2008 Book Fair Archive

Third Annual San Diego City College International Book Fair

Friday, October 3 • Saville Theater

7:00-9:00 p.m.
Jimmy Santiago Baca
Marisela Norte

Saturday, October 4 • Saville Theater

10:00-11:00 a.m.
Juan Williams
NPR news analyst and author
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Robert V. Hine with Mike Davis
On Dynamite and Dreams
12:00-1:00 p.m.
Helena Viramontes, Reyna Grande, Melinda Palacio, and Jennifer Silva Redmond
Read from Latinos in Lotusland
12:30-1:00 p.m.
Helena Viramontes
Reads from The Dogs Came with Them
1:30-3:00 p.m.
Hunger and Thirst reading featuring Li-Young Lee

3:00-4:00 p.m.
Thomas Frank
Author of What’s the Matter with Kansas? will discuss The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule
4:00-5:00 p.m.
Paul Rieckhoff
President of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America will discuss Chasing Ghosts: Failures and Façades in Iraq: A Soldier’s Perspective
5:00-6:30 p.m.
Carolyn Forché
Renowned poet of witness

2008 Book Fair Authors

Carolyn Forché

Known as a “poet of witness,” Carolyn Forché is the author of four books of poetry. Her first poetry collection, Gathering The Tribes (Yale University Press, 1976), won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award from the Yale University Press. In 1977, she traveled to Spain to translate the work of Salvadoran—exiled poet Claribel Alegría, and upon her return, received a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, which enabled her to travel to El Salvador, where she worked as a human rights advocate.

Her second book, The Country Between Us (Harper and Row, 1982), received the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and was also the Lamont Selection of the Academy of American Poets. Her translation of Alegria’s work, Flowers from the Volcano, was published by the University Pittsburgh Press in 1983, and that same year, Writers and Readers Cooperative (New York and London) published El Salvador: Work of Thirty Photographers, for which she wrote the text. In 1991, The Ecco Press published her translations of The Selected Poetry of Robert Desnos (with William Kulik). Her articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Esquire, Mother Jones, and others. Forché has held three fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1992 received a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship.

Forché’s anthology, Against Forgetting: Twentieth Century Poetry of Witness, was published by W.W. Norton & Co. in 1993, and in 1994, her third book of poetry, The Angel of History (HarperCollins, Publishers), was chosen for The Los Angeles Times Book Award. In 1998 in Stockholm, she was given the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture Award, in recognition of her work on behalf of human rights and the preservation of memory and culture. In April of 2000, Curbstone Press published a new book of her translations of Claribel Alegría, Sorrow. Her fourth book of poems, Blue Hour, was published by HarperCollins in Spring, 2003. The book she co-translated, Selected Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, was published by the University of California Press in Fall, 2002. A chapbook selection of that work was published by The Lannan Foundation Fall, 2001.

Jimmy Santiago Baca

Born in New Mexico of Chicano and Apache descent, Jimmy Santiago Baca was raised first by his grandmother and was later sent to an orphanage. A runaway at age thirteen, it was after Baca was sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison at the age of twenty-one that he began to turn his life around: there he learned to read and write and found his passion for poetry. Like many Southwestern writers, Baca identifies with the land around him and the myths that are part of his culture. He is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award, the National Poetry Award, the International Hispanic Heritage Award, and, for his memoir A Place to Stand, the prestigious International Award. 

Baca has two new books released March 2004: The Importance of a Piece of Paper (Grove/Atlantic) and Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande (New Directions). His books also include: A Place to StandHealing Earthquakes, C-Train & Thirteen MexicansBlack Mesa Poems, Martin & Meditations on the South Valley, and Immigrants in Our Own Land. His poems reveal an honest, passionate voice and powerful imagery full of the dark jewels of the American Southwest landscape (llanos, mesas, and chiles) and the chaotic urban landscape (nightclubs, rusty motors, and bricks) woven into a rich lyricism sprinkled with Spanish. It is this style and careful attention to language that won him an American Book Award in poetry from the Before Columbus Foundation in 1988 for Martin and Meditations on the South Valley.  Baca will be reading in support of his upcoming City Works Press book of poetry, Rita and Julia.  This collection will be available through Sunbelt Publications in August 2008.

