Writers Week Returns to UCR Feb. 4–6

The 37th annual celebration of writers and writing features novelists, poets and journalists

Three authors

Authors Steve Erickson, Danzy Senna and Percival Everett will speak at Writers Week 2014.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Award-winning novelists, poets and journalists will discuss their craft Feb. 4–6, 2014, during the 37th annual Writers Week at the University of California, Riverside. Writers Week is the longest-running, free event devoted to writing and writers in Southern California.

Preceding Writers Week, veteran journalist Ray Suarez will survey the changing landscape of American journalism at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, as part of the 46th Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture. His appearance in the University Theatre is free and open to the public. Suarez, who spent 14 years at the PBS NewsHour, has titled his speech: “Getting Ready for the Next America.”  Just recently he has been named permanent host of Al Jazeera America’s daily program “Inside Story.”

The lecture, founded in 1966, honors the legacy of Howard H “Tim” Hays Jr., the longtime owner and publisher of The Press-Enterprise newspaper. Although the talk is free, reservations are requested and may be made online or by calling (951) 827-3144.

More than a dozen nationally and internationally famous authors will participate in discussions and readings during Writers Week, along with some just beginning their careers. Works by Writers Week authors will be available for purchase at the venue on the days of their presentations.

“Including some of the most accomplished and significant novelists in the country, like Percival Everett and Steve Erickson, to some of the top young artists of the day, this year’s Writers Week promises to be one of our most memorable yet,” said Tom Lutz, director of the annual event and a professor of creative writing at UCR.

Writers Week 2014 is made possible by support from the UC Riverside College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

UC Riverside has the only undergraduate creative writing program in the University of California and offers a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and writing for the performing arts.


All activities take place in the CHASS Interdisciplinary Building South, Screening Room 1128, except for the Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture. Admission is free. Parking on campus is $6, and permits may be purchased at the kiosk on West Campus Drive, near University Avenue.

Sunday, Jan. 26

2 p.m.: Ray Suarez, Hays Lecture

Tuesday Feb. 4

11 a.m.: Mark Haskell Smith, the author of five novels: “Moist,” “Delicious,” “Salty,” “Baked,” and “Raw: A Love Story” and the nonfiction book “Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers and the Race to the Cannabis Cup.” A former successful screenwriter (“Anaconda” and others), his prose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Vulture.

1 p.m.:  Nicelle Davis, author of “Becoming Judas” and “Circe.” Two more books will publish in the next two years: “In the Circus of You” in 2014 and “The Walled Wife” in 2016. She is the director of the Living Poetry Project. She is an assistant poetry editor for Connotation Press, and is managing editor of The Los Angeles Review. She has taught poetry at Youth for Positive Change, Homeless Youth Center, and Writing in the Schools. She currently teaches at Antelope Valley College.

2:30 p.m.: Kate Gale, managing editor of L.A.’s premier literary publisher, Red Hen Press.  She teaches in the M.F.A. program at San Diego State University. She is author of five books of poetry, six librettos and has two forthcoming books in 2014:  “The Goldilocks Zone” and “Echo Light.”

4 p.m.: Daniel Chacon, author of “Unending Rooms,” a collection of short fiction; a novel, “and the shadows took him”; and another collection of stories,“Chicano Chicanery.” His fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies. He co-edited “The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes: The Selected Works of Jose Antonio Burciaga,” and co-hosts the literary radio show “Words on a Wire” (KTEP.org). He is a professor in the bilingual M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Texas at El Paso.

5:30 p.m.: Nina Revoyr, author of four novels, including “Southland,” a Los Angeles Times “Best Book” of 2003; “The Age of Dreaming,” a finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and “Wingshooters,” winner of an Indie Booksellers’ Choice Award and an O: Oprah Magazine’s “Book to Watch For.”

7 p.m.: Krys Lee, whose debut book “Drifting House” made the San Francisco Chronicle and Kansas City Star 2012 best books of the year list. She was awarded The 2012 Story Prize Spotlight Award and was a finalist for the 2012 BBC International Story Prize. She is a professor of creative writing at Yonsei University’s Underwood International College in Seoul, South Korea.

