Austin Events for the Literati – March

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.

The Austin Forum on Technology & Society

Digital Experiences

Austin Central Library

Tuesday, March 5th @ 6:15pm

This month’s topic is Reaching & Engaging Fanatics with Immersive Experiences and the Technology that Delivers.

Speaker: Amber Williams, founder and CEO of Double A

The Austin Forum explores the impact of technology on society and stimulates discussions, collaborations, and partnerships on new technology opportunities. Each month, our guest speakers address cutting edge technology topics in health & medicine, business & industry, science & research, education, government, entertainment, and ‘social good.’ 


Queer Film Theory 101

Barrel o’ Fun @ Alamo Drafthouse Mueller

Wednesday, March 6th (and every 1st Wednesday)


Queer Film Theory 101 is a film and comedy lecture series focused on dissecting heteronormative films of our youths and pointing out the hidden queer narratives. Basically, we ruin films for straight people and yell about the characters that made us feel gay. It’s fun!

This month, we’re focusing on films that helped us realize that we don’t have to conform to anyone’s stupid gender norms if we don’t wanna! Our s/heroes on the silver screen did as they pleased and what felt natural and right to them, and often that meant choosing their own parts to play — societal norms be damned! And if they could do it, why couldn’t we?

Join our next five brilliant movie “professors” at Barrel O’ Fun as they recall the films from our youth that helped them redefine gender “norms” for themselves and find the queerness in between the lines. Plus: drinks!

For more info, check out the Queer Film Theory 101 Facebook page.

I’ll be adding this event to the recurring events section going forward!


Peter Heller in conversation with Clay Smith

Austin Central Library

Wednesday, March 6th 7pm – 9pm

Join Peter Heller for an evening of discussion about his writing and his new novel The River.

From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars, Heller’s new novel The River tells the story of two college students on a wilderness canoe trip–a gripping tale of a friendship tested by fire, white water, and violence.

Free and open to the public.


SXSW Event: Untold AI: Is Sci-Fi Telling Us the Right Stories?

Fairmont Manchester AB (Floor 5, 101 Red River)

5pm-6pm Saturday, March 9th

Speakers: Cory Doctorow, Christopher Noessel, Malka Older, Rashida Richardson

How do depictions of Artificial Intelligence in popular science fiction affect how we think about real AI and its future? How has fiction about AI influenced the development of AI technology and policy in the real world? (And do we really have to talk about Terminator’s Skynet or 2001’s Hal 9000 every damned time we talk about the risks of AI?)

Join bestselling sci-fi authors Cory Doctorow and Malka Older, editor Chris Noessel, along with futurism and AI policy experts as they examine what TV, movies, games, and sci-fi literature are telling us about AI, compare those lessons to real-world AI tech & policy, and identify the stories that we should be telling ourselves about AI, but aren’t.


Edwidge Danticat Keynote Address

The Black Studies Conference

AT&T Conference Center Amphitheater

6:30pm Thursday, March 14th

edwidge_danticatEdwidge Danticat is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah’s Book Club selection, Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist, and The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner, and the novel-in-stories, The Dew Breaker.

She is the editor of The Butterfly’s Way: Voices from the Haitian Diaspora in the United Statesand The Beacon Best of 2000: Great Writing by Men and Women of All Colors and Cultures, Haiti Noir and Haiti Noir 2, and Best American Essays 2011.

She has written six books for young adults and children, Anacaona, Golden Flower, Behind the Mountains, Eight Days, The Last Mapou, Mama’s Nightingale, and Untwine, as well as a travel narrative, After the Dance, A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel. Her memoir, Brother, I’m Dying, was a 2007 finalist for the National Book Award and a 2008 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography.

Danticat’s essays, The Art of Death: Writing the Final Storywas published by Graywolf Press in July 2017 and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism 2017. Her collection of short stories, Everything Inside, is forthcoming from Knopf in August 2019 and her children’s book My Mommy Medicine will be published by Roaring Brook Press in February 2019. She is a 2009 MacArthur Fellow and winner of the 2018 Neustadt Prize for Literature.


Poetry and War

Harry Ransom center

7pm Thursday, March 21st

Commemorate World Poetry Day with a reading and conversation between Dunya Mikhail and Brian Turner, two award-winning poets whose lives and writings have been affected by war.

Part of the Dean F. Echenbert War Poetry Reading Series.


Ballet Austin: Grimm Tales

The Long Center – Dell Hall

March 29th – 31st


They were meant to guide us and keep us on the straight and narrow. But many of the saccharin stories we were told as children started as grim reminders of what happens when naiveté meets wickedness, and the balance between good and evil is in question.

In this new, full-length work, made possible through the generous support of the Butler New Choreography Endowment and funded in part by a gift from Dr. Beverly Dale, Artistic Director Stephen Mills delves into the underbelly of some of your favorite fairytales and shows you the real beauty of the lessons they impart. Inspired by the visual art of Natalie Frank, the world premiere of Grimm Tales will leave you unsettled, unafraid, and undeniably hungry for more.

MUSIC Graham Reynolds

Tickets start at $15.


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

Howards End (1992) – Saturday, March 16th @ 4pm Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline

Kids Camp: Matilda (1996) – March 18th thru 21st, @ various times Alamo Drafthouse Mueller, Lakeline, and Slaughter locations

Let the Right One In (2008) – Monday, March 25th @ 7pm Violet Crown Cinema


One Page Salon (every 1st Tuesday)

Tuesday, March 5th – 7:30pm @ The North Door (FREE)

Queer Film Theory 101 (every 1st Wednesday)

Wednesday, March 6th – 8pm @ Barrel o’ Fun, Alamo Drafthouse Mueller

Theme: Gender Swap!

Story Department by Austin Bat Cave

Tuesday, March 12th – 8pm @ Home Slice Pizza (FREE)

Theme: Wrong Number

Nerd Nite (every 2nd Wednesday)

This month NerdNite is held on the 3rd Wed…

Wednesday, March 20th – 8pm @ The North Door (FREE)

Follow @nerniteaustin on Twitter for updates!

Astronomy on Tap (Every third Tuesday)

Tuesday, March 19th – 7:00pm @ 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, March 27th – 9pm @ Cheer Up Charlie’s (FREE)

Testify ATX (every last Thursday) 

Thursday, March 28th – 7:30pm @ The Spiderhouse Ballroom

$5 cash cover ($6 if paying with a card)

February Theme: Shelter from the Storm

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 (dot) 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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