dionysium offers a unique, innovative program of debate, lecture, declamation, theatrical presentation and music in a salon-like atmosphere. Audiences enjoy offerings not to be found elsewhere in Austin, including the recitation of famous speeches, participatory discussion in a formal, moderated context, and the opportunity to participate in the recreation of ancient rituals.

A typical Dionysium show will feature a lecture, a declamation, a drinking song, a film or live musical performance, an appeal to Dionysus, a fiction-writing contest, and plenty of strong drink. But the heart of every Dionysium is the debate.

The Dionysium debate pits two experts against each other in toe-to-toe parliamentary combat. Dionysium debate resolutions have covered everything from Social Security reform to the future threat of genocidal robots. An audience interrogatory segment allows guests to personally challenge our debaters, and every resolution is adopted, or defeated, by an audience vote. –

Like The Dionysium on Facebook to stay up to date with all of their shows!

Pterodáctilo: Poetry & Ptamale Party

Friday, May 5th @ 6:30pm

Malvern Books

This party from the bilingual journal and blog run by graduate students in UT’s department of Spanish and Portuguese features tamales – and readings by Ignacio Carvajal, Nicolas Emilfork, and Jim Trainer. Bonus: music from Chulita Vinyl Club.

Austin Short-Short Fiction Festival

Saturday, May 6th @ 11am – 2pm




No, it’s not fiction about hot pants, fool. This is, like, flash fiction, sudden fiction. Fiction that’s as short as it gets and still not actually more of a poem sort of thing, right? So it’ll fit whatever your attention span may be. And the readings are curated and hosted by Elizabeth McCracken, Deb Olin Unferth, and Mary Helen Specht, and we’ll remind you that that’s a sure sign of high quality and enjoyment.

The Elisabet Ney Museum is located at 304 E. 44th, Austin.

Free Comic Book Day

Saturday, May 6th – All Day!

Austin Books and Comics and Dragon’s Lair


Free Comic Book Day is an annual event founded on the belief that for every person out there, there’s a comic book that they’ll love. Every first Saturday in May, the industry comes together to give away free comics and encourage fans, both old and new, to flock to the best place in the comic book community: local comic shops. These are the hubs of our community, where fans can come together and discover new comics, make lifelong friends, and find a sense of commonality.

Major publishers such as DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, and Image Comics put out free comics for fans to enjoy at the more than 2,300 local comic shops participating in Free Comic Book Day. There’s truly a book for everyone: from superheroes, to popular film and television shows, to beloved video games, and all-ages stories. Popular series from past years have included Bob’s Burgers, Doctor Who, Assassin’s Creed, and SpongeBob.

Check out the Free Comic Book Day website for more information about this amazing day!

Ballet Austin Presents:

Alice (In Wonderland)

The Long Center for the Performing Arts – Dell Hall

May 12th – 14th



Enter the exotic world beloved author Lewis Carroll created through his time-tested story, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Our heroine, Alice, and all of the eccentric characters she encounters, jump from page to stage in this wacky, whimsical production, featuring fanciful sets, outlandish costumes and movement styles that fuse classical ballet with contemporary ballroom, modern and hip-hop choreography.

You can’t miss this giddy conclusion to a storybook season!

Choregraphy: Septime Webre
Music: Matthew Pierce
Live Accompaniment: Musicians from Austin Symphony Orchestra

Tickets start at $15

Public Tour: Persuasion: Messages & Meaning in Art

The Blanton Museum of Art

Thursday, May 25th 12:30pm – 1:30pm

From the Blanton Website:

A picture is worth a thousand words, the adage goes, and artists have communicated messages and meaning with their art from the beginning of time. From the church-sponsored art of the 17th century to contemporary art reflecting on war, poverty, and politics, artists have sought to persuade the masses. See all of the ways artists convey messages on this tour of the Blanton’s newly reimagined permanent collection.

Admission is free on Thursdays.

The Blanton is located at the intersection of Congress Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.


Naked Lunch

Wednesday, May 10th @ 7:50pm

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

This deliciously surreal “adaptation” of William S. Burroughs’ equally surreal novel, starring Peter Weller, is a must-see for both Burroughs fans and Cronenberg fans alike. The marriage of these two visionaries creates one of the most brain-melting visual narratives of all time. Buy your tickets in advance!

Noir City Film Series

The Killers

Friday, May 19th @ 10pm

Alamo Drafthouse Ritz

Screening as part of the Noir City Austin festival in partnership with the Film Noir Foundation.

This landmark in the noir movement takes a famous 1927 Ernest Hemingway short story as the jumping-off point for a crime saga often called the Citizen Kane of film noir. Like Kane, it starts with a death and backtracks through interweaving stories to reveal the lust, lies, and betrayal that caused a man to welcome his own execution. At the center of the whirlwind of double-crosses are white-hot Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner—perhaps the sexiest pairing ever in a film noir. 

Buy tickets Here!


One Page Salon (every 1st Tuesday) – Tuesday, May 2nd – 7:30pm @ The North Door (FREE)

Nerd Nite (every 2nd Wednesday) – Wednesday, May 10th – 8pm @ The North Door (FREE)

Astronomy on Tap (every 3rd Thursday) – Thursday, May 18th – 7pm @ The North Door (FREE)

Testify ATX (every fourth Thursday) Thursday, May 25th – 7pm @ The Spiderhouse Ballroom ($5 cash, $6 CC at door)

Greetings From Queer Mountain (every last Wednesday) – Wednesday, May 31st – 9pm @ Cheer Up Charlie’s (FREE)

Austin Events for the Literati is researched, curated, and written by bookseller Sarah Holdgrafer. It’s purpose is to make it easier to discover events that would interest people in the literary scene, or just people that read the BookPeople blog, here in ATX. It is by no means comprehensive!

So, if you are hosting, or just know about, a literary themed event here in Austin in the upcoming months, email sarah.holdgrafer (at) gmail dot com and let her know about it (hopefully with at least a few weeks advance warning)! The Austin Events for the Literati blog post goes up by the 1st of every month.

NOTE: These events are not produced by or affiliated with BookPeople. We just think they are great, that you’ll like them too, and hope to see you there! For official BookPeople events, please see the BookPeople Events Calendar!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s