Bay Area Book Festival


June 1, 2024 all-day
Downtown Berkeley
Allston & MLK

10th Anniversary Bay Area Book Festival Brings Top Authors, Critical Conversations,
and Family Fun

The Bay Area Book Festival is throwing a 10th anniversary party, where festivalgoers will be treated to the top-tier speakers the festival is known to showcase as well as new attractions, including a full day of workshops for emerging writers, three evening headliner events, a reimagined Outdoor Fair in the park (Sunday only) and the inaugural Native California stage. The icing on the birthday cake? Almost everything is free.

This year’s ticketed headliners include the incomparable Joan Baez, cultural commentator Naomi Klein and a trio of book-to-screen superstars (Viet Thanh Nguyen, Piper Kerman and Alka Joshi). Free programming features nearly 100 speakers, including Jonathan Lethem, Amy Tan, Steve Phillips, Forrest Gander, and Berkeley poet laureate Aya de León, as well as rising stars like Tommy Orange, R.O. Kwon, gina Breedlove and poet Brontez Purnell. Dozens of panels will encompass pressing issues such as Democracy, Equity, Immigration, Climate, Artificial Intelligence, and more. There will also be talks that elevate BIPOC voices, climate fiction and poetry as tools for climate justice, LGBTQIA voices, and more.

The festival’s first-ever Writers’ Day offers 10 free writing workshops for emerging and published writers � including youth andd teens � led by creative writing faculty from Bay Area colleges,, universities and literary groups. Topics include haiku writing, writing across genres, historical fiction, creative nonfiction and how to tap into your creative unconscious. Space is filling up fast; register in advance here.

Native literature has long been a festival mainstay, this year shining an even brighter spotlight on Indigenous voices with a new Native California stage in partnership with Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. Native American-focused programming includes award-winning author Greg Sarris and novelist Tommy Orange in conversation, cookbook author Sara Calvosa Olson on decolonizing your diet, Indigenous horror with Rebecca Roanhorse and Dani Trujillo and the inspiring young essayists of the annual Graton Writing Project.

Anchored by four outdoor stages, the festival’s free Outdoor Fair & Literary Marketplace (Sunday only) features more than 100 exhibitors, including an eclectic array of authors, independent booksellers, local publishers, writing groups and programs, literary clubs and organizations, book artists, libraries, reading resources and more. Hosted by Oakland publishing house The Collective Book Studio, the Outdoor Fair’s interactive Family Zone will feature author talks, readings, storytelling sessions, cooking demos, and Drag Story Hour! Other booths will feature book-related arts and crafts, a book scavenger hunt, Literacy Bingo, the popular Half Price Books Free Book Giveaway — and more!

The Bay Area Book Festival is BARTable, easy to get to, free, and fun for all. Bring family and friends and make a weekend of it June 1-2 in downtown Berkeley!

Check out the full line-up at


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.