LéaLA - Literary and Ideas Festival Brings Authors and Top Talent to Los Angeles

— Organized by the University of Guadalajara Foundation USA, October 8 to 10, 2021, reaffirming its vocation to be a conducive space for dialogues on literature and thought, the debate of ideas, cinema, poetry, and children's workshops celebrating Hispanic heritage. —

LOS ANGELES, CA — September 21, 2021 — (LATINX NEWSWIRE) — The Organizing Committee of “LéaLA - Festival Literario y de las Ideas,” (LéaLA - Literary and Ideas Festival) presents its 2021 edition program of activities and invites the community in Los Angeles to receive authors, poets, filmmakers, creators and academics who will open a dialogue with attendees.

"Flying With New Wings" is the theme that illuminates this edition, remaining true to its vocation to reaffirm pride in the Spanish language. Its unique characteristics make LéaLA the most ambitious program for the dissemination and promotion of books and reading in Spanish in the United States. Due to its acceptance from the public, it once again returns to Los Angeles in its Literary and Ideas Festival format.

As in previous gatherings, Ibero-American writers and creators will open conversations with the community in a three-day program of free activities that includes dialogues on literature, contemporary thought, humor, and the audiovisual world. In addition, the cultural offer will have an extensive program giving a voice to poetry and its authors from Mexico and the USA, as well as host academic meetings and children's workshops. The festival, organized by the University of Guadalajara Foundation USA, is set for Friday, October 8 to Sunday, October 10, 2021, and will once again be held at the LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, in the heart of Los Angeles, right in front of Placita Olvera. The event will follow the rules and recommendations indicated by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

"LéaLA celebrates Spanish as a way to vindicate our culture, a bond that unites us and that we share with more than 500 million people in the world," said Marisol Schulz Manaut, general director of LéaLA. "Since the first editions of LéaLA, designed in the book fair format, readers of all ages discovered or reaffirmed their interest in what is said, though, and created in Spanish," she shared.

Starting the impressive line-up of author talks will be the writers Guillermo Arriaga and Julián Herbert holding a conversation addressing “Life and Literature: The Thresholds of Memory,” on Friday, October 8.

Between Saturday the 9th and Sunday the 10th of October, ten dialogue sessions will be presented with the presence, among other prominent authors and creators, of Alberto Chimal, Antonio Orlando Rodríguez, Ashley Frangie, David Unger, Eduardo Antonio Parra, Emiliano Monge, José Ignacio Valenzuela (Chascas), Joselo Rangel, Lety Sahagún, Michael K. Schuessler, Pedro Ángel Palou, Raquel Castro, Sara Poot Herrera, Sergio Andricaín and Yareli Arizmendi.

Closing the Festival activities, on Sunday afternoon the 10th will be the screening of the documentary “Águilas”, with the presence of its directors, Maite Zubiaurre and Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, discussing how it is they decided to approach such a complex angle of the migration process.

The participating authors and guests have been invited to share their points of view on current issues such as children and reading in the face of confinement; migration to literary territories; self-fiction; creation, freedom and confinement; young people before the literary; women, writing and feminisms; books and the pandemic and the role of the word in the new media in our digital world.

“Central de Poesía,” (Poetry Central) will be a vibrant part of the program with discussions that will address the City of Los Angeles as a space, the border and transborder, in addition to the challenges of translation. The dialogue and analysis will also be accompanied by voice readings by the authors: Angelina Sáenz, Anthony Seidman, Carlos Lara, Eduardo Hurtado, Elisa de Castelo, Gaspar Orozco, Giancarlo Huapaya, Ilana Luna, Jacobo Sefamí, Ramón García, Roberto Castillo Udiarte, Rocío Cerón, Román Luján, Sylvia Georgina Estrada and Virginia Hernández.

Schulz Manaut, also director of the Guadalajara International Book Fair, considered the largest and most important book event of its kind in Spanish, confirmed that LéaLa will continue to be a forum open to ideas and reflection. “As we grow, starting this year, with the Festival of Ideas section, we incorporate dialogue panels that approach the context and reality of the Latino community, with crucial issues for our environment on both sides of the border,” she pointed out.

The topics that will be part of the process of reflection and dialogue, accompanied by academics and specialists, are of great plurality: migration, now more complex in times of pandemic; health and the importance of vaccination to restore well-being; contemporary economic, political, and social challenges; violence and, in addition, the role of Mexican cuisine through the centuries and food beyond the taco and tortilla.

LéaLA is a unique project that has had a strong presence in the Los Angeles community after the successful editions of 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and the 2019 edition as a Literary Festival at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. The response from the public, educational institutions, and media support has been important allies for this characteristically unique event. The workshops and activities aimed at children have been a very important axis for LéaLA since its first edition and the variety of activities offered this fall, designed by education specialists, will be great options to learn while having fun.

For the 2021 edition, in its Literary and Ideas Festival modality, LéaLa will be more intimate and different to the concept of a book fair. The books of the participating authors will be available to the public thanks to the participation of the Carlos Fuentes Library of the University of Guadalajara.

Raúl Padilla, President of the University of Guadalajara Foundation USA, commented that in this edition, “LéaLA will be, once again, a celebration of Spanish, reading and Hispanic culture, and have as its headquarters an emblematic space for the city as is LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, it makes us feel at home, united by history and the knowledge it contains. We totally appreciate their hospitality."

For its director Marisol Schulz, “LéaLA is a contribution to being present in the possibilities of being better and participating in an inclusive social geography built with respect and tolerance.”

“LéaLA Festival Literario y de las Ideas” 2021 is organized by the University of Guadalajara Foundation USA, with the support of the Grodman Legacy and the collaboration of the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles, the support of the Alumni Association of the University of Guadalajara in Los Angeles, as well as various public and private institutions on both sides of the border.

LéaLA Literary and Ideas Festival

When: October 8, 9 and 10, from 10 am to 6 pm
Where: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, located at 501 N. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012.
*All activities are free.