Austin Events for the Literati – August


stacks of books and blog title image

Each month I’ll be investigating events around town that might pique the interest of book nerds, the literature obsessed, and those who enjoy stimulating entertainment and socializing.

Not surprisingly, Austin has a number of things going on every month the BookPeople community would enjoy. 


August 3rd-5th, Omni Hotel South Park

Austin’s Convention for SFF Readers and Writers

The 40th annual speculative fiction convention plays host to this year’s guest of honor, Deji Bryce Olukotun, as well as special guests Holly Black and Robert J. Sawyer.

Check out www.armadillocon.orgfor more info.



AUSTIN CENTRAL LIBRARY (710 West Cesar Chavez St)

AUGUST 7, 2018 @ 6:15pm (doors at 5:45)

You might be wondering how this is a literary event… I’ll admit it’s a stretch, but it takes place at the Austin Central Library and involves the sharing of information, so for my purposes, it counts 🙂

Come hear Dr. Ilya Finkelstein and Dr. Sahotra Sarkar from The University of Texas at Austin discuss the science, technology, and applications, and the security, ethical, and legal concerns around gene editing, gene drives, and other genome engineering capabilities.

Participation welcome! Please send your questions, answers & prognostications in advance at

This event is FREE, but please go here to register.

The Austin Forum Mission Statement: The Austin Forum engages and informs the Austin community about the importance and impact of technology on society and stimulates discussions, collaborations, and partnerships on new technology opportunities.

Follow @AustinForum on Twitter for updates.


From the Page to the Street: Latin American Conceptualism

The Blanton Museum of Art

200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

CLOSES August 26, 2018

typewriter blanton
Regina Silveira (Porto Alegre, Brazil, b. 1939)

In the 1960s–70s, artists in Latin America participated in the profound reorientation of art traditions known loosely at the time as Conceptualism. From the Page to the Street illustrates the diverse forms these new practices took – including photographs and video, mail art, poems, Xerox copies, publications, and proposals – and the critical charge they carried during a tumultuous time. Paying special attention to the role of drawing in this radical transition, this exhibition proposes that Latin American artists shared a vision for the potential of art to build politicized constituencies, moving their work off the page and into the street.

Admission to the Blanton Museum is free for members and students & faculty with a valid ID. $9 for adults, $7 for seniors, except for Thursday when admission is free for all.


Austin Poetry Slam

Every Tuesday at the Spiderhouse

Doors/Sign-up at 7:15pm, Draw at 8pm, Slam Starts at 8:15pm

While this is a recurring event, I’d be remiss if I didn’t draw special attention to this excellent event. The Austin Poetry Slam is a competitive spoken word poetry event that has been occurring for over 20 years. Currently hosted by The Spiderhouse Ballroom, there is a $6 cover (except on special occasions – like finals rounds – where it can be $8-$10).

Need something interesting to do on a Tuesday night? This is it.


Harry Ransom Center Exhibits

Ed Ruscha Archaeology and Romance

AUGUST 11, 2018–JANUARY 6, 2019



Organized by Dr. Jessica S. McDonald, the Nancy Inman and Marlene Nathan Meyerson Curator of Photography, Ed Ruscha: Archaeology and Romance examines the stages of conception, design, and production leading to the publication of Ruscha’s groundbreaking artist’s books and provides audiences with an unprecedented look into Ruscha’s creative process.




Stories to Tell (Revolving Exhibition)


  • The Mallarmé Suite of prints by Ellsworth Kelly
  • Documents relating to actor Olivia de Havilland’s lawsuit to become a free agent in the Hollywood studio system
  • Photographer Arnold Newman’s portraits of fellow photographers, marking the 100th anniversary of Newman’s birth
  • A display about literary archives in the digital age
  • The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas turns 40


Admission to the Harry Ransom Center exhibits is free. 


A listing of upcoming screenings of book-to-film adaptations.

Christopher Robin @ The Alamo Drafthouse, various times and locations

Master Pancake roasts War of the Worlds (2005) @ The Alamo Drafthouse Ritz Location, Friday, Aug 3rd & Saturday, Aug 4th @ 7pm and 10pm

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas @ The Alamo Drafthouse Ritz location Sunday, August 5th @ 9:15pm and Wednesday, August 8th @ 9:30pm

Scott Pilgrim vs The World Movie Party @ The Alamo Drafthouse Ritz location Friday, August 10th @7pm and Saturday, August 11th @ 9:45pm.


One Page Salon (every 1st Tuesday)

Tuesday, August 7th – 7:30pm @ The North Door (FREE)

Host Owen Egerton welcomes Melissa Stephenson (on book tour with her new book DRIVEN), tattooed puppy-lover Tyson Midkiff, cross-dressing crooner Richard Weiss, OPS Lottery winner Robert Ashcroft and MORE!!

Check out the FaceBook event page for more details.

Story Department by Austin Bat Cave

Tuesday, August 14th – 8pm @ Home Slice Pizza (FREE)

Theme: #TimesUp

Nerd Nite (every 2nd Wednesday)

Wednesday, August 8th – 8pm @ The North Door (FREE)

Follow @nerniteaustin on Twitter for updates!

Astronomy on Tap (Every third Tuesday)

Tuesday, August 16th – 7:30pm @ The North Door (FREE)

Follow @AoTATX on Twitter to view archives and events from other AoT events around the world!

Greetings From Queer Mountain (every last Wednesday)

Wednesday,  August 29th – 9pm @ Cheer Up Charlie’s (FREE)

Testify ATX (every last Thursday) 

Thursday, August 30th – 7:30 – 9pm @ The Spiderhouse Ballroom ($5 cash, $6 CC at door)

This month’s theme – Chemistry

Follow @TestifyATX on Twitter for performer spotlights and updates!

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

So, if you are hosting or 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 around 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!

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