Poet Kim Addonizio was the kick-off keynote presenter for the
ninth annual Literary Arts Festival at Grossmont College
April 26. The series of readings, book signings and discussion ended May 5.
Addonizio, considered a ‘gritty genius’ is the author of
four books of poetry, including Tell Me, a finalist for the National Book
Award; a collection of stories; and with Doriane Laux, The Poet’s Companion:
A Guide to the Pleasures of Poetry. Her first novel, Little Beauties, will
be published by Simon & Schuster in September.
Participants in the Festival include authors, poets, faculty
and students. Also on tap was a creative writing workshop led by GC faculty.
Novelist James Brown, author of Los Angeles Diaries, and
other works, was another highlight of the 10-day event. Brown is the author
of novels Lucky Town, Final Performance, Hot Wire and The Second Story
Theatre. His presentation included reading and signing copies of his memoir
The Los Angeles Diaries, which was listed by the San Francisco Chronicle as
one of the best books of the year.
Stephanie Mood is the Festival’s primary organizer, and the
Grossmont College Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation (through a
grant to Poets and Writers Inc.) are the event’s sponsors.
Mood reports that the keynote presenters drew standing room
only crowds, as did student and faculty workshops.