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10th Anniversary Literary Arts Festival


novelist and poet

reading April 26, 2006, 7:00 p.m., Griffin Gate

"When she gets closer I see platinum hair, bushy, like a dandelion gone to seed. Her hair shines in the sun for a second, then darkens as the car enters shade, then it shines again. When the car comes parallel, she spots me. The passenger window is open and she is leaning toward it, keeping one hand on the wheel. Her pale skin and pale hair make me think of  Icelandic girls with hard cheekbones and translucent skin and eyes  bold as glaciers." (from The Altar Of the Body)

Minnesota native now living in Poway, California, Duff Brenna is a Professor of Literature at CSU San Marcos and the author of four novels.  His first, The Book of Mamie (1990), earned the highly coveted Associated Writing Programs Award.  The Holy Book of the Beard (1996), about a diner in East San Diego, followed with strong reviews.  After the release of his collection of poetry, Waking in Wisconsin (1998), which chronicled--among other things--his experiences as a Wisconsin dairy farmer, his third novel, Too Cool (1999), was soon after honored as a New York Times Notable Book.  His most recent, The Altar Of the Body (2002) continues to win Brenna significant critical acclaim. 

Brenna has been described in The Los Angeles Times as a "master at capturing the helplessness of humans, particularly humans with 'tough' written all over them." has hailed Altar Of the Body as Brenna's "most stunning accomplishment . . . The characters are ravaged and torn by the choices they make; those who survive intact are the ones who learn they can't choose only a part of themselves but must embrace the whole. It's a worthy lesson in a beautiful package."



poet and nonfiction writer

reading April 28, 2006, 7:00 p.m., Room 220 

"Sometimes I'd see my father, walking past my building on his way to another nowhere. I could have given him a key, offered a piece of my floor. But if I let him inside the line between us would blur, my own slow-motion car wreck would speed up." (from Another Bullshit Night in Suck City) 

Massachusetts born poet and essayist, Nick Flynn, has authored several distinguished collections of poetry, as well as published in a variety of prestigious journals.  With work appearing in The New Yorker, The Nation, The Paris Review, and The New York Times, his poem "Bag Of Mice," a chronicle of his mother's 1982 suicide, won the 1999 "Discovery"/The Nation Award before being included in his first book of poetry, Some Ether (2000), which went on to win the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award.  The following year, Flynn was awarded the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship.

His most recent work, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (2004), is once again garnering Flynn critical acclaim.  Another Bullshit Night is a poignant and raw memoir of Flynn's experiences as a case worker at a Boston homeless shelter.  Through a retrospective account of his childhood, his volatile rapport with his father, the suicide death of his mother, his own life on the streets, and later his unanticipated reunion with his estranged and (then) homeless father, Flynn inventories his own psyche and affords a rare, beautifully realized case study of modern urban disenfranchisement, replete with domestic violence, broken families, and destitution.

Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours, suggests that Flynn's memoir "does what only significant works of art can do—it shows us a world we know, but fail to see or understand. No one who reads Another Bullshit Night in Suck City will ever walk through a city in the same way again."

Vendela Vida of The New York Times Book Review, states,  "Ultimately, this book is an artful meditation on how we decide how much we are limited — or enhanced by — what we inherit, and on how difficult it is to give and receive care in this world."


May 02

Tuesday, 7:00 p.m., Griffin Gate


of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama

In this popular bi-annual event, the pride of Grossmont College's Creative Writing classes take the lectern by storm to share their original works of Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction and Drama.  Printed 'zines of the writing will be available, as well as an on-line chapbook (published afterwards) to chronicle the event in words and pictures.  Whether you're an instructor, a student, or someone with a yen to hear new talent, you'll leave this event wickering for more.


May 03

Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., Griffin Gate


starring in The Subcutaneous Word Trafficking Conspiracy

Inspired by the unscripted absurd of the Living Theater, while staying true to all those poets, from the Ionians to the Slammers, who explore the lyrical through oral performance, this is a spontaneous celebration of language, of body language, of kinetics, and of action for action’s sake. This is the deconstruction of the symbol and the construction of the symbol as symbol of itself. This is where the word meets the scream, the poetic couplet, a slap across the face. This is a celebration of language as it implodes and is reborn in both performer and audience, the genesis of new meaning climbing out of the semiotic shadows. Here through the sweat and energy of the "poetician's" words will be wrung out for futuristic angles and spaces. This is a performance for the eyes and the ears and one that surely will get under your skin. 

The Avant-Bard Poeticians are members of Raul Sandelin’s ENGL 120 classes as well as some invited artists and friends.


May 04

Thursday, 7:00 p.m., Griffin Gate


Grossmont College instructors pull out the literary stops to showcase their talents in this cerebral, out-of-classroom experience.  Voices from diverse academic backgrounds gather to profess their talents and their love for the art of writing, offering the public a rare glimpse into the private and creative worlds of Grossmont College teachers.   Custom-made for the curious colleague or the brown-nosing student, this event is not to be missed!

Last Updated: 04/21/2019
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