Professional Development Courses & Workshops

The Writer's Voice

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The mission of the English major at CSU, Chico is to provide students with effective learning opportunities in the areas of American, British, and international literature; composition and rhetoric; creative writing; literary editing and publishing; and linguistics. One of the ways this mission is supported is through The Writer’s Voice series, sponsored by the CSU, Chico English Department. These presentations feature writers of diverse genres, from fiction to non-fiction to poetry.

The Writer’s Voice

   

Graduate Student Reading: Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction

Graduate Writers Workshop at CSU, Chico

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Students from the CSU, Chico English Department’s Graduate Writers Workshop share their writing, covering diverse topics using several different genres. Students presenting their work in this presentation: Ibe Liebenberg, Carissa Maddox, Eli Coyle, Ginamarie Wallace, Jason Deane, Jennifer Smith, Julie Ricks, Kyleen Bromley, Luke Scholl, Maisue Thao, Marta Shaffer, Matt Skripek, and Megan Mann.

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 3 minutes

Martha Collins

Martha Collins, PhD

Poet, Retired Faculty, University of Massachusetts-Boston and Oberlin College

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In her recent books, Martha Collins has used her talent with the written word to illuminate the horrific crimes historically suffered by the African American community. One of the works she reads in this presentation is about the lynching of an African-American man her father witnessed when he was five years old. In delving into this aspect of American history, Dr. Collins uses a kind of “mixed media” of writing techniques – poetry, articles, quotations, and timelines, both narrative and lyric. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. Here, she reads from her most recent book, “Admit One: An American Scrapbook” (2016, Pittsburgh), and another book, “Blue Front” (2006, Graywolf).

Presentation Time: 44 minutes

Valerie Fioravanti

Valerie Fioravanti

Fiction Author, Faculty for UCLA Writers’ Extension

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Valerie Fioravanti’s first book, “Garbage Night at the Opera,” is a collection of interlacing short stories that cover 30 years of an extended family’s life in working-class Brooklyn. Regarding this book, the San Francisco Book Review noted, ““Her characters are real and unapologetic. Her backdrop of Brooklyn…is vivid, with language that is accessible and street-wise as well as poetically spot on.” In this presentation, Ms. Fioravanti reads the first story from the book. She earned degrees from New Mexico State University and the New School in New York City. She was the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for studies in Italy.

Presentation Time: 44 minutes

Louis B. Jones

Louis B. Jones

Author and Essayist, Co-Director of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley

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Louis B. Jones is an American author and essayist. He has written five novels, the first three of which were named New York Times Notable Books. His third novel, “California’s Over,” was named Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times. In this presentation, he reads from his short story, “A Simple Omission,” and answers students’ questions.

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 6 minutes

The Poetry of Sean Hill

Sean Hill

Poet, Visiting Professor, University of Alaska-Fairbanks

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Born and raised in Milledgeville, Georgia, Sean Hill is the author of Dangerous Goods, awarded the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry, (Milkweed Editions, 2014) and Blood Ties & Brown Liquor (UGA Press, 2008), named as one of the Ten Books All Georgians Should Read in 2015 by the Georgia Center for the Book. He has received numerous awards including fellowships from Cave Canem, the Region 2 Arts Council, the Bush Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, The Jerome Foundation, The MacDowell Colony, the University of Wisconsin, and a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. Most recently, Hill received a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is an editor at Broadsided Press.

Website: www.seanhillpoetry.com

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 7 minutes

Reading from “The Animals” by Christian Kiefer

Dr. Christian Kiefer

Faculty, American River College

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Christian Kiefer is the author of two critically-acclaimed novels. “The Infinite Tides” (2012, Bloomsbury) made the Best of the Year list of the Publisher’s Weekly and his most recent novel, “The Animals” (2015 Liveright), has been named A Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com. Kiefer’s creative nature has also resulted in short stories, poetry, and making recordings and touring with a band. In this presentation, he reads from “The Animals” and explains that part of the impetus for the book was “exploring the kind of thinking that puts you in a situation where catastrophically poor decisions seem perfectly reasonable.” After reading, Kiefer answers questions from his student audience and shares ideas about writing.

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 22 minutes

Poetry Reading by Troy Jollimore

Dr. Troy Jollimore

Faculty, Philosophy Department, CSU, Chico

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Dr. Troy Jollimore burst upon the national poetry scene when his first book of poetry, “Tom Thomson in Purgatory,” won the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. In this presentation, Dr. Jollimore reads from his book, “Syllabus of Errors: Poems” (2015, Princeton University Press). He starts with a poem called “Charlie Brown,” which cleverly mixes images from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” to make some serious points. The rest of the poems he shares explore a variety of moods and philosophical thought.

