U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, Novelists Walter Mosley, John Rechy Headline Writers Week

UC Riverside presents 39th annual celebration of writers Feb. 2-4

Rechy, Mosley, Herrera

Novelists John Rechy and Walter Mosley (from left) and U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera (right) headline the 39th annual Writers Week Feb. 2-4, 2016.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Writers Week, the longest-running, free literary event in California, returns to the University of California, Riverside Feb. 2-4.. Headlining the 39th annual celebration of writers and writing are U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and Walter Mosley, author of the popular Easy Rawlins and Fearless Jones mysteries. John Rechy, a pioneer of modern LGBT literature, will receive the first annual LARB-UCR Lifetime Achievement Award from the UCR Department of Creative Writing and Los Angeles Review of Books.

The event is free and open to the public. Complimentary parking permits will be available at the kiosk on West Campus Drive at the University Avenue entrance to the campus. All author presentations will be in Interdisciplinary Building South.

“This may be the most exciting Writers Week in the long, distinguished history of the event,” says Tom Lutz, this year’s director. “Herrera, the U.S. poet laureate, has picked 10 great poets to read, including such luminaries as Li-Young Lee, Barbara Jane Reyes, Brenda Cardenas, and Gabrielle Calvocoressi. UCR and Los Angeles Review of Books are teaming up to give their first Lifetime Achievement Award to groundbreaking novelist John Rechy. Walter Mosley, the most important writer of L.A. noir novels and an important writer of science fiction and nonfiction; Darryl Pinckney, like Mosley, one of the nation’s most important African American writers; Cory Doctorow, one of our most prominent theorists of digital culture; Karolina Waclawiak, whose latest novel was just picked up as a series on ABC. It is a very high-wattage group.”

Andrew Winer, chair of the Department of Creative Writing adds, “There are some stellar newcomers, too, like Iranian-American novelist Parnaz Faroutan, Vietnamese-American novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen, and several of our own MFA graduates who have published books this year.”

Juan Felipe Herrera, UCR professor emeritus of creative writing and a former California poet laureate, will curate a day of poetry on Feb. 2 and will speak at 7 p.m. Walter Mosley will be a writer in residence during the week and will deliver the keynote on Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Here is the schedule:

Tuesday, Feb. 2

  • 11 a.m. – Opening keynote: Cory Doctorow, a novelist and a nonfiction writer on technology. His latest works are the young adult novel “Homeland,” the graphic novel “In Real Life” with Jen Wang, and the nonfiction “Information Does Not Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age.”
  • 12:30 p.m. -– Alumni reading by: David Campos, who received his M.F.A. in poetry from UCR in 2013 and has just published his first book, “Furious Dusk,” which won the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize; Angela Peñaredondo, winner of a Zora Neal Hurston Poetry Award and whose forthcoming book, “All Things Lose Thousands of Time,” won the Inlandia Institute’s Hillary Gravendyk Regional Prize; and Kenji Liu, who has received several fellowships and has published in journals such as The American Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Review, Asian American Literary Review, CURA and RHINO.
  • 2 p.m.Brenda Cárdenas, former Milwaukee poet laureate and author of “Boomerang” and the chapbooks “Bread of the Earth/The Last Colors” with Roberto Harrison and “From the Tongues of Brick and Stone”; Matt Lippmann, author of “American Chew,” winner of the Burnside Review Book Prize, “Monkey Bars,” and “The New Year of Yellow,” winner of The Kathryn A. Morton Poetry Prize; and Harmony Holiday, a poet and choreographer whose debut collection of poems, “Negro League Baseball,” won the Fence Book Motherwell Prize.
  • 4 p.m.Amy Uyematsu, author of several poetry collections, including “The Yellow Door,” “Stone Bow Prayer” and “30 Miles from J-Town,” which won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize; Willie Perdomo, author of “The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon,” a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, the Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Award, and winner of the International Latino Book Award in Poetry, and “Smoking Lovely,” winner of the PEN Beyond Margins Award; and Gabrielle Calvocoressi, author of “Apocalyptic Swing,” a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and “The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart,” which was shortlisted for the Northern California Book Award and won the 2006 Connecticut Book Award in Poetry.
  • 5:30-7 p.m. – Reception
  • 7 p.m.Li-Young Lee, author of four critically acclaimed books of poetry, including “Rose,” which won the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University, and “The City in Which I Love You, the 1990 Lamont Poetry Selection, and the memoir “The Winged Seed: A Remembrance,” which received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; Barbara Jane Reyes, author of the poetry collections “For the City that Almost Broke Me,” “Diwata,” and “Poeta en San Francisco,” winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets; and  Juan Felipe Herrera, former California poet laureate and UCR professor emeritus of creative writing. Herrera is the author of more than 25 books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and has won many awards, including the Hungry Mind Award of Distinction, the Focal Award, two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry Awards, and a PEN West Poetry Award.

Wednesday, Feb. 3

  • 12:30 p.m. – Stephen Minot Reading: Dinah Lenney, creative nonfiction editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books and author of The Object Parade.
  • 1:30 p.m.  Colin Dickey, nonfiction writer and author of “Afterlives of the Saints: Stories from the Ends of Faith,” and coeditor with Joanna Ebenstein of “The Morbid Anatomy Anthology.”
  • 2:30 p.m. Carolina De Robertis, a novelist, documentarian and internationally bestselling author of “the Gods of Tango,” “Perla” and “The Invisible Mountain.” She is the recipient of Italy’s Rhegium Julii Prize.                                               
  • 3:30 p.m.Darryl Pinckney, a novelist and nonfiction writer whose work includes “High Cotton,” “Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy,” and “Black Deutschland: A Novel.”
  • 5 p.m.Daniel José Older, author of the young adult novel “Shadowshaper” and the “Bone Street Rumba” urban fantasy series.
  • 7:30 p.m. – Keynote: Walter Mosley, author of more than 40 books, including the bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. Among his most recent books are “Ruby Gold,” “Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore,” “And I Sometimes Wonder About You,” and “Inside a Silver Box.” He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Thursday, Feb. 4

  • 12:30 p.m.Stephanie Hammer, a poet, novelist and UCR professor emeritus of comparative literature. Her latest novel is “The Puppet Turners of Narrow Interior.”
  • 1:30 p.m.Piotr Florczyk, a poet, translator, nonfiction writer, and co-founder of Calypso Editions, a cooperative press. His latest work is “Los Angeles Sketchbook.”
  • 2:30 p.m.Karolina Waclawiak, a screenwriter and novelist, and an editor at The Believer. Her latest work is “The Invaders.” “AWOL,” a film she co-wrote with Deb Shoval, is in post-production.
  • 3:30 p.m.Parnaz Foroutan, who received PEN USA’s Emerging Voices fellowship to write her first novel, “The Girl from the Garden” (2015), which was inspired by her own family history.
  • 4:30 p.m.Viet Thanh Nguyen, scholar, novelist and short-story writer. He is the author of the novel “The Sympathizer,” and the forthcoming “Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War.”
  • 6:30 p.m. – Lifetime Achievement Award presented to John Rechy, author of 12 novels and three books of nonfiction. His groundbreaking novel “City of Night” was published in 1963. His latest novel is “The Life and Adventures of Lyle Clemens,” and his most recent book is a memoir, “About My Life and the Kept Woman.”

Writers Week is presented by the UCR Department of Creative Writing and is supported by the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, the Office of the Chancellor, the Los Angeles Review of Books, African Student Programs, the Science Fiction and Technoculture Studies Program, Poets & Writers, and Cellar Door Books in Riverside.

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