• Laura Bray

Boerne Book and Arts Fest: What a Marvelous Event!



The 2019 Boerne Book and Arts Festival celebrated its fourth year (its second on Main Plaza) with resounding success! The event drew about 1,400 people, twice the attendance of last year.

Visitors were treated to a full schedule of panel discussions featuring Texas authors, plentiful book-themed tents, and entertainment throughout the day.


The day kicked off with a poetry reading to celebrate the launch of Through Layered Limestone: a Texas Hill Country anthology of place, just published by the Patrick Heath Public Library (see link to order below). I worked up my courage and signed up for one of the scariest things I’ve ever done—reading my poem “The Old Sanitarium” in front of actual people (see link above). I had some great coaching from a friend, and it went better than I expected. I’m looking forward to future reading events sponsored by the library.


Besides the poetry reading, the highlight of my day was the panel featuring one of my favorite authors, Stephen Harrigan @stephenharrigan, author of the just-released Big Wonderful Thing (a history of Texas).

Stephen Harrigan signs my book at the Friday evening reception

Kirkus Review gave Big Wonderful Thing a coveted starred review and said, “As good a state history as has ever been written and a must-read for Texas aficionados.” My favorite line (so far) described the city of Houston (my hometown) as an early Texas capital:


“Its wildlife was pestering and dangerous. One visitor described being so beset by giant mosquitoes that he and his party jumped into the waters of Buffalo Bayou to escape them, only to be chased out of the bayou by alligators, only to encounter a snarling panther on the bank.”


During his panel (moderated by Stephen L. Davis), Harrigan described how the idea of the book came about:


“UT Press asked me to write a Texas history and I demurred, saying I wasn’t a historian. I’m a novelist, journalist, and screenwriter. But the idea got under my skin and I eventually decided I was qualified to write it. Almost every article I’ve done for Texas Monthly over the last 40 years has been at least partially based on Texas history, plus I’ve written two historical novels based in Texas, for which I did a lot of research. I didn’t come at the book from a position of authority but from a position of discovery.”


Planning will soon commence for next year’s Festival. I’ll be sure to share the date once it’s settled on. You won’t want to miss it!


Order your copy of Through Layered Limestone: a Texas Hill Country anthology of place today.


That’s all she wrote……Laura

-TEXAS AUTHOR AND PHOTOGRAPHER-

LAURA BRAY

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