Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival is packed with book and poetry readings, presentations – open to the public


Courtesy photo. Zine editor and producer Margaret Nee speaks at the 2018 Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival.

An April 22 presentation by a trio of local writers on the modern era of agentless self-publishing, and later in the evening, student readings and performances of original works kick off the 23rd Annual Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival.

The week-long festival hosted by the English Department’s Creative Writing Program highlights poetry, memoir, literature, student writing and more, and is also an opportunity to hear from writers from across the country talk about their inspirations and struggles to put pen to paper.

The festival is free and open to the public and ends on April 25. All events will take place at Griffin Gate in Bldg. 60.

“Our literary arts festival offers the opportunity to engage living authors and literature in a way rarely possible in a community college,” said Karl Sherlock, festival co-coordinator.


– The self-published author panel at 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. on Monday, April 22, presents Ronald Preston Clark, member of RISE San Diego Urban Leadership. Clark is the author of the coming of age story, “Vinnie: A Love Letter”. Vera Sanchez, a Grossmont College alumnus, is the author of the memoir “Prison Letters: Walking with Honor”. San Diego poet Felicia Williams, author of the poetry book “Autology” and editor of the popular local independent magazine “Madwoman”, is also a product of Grossmont College’s Creative Writing Program.

– Student reading of “New Voices” at 7:00 – 8:15 p.m. on Monday, April 22, which will feature outstanding creative writing students reading and performing their works.

– Author Marilyn Chin reads her latest collection from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23. Professor Emeritus at San Diego State University, Chin is the author of five collections of poetry on the themes of Asian-American feminism and bicultural identity. .

– Russian-born poet Ilya Kaminsky, who is deaf, reads an excerpt from his new collection, “Deaf Republic”, with poems winning the coveted Pushcart Prize, 7 pm to 9 pm, Tuesday, April 23.

–Third annual student slam poetry competition hosted by performance writer, musician, DJ and performance poet Gill Sotu from 2 to 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24. The student poets of Grossmont College will compete for the right to boast of being crowned Grand Slam champions.

– Writer and activist journalist John Gibler reads an excerpt from his fourth non-fictional creative title, “Torn from the World: A Guerilla’s Escape from a Secret Prison in Mexico,” 7 to 8:15 p.m., Wednesday, April 24 . Writing and living in Mexico, Gibler’s works have been featured in NPR’s “All Things Considered” and The New Yorker. Gibler’s narrative writing humanizes Mexican wrestling on many levels. This event is made possible by a grant from the World Arts and Cultures Committee at Grossmont College.

– Student / Faculty Panel “Why Literature Matters” at 11:00 am – 12:15 pm Thursday, April 25, where students and faculty will discuss the potential of literature to inspire change and cultivate humanity.

–Authors Anthony Swofford and Christa Parravani and the 2019 Student Writing Competition Awards 7-9 p.m. Thursday, April 25, are the closing events of the 23e Annual literary arts festival. Swofford is the author of the 2004 bestseller, “Jarhead”, which was adapted into a blockbuster movie in 2005 by director Sam Mendes. He is accompanied to the reading by his wife, Christa Parravani, an internationally exhibited photographer whose title, “Her: A Memoir,” is a raw and captivating account of the rape of his identical twin and his death from a drug overdose. . Prior to the readings, the winning student writing competition entries will be recognized and the top prize winner will read the winning manuscript.

History of the College

Since 1996, the Literary Arts Festival has brought together a wide range of established and respected writers at Grossmont College. In addition to providing the East County community with the experience of meeting and listening to nationally recognized authors, it also offers creative writing students the opportunity to showcase their work. More information is available online at the Festival des Arts Littéraires.

Grossmont College is “Transforming Lives Through Education” and has served the diverse educational needs of East San Diego County since 1961. With over 150 certificate and associate degree programs, Grossmont College offers hands-on training. -work, career development and college-level courses transferable to its nearly 19,000 students. For more information, visit

Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival is packed with book and poetry readings, presentations - open to the public


Comments are closed.