The English Department supports the LTCC Writers’ Series. We bring 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 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.
For information about our Writers' Series, contact Dr. Suzanne Roberts at (530) 541-4660 ext. 708, or send her an email at Robertss@ltcc.edu.
Novelist Ann Gelder
The Writers’ Series welcomes first-time novelist Ann Gelder on Friday, June 13 at 7 p.m. in the LTCC Library. Gelder will read selections from her novel, Bigfoot and the Baby, answer audience questions, and sign copies of her book. Gelder’s satirical novel, published by Bona Fide Books in Meyers, explores faith, family, and the power of love. Concerned with the problem of belief in our time, the novel asks essential questions and explores the answers with wild humor funneled through the main character, Jackie Majesky, a frustrated homemaker who, facing the apocalypse, searches for God and finds Bigfoot instead.
Gelder's work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Crazyhorse, Flavorwire, The Millions, The Rumpus, Tin House, Slush Pile, and other fiction and non-fiction publications. She has taught literature at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. On her website, Gelder refers to herself as a “writer, editor, and recovering academic.”
Interested and budding fiction writers are also encouraged to join Gelder at the “Making It Strange: A Workshop for Fiction Writers” event on Saturday, June 14 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Bona Fide Books. The workshop is $35 for the general public and $25 for students. Visit Bona Fide's website for more information.
June Sylvester Saraceno
June Sylvester Saraceno’s second full-length collection of poetry, of Dirt and Tar, is forthcoming from Cherry Grove Collections this spring. She is also the author of Altars of Ordinary Light, released by Plain View Press in 2007, and a chapbook of prose poems, Mean Girl Trips, published in 2006 by Pudding House Press. Saraceno is currently English Program Chair at Sierra Nevada College, where she is director of the popular Writers in the Woods literary speaker series and founding editor of the Sierra Nevada Review.
Laura Wetherington’s first book, A Map Predetermined and Chance (Fence Books, 2011), was selected by C.S. Giscombe for the National Poetry Series. She also has two chapbooks: Dick Erasures (Red Ceilings Press, 2011) and a collaboration with Jill Darling and Hannah Ensor, at the intersection of 3 (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). Wetherington currently teaches in Sierra Nevada College’s undergraduate English and low-residency MFA programs, and she’s also the co-founder and editor of an online audio publication website, www.textsound.org.
Pam Houston’s most recent novel, Contents May Have Shifted, was published in 2012. Author Cheryl Strayed, who penned the New York Times bestseller Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, calls Houston’s novel “an absorbing, generous, ravishing book by a high priestess of you-have-to-read-this prose.” Houston is also the author of two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, the novel Sight Hound, and a collection of essays entitled "A Little More About Me," all published by W.W. Norton. Her stories have been selected for Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The 2013 Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA Award for Contemporary Fiction, the Evil Companions Literary Award and multiple teaching awards. She is a Professor of English at University of California, Davis, directs the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers, and teaches in The Pacific University MFA program and at writer’s conferences around the country and the world. She lives on a ranch at 9,000 feet in Colorado, near the headwaters of the Rio Grande.
Robert Krut is the author of This Is the Ocean, winner of Bona Fide Books’ 2012 Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize, and The Spider Sermons. His poems have appeared in the journals The Cimar
ron Review, Blackbird, The Mid-American Review, and Barrow Street, among others. A chapbook, Theory of the Walking Big Bang, was published by H-ngm-n Books; subsequently, he began serving as an associate editor for the journal/press. He teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the Writing Program and College of Creative Studies.
Patricia Smith is the author of six books of poetry, including Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the National Book Award, and her latest, Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the Phyllis Wheatley Award and finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Balcones Prize. Her work has appeared in both "Best American Poetry" and "Best American Essays." Her contribution to the crime fiction anthology "Staten Island Noir" won the Robert L. Fish Award from the "Mystery Writers of America for the best debut story of the year and is upcoming in Best American Mystery Stories 2013." She is also a two-time Pushcart Prize winner and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition's history. Patricia is a professor at the College of Staten Island and an instructor in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College, where she is currently serving as Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities.
Three Poets - Kelle Groom, Lexa Hillyer and Krista Lukas
To celebrate National Poetry Month, the Writer's Series welcomed poets Kelle Groom, Lexa Hillyer and Krista Lukas in April 2013.
Kelle Groom’s memoir, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl (Simon & Schuster), is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, a Library Journal Best Memoir, and Oprah O magazine selection. Kelle's most recent poetry collection is Five Kingdoms. Her work has appeared in "Best American Poetry" and The New Yorker. She is currently serving as the Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village.
Lexa Hillyer is the recipient of the second annual Bona Fide Books Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize for her book, Acquainted with the Cold. She was the recipient of the Inaugural Poetry Prize from Tusculum Review and the First Prize in Poetry from Brick & Mortar Review, and was named one of the Best New Poets of 2012. She worked as an editor at both Harper Collins and Penguin, and is co-founder of boutique literary incubator Paper Lantern Lit. She lives in Brooklyn.
