Creative Writing Department to Host 29th Annual Writers Week Conference, February 14-18, 2006

By Christine Kitano, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing

Michael Jayme
Director of Writers Week and Assistant Professor of
Creative Writing

Founded by the late Harry Lawton 29 years ago, the Writers Week Conference has become an annual tradition on the UC Riverside campus, offering students, faculty, and members of the community the opportunity to interact with professional and established writers.

This year, the Director of Writers Week is Michael Jayme, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing. An alumnus of the undergraduate Creative Writing department himself, Professor Jayme is especially aware of how important it is for students to have the opportunity to see real and working writers.

Professor Jayme recalls how attending a reading by Marisela Norte during Writers Week as an undergraduate helped to change his ideas about writing. “It was the first time I heard something so personal and intimate,” he said. “It not only changed my perception of poetry; it helped me to see the potential in my own work.”

This year’s conference will feature a day devoted to the graphic novel, the first time this genre has been addressed in the history of Writers Week. Harvey Pekar, author of the comic book series American Splendor will give the keynote reading on February 17 at 7:30pm in the University Theatre.

Writers Week also serves as an opportunity to showcase the talent within the UC Riverside Creative Writing department. This year, Creative Writing Lecturer Dwight Yates will read from his two collections of short stories, Haywire Hearts and Slide Trombones and Bring Everybody.

“There’s a good mix of different people,” said Professor Jayme, referring to the array of participating writers. “It’s good for students to see writers in all stages of their careers; both emerging and established.”

Writers Week events are free and open to the public. For more information and for a complete schedule, please visit http://www.newsroom.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/display.cgi?id=1216 and http://www.creativewriting.ucr.edu.

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