Website: http://www.csuchico.edu/~tjollimore/

Presentation Time: 36 minutes

 “The Quiet Time”

Dimitri Keriotis

Professor, Modesto Junior College

Dimitri Keriotis

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Dimitri Keriotis reads a story he originally drafted while earning his MFA at Chico State, answers questions about the work and his writing practice, and offers advice to aspiring writers. His debut collection of short stories, “The Quiet Time,” was released by SFA Press. His stories have appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, Georgetown Review, Evening Street Review, Flyway, BorderSenses, and elsewhere. He has also written for Poets & Writers. Raised in Northern California, Keriotis served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zaire and Bolivia. Keriotis teaches English at Modesto Junior College and co-coordinates the High Sierra Institute. He and his family live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

Website: http://dimitrikeriotis.com/

Presentation Time: 54 minutes

 “A Selected History of Her Heart”

Carole Simmons Oles

Professor Emerita, CSU, Chico

Carole Oles

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Carole Simmons Oles is the author of nine books of poems, most recently “A Selected History of Her Heart” (University of New Mexico Press), from which she reads here. Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Field, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, The Women’s Review of Books and other magazines. She has taught at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Bread Loaf School of English in Vermont. Since 1992 she has been on the faculty at CSU, Chico, where she is Professor Emerita. 

Website:  carolesoles.com

Presentation Time: 39 minutes

 “Excavation: A Memoir”

Wendy C. Ortiz

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It took Wendy Ortiz 13 years to write “Excavation: A Memoir.” She says it was a matter of “getting the courage” to write of her experience of a years-long relationship with a male teacher that began when she was only 13. Ultimately, she was convinced that, “This is a story that is really important.” In this presentation, Ortiz reads three short chapters from the book and then answers questions from the audience. Her most recent work, “Hollywood Notebook,” will be published in spring 2015. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Nervous Breakdown, and The Rumpus, among many other places. Ortiz is a registered marriage and family therapist intern in Los Angeles.

Website: http://www.wendyortiz.com/

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 9 minutes

Crossing Boundaries

Doug Rice

Faculty, Sacramento State University

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Doug Rice’s work doesn’t fit into a single genre. It crosses boundaries of fact and fiction, and of fantasy and reality; it sometimes includes his photography.  For example, Rice’s book, “When Love Was,” is a hybrid text of photographs, memoir, fiction, and photographic theory. Therefore, it’s not surprising when he states during this presentation, “It all comes down to practicing seeing, and seeing in new ways – breaking out of habits.” Rice teaches creative writing, film studies, and literary and cultural theory at Sacramento State University.

Website: http://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/riced/home.htm

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 3 minutes

 “Because You Have To: A Writing Life”

Joan Frank

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Joan Frank reads from her essay collection, “Because You Have To: A Writing Life,” which won the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award. Commenting on her own writing path, and her beliefs about what it takes to be and remain “in the life,” Frank reads from essays describing the phenomenon of rejection, and about those intervals when a writer realizes, in the midst of writing’s routines and rituals, that she is actually happy. A MacDowell Colony Fellow and recipient of many grants and awards, Frank is the author of five books of literary fiction and her recent book of essays.

Website: www.joanfrank.org.

Presentation Time: 59 minutes

Creative Non-Fiction

Dr. Daryl Farmer

Faculty, Department of English, University of Alaska-Fairbanks

Dr. Daryl Farmer

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Dr. Daryl Farmer reads from and discusses “Bicycling Beyond the Divide: Two Journeys into the West.” His book follows him on his 5,000-mile bicycle journey through the diverse populations and ever-changing physical and social landscapes that make up America. In 1985, Dr. Farmer traveled through 11 Western states and the Canadian province of British Columbia. He wrote his book 20 years later, using the notes from the journal he kept while “on the road.” His story takes place in the context of the world of the mid-1980s and also in the context of his current perspective. He is the recipient of Barnes and Noble’s Discover Great New Writers Award.

Website: http://darylfarmer.com/

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 11 minutes

The Writer’s
Voice: Creative Non-Fiction

Dr. Daryl
 Farmer

Faculty,
Department of English, University of Alaska-Fairbanks

 

Dr. Daryl Farmer reads from and discusses “Bicycling
Beyond the Divide: Two Journeys into the West.” His book follows him on his 5,000-mile
journey through the diverse populations and ever-changing physical and social
landscapes that make up America. In 1985, Dr. Farmer traveled by bicycle
through 11 Western states and the Canadian province of British Columbia. He
wrote his book 20 years later, using the notes from the journal he kept while
“on the road.” His story takes place in the context of the world of the
mid-1980s and also in the context of his current perspective. He is the
recipient of Barnes and Nobel’s Discover Great New Writers Award.

 

Presentation Time: 1 hour, 11 minutes