Lively literary calendar for spring

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Lively literary calendar for spring

A spring semester full of readings and other events is on tap at California State University, Fresno.

On Thursday, Feb. 1, Fresno State’s Master of Fine Arts program will join the Fresno Poets’ Association in sponsoring a reading by Philip Levine, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who is one of the founders of the Fresno State creative writing program. Levine is a professor emeritus of English.

The event begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Fresno Art Museum’s Bonner Auditorium. Admission is $5 general; $4 for Poets’ Association members, seniors and students. Because the event is being held on Art Hop night, admission to the museum is free.

The Fresno State-based San Joaquin Literary Association (SJLA) is sponsoring Fresno State’s part of the 18th National African American Read-in from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, in the Free Speech Area. English Department faculty and students will read from literary works by African American writers.

Roxanne Beth Johnson, a poet who lives in San Francisco and won the 2006 Levine Poetry Prize, will read at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Alice Peters Auditorium of the University Business Center. Johnson’s prize included publishing “Jubilee,” her first collection of poetry.

The SJLA and MFA program will be represented at the Rogue Performance Festival March 1-10 by a dozen association members, 10 of them MFA students. The Rogue Festival is a non-juried event that offers a broad spectrum of performance art.

Twelve MFA students will present in the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States national conference, March 22-26 in Fresno.

A poetry and prose reading by San Joaquin Valley Chicano/as and Latino/as, “And the Earth Did Not Swallow Them,” will begin at 10 a.m. March 25 in the Piccadilly Inn University, 4961 N. Cedar Ave. Writers will read from and reflect on their works and answer questions from the audience.

Brian Turner, a Fresno State alumnus whose collection of poems “Here, Bullet” won several prestigious awards, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Young Writers Conference at Fresno State on March 28. Turner, who recently won a Lannan Literary Fellowship as one of the nation’s most promising writers, teaches at Fresno State.

SJLA and the MFA program will sponsor a creative nonfiction series March 15 and 29 and April 13, “The Problem of Memory,” with readings by faculty and students. The series originated with Steven Church, an assistant professor in Fresno State’s creative writing program. It is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities and Poets & Writers Inc., through a grant from the James Irvine Foundation.

The SJLA Visiting Writer Series will host Lee Gutkind, a master of creative nonfiction, at 7:30 p.m. May 4 at the Leon S. and Pete P. Peters Education Center. The event is co-sponsored by The Fresno Bee and the MFA program.

Information about SJLA events is available online at and MFA events at