Li-Young Lee

Li-Young Lee is the author of three critically acclaimed books of poetry, his most recent being Book of My Nights (BOA Editions, 2001). His earlier collections are Rose (BOA, 1986), winner of the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University, The City in Which I Love You (BOA, 1991), the 1990 Lamont Poetry Selection; and a memoir entitled The Winged Seed: A Remembrance (Simon and Schuster, 1995), which received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.  A new volume, Behind My Eyes, was published in January 2008 by W. W. Norton. Lee’s honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Lannan Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, as well as grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. In 1988 he received the Writer’s Award from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation.

Born in 1957 of Chinese parents in Jakarta, Indonesia, Lee learned early about loss and exile. His great grandfather was China’s first republican President, and his father, a deeply religious Christian, was physician to Communist leader Mao Tse-Tung. After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Lee’s parents escaped to Indonesia. In 1959, his father, after spending a year as a political prisoner in President Sukarno’s jails, fled Indonesia with his family to escape anti-Chinese sentiment. After a five-year trek through Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan, they settled in the United States in 1964.

Through the observation and translation of often unassuming and silent moments, the poetry of Li-Young Lee gives clear voice to the solemn and extraordinary beauty found within humanity. By employing hauntingly lyrical skill, and astute poetic awareness, Lee allows silence, sound, form, and spirit to emerge brilliantly onto the page. His poetry reveals a dialogue between the eternal and the temporal, and accentuates the joys and sorrows of family, home, loss, exile, and love. In “The City In Which I love You,” the central long poem in his second collection, Li-Young Lee asks, “Is prayer, then, the proper attitude/for the mind that longs to be freely blown,/but which gets snagged on the barb/called world, that/tooth-ache, the actual?” Anyone who has seen him read will add that Lee is also one of the finest poetry readers alive.  Lee will be reading in support of the City Works Press anthology Hunger and Thirst, which will be available through Sunbelt Publications in August 2008.

Thomas Frank

Frank is the founding editor of The Baffler and is author of What’s the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America, One Market Under God, and The Conquest of Cool.  He writes frequently for Harper’s, The Nation, and Le Monde diplomatique.

With his acclaimed wit and acuity, Thomas Frank turns his eye on what he calls “the Great Backlash”—the popular revolt against a supposedly liberal establishment.  Marshalling public outrage over everything from improper flag display to un-Christian art, the backlash has achieved the most unnatural of alliances, bringing together blue-collar midwesterners and Wall Street business interests, workers and bosses, populists and right-wingers.  Frank’s insights should make for a timely discussion during this election season.

Paul Rieckhoff

Paul Rieckhoff is the executive director and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the first and largest organization for veterans of the War on Terror. During his time in the Adamiyah section of central Baghdad, he led his light infantry platoon on hundreds of combat patrols with the 3rd Infantry and 1st Armored Divisions. He continues to serve his country as an Infantry Officer in the New York Army National Guard.  He is the author of Chasing Ghosts: Failures and Facades in Iraq: A Soldier’s Perspective.<

Rieckhoff is a nationally-recognized authority on the war in Iraq and issues affecting our troops, military families, and veterans at home. He is a frequent TV and radio commentator and has appeared on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Fox’s Hannity & Colmes, NBC Nightly News, 60 Minutes II, CNN’s Paula Zahn Now, ABC’s World News Tonight, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Air America’s Al Franken Show, and NPR’s All Things Considered, among many other programs. He and IAVA have also been featured across the country in numerous major national newspapers and magazines. He was named one of “America’s Best and Brightest of 2004” by Esquire.

Marisela Norte

Marisela Norte is an East Los Angeles based writer.  Considered one of the most important literary voices to come out of East Los Angeles, Norte’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Interview, Elle, Option, Venice, Los Angeles Weekly, Buzz, West Magazine, Bomb and Propagandist.  Norte has performed her work throughout California and the US and most recently at the Tate Modern in London.  She recently received the City Works Press’s Ben Reitman Award in 2007 for the publication of her first book, Peeping Tom Tom Girl, which will be available from Sunbelt Publications in August 2008.

Her work can also be found in the anthologies Microphone Fiends, Bordered Sexualities: Bodies on the Verge of a Nation, The Geography of Home: California’s Poetry of Place, Rara Avis, Loca Motion: The Travels of Latina and Chicana Popular Culture, American Studies in a Moment of Danger, the American Quarterly and Rolling Stone’s Women of Rock

Robert V. Hine with Mike Davis

Robert V. Hine is author of California’s Utopian Colonies, Community on the American Frontier: Separate but Not Alone, California Utopianism: Contemplations of Eden, Josiah Royce: From Grass Valley to Harvard, Edward Kern and American Expansion (reprinted as In the Shadow of Fremont: Edward Kern and the Art of American Exploration, 1845-1860), Bartlett’s West: Drawing the Mexican Boundary, The American West: A New Interpretative History (with John Mack Faragher), Second Sight, and most recently, on City Works Press, Dynamite and Dreams, which will be available through Sunbelt Publications in August 2008.

