The nation’s largest literary and cultural festival returned to USC’s University Park campus on Saturday with a fun party for bookworms, authors and just about everyone.
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books opened with a serenade from the USC Trojan Marching Band and words of welcome from the leaders of the event’s co-sponsors.
“We often think of reading as a solitary activity,” said USC President Carol L. Folt, “but what I love about it is: it’s a community of readers, storytellers, visionaries who help us learn and change, and it’s perfect for all of us to celebrate together.
Chris Argentieri, president and chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Times, joined Folt in expressing his love for literature.
“I think it’s important to remember that books and stories bring us together as they do today, and sharing our stories encourages creativity, heals empathy and enriches our lives immeasurably,” said Argentieri.
The opening ceremony also featured a reading by Luis J. Rodriguez of his “Love Poem in Los Angeles”, a piece of love/hate (but more love than hate) prose. On Friday night, Rodriguez received a lifetime achievement award at the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, the traditional kickoff to the weekend festival.
Book Festival: dozens of authors, and much more
The festival includes dozens of author booths and panel discussions, as well as performing arts stages, health screenings from USC’s Keck Medicine, and civic engagement offerings. The festival continues on Sunday; admission is free, although the interior conversation panels require tickets which can be obtained online; a limited number of tickets will be available at the festival.
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is in its 27th year. It moved to USC University Park Campus in Westwood in 2011, but the last two festivals were held online due to the pandemic.
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