Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival stacked with book and poetry readings, presentations – open to the public

Courtesy picture. Margaret Nee, editor and zine producer, speaks at the 2018 Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival.

A panel presentation on April 22 by a trio of local writers on the modern era of agentless self-publishing, and later in the evening student readings and performances of original works kick off of the 23rd Annual Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival.

The week-long festival hosted by the English Department’s Creative Writing Program highlights poetry, memoir, literature, student writing and more, and is also an opportunity to hear from writers from across the country talk about their inspirations and their struggles with putting pen to paper.

The festival is free and open to the public and ends on April 25. All events will take place at Griffin Gate in the Bldg. 60.

“Our Literary Arts Festival offers the opportunity to engage living authors and literature in a way rarely possible at a community college,” said festival coordinator Karl Sherlock.


– The self-published author panel from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Monday, April 22, features Ronald Preston Clark, an RISE San Diego Urban Leadership Fellow. Clark is the author of the coming-of-age story, “Vinnie: A Love Letter.” Grossmont College alumnus Vera Sanchez is the author of the memoir “Prison Letters: Walking with Honor.” Also from Grossmont College’s creative writing program is San Diego poet Felicia Williams, author of the poetry collection “Autology” and editor of the popular local independent magazine “Madwoman.”

–Student reading of “New Voices” from 7-8:15 p.m., Monday, April 22, which will feature outstanding creative writing students reading and performing their works.

–Author Marilyn Chin reads excerpts from her new collection from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Tuesday, April 23. A professor emeritus at San Diego State University, Chin is the author of five books of poetry on the themes of Asian-American feminism and bicultural identity. .

– Russian-born poet Ilya Kaminsky, who is deaf, reads excerpts from his new collection, “Deaf Republic,” featuring poems that won the coveted Pushcart Prize, from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23.

–Third Annual Student Poetry Slam Contest hosted by local writer, musician, DJ and performance poet Gill Sotu from 2-3:15 p.m., Wednesday, April 24. Grossmont College student poets will compete for bragging rights to be crowned Grand Slam champions.

–Author and advocacy journalist John Gibler reads from his fourth creative non-fiction title, “Torn from the World: A Guerilla’s Escape from a Secret Prison in Mexico,” from 7-8:15 p.m., Wednesday, April 24. in Mexico, Gibler’s work has been featured in NPR’s “All Things Considered” and The New Yorker. Gibler’s narrative writing humanizes Mexican wrestling on many levels. This event is made possible by a grant from the Grossmont College World Arts and Cultures Committee.

–Student/faculty panel “Why Literature Matters” from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Thursday, April 25, where students and professors will discuss the potential of literature to inspire change and cultivate humanity.

–Authors Anthony Swofford and Christa Parravani and 2019 Student Writing Contest Awards from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, April 25 are the final events of the 23rd Annual Literary Arts Festival. Swofford is the author of the 2004 bestseller, “Jarhead”, which was adapted into a blockbuster film in 2005 by director Sam Mendes. He is joined in the reading by his wife, Christa Parravani, an internationally exposed photographer whose title, “Her: A Memoir”, is a raw and gripping account of the rape of his identical twin sister and subsequent death from a drug overdose. drug. Prior to the readings, the winning works of the student essay competition will be recognized and the first prize winner will read the winning manuscript.

college history

Since 1996, the Literary Arts Festival has brought a wide range of established and respected writers to Grossmont College. In addition to providing the East County community with the experience of meeting and hearing from nationally acclaimed authors, it also offers creative writing students the opportunity to showcase their work. More information is available online about the Literary Arts Festival.

Grossmont College is “Transforming Lives Through Education” and has been serving the diverse educational needs of East San Diego County since 1961. With more than 150 certificate and associate degree programs, Grossmont College provides workforce training work, career development and transferable college-level courses to its nearly 19,000 students. For more information, visit

Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival stacked with book and poetry readings, presentations - open to the public


Comments are closed.