Dynamite and Dreams traces a life patterned on that of Job Harriman who as socialist mayor once would have changed the labor history of Los Angeles.  Only the surprising confession of his clients, the McNamara Brothers, to the bombing of the Los Angeles Times kept him from that role.  Along with his women and his friends and enemies, the story rolls through to his final founding of the most successful utopian experiment in California history.

MacArthur Fellow, Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz, Ecology of Fear, Under the Perfect Sun, and many other seminal works, will serve as a respondent to Robert Hine’s novel.

Helena María Viramontes

Helena María Viramontes is the author of The Moths and Other Stories, Under the Feet of Jesus, and co-editor, with Maria Herrea Sobek, of two collections: Chicana (W)riters: on Word and Film and Chicana Creativity and Criticism.  Her latest novel, Their Dogs Came with Them, has just been published by Aria Books.  The recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the John Dos Passos Award for Literature, her stories have been widely anthologized.  A community organizer and former coordinator of the Los Angeles Latino Writers Association, she is a frequent reader and lecturer in the United States and internationally.  She is a Professor of English at Cornell University.  Viramontes will be appearing on the Latinos in Lotusland panel at the Book Fair.  Viramontes will be appearing on the Latinos in Lotusland panel at the Book Fair.

Reyna Grande

Reyna Grande was born in Guerrero, Mexico in 1975.  She entered the U.S. as an illegal immigrant in 1985 to join her parents, who had left her behind in Mexico for several years while they worked in the U.S.  She attended Pasadena City College for two years before transferring to the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she obtained her B.A. in Creative Writing and Film & Video in 1999.  In 2003, she was selected as one of the eight fellows in the Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellowship offered by Pen Center USA.  In 2006, her debut novel, Across a Hundred Mountains, was published to critical acclaim and national awards. Reyna is the recipient of the prestigious El Premio Aztlan Literary Award and the 2007 American Book Award.  Grande will be appearing on the Latinos in Lotusland panel at the Book Fair.

Melinda Palacio

Melinda Palacio grew up in South Central Los Angeles and now lives in Santa Barbara, where she is an editor for Ink Byte, an online magazine for writers.  She holds two degrees in Comparative Literature, a B.A. from Berkeley and an M.A. from UC Santa Cruz. In 2003, she won first prize in poetry at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference. Melinda is a 2007 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellow.  Recently, she has been a featured reader at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, La Casa de la Guerra Historic House Museum, the Carpinteria Valley Arts Center, and the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans, one of the oldest continuous running poetry readings in the U.S. Her work has been published in a wide variety of journals and anthologies, including the Arizona Republic, BorderSenses, the East Valley and Scottsdale Tribune, Phoenix Magazine, the Valley Voice, the Maple Leaf Rag III, and Latinos in Lotus Land: an Anthology of Southern California Literature.  Palacio will be appearing on the Latinos in Lotusland panel at the Book Fair.

Jennifer Silva Redmond

Jennifer Silva Redmond is Editor-in-Chief of Sunbelt Publications, an award-winning small press and distributor. Co-founding editor of Sea of Cortez Review (1998-2001), Redmond has also sold her work to Science of Mind, Cruising World, and Dog Fancy and is featured in Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature.  She’s currently at work on a memoir about her year-long honeymoon on a small sailboat.  Redmond joined Sunbelt in 2000; she enjoys guiding both well-known and first-time authors through the acquisition, editing, and production of their books.  Redmond will be appearing on the Latinos in Lotusland panel at the Book Fair.


San Diego City Works Press books are available through our website www.cityworkspress.org and may be ordered through our distributor, Sunbelt Publications.

The San Diego City College Literary Center would like to thank:

President Terry Burgess for his support and generosity, the San Diego City College Foundation, the American Federation of Teachers Local 1931, City College Associated Students, the City College English, ESOL, Philosophy, Humanities, and Labor Studies Department, KSDS Jazz 88.3, the San Diego Booksellers Association, Sunbelt Publications, the San Diego CityBeat, California Coast Credit Union, One Book/One San Diego, the City College World Cultures Program, the City College Title V Program, and the City College Bookstore.

Director: Jim Miller