Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall 2008 Living Writers Reading Schedule

Fall 2008 Living Writers Reading Schedule

Tuesday, September 23rd: Mark Wallace
Award-winning, innovative author Mark Wallace’s recent collection of tales is Walking Dreams. He currently teaches at California State University, San Marcos.

Wednesday, October 1st: Carolyne Wright
Acclaimed poet, Carolyne Wright, will discuss the art of translation and read from her new book, Majestic Nights: Love Poems of Bengali Women.

Tuesday, October 14th: Duff Brenna and Thomas E. Kennedy
Winner of AWP’s Best Novel Award, Duff Brenna’s novels, The Book of Mamie and Too Cool, have been optioned by a filmmaker.

Thomas E. Kennedy has published 25 books. A recent recipient of the Ellie Award, his new essay collection is Riding the Dog: A Look Back at America.

Wednesday, October 22nd: Matt de la Pena
MFA graduate, Matt de la Pena, returns to San Diego State after achieving acclaim and success with his first two novels, Ball Don’t Lie and newly released, Mexican Whiteboy.

Thursday, October 30th: M.L. Smoker ~ The Laurie Okuma Memorial Reading
Assiniboine and Sioux poet M.L. Smoker’s first collection of poems is titled Another Attempt at Rescue. Her poetry has been published in numerous literary journals.

Tuesday, November 18th: Jane Hirshfield
Hailed as “one of our finest, most memorable contemporary poets”, Jane Hirshfield’s honors and awards are numerous, and include the 70th Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement by The Academy of American Poets.
**This event will take place in the Malcolm A. Love Library, Room LL-108

Events are free and open to the public. Parking is available in conveniently located pay lots. Except for Jane Hirshfield’s appearance, all events will be held in SDSU’s Malcolm A. Love Library, Room 430.

For further information, contact Victoria Featherstone:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Spooning with the Ghost of Upton Sinclair

As all of us with an avidity for literature can attest to, there come times when we can't help but feel an ethereal bond when we find ourselves in close proximity to someplace a literary luminary has once tread.  Some flock to Dublin for Bloomsday, others make the trek to Tintern Abbey or Mont Blanc, but still others chance upon greatness unbeknownst to them.  Here is once such case of the latter.  This anonymous anecdote was sent to us by one of our own fine graduate students about a "connection" with one of the American literary giants:    
This past Spring Break my friend Dustin and I decided to get out of town and fly up to Portland. I had been before but had never spent much time there. He had visited on several occasions and had fallen in love with it. We had a place to stay with a good friend of his named Nick who works there managing a vegan food restaurant. Being a lover of nature, good food, good people and travel, Portland seemed like the perfect vacation.
Nick lives in an old Victorian style house that has been converted into four different apartments. Nick lives on the bottom floor in a cozy two-bedroom space with a roommate named Molly. Molly was out of town, however, visiting some family, so my friend and I took turns sleeping on her bed while the other slept on the couch in the living room.
Nick and his girlfriend Annie—who lives in the apartment across the hall—were gracious hosts to us, taking us to the best restaurants, coffee shops and other such attractions. During our stay a friend of Annie’s came to town from Astoria to celebrate her birthday. I was introduced to said friend and I guess you could say that the two of us hit it off.
The night before Dustin and I left for San Diego, Nick and Annie had a little get together in Nick’s apartment with their housemates and some other friends. When the night came to an end—it being my turn to sleep on Molly’s bed—I asked the birthday girl if she’d like to join me, since she was going to be staying the night with several others in Annie’s crowded apartment.
Being two mature adults, sharing a bed together, one thing naturally led to another. Suffice to say we had a fun night. A happy ending to an all-around spectacular trip.
The trip was so fun, in fact, that Dustin and I decided to take a road trip up to Portland in June when school had let out for the summer. I had the opportunity this time around to meet the delightful Molly and our trip was even better than the last.
On our final night, the summer solstice, the housemates got together and cooked a massive, hedonistic feast of crab, lamb, pie and other tasty culinary items. As the night wound down, Nick and I got into a conversation about literature, he not having previously known what a lover of literature I am.
“Did Molly ever tell you that her grandmother was somewhat of a literary celebrity?” he asked. “She used to frequent some popular literary circles in the 50s and 60s. In fact, Molly’s bed used to belong to Upton Sinclair.”

If you'd care to share a similar story, or feel like you can top this one, feel free to send it our way so you can gloat with glee.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hats off to Harold Jaffe

The San Diego Union-Tribune ran an article in its Arts section today featuring SDSU writing teacher Harold Jaffe.  The article highlights Jaffe's "Triple Threat" as writer, teacher, and editor of Fiction International.  

The article even quotes Jaffe hailing his colleagues who emphasize the importance of coupling both the study and writing of literature.

"The creative writing program at SDSU combines the two. Artistic imagination and rigor should come together."

Read the article for yourself (if you have the patience to get past the screwball baseball puns in the title): "Now batting for SDSU, Haaaarold Jaffe!"