Despite the best efforts of Jerry Jones, the hottest ticket in town this summer is not a concert or sporting event at the Enormodome. It's a conference. An actual "pick out your workshops and be sure to bring a cardigan" conference. A literary conference. But I make no apologies for hyping this as THE summer event in North Texas. That's because it's the annual Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, an affair that has established itself as a truly buzzworthy one over the last few years. And also because Ira Glass, beloved (and kind of hot) host of NPR's This American Life, is speaking as a featured guest. That's not even the tip of the iceberg for this three-day event, though. Conference attendees will be also be treated to keynotes and workshops by other nonfiction notables including Paul Theroux, author of The Great Railway Bazaar and the classic Mosquito Coast, Vogue columnist Julia Reed, New Yorker contributor Alma Guillermoprieto and humorist Roy Blount Jr. And while many North Texans will walk three miles from a $50 parking spot and swelter in 100-degree heat to see overpriced soccer games and former Beatles this summer, my money's on this air-conditioned glimpse into the art of nonfiction literature. The Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference will take place Friday through Sunday at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center, 1800 Highway 26 East. Registration is $225 to $295, and tickets to individual events are available, as well. Visit themayborn.unt.edu for more information and registration.
July 24-26, 2009