The Oakland Book Festival
“This is the book festival the East Bay has been waiting for!”—Nayomi Munaweera, novelist
“Where can a war reporter share an intense conversation about war and violence—with two novelists—and continue the discussion in the sunshine over bratwursts from the food truck outside? Only at the Oakland Book Festival.”—Mark Danner, journalist
“A conclave convened upon a kaleidoscopic aural summit sans the rhetoric of commercial devitalization.”—Will Alexander, poet
Free. Open. Public.
The third annual Oakland Book Festival will take place at Oakland City Hall on Sunday, May 21, 2017, with more than 90 journalists, novelists, historians, poets, editors, critics, artists, philosophers, and memoirists in over 50 discussions, debates, and readings on free press, social justice, labor, immigration, wealth and inequality, education, civil disobedience, altruism, activism, and freedom.
More than a literary trade show or a series of readings, the festival asks authors to discuss ideas, to bring their expertise to bear, to share their experience: to challenge, elevate, and inspire one another and those in attendance.
This year’s Oakland Book Festival surrounds the theme of Equality and Inequality, and will feature panels on “Equity in the Arts,” “Universal Income,” "The Free Press,” “Inequality in Academia,” “The Commodification of Feminism,” “Public Health and Private Profit,” “Identity and Class,” “Standing Rock and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights,” “Racial Profiling,” and of course multiple panels on the election of 2016 and the future of American Democracy.
Among many others, Angela Davis, Jeff Chang, Donte Clark, Judith Butler, Ishmael Reed, Chris Jackson, Mark Greif, Danielle Allen, Wendy Brown, Quincy Troupe, Sadie and Rodney Barnett, Guillermo Galindo, Sheryl Oring, Alia Sharrief, and Mistah Fab.
This is your festival: help us realize it, then come and join it.
2015’s and 2016’s Oakland Book Festival was voted Best Cultural Event by the readers of the East Bay Express.
The Oakland Book Festival has featured the Bay Area’s own Elaine Brown, Vikram Chandra, Anna Lappé, Khafre James, Gary Kamiya, and Anthony Marra. It also brought to Oakland national and international authors such as Edwidge Danticat, Héctor Tobar, Tracy K. Smith, Lewis Lapham, Paul Beatty, Michael Eric Dyson, and Astra Taylor.
Partnering publications and organizations included the Oakland Public Library, PEN Oakland, The Nation, Mother Jones, ZYZZYVA, UC Press, Children’s Fairyland, Litquake, and Chapter 510 & the Dept. of Make Believe, all of whom curated panels and readings featuring their authors and editors.
This year’s Festival is even more ambitious. Support the OBF in 2017.
The Oakland Book Festival needs your help to return to City Hall and to expand its program in 2017.
In addition to general operating costs, our goal of $15,000 will fund:
• Travel and accommodations for our visiting authors. We want to show Oakland off to a world of writers—and to feed and house them while they are visiting us.
• A children’s stage at the Festival. Dedicated entirely to young people and their interests, the OBF Children’s Stage will feature readings, events, games, and crafts in partnership with the Oakland Public Library, Children’s Fairyland, MOCHA, Kidquake, and Chapter 510 & the Dept. of Make Believe.
• The building and maintenance of a robust Festival website. Apart from providing Festival information and details, our website will host a video archive of interviews, readings, and discussions that will become a resource for educators, researchers, and writers—as well as a means to share the Festival’s activities with a wider audience.
Please make our plans for OBF2017 possible by donating to the Oakland Book Festival. No amount is too small, and every dollar you give goes toward bringing people together from throughout the Bay Area and across the world to discuss important topics on the 2017 Festival's theme: "Equality & Inequality.”
Risks and challenges
This is a large festival with many moving parts. At every turn, we encounter problems that need solutions. At the same time, these very challenges have given us opportunities to approach the Oakland Book Festival in creative ways and with a new point of view.
With more than 100 speakers and performers something can always go wrong but we have staff in place to help with any issue that might come up. If a speaker does not arrive (as has happened in the past) we have been able to make due by moving speaker around. Also, no panel has only one speaker.
With the tremendous energy from our cohort of volunteers and with the backing of various community members and organizations we're confident this festival can be a tremendous success.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)