Time again for the popular Tucson Festival of Books



March 12 and 13, 2016 are the two days for the wildly popular Tucson Festival of Books, where long lines face you to get into some author presentations.   Here’s the complete schedule, to plan ahead:


It’s again on the University of Arizona mall (west of Campbell Ave. on University Blvd.), now in its 8th year.

Author list (A -Z): http://tucsonfestivalofbooks.org/?id=45

One of the fun activiites is at the end of the festival,  with AZ Daily Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons and his humorous drawings  at the Star’s tent, 4 p.m. Sunday.  Writer Dave Devine will be assisting him this year.  The tent seats 250.

History from their website, www.tucsonfestivalofbooks.com.

“The Tucson Festival of Books, a registered non-profit organization established to support and fund literacy advancement in southern Arizona, debuted in March 2009 after two years of planning. More than 350 authors presented nearly 300 programs to 50,000 attendees that year. In six years, nearly 600,000 attendees have visited the Festival on the campus of the University of Arizona. More than $1,050,000 has been raised for local literacy organizations. Attendance in 2014 was estimated to be over 130,000 with more than 450 authors presenting. Founders of the Tucson Festival of Books include business, university and philanthropic leaders.”

Books — food– activities — info booths — family friends entertainment –lots and lots to do as usual. Enjoy Spring at the annual Tucson Festival of Books. Bigger and better each year.

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


  1. Day 2 – another full day at Tucson Festival of Books, starting off with author Marja Mills, who has written a Memoir on Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” (and her attorney sister Alice Lee) and lived near them in Monroeville, Alabama; then a panel of women who write for youth discussing “Bold and Daring: Kids Overcoming Challenges”. Author Valynne Maetani in that panel talked about growing up Japanese American in Utah (a minority). Then listened to a panel of sci-fi/horror writers talk about the future (with some optimism and humor) and later a more realistic panel on “Race in America: Changing Cultural Landscapes” with San Diego cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz and 3 professors. Finally AZ Daily Star Dave Fitzsimmons and Tucson writer Dave Devine quizzed two panels of volunteers on the stage about Tucson trivia, with both teams winning at the end. Sad to see another TFB close but save the dates of March 11 & 12, 2017 for next year.

  2. Day 1 of Tucson Festival of Books – checked out the numerous booths, then listened to Georgetown Prof. Maureen Corrigan speak of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his American classic “The Great Gatsby”. Didn’t know that Fitzegerald didn’t achieve fame with this book and died at an early age of 44. Then over to UA Gallagher theater for “The Politics of Education and Inequality” moderated by ASU Prof. Dr. David Garcia (who ran for Supe of Public Instruction 2 years ago). Not a pretty picture of education by Jonathan Kozol and Natalia Petrzela, both professors. Then listened to author James M. Scott’s vivid rendition of the WWII Doolittle air raid of Tokyo (“Target Tokyo”) and that only 2 of the Doolittle raiders are left alive. Finally I heard a panel of 3 male authors – Ben Minteer, David Gessner, Sean Prentiss- speak of the life & legacy of Edward Abbey, who died here in Tucson. Also walked by the Science Cafe and there was famous Institute of the
    Evnvironment UA Professor Jonathan Overpeck speaking about climate change, and his concern about lack of water in the future.

    On the way out of the festival I happened upon a Shakespearean version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by the Lindley Lopez Circus. Colorful and talented young people performed as acrobats, trapeze artists, jugglers, dancers, singers and even a unicyclist. More fun tomorrow.

  3. I’ve got a spreadsheet with some of the major author events I’d love to see and some of the booths I’d like to visit, but are there other events in addition to those that anyone might recommend? (Second Saturday downtown?)

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