Local Summer Writing Conferences: Squaw, Napa and *new* SummerWords at American River College

Hello friends! Kate’s Miscellany is back on track here in our new home. Thanks for stopping by!

Below, find some exciting writing conference opportunities in our area for this summer. Happy writing, listening and reading!




The Community of Writers is pleased to announce our 2012 Summer Writing Workshops in Poetry, Writers Workshops, and Screenwriting, and is now accepting applications and submissions. Our dates and deadlines are more than a month earlier than usual. Please make a note of them to avoid disappointment.

Every summer for over four decades, the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley has brought together poets, prose writers, and screenwriters for separate weeks of workshops, individual conferences, lectures, panels, readings, and discussions of the craft and the business of writing. Our goal is to assist writers to improve their craft and thus move them closer to publication.

Make sure your application has arrived in our office by April 2, 2012.




Applications accepted starting March 1 for July conference, whose faculty roster includes internationally-renowned poets and fiction writers

Fiction writers and poets can submit applications beginning March 1 for the opportunity to work side-by-side with renowned authors at the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, slated for July 22-27, 2012. The conference is hosted and sponsored by Napa Valley College.

The faculty for this year’s conference features poet Eavan Boland and Tayari Jones, whose novel Silver Sparrow was released last year to wide acclaim.

Boland, who was born in Dublin, Ireland, is a member of the Irish Academy of Letters and directs the creative writing program at Stanford University. She has published ten volumes of poetry, the most recent being New Collected Poems and Domestic Violence. She has received the Lannan Award for Poetry and an American Ireland Fund Literary Award.

Jones was recently awarded a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. Silver Sparrow was named a top book of 2011 by Library Journal, O Magazine, Slate and Salon, and has been nominated for a NAACP Image Award.

During the conference week, faculty members will lead intimate workshops with conference attendees, discuss the craft of fiction and poetry in daytime lectures and read from their works in a series of evening events. Lectures and evening readings will be open to the public.

Full conference tuition – including workshops, lectures, evening events and most meals – is $900. One in five conference attendees receive full or partial scholarships, which are awarded according to merit and need.
Rolling admissions begin March 1, and scholarship applications are due April 2. For application materials and guidelines, visit napawritersconference.org.

Full list of poetry faculty:

. Boland, whose works also include Against Love Poetry, The Lost Land, In a Time of Violence and Night Feed. She also authored two books of prose, Object Lessons: The Life of the Woman and the Poet in Our Time and A Journey with Two Maps: Becoming a Woman Poet and co-edited the Norton anthologies The Making of a Poem and The Making of a Sonnet.

. Forrest Gander, whose poetry works include Core Samples from the World, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Gander is also a novelist and essayist, and his most recent translations include Watchword by Pura López Colomé, which won the Villaurrutia Prize, and Firefly Under the Tongue: Selected Poems of Coral Bracho, a finalist for the PEN Translation Prize. He has received fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim, Whiting, and Howard Foundations. Gander teaches at Brown University.

. Brenda Hillman’s most recent work is Pieces of Air in the Epic, her eighth volume of poetry. Previous titles include Cascadia and Loose Sugar. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award for Poetry from the Poetry Society of America and Norma Farber First Book Prize, also from the Poetry Society of America. She co-edited the collection The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood. She teaches at St. Mary’s College.

. Arthur Sze is a poet and translator whose books include The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970-1998, a finalist for the 1999 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and The Silk Dragon, winner of the Western States Book Award in Translation. His most recent work of poetry is The Ginkgo Light. Sze is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Award and multiple fellowships from both the Witter Bynner Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and was recently elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Full list of fiction faculty:

. Kevin Brockmeier’s novels include The Illumination, The Brief History of the Dead and The Truth About Celia; the children’s novels City of Names and Grooves: A Kind of Mystery, and the story collections Things That Fall from the Sky and The View from the Seventh Layer. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, and the O. Henry: Prize Stories anthology, among other publications. He has received a Guggenheim fellowship, the PEN USA Award, and an NEA grant.

