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What: LitFest in the Dena 2024


Friday, May 3, Keynote: 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5, 12:30pm – 6:00pm

Mountain View Mausoleum

2300 N. Marengo Ave., Altadena, CA 91001

LitFest Honors Books That

Made the Neighborhood and More

Altadena, CA (April 15, 2024)LitFest in the Dena 2024 continues its focus on writers and book lovers on Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th at the Mountain View Mausoleum in Altadena, CA. Last year, approximately 200 diverse authors and several thousand attendees gathered to discuss books that changed the world, their communities and their lives. This year’s festival theme Books that made the Neighborhood will look at how neighborhoods, real or fictitious, bestow identity and give us a way of seeing things-of seeing the world. The literary event is free-of-charge to the public.

As always, our guest authors represent a wide variety of community sectors, backgrounds, and genres. They will engage their audiences in panel discussions, workshops, readings and many other literary activities over the weekend. Given the theme, libraries and bookstores that serve as local gathering places will participate for the first time on their own panels. Food trucks will also be available throughout the weekend.

A special opening night reception will be held on Friday, May 3rd featuring A Conversation with Nikki High, founder and owner of Octavia’s Bookshelf, which is dedicated to science fiction writer Octavia Butler and based in her hometown of Pasadena. 

2024 program highlights include writers Daniel Olivas, Naomi Hirahara, Gary Phillips and Jervey Tervalon discussing Another Southland: BIPOC writers and their L.A. Stories. 

Wendy Van Camp, Denise Dumars, Neil Citrin and Kathleen Ingino will be featured in City of Phantoms: Poetry of Unseen Boroughs. 

Mary Camarillo, Carribean Fragoza, Dana Johnson, Lou Matthews, Victoria Patterson and Mike Sonksen look Beyond the Beach – Searching for Community in SoCal Neighborhoods. 

The International Black Writers & Artists Association will host Beyond Borders: Readings & Conversations with African American, LGBTQ and other marginalized Writers. 

In a workshop and performance, Russell Mark and Mika Larson of The Nextdoors and Brad Colerick, David Tokaji, Brandon Jay and Gwendolyn Sanford will look at The Influence of Literature on Songwriting.

Authors Tananrive Due and Jervey Tervalon will be in conversation in For the Love of Horror.

Cruising the Gayborhood will include Jobi Arriola-Headley, Kelsey Bryan-Zwick, Gustavo Hernandez and Angela Penaredondo.

Featured bookstores that “make the Neighborhood” include Skylight Books, North Figueroa Books, Re Arte Centro Librario, Mija Books and Octavia’s Bookshelf. 

Libros Schmibros of Boyle Heights will participate with the Whittier, Monterey Park, and Pasadena Libraries.

Punks from Music to Literature includes author Patrick O’Neill with Keith Morris, Jim Roland, moderator Todd Taylor and Iris Berry.

Led by Cecil Castelucci, Writing Heroes for all Ages will include comic book authors Jody Houser, Sherri L. Smith, Amanda Delbert and Sam Maggs.

Monica Fernandez heads up a Red Hen Publishing Panel with Jessica Wilson Cardenas of the L.A. Poets Society.

High school students from the Pasadena School District will share their writing on a youth-driven panel entitled Stories from Kids on the Block.

Embodied Landscapes will take a look at water, wildlife and the geographies that shape us, featuring Sehba Sarwar, Erica Ayon, Olga Garcia Echeverria, Jaime Asaye FitzGerald and Alicia Vogl Saenz.

Pairing Tea and Readers will be presented by Biblio Sinensis with Eugene Cordell and Stafanie warner.

Sunday’s closing panel will reflect back on the weekend’s discussions and insights, moderated by Thomas E. Backer, Phd., an author, psychologist, author and Senior Fellow at California State University at Northridge. He will be joined by LitFest authors Daniel Olivas and Lisa Teasley along with poet Mike Sonksen.

   Please see our website at for the complete schedule of events.

Plenty of free parking is available at the Mountain View Mausoleum all weekend! 

LitFest in the Dena is most grateful to its longtime partners and sponsors, including Red Hen Press, Omega Sci-Fi Project, Locavore Lit, SoCal News Group, North Figueroa Books, and our beautiful host site, the Mountain View Mausoleum.

Photographs available upon request

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LitFest in the Dena is produced by the arts and education nonprofit Light Bringer Project.
LitFest in the Dena | Website
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