Wednesday, Feb. 5

1 p.m.: Reading by Douglas Kearney, whose first full-length collection of poems,Fear, Some,” was published in 2006. “The Black Automaton” was chosen for the National Poetry Series and was a finalist for the Pen Center USA Award in 2010. His poems have appeared in journals such as Callaloo, jubilat, Ploughshares, and nocturnes. He teaches at CalArts and Antioch.

2:30 p.m.: Daniel Alarcón, author of “War by Candlelight,” “Lost City Radio” and “At Night We Walk in Circles.” Alarcón is a co-founder of Radio Ambulante, a Spanish-language storytelling podcast, and his writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, n+1, and Harper’s. He was one of The New Yorker’s “20 under 40” and one of Granta’s “Best Young American Novelists.”

4 p.m.: Danzy Senna, author of the national bestselling novel “Caucasia,” winner of the Book of the Month Award for First Fiction and the American Library Association’s Alex Award. The book was a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, was named a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year and has been translated into eight languages. She is also the author of the novel “Symptomatic” and the memoir “Where Did You Sleep Last Night? A Personal History.”

5:30 p.m.: Steve Erickson, one of the country’s foremost innovative novelists, is the author of a dozen books, including the novels “Days Between Stations,” “Tours of the Black Clock” and “Zeroville,” and two nonfiction books, “Leap Year” and “American Nomad.” He teaches in the M.F. A. Writing Program at CalArts and is the editor of California’s most prestigious literary magazine, Black Clock. He is also film critic for Los Angeles Magazine.

7 p.m.: Tribute to the late poet Wanda Coleman. Among the participants reading her work will be California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, professor of creative writing at UCR. Wanda Coleman passed away this fall; she was scheduled to appear. Known as the unofficial poet laureate of Los Angeles, Coleman came up through the Watts Writers Workshop in the 1960s and published essays, memoirs, novels, and poetry.

Thursday, Feb. 6

11 a.m.: Ben Stoltzfus, UCR professor emeritus of creative writing and comparative literature and the author of the novels “The Eye of the Needle,” “Black Lazarus,” and “Red White & Blue.” He also has published a collection of short stories, “Cat O’Nine Tails.”

1 p.m.: Arturo Madrid, the Murchison Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Trinity University and the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities’ Charles Frankel Medal. He is the author of a family memoir titled “In the Country of Empty Crosses. The Story of a Hispano Protestant Family in Catholic New Mexico.”

2:30 p.m.: Aimee Suzara, a poet, playwright and performer based in Oakland. Her poetry book, “SOUVENIR,” was published recently. Her poems appear in numerous journals and anthologies, notably Kartika Review, Phati’tude, and the Lantern Review. She currently lectures in creative writing at California State University, Monterey Bay.

4 p.m.: Reading by Victoria Chang, whose work has been published in American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, POETRY, The Nation, New Republic, Virginia Quarterly Review and Best American Poetry. She has published three books of poems: “The Boss,” “Salvinia Molesta” and “Circle.”

5:30 p.m.: Ben Ehrenreich, author of the novels “The Suitors” and “Ether.” He won a National Magazine Award for feature writing in 2011 and currently splits his time between Los Angeles and Ramallah, where he is working on his first nonfiction book and is Los Angeles Review of Books’ Middle East correspondent.

7 p.m.: Percival Everett, author of more than 20 novels, three collections of short fiction, and two volumes of poetry. His novels include “Percival Everett by Virgil Russell,”Assumption,”I Am Not Sidney Poitier,”Wounded” and “Erasure.” He has won numerous awards, including the PEN Center USA Award for Fiction, the Academy Award from an American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. He teaches fiction writing and critical theory and is currently Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

Additional Contacts

Tom Lutz
E-mail: tom.lutz@ucr.edu

Kathy DeAtley
Tel: (951) 827-3245
E-mail: performingarts@ucr.edu

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