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16th Annual Literary Arts Festival

Tuesday, April 24, 7:00 - 9 p.m., Room 220 (Bldg. 26)

The centennial of San Diego's Free Speech Fight, feat. Jim Miller (Flash, A Novel and Drift), and musician/lyricist Gregory Page.  

Kicking off the 16th Annual Literary Arts Festival, San Diego writer and labor activist Jim Miller reads from his novel, Flash, a wild adventure through Southern California’s hidden history of unsung true-life revolutionary heroes.  Joining Miller is local musician and lyricist Gregory Page, performing a selection of rousing labor songs in celebration of the centennial celebration of the San Diego Free Speech Fight.  From 1911 to spring of 1912, members of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) and other labor supporters endured vigilante torture, police brutality, and repeated arrests to battle a San Diego City ordinance prohibiting public speaking in downtown San Diego.  San Diego's free speech advocates prevailed and helped to overturn the ban, safeguarding the rights of San Diegans to protest publicly--an important legacy for civil rights advocates, union picketers, and political protesters everywhere. 

Jim Miller is a San Diego native with an MFA in Fiction from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University.  Founding member of the San Diego Writers Collective and co-founder of San Diego City Works Press, Miller is an instructor at San Diego City College, where he teaches English as well as Labor Studies. Fiction writer Jim Miller is the author of Flash: a Novel (AK Press 2010) and Drift (University of Oklahoma Press 2007).  A labor activist, Miller serves on the executive board of AFT Local 1931 and has authored Democracy in Education; Education for Democracy: An Oral History of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 1931(AFT Local 1931/San Diego City Works Press, 2006).  He is also a poet and essayist published in a variety of journals.

London born San Diegan Gregory Page is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer with an Irish and Armenian musical heritage.  (Page’s mother was a member of one of the first UK girl bands, the Beatchicks.) He studied classical guitar at London’s Trinity College of Music, and has taught songwriting workshops.  He has produced music for a prestigous variety of artists, including Bob Dylan, Jason Mraz, John Doe, Chris Issack, Judy Collins, Iron Butterfly, John Prine, Leon Russell and Mila Jacovich.  His own music blends traditional and progressive styles; his newest album My True Love (2011), is available for purchase on his website


Wednesday, April 25, 12:30 - 1:45 p.m., Room 220 (Bldg. 26)

La Vida & la Literatura de Sandra Cisneros, presentations and performances celebrating the arrival of Sandra Cisneros to the 16th annual L.A.F.

n anticipation of the April 26 arrival of beloved Chicana author SANDRA CISNEROS to the 16th Annual Literary Arts Festival, guest lecturers (including English professors Julie Cardenas, Joe Medina, and Patricia Cardozo, and others) will present thoughtful and entertaining discussions of the themes, heritage, life experiences, and esteemed literary contributions in Cisneros's award-winning novel, House On Mango Street.  The program will also include winners from the English 098 House on Mango Street Project. Instructors using Cisneros's work in their curriculum are especially welcome to bring to their classes or encourage their students to attend. 


Thursday, April 26, 7:00 - 9 p.m., Griffin Gate (Bldg. 60)

Sandra Cisneros, internationally renowned Latina author (House On Mango Street) reads from her works; book signing to follow.

Grossmont College proudly welcomes Sandra Cisneros to its 50th Anniversary and the Literary Arts Festival's "Sweet Sixteen" celebration.


An American novelist, short-story writer, essayist and poet, Sandra Cisneros is celebrated by literary scholars and critics for works that help bring the perspective of women, particularly those of Mexican-American descent, into the mainstream of American literature.  One of the first Latina writers to achieve commercial success in this country, Cisneros is best known for her novel House on Mango Street in which she chronicles the adolescence of Esperanza, a poor Latina growing up in a working-class Chicago neighborhood who longs for a room of her own and a house of which she can be proud.  Her novels, innovative for crossing borders of genre and form, also include the internationally acclaimed Caramelo, awarded the Premio Napoli, nominated for the Orange Prize, and shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.  Additionally, Cisneros is the founder of the Macondo Foundation, a collective of writers who view their work and talents as part of a larger task of community-building and promoting non-violent social change.  

Special thanks goes to the World Arts and Cultures Committee of Grossmont College, and to The Foundation, for their generous help to make this event possible.