Krista Lukas is the author of a poetry collection, Fans of My Unconscious (Black Rock Press, March 2013). Her poems appear in literary journals including 5AM and Rattle, in the textbook "Creative Writer’s Handbook," and in the anthologies "New Poets of the American West" and "The Best American Poetry 2006."
Tracy Ross is an award-winning journalist and contributing editor at Backpacker magazine. Her essay, “The Source of All Things,” won the National Magazine Award in 2009 and has been selected for inclusion in "The Best American Sports Writing" and "The Best American Magazine Writing." Her Skiing magazine story, “Our Country Comes Skiing in Peace,” received a notable mention in "Best American Travel Writing," and her work has also appeared in Outside and Women’s Sports Illustrated. Ross’s assignments have taken her to the wilds of Alaska, the ski slopes of Iran, and the most remote reaches of Ecuador. She writes about exotic places and intriguing people, but mainly about the wilderness and how it intersects with the most important issues in our lives. Oprah O magazine has called her memoir, The Source of All Things, “Disturbing but beautifully written...[And we’ve] heard stories like these before, but rarely in such clear, unsentimental prose.” Tracy Ross currently lives with her family at 8,000 feet in the mountains above Boulder, CO.
Get Out of My Crotch!
Twenty-One Writers Respond to America’s War on Women’s Rights and Reproductive Health, published on January 22, 2012 by Cherry Bomb Books (an imprint of local Meyers press Bona Fide Books),commemorates the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade.
In this anthology, 21 fearless writers examine reproductive rights, access to health care, violence against women, and the rise of rape apologists in 21st century United States. Illuminating intersections of gender, class, and race, these stories speak to the challenges women routinely face, the attempts to undermine their rights, and the deliberate, systemic erosion of their agency and existence as equals. Contributors include award-winning authors Roxanne Gay, Rebecca K. O’Connor, Kevin Sampsell, Kate Sheppard, and Lidia Yuknavitch, among many others.
Poetry Slam with emcee Denise Jolly
Evans' first book, In Search of Powder, follows an eight-year newspaper career that garnered numerous awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and Nevada Press Association. Evans' work has appeared in regional and national magazines, including Skiing and Powder. Evans lives in South Lake Tahoe, where he is working on his next book. He also teaches English at Lake Tahoe Community College.
Scott Lankford got lost on his way to Stanford University and spent the next 10 years as a combination Tahoe ski-bum and graduate student -- eventually earning his Ph.D. in modern thought and literature with a dissertation on John Muir. Currently a professor of English at Foothill College in the Bay Area, he is a co-founder of the new Foothill Center for a Sustainable Future. A self-declared "Tahoelogist," his book, Tahoe Beneath the Surface, was recently awarded a national Bronze Medal as Nature Book of the Year 2010 by Foreword Reviews.
Mud Cakes is a deep and heartfelt examination of growing up in Middle America at a time when spiritual guidance came from Luke Skywalker and KISS. Pop culture replaced religion for a young boy in Ohio, and this collection of poems shows us how he uses modern mythologies to navigate the deterioration of his family. Poet Jason Schossler conjures images of childhood that evoke both the resilience of youth and its vulnerabilities.
Jennifer Woodlief has worked as a reporter for Sports Illustrated as well as an assistant district attorney and a CIA case officer with a top-secret clearance. Her first book, Ski to Die: The Bill Johnson Story, was published in 2005 and optioned by Warner Bros. for a movie. Her most recent book about the Alpine Meadows avalanche, A Wall of White: The True Story of Heroism and Survival in the Face of a Deadly Avalanche, was published in February 2009 by Atria. She splits her time between Truckee and Tiburon, CA.
Nathalie Handal is an award-winning poet, playwright, and writer. She has lived in Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Arab world. She is the author of the poetry collections The NeverField and The Lives of Rain (short-listed for The Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize/The Pitt Poetry Series and recipient of the Menada Award); the poetry CDs Traveling Rooms and Spell; the editor of "The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology" (an Academy of American Poets Bestseller and winner of the Pen Oakland/Josephine Miles Award); and co-editor along with Tina Chang and Ravi Shankar of "Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond" (W.W. Norton, 2008). She has been involved either as a writer, director or producer in over 20 theatrical and/or film productions worldwide. She was a finalist for the 2009 A Room of Her Own's Freedom Award, and her forthcoming poetry book, Love and Strange Horses, will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press.
Poet June Saraceno and Fiction Writer Christopher Coake
June Sylvester Saraceno is originally from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Her chapbook Mean Girl Trips was published Fall 2006 by Pudding House Press. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Altars of Ordinary Light, was released by Plain View Press in 2007. She is currently English Program Chair at Sierra Nevada College and is founding editor of the Sierra Nevada College Review.