. Lan Samantha Chang’s second novel, All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost, was published in 2010. Chang is also the author of Inheritance and
Hunger: A Novella and Stories. Chang is the director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford, and the recipient of fellowships from Princeton University, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation.

. Ron Carlson is the author of 10 books of fiction, most recently the novel The Signal. Previous work includes Five Skies, At The Jim Bridger, and The Hotel Eden, a New York Times Notable Book and Los Angeles Times Best Book. His work is included in many anthologies, including the O.
Henry: Prize Stories and Best American Stories, and he was awarded the Aspen Prize in Literature in 2009. Carlson is currently director of the graduate writing program at UC Irvine.

. In addition to Silver Sparrow, Jones has written the novels Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling. She is an Associate Professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University. She is spending the 2011-12 academic year at Harvard University as a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, researching her fourth novel.


AMERICAN RIVER COLLEGE PRESENTS SummerWords: The American River College Creative Writing Colloquium, May 31 – June 3, 2012 ~ Keynote Phillip Levine, U.S. Poet Laureate

Join fellow members of our local writing community and beyond at this exciting weekend of workshops, panel discussions and readings!



Keynote Speaker

Philip Levine

U.S. Poet Laureate

Philip Levine is the eighteenth United States Poet Laureate for 2011-2012. Upon his appointment, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a statement, “Philip Levine is one of America’s great narrative poets. His plainspoken lyricism has, for half a century, championed the art of telling ‘The Simple Truth’….”

Levine “is a large, ironic Whitman of the industrial heartland,” who, according to Edward Hirsch in the New York Times Book Review, should be considered “one of [America’s] … quintessentially urban poets.” He was born in 1928 to Russian-Jewish immigrants, in Detroit, a city that inspired much of his writing. Author of 20 collections of poetry, his most recent is News Of The World (Knopf, 2009). The Simple Truth won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995. What Work Is won the National Book Award in 1991. David Baker writes, “What Work Is may be one of the most important books of poetry of our time. Poem after poem confronts the terribly damaged conditions of American labor, whose circumstance has perhaps never been more wrecked.”

Levine is known as the poet of the working class, and he remains dedicated to writing poetry “for people for whom there is no poetry.” Dwight Garner of The New York Times comments, “One of the joys of following Mr. Levine’s career has been watching how playful he can be, despite the moral seriousness of his unadorned and lightly accented verse.”

As well as having received two National Book Awards, Levine is also the recipient of the National Book Critics Award and the Ruth Lily prize. He divides his time between Brooklyn, NY, and Fresno, CA.

Philip Levine credit: Geoffrey Berliner 



Lois Ann Abraham 

Lois Ann Abraham

Lois Ann studied creative writing at CSU Chico with Clark Brown, Gary Thompson, and Carole Oles. She regularly attends writing workshops and spent two weeks studying with Philip Lopate. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published in Sojourner, Chico News & Review, Sacramento News & Review and Writing on the Edge. Her first novel, Tina Goes to Heaven, is in the hands of an agent and bound for glory. In addition to creative writing, she teaches English grammar, composition, and literature at American River College.


John Bell

John Bell is professor of English and currently co-chair of the English Department and co-coordinator of the Writing Skills Center at American River College, where he has taught since 2003. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Wichita State University and BA in Spanish from the University of New Mexico.


John Bell 
Traci Gourdine 

Traci Gourdine

Traci Gourdine’s poetry and stories have been published in numerous literary magazines, and she has been anthologized within Shepard and Thomas’ Sudden Fiction Continued (Norton Publishing). Traci and Quincy Troupe were paired in a year long exchange of letters for the anthology Letters to Poets: Conversations about Poetics, Politics, and Community (Saturnalia Books). She is co-editor of Night is Gone, Day is Still Coming (Candlewick Press), an anthology of writing by young Native writers, as well as We Beg to Differ, poems by Sacramento poets against the Iraq war. She has also co-edited the Tule Review with Luke Breit for the Sacramento Poetry Center. Traci Gourdine is a professor of English at American River College and chairs the Creative Writing department for the California State Summer School for the Arts. She was Chair of the Sacramento Poet Laureate Committee for four laureate terms. For ten years she facilitated writing workshops within several California state prisons in the Arts in Corrections program for the William James Association. She is a professor of English at American River College in Sacramento.