Monday, April 30, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m., Room 220 (Bldg. 26)

New Voices: A Student Reading

To celebrate Grossmont College's the 50th Anniversary, this spring's New Voices: A Student Reading will feature standout Creative Writing students from the current semester, and alumni from past years who have continued refining their writing talents to become published and celebrated authors.  Featured Alumni:  fiction writer Niko Beope; poet Zeb Huset; and, fiction writer Josh Rhome.  The New Voices program will feature our student writers reading their original short fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, novel excerpts, drama, and mixed media literary works.  This popular event is often well attended by students, faculty, family, friends, and the public of the greater Grossmont-Cuyamaca community.   Students are personally invited by their Creative Writing instructors to be included in the program, where they receive a well-earned opportunity to read their own work aloud, sometimes with remarkable performance ability.  Past New Voices readings have featured musical accompaniment, spoken word and hip hop performances, song, and video projects. Serenading the crowd will be the return of student jazz band The Begonias and the Bearded Snails.


Tuesday, May 01, 12:30 - 1:45 p.m., Room 220 (Bldg. 26)

Write Out Loud's Big Read: Shades of Poe, with San Diego actors Veronica Murphy and Walter Ritter.

"The Language of Poe," by Charles Harrington Elster, Read by Veronica Murphy, Walter Ritter and Tim West; Edgar Allan Poe's "The Oval Portrait,” Read by Tom Andrew; "On Edgar Allan Poe," by T. Jefferson Parker, Read by Veronica Murphy;  "The Cask of Amontillado,” Read by Walter Ritter and Tim West; Mariah DeHeart and Alex Boyd's "The Will of the Crows,” a Poe inspired story, read by Tom Andrew; "Annabelle Lee,” Read by Walter Ritter; a prize winning poem by Roman Alliot, Read by Tim West

Write Out Loud returns to the Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival.  Write Out Loud, the brainchild of co-founders Walter Ritter and Veronica Murphy, is a dynamic and dramatic performance of short fiction and poetry staged by professional actors.  Past  "Write Out Loud" events have featured "Against the Odds"; “Leaves and Turns”; "Stories of Love and Passion"; "Science Squared"; and "Giving Season."   Last year's Write Out Loud program celebrated American women authors and included excerpts of writing by 2011 Festival guests Dorothy Allison and Patricia Smith. 

This year's theme, Shades of Poe, will showcase the verse and fiction of America's preeminent Gothic writer, Edgar Allan Poe.  Write Out Loud is also sponsoring a competition for a Poe-Inspired Creative Project.  Winning entries will be featured in The Big Read Community-wide Celebration, April 2012.  DEADLINE TO SUBMIT:  FEBRUARY 1, 2012.  To find out more, or enter your project idea, download a PDF of the competition guidelines (below). 

Artistic Director, Co-Founder Veronica Murphy is a twenty year veteran of the San Diego stage and has acted with local companies including Cygnet Theatre Company, Lamb’s Players Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre, and Tonic Productions.

Executive Director, Co-Founder Walter Ritter works with Ion Theatre and Lynx Performance and in the past has performed at Lamb’s Players Theatre, Sledgehammer, Moonlight Stage, Starlight and many others.  From the official Write Out Loud on the Internet:  "Write Out Loud is committed to inspire, challenge and entertain by reading short stories aloud for a live audience . . . . Many of us were read to as children – by mothers, grandfathers, teachers. But as adults, we rarely have the opportunity to sit back and listen to a story read to us aloud." 


Wednesday, May 02, 2:00 - 3:15 p.m., Room 220 (Bldg. 26)

Vietnam: Fact and Fiction, lecture and discussion with SDSU Professor Victoria Featherstone, military history expert Joseph Radzikowski, and Grossmont College student Steve Bedle, to celebrate the arrival of author Tim O'Brien to the Literary Arts Festival.


Wednesday, May 02, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m., Room 220 (Bldg. 26)

The Wars We Fought, hosted by Justin Hudnall from So Say We All, brings together writers across generations to share the true stories of their time in conflict, what they saw, and what brought them here.


Thursday, May 03, 2:00 - 3:15 p.m., Griffin Gate (Bldg. 60)

Celebrated novelist and memoirist Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried With Them; In the Lake of the Woods) reads from his award-winning works; book signing to follow.

Last Updated: 04/21/2019
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