Christopher Coake’s short fiction has appeared in journals such as The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Epoch, and Five Points, and has been anthologized in "The Best American Mystery Stories 2004." His first book, a collection of short stories titled, We're in Trouble, was released in 2005 by Harcourt. He is currently working on a novel that examines a century in the history of a gold mining town in Colorado.
Jan Beatty is the author of three books: Red Sugar (2008), Boneshaker (2002), and Mad River (winner, 1994 Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize), all published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her limited edition chapbook, Ravenous, won the 1995 State Street prize. For the past 15 years, Beatty has hosted and produced "Prosody," a public radio show on NPR affiliate WYEP-FM featuring the work of national writers.
Beatty has worked as a welfare caseworker and an abortion counselor. She worked in maximum-security prisons and was a waitress for 15 years. She directs the creative writing program at Carlow University where she teaches the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshops and in the MFA program.
Turner is a soldier-poet whose debut book of poems, Here, Bullet, won the 2005 Beatrice Hawley Award, the New York Times “Editor's Choice” selection, the 2006 Pen Center USA "Best in the West" award, and the 2007 Poets Prize, among others.
Turner served seven years in the U.S. Army, including one year as an infantry team leader in Iraq with the Third Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Prior to that, he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2000 with the 10th Mountain Division. Turner's poetry has been published in Poetry Daily, The Georgia Review and other journals, and in the "Voices in Wartime Anthology" published in conjunction with the feature-length documentary film of the same name. He earned an MFA from the University of Oregon and has lived abroad in South Korea.
Here, Bullet is a harrowing, beautiful first-person account of the Iraq war. The poems in this remarkable collection reflect Turner's experiences as a soldier with penetrating lyric power, compassion, sensitivity, and eloquence, while deploring the violence and acknowledging the grief and terror of war. One poem, "Eulogy," was written to memorialize a soldier in his platoon who took his own life. Adding his voice to the debate about the U.S. occupation of Iraq, in poems written in the tradition of such poets as Wilfred Owen, Yusef Komunyakaa (Dien Cai Dau), Bruce Weigl (Song of Napalm) and Doug Anderson (The Moon Reflected Fire), Brian Turner's affecting poetry of witness is exceptional for its beauty, honesty and skill. These gracefully-rendered, unflinching poems make Here, Bullet a must-read for anyone who cares about the war, regardless of political affiliation
Kate Gale is the founding editor of Red Hen Press, and the author of five books of poetry, most recently Mating Season (Tupelo Press). She has also written one children's book, a novel, and the libretto to the opera Rio de Sangre. Kate received her doctorate in English literature from Claremont Graduate University in English literature and teaches at California State University Dominguez. She lives and writes in Los Angeles.
Todd James Pierce
Pierce was winner of the 2006 Drue Heinz Literature Prize for his book, Newsworld (2006), which was selected by Joan Didion. He is also the author of the novel, The Australia Stories (2003), which was later republished under the title A Woman of Stone (2006), and a textbook on writing called Behind the Short Story (2007).
Edelman is a professor of English at Glendale College where he edits Eclipse, a literary journal. His work has appeared in many anthologies and textbooks. He teaches workshops across the United States and was Poet-in-Residence at Monroe College of the State University of New York. His poetry collections include Crossing the Hackensack (1993), Under Damaris’ Dress (1996), The Alphabet of Love (1999), The Gentle Man (2001) and The Last Mojito (2005).
Denise Duhamel is the author of numerous books and chapbooks of poetry. Her most recent titles are Two and Two (University of Pittsburgh, 2005) and Mille et un sentiments (Firewheel Editions, 2005). Her other books currently in print are Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001), The Star-Spangled Banner, winner of the Crab Orchard Poetry Prize (1999); Kinky (1997); Girl Soldier (1996); and How the Sky Fell (1996). A winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, she has been anthologized widely, including four volumes of "The Best American Poetry" (2000, 1998, 1994, and 1993). Duhamel teaches creative writing and literature at Florida International University and lives in Hollywood, FL, with her husband, the poet Nick Carbó.
A foundation professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, Ronald was named the university’s outstanding researcher in 2005. In 2006, she was elected to the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. Best known for her book on Edward Abbey, The New West of Edward Abbey, she also has written a Zane Grey monograph and a study of 19th century British fiction, Functions of Setting in the Novel.
At the age of 4, Francisco Jiminez and his family crawled under a fence crossing the border between Mexico and America. Working from sunrise to sunset, the entire family made only $15 a day as migrant farm workers, living in one room shacks and tents without electricity or running water. As a result of his family's illiteracy, persistent poverty, and transient lifestyle, Professor Jimenez's education was sporadic at best. In his early years, he largely educated himself, reading books he found at the local dump.
Today, Francisco Jiminez is a professor of Modern Languages at Santa Clara University, an acclaimed author, and the winner of numerous awards. At the global level, Professor Jiminez creates awareness about the plight of migrant farm workers - his award-winning books, which include the autobiographical novels The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child, and its sequel, Breaking Through, have been published in English, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.