The Writers' Series at Lake Tahoe Community College brings well-known poets and writers
from all over the country to the college for readings, book signings, craft talks,
and workshops. All events are free and open to the public.
We have hosted writers such as Carolyn Forché, Camille T. Dungy, Patricia Smith, Pam Houston, Luis Rodriguez, Dorianne Laux, Joseph Millar, Holly Payne, Kevin Clark, Gailmarie Pahmeier, Sholeh Wolpé, David Daniel, H.L. Hix, Francisco Jimenez, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Chris Abani. We also sponsor faculty readings, poetry open mic nights, and the annual Kokanee Literary Journal award reading.
Two Poets: Jan Beatty & Gayle Brandeis
In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Writers’ Series welcomed poets Jan Beatty and Gayle Brandeis for a reading and conversation. Jan Beatty’s fifth book, Jackknife: New and Selected Poems, was published in January 2017 by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her last book, The Switching/Yard, was named by Library Journal as one of ...30 New Books That Will Help You Rediscover Poetry. The Huffington Post named Beatty one of 10 women writers for “required reading.” Beatty’s books include Red Sugar, Boneshaker, and Mad River, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize. She directs the creative writing program at Carlow University, where she runs the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops and is Interim Director of the MFA program.
Gayle Brandeis is the author of the memoir The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother's Suicide, The Selfless Bliss of the Body (Poems), Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write, and the novels My Life with the Lincolns, Delta Girls, Self Storage, and The Book of Dead Birds, which won the Bellwether Prize of Fiction of Social Engagement. She teaches at Sierra Nevada College and at Antioch University Los Angeles.
Camille T. Dungy
Camille T. Dungy is the author of four collections of poetry: Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017), Smith Blue (Southern Illinois UP, 2011), Suck on the Marrow (Red Hen Press, 2010), and What to Eat, What to Drink, What to Leave for Poison (Red Hen Press, 2006). Her debut collection of personal essays, on sale June 2017, is Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys Into Race, Motherhood, and History (W. W. Norton, 2017). Dungy edited Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry (UGA, 2009), co-edited the From the Fishouse poetry anthology (Persea, 2009), and served as associate editor for Gathering Ground: A Reader Celebrating Cave Canem’s First Decade(University of Michigan Press, 2006). Her honors include an American Book Award, two Northern California Book Awards, two NAACP Image Award nominations, and a California Book Award silver medal. Her poems and essays have been published in Best American Poetry, The 100 Best African American Poems, nearly 30 other anthologies, and more than 100 print and online journals. Dungy is currently a Professor in the English Department at Colorado State University.
Michael Branch is the author of more than 200 essays, articles, and reviews, and has given more than 250 public readings and lectures. His creative non-fiction includes pieces that have received Honorable Mention for the Pushcart Prize and have been recognized as Notable Essays in The Best American Essays, The Best American Science and Nature Writing, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. His essays have appeared in magazines including Orion, Ecotone, Slate, Utne Reader, Sunset, Reader’s Digest, Hawk and Handsaw, High Country News, Places, and Whole Terrain, and in many essay collections, including Wonder and Other Survival Skills, The Best Creative Nonfiction, and Companions in Wonder: Children and Adults Exploring Nature Together. He is co-founder of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE), and he served for 16 years as the Book Review Editor of the creative/scholarly journal ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment). Mike is Professor of Literature and Environment in the English Department at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he co-founded the nation’s first graduate program in Literature and Environment studies.
Daniel Chacón is the author of Hotel Juárez: Stories, Rooms, and Loops (2013), which won both the 2014 Pen Oakland Award for Literary Excellence and the Tejas NACCS Award for Best Book of Fiction for 2013. His collection of short stories, Unending Rooms, won the 2008 Hudson Prize. He also has a novel, And the Shadows Took Him, and another collection of stories called Chicano Chicanery. His fiction has appeared in the anthologies "Latino Boom"; Latino Sudden Fiction"; "Lengua Fresca: Latinos Writing on the Edge"; "Caliente: The Best Erotic Writing in Latin American Fiction"; and "Best of the West 2009: New Stories from the West Side of the Missouri." He co-edited "The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: The Selected Work of José Antonio Burciaga" and is editor of "A Jury of Trees: The Posthumous Poems of Andrés Montoya," forthcoming from Bilingual Press and The Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame. Chacón is recipient of The Hudson Prize, a Chris Isherwood Foundation Grant, The American Book Award, The Pen Oakland, and the Peter and Jean de Main Emerging Writers Award, among others. He also co-hosts a literary radio show along with fellow writer Tim Z. Hernandez called Words on a Wire Sundays at noon on KTEP.
Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Hundred-Year House, winner of the Chicago Writers Association's Novel of the Year award, and The Borrower, a Booklist Top Ten Debut that has been translated into eight languages. Her short story collection, Music for Wartime, appeared in June 2015. Her short fiction was chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years (2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008), and appears regularly in journals like Harper's, Tin House, and New England Review.
Ilyse Kusnetz is the author of Small Hours, winner of the 2014 T.S. Eliot prize from Truman State University Press, and The Gravity of Falling (2006). She earned her M.A. in Creative Writing from Syracuse University and her Ph.D. in Feminist and Postcolonial British Literature from the University of Edinburgh. Her poetry has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, the Cincinnati Review, Crazyhorse, Stone Canoe, Rattle, and other journals and anthologies. She has published numerous reviews and essays about contemporary American and Scottish poetry, both in the United States and abroad. She teaches at Valencia College and lives in Orlando with her husband, the poet and memoirist Brian Turner.
Julia Shipley is the author of a full-length poetry collection, The Academy of Hay (Bona Fide Books, 2015), winner of the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize, and a long-form lyric essay, Adam's Mark, (Plowboy Press, 2014), which was selected as a Boston Globe Best New England Books of 2014. She is also the author of four poetry chapbooks including the limited edition, letterpress printed One Ton Crumb (CC&B, 2014), First Do No Harm (Honeybee Press, 2014), Herd (2010), winner of the Sheltering Pines Press Chapbook Award and Planet Jr. (2012), winner of the Hazel Lipa Environmental Chapbook Award from Flyway Journal of Writing and Environment. A native of southeastern Pennsylvania, Julia spent part of her undergraduate degree in Environmental Education traveling throughout the western U.S. with the Audubon Expedition Institute. She migrated from farm to farm, working for Community Supported Agriculture projects in the Northeast. For the last decade, she's tended the soils in Northeastern Vermont. Her work is often concerned with place, the fate of landscapes, agrarian ideals, and stories that track things from their germination through their harvests and beyond.
Carolyn Forché's first poetry collection, Gathering the Tribes (1976), won the Yale Series of Younger
Poets Competition, leading to publication by Yale University Press. In 1977, she traveled
to Spain to translate the work of Salvadoran-exiled poet Claribel Alegría. She then
received a Guggenheim Fellowship, which enabled her to travel to El Salvador where
she worked as a human rights advocate. Her second book, The Country Between Us (1981),
was published with the help of Margaret Atwood. It received the Poetry Society of
America's Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and was also the Lamont Poetry Selection
of the Academy of American Poets. She won the 2006 Robert Creeley Award.
Her articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Esquire, Mother Jones, Boston Review, and others. Forché has held three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1992 received a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship. Her fourth book of poems, Blue Hour, was released in 2003. Other books include a memoir, The Horse on Our Balcony (2010, HarperCollins); a book of essays (2011, HarperCollins); and a fifth collection of poems, In the Lateness of the World (Bloodaxe Books, due out in 2015). Although Forché is sometimes described as a political poet, she considers herself a poet who is simply politically engaged.