The Ray Bradbury Read
Steven Paul Leiva
Celebrities and Fans to Read Aloud from Author’s Work on 96th Anniversary of His Birth
Public Invited to the Ray Bradbury Read - Free Lunchtime Event at DTLA Maguire Gardens by Central Library and Ray Bradbury Square
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Los Angeles - August 3, 2016 - At 12 noon on Monday, August 22, 2016, actors Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds) and Seamus Dever (Castle), L.A. City Councilmember Jose Huizar, Internet personality Jeff Cannata (We Have Concerns), science communicator Cara Santa Maria (KCET’s SoCal Connected), and others will participate in the first “Ray Bradbury Read,” which will be held in Maguire Gardens, situated between the Central Library and Ray Bradbury Square (Fifth & Flower) in downtown Los Angeles. The event, which is free and open to the public, will celebrate the life and words of literary master Ray Bradbury on the 96th anniversary of his birth. L.A. City Librarian John Szabo will open the event and make introductory remarks.
Prior to organizing the “Ray Bradbury Read,” author Steven Paul Leiva (Traveling in Space), conceived of and organized “Ray Bradbury Week” in Los Angeles (2010) and spearheaded the movement to name the intersection of Fifth and Flower as “Ray Bradbury Square” (2012). For the “Read,” he solicited and obtained the sponsorship and support of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Jose Huizar, the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, the Los Angeles Public Library, the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, Bradburymedia.co.uk, OUE (the owners of Maguire Gardens), HarperCollins Publishers (publisher of many Bradbury works), and Don Congdon Associates (Bradbury’s long time agents).
Each participant will read a short excerpt from a Bradbury novel, story, poem, or essay,
showcasing the master storyteller’s soaring prose, passionate emotions, startling imagination, and enthusiastic creativity.
Several of Bradbury’s daughters will be in attendance, one of whom, Bettina Bradbury, will read her father’s poem, “The Boys across the Street are Driving My Young Daughter Mad.”
Also reading will be Mrs. Gene (Patricia) Kelly. Bradbury’s novel, Something Wicked this Way Comes, was inspired by a screenplay he wrote for Gene Kelly to produce. The film was never made, a disappointment for them both, but Bradbury acknowledged his debt to Kelly by dedicating the book to him.
Ray Bradbury was born in 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois, and moved with his family to Los Angeles when he was fourteen. He became a dedicated Angeleno as he grew to literary prominence, penning such classics as Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine, The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked this Way Comes, The Illustrated Man, and hundreds of acclaimed short stories. He died in June 2012, at the age of 91.
Bradbury loved downtown Los Angeles, and spent many hours at the Central Library, which he thought of as “my university.” It was there that he received an improvised, intellectually far-ranging, unstructured, and altogether inspirational education. He never forgot the important role the Central Library – and all libraries – played in his life, and spent many hours giving speeches in libraries across the country, inspiring in turn countless readers.