Annual Literary Arts Festival underway

Write Out Loud founder Veronica Murphy reads Ironhead by Aimee Bender

By Taylor Harris

GROSSMONT COLLEGE–The 15th Annual Literary Arts Festival is being held through Thursday, May 5.  The festival kicked off with a screening of the film Bastard Out Of Carolina, based on the novel by Dorothy Allison, this year’s featured author.

Allison has been the winner of the Lamda Literary Awards twice as well as the American Library Association Prize for Lesbian and Gay Writing.  Allison was scheduled to be on campus on Wednesday, April 27, for a reading and book signing.

On Tuesday, April 26, Room 150 at Grossmont’s Health Sciences building was packed withpeople listening to stories and poetry by American women authors. The literature was presented by Write Out Loud, an organization of professional actors who provide dramatic performances of literary works.

Seminars will be conducted on small publishers and the opportunities they provide for writers to publish their works. Adam Deutsch, founder of Cooper Dillion Books, and award-winning poet Gary L. McDowell will speak about their work Thursday, April 28, in Room 220, Building 26, at 7:00 pm.

On Saturday, April 30, 25 hand-selected students from Grossmont College’s Creative Writing Program will participate in a literary performance workshop with Poet Laureate Stacy Dyson. Dyson is a playwright, a cappella vocalist, and poetry performance artist. She is currently residing in San Diego and completing her fifth spoken word CD, 13 Days of Purgatory.  The event is invitation-only.

Grossmont students will also be featured at two public readings. On Monday, May 2, in Room 220, Building 26, at 7 p.m, selected writers will read their original fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and mixed media works. If the past is prologue, the event will draw a full house, and perhaps feature musical accompaniment and video.

The next day at the same place, Grossmont students of Drama Writing will present their works done in staged readings. These will be plays and excerpts staged and directed by students. The event starts at 6 p.m.

Slam Poet Patricia Smith was scheduled to perform at this year’s Literary Arts Festival but unfortunately had to cancel. Instead will be Twice National Slam Champion Roger Bonair-Agard. He will read his own work as well as work from Patricia Smith’s Blood Dazzler. The event will be held at 7 pm at Room 220, Building 26.

To find out more about Grossmont’s Literary Arts Festival, interested parties can visit http://www.grossmont.net/english/festival. The website includes schedules and biographies of the speakers, writers and poets.

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Harris is a student in Media Comm. 132; email her at taylorh@gcsummit.com

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