Bay Area Book Festival Celebrates its 10th Year in Berkeley

Photo by Michael Hitchner

The 2024 Bay Area Book Festival returns to Berkeley in its 10th anniversary year with panels, readings, and other activities for book lovers of all ages. The fun starts early on May 4 with Family Day and resumes on June 1 and 2 with the anniversary celebration.

In order to help Edible East Bay readers zero in on events of special interest to food enthusiasts, we are highlighting three panels with food-related themes below, but you’ll find plenty more to explore on the full festival schedule here.

May 4: Family Day 

The Berkeley Public Library hosts Family Day at its downtown branch, with events geared toward youngsters through teens/YA readers. Celebrate “Star Wars Day: May the 4th Be With You” as well as Free Comic Book Day, family reading activities, and a young readers/writers showcase. Admission is free.

Panel: Food and Culture
Saturday, May 4, 2 to 2:45pm
Berkeley Public Library Community Meeting Room
Featuring: Ying Chang Compestine, Robert Liu-Trujillo, and Meera Sriram

What more delicious and kid-friendly way to learn about culture and fellowship than through food? Three authors and foodies explore the intersections between food, fun, and belonging.

June 1–2: 10th Anniversary Celebration 

The full weekend festival features a writer’s day on June 1, with workshops and sessions designed to spur creativity, engage writerly minds, and provide insiders’ advice and guidance towards publication.

Then, on June 2, explore panels, interviews, and conversations with top authors and thought leaders. For those who want to stay outdoors, the author pavilion, literary marketplace, youth activity tent, and food court take place in MLK Jr. Civic Center Park.

Let’s Eat! Decolonizing Diets
Sunday, June 2, 12:45 to 1:30pm
Native California Stage

Come learn from Sara Calvosa Olson, a food writer and editor exploring the intersections of storytelling, Indigenous food systems, security, sovereignty, reconnection, and recipe development. Read a review of Olson’s new book, Chími Nu’am: Native California Foodways for the Contemporary Kitchen by Edible East Bay’s book editor, Kristina Sepetys.

Panel: From the Real Farm to the Culturally Rooted Table
Sunday, June 2, 3:45 to 4:45pm
Fountain Stage
Featuring Brea Baker, Toriano Gordon, Rowena Scherer, Micah Siva 

This panel brings together diverse authors working on different ends of our food supply. From systemic racism in farm policy to heritage-based cookbooks with an eye to sustainability, how can we work together toward visions of food justice that respect our food traditions?

Read a review of Toriano Gordon’s Vegan Mob by Edible East Bay’s book editor, Kristina Sepetys.

Find details on panels, speakers, tickets, and which events require an RSVP here.

Photo by Michael Hitchner