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UCR hosts the 38th Annual Writers Week Conference


By Eli Brown, CHASS Dean’s Office Student Intern
February 2, 2015

Every year, UCR the creative writing department at UCR, in coalition with the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, African Student Programs, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, hosts the Writers Week conference. Poets & Writers, Inc. also supports the event through a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. It is the longest-running free literary event in California. This event takes place from February 2-5, and is free and open to the public.

Tom Lutz, director of Writers Week and editor of the Los Angeles Book Review, states that the very impressive group of writers and their talks will be kicked off by keynote speaker Claudia Rankine, who recently published her book Citizen. This novel is “short listed for every major award,” states Lutz, “and will be a book that never goes out of print.” The event will also host panels with the new faculty in the creative writing department this quarter, such as Jane Smiley, Katie Ford, Allison Benis White, and Josh Emmons. They will be paired together and will be comprised of readings along with question and answer sessions. Other speakers include soon to be retiring distinguished faculty Juan Felipe Herrera and Mike Davis. Finally, Geoff Dyer, who is an innovative literary critic and fiction writer, will be this years Steven Minot lecturer. 

When Lutz goes about finding authors to participate in Writers Week, it is often cultivating long-standing relationships. But the graduate students in the MFA program, as well as other professors, also get a chance to submit their suggestions for possible guests. Undergrad students have also been given a voice in the form of African Student Programs, and Lutz also notes that they bring a bigger crowd as well as diversity to the invited authors. Lutz feels that there is “not another university in the country who does something at this caliber,” and that all of the writers in attendance will be “ones you want to tell your grandchildren you’ve met”.

The complete list of guests include: NoViolet Bulawayo, Maria Bustillos, Steph Cha, Ching-In Chen, Michael Datcher, Mike Davis, Geoff Dyer, Josh Emmons, Katie Ford, Tod Goldberg, Juan Felipe Herrera, Ernest Hogan, Michelle Huneven, Laila Lalami, MariNaomi, Claudia Rankine, Mona Simpson, Jane Smiley, Alan Soldofsky, Jervey Tervalon, and Allison Benis White.

Daytime events will take place in the UCR Bookstore Lounge, and evening events will take place in Hub 302. Complimentary parking passed will be available for both day and evening events, at the parking kiosk located in lot 1. For more information call (951) 827-3245, email performingarts@ucr.edu, or visit www.writersweek.ucr.edu.

        

 


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