Category Archives: Events

How LitFest Pasadena Got Rolling

By Jervey Tervalon, Literary Director of LitFest Pasadena

LitFest Pasadena came into being because I used to go to the Squaw Valley Writers Conference when it was fun by the late Oakley Hall, my former professor in UC Irvine’s MFA program. As a writer it was what I looked forward to more than almost anything else in my literary life. Oakley started Squaw Valley Writers Conference, I was told, because he wanted to see his writer friends and this was a good way of doing it. That sense of community was genuine and cathartic. Continue reading

Junot Díaz Talks Civic Duty, Dystopias, and Lunching with Obama

By Pamela Avila 

Sinkholes, mudslides, and the closing and flooding of freeways in L.A. didn’t stop a crowd from filling up every single seat at Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) on February 17. It was a full house, with more waiting in the standby line for tickets; it seems no one minded the trek to DTLA for an evening with current Katie Jacobson Writer-In-Residence at CalArts, Junot Díaz. Continue reading

Nowruz at UCLA

By Orly Minazad

Tehrangeles is aflutter with the advent of the Persian New Year — Nowruz — on March 21st. Eager celebrants might have watched truckloads of potted Hyacinths dressed in colorful wrapping being unloaded for Jordan Market on Westwood Boulevard. Up and down the street store displays are decked out with the Iranian flag, painted eggs and figurines of our very own Santa Clause, Haji Firuz. It’s the most wonderful time of the year in LA’s Persian Square, and everyone’s invited to the party. Continue reading

Letter from AWP

By Meghan O’Gieblyn

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, or AWP, the marquee national writer’s conference, takes place in a different city each year and draws thousands of writers, publishers, and editors from places far and wide across the Republic. It is the kind of gathering where you can grab a drink with the editor who published your short story, peruse a book fair where literary journals and publishing houses have set up booths manned by nervous-looking interns, and hear, three times in a single weekend, that old E.L. Doctorow saw about process: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” Continue reading

In Honor of Valentine’s Day: Three Award-Winning Romance Novelists Discuss Their Craft

By Laurelin Paige, CD Reiss, and Vanessa Fewings

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, three notable romance authors interview each other about the the art of storytelling and share their thoughts on the popular genre. Laurelin Paige is the New York Times Bestselling Author of Chandler, CD Reiss is the New York Times Bestselling Author of Marriage Games and Separation Games, and Vanessa Fewings is the USA Today Bestselling Author of Enthrall Secrets. Continue reading

Clunky Beauty — Allison Miller at The Pit

By Daniel Gerwin

Allison Miller does funny things with drips. In “Jaw,” one of seven paintings in her current solo show at The Pit in Los Angeles, drips slide up the canvas in defiance of gravity, while others flow down as expected — clearly, she changes the orientation of her pictures as she works. Miller’s drips are not simply byproducts of her process, as in Franz Kline, for example; but instead, have been carefully preserved. She places tape over the drips she wants to isolate, then removes it only toward the end, preserving rectangles of color around the original drips so that they stand out against the final surface. It’s a goofy send-up of Abstract Expressionist marks with their connotations of emotional urgency and dramatic creativity, but also a canny way of reintroducing the drip as painterly language that escapes the confines of cliché. Continue reading

On the Need for Queer Podcasts

By Hannah Harris Green

At its worst, public radio seems like a coterie of entirely heterosexual white reporters who assume their audience is also straight and white, and any content that features people who are queer, or people who are not white, is framed as a translation of a tragedy or an oddity for the anonymous vanilla mass of listeners. Peter Bresnan, a gay audio producer who I met at the Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago this month, says he’s tired of the media’s two typical gay narratives: “Either being gay is the tragedy in a story that ends in death or heartbreak, or the story’s about a gay person, and ‘gay’ is sort of their one and only characteristic. A gay person rather than a person who’s gay.” Continue reading