Christian Kiefer

Christian Kiefer is a musician, poet, novelist, and a widely published music journalist and scholar. He holds a Ph.D. from UC Davis. His new novel, The Infinite Tides, will appear in July from Bloomsbury.


Christian Kiefer 
David Merson 

David Merson

David Merson received his B.A. in English and Philosophy from Westmont College and his M.A. in English (Creative Writing, Fiction) from UC Davis. He teaches creative writing at American River College, where he served as faculty adviser for the American River Review from 2001 until 2010.


Harold Schneider

Harold Schneider, Professor of English at ARC, has taught creative writing here for over 20 years, and also at UC Irvine and UC Davis. He advised the American River Review from 1991-2001, and in 2000 received The Patrons Chair, an award for excellence in teaching. His literary influences include the inestimable William H. Gass, with whom he studied while pursuing an M.A. in English at Purdue University, a degree finalized later at U.C. Irvine (MFA, fiction writing). On his mantle stands an Emmy for television writing (The Hollywood Squares, 1974).


Harold Schneider 
Michael Spurgeon 

Michael Spurgeon

Michael Spurgeon is a tenured professor of English at American River College, where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing and serves as the Editorial Advisor to the American River Review. He has authored two chapbooks and four short stage plays, and his writing has appeared in multiple regional and national journals. Michael’s first novel is currently seeking publication. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation.



Michael Angelone

Michael Angelone holds an MA in English from CSUS, where he studied under Doug Rice. He is at work on an Amador county-set novella about wine and baseball and a collection of essays on domesticity. He is a regular blogger, parent, and husband.


Michael Angelone 
David Dominguez 

David Dominguez

David Dominguez’s first book of poetry, Work Done Right, was published by the University of Arizona Press in 2003. His second collection of poetry, The Ghost of César Chávez, was published by C&R Press, 2010. Dominguez’s poems have appeared in journals, such as The Bloomsbury Review, Crab Orchard Review, Poet Lore, and The Southern Review. His work has been anthologized in Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from California, Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing, Breathe: 101 Contemporary Odes, The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry, among others. He earned his B.A. in comparative literature from the University of California at Irvine and his M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Arizona. He has taught at California State University, Fresno, and teaches full-time at Reedley College. He is the co-founder and poetry editor of The Packinghouse Review.


Emily Hughes

Emily W. Hughes is a poet, educator, and backpacker from Sonoma, California. Recent work has been published in the Sacramento News & Review. She has been featured on “Dr. Andy Jones’ Poetry & Technology Hour” on KDVS. Her blog, thealleysoflife.blogspot.com features posts on day trips, hiking, and recipes. Emily received an M.A. in Creative Writing from UC Davis, and teaches English at American River College and Cosumnes River College.

Emily Hughes 
Jason Sinclair Long 

Jason Sinclair Long

Jason Sinclair Long earned his MFA in Playwriting from UCLA. His plays have been developed and produced at various theaters around the country, including HERE and The Lincoln Center in New York. He lives in northern California with his wife, two sons, and ever-changing brood of chickens.


Bob Stanley

The current poet laureate of Sacramento, Bob Stanley, has published poetry and volunteered in California literary organizations since 1975. From 1975 to 2003, Bob ran a regional automotive parts business, but changed careers in 2003 when he went to Sac State to get his MA in English and Creative Writing. Now a full-time lecturer at Sac State, Stanley is also president of the Sacramento Poetry Center, and he gives readings and has led writers’ workshops all over Northern California. In 2009 he edited Sometimes in the Open, an anthology of poems by sixty-five poets laureate from around the state. His poetry has won numerous awards, including the California Focus on Writers prize in 2006. A fifth generation Californian and UCLA grad, Bob and his wife Joyce have raised their four children in Sacramento. His chapbook, Walt Whitman Orders a Cheeseburger, was released by Rattlesnake Press in 2009, and his poem “Ode to the Rotation,” in honor of the San Francisco Giants, was recently published in The Sacramento Bee.


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