New York Times best-selling authors coming to WordFest

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New York Times best-selling authors coming to WordFest

New York Times best-selling authors Sam Lipsyte and Leslie Jamison will be joined by up-and-coming poet Brynn Saito for the fifth annual WordFest event on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Fresno State.

The San Joaquin Literary Association hosts WordFest, which features a full day of talks about the craft of writing, followed by a reading and book signing. WordFest is free and open to the public.

The New York Times calls Lipsyte “the novelist of his generation.” His three satirical novels (including best-sellers “The Ask” and “Home Land”) and two collections of short stories (including his latest, “The Fun Parts”) are dark and vivid, and they ring with the voice of the antihero. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, n+1, Harper’s, Playboy and others. A 2008 Guggenheim Fellow, Lipsyte teaches creative writing at Columbia University.

Jamison’s breakout second book, “The Empathy Exams,” won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and debuted on The New York Times best-seller list. In her own words, she wants “to blend the professional texture of journalism with the weird feeling of someone peeling off a Band-Aid in front of you.” Her essays have appeared in Tin House, Harper’s, the Black Warrior Review and others. Jamison writes for The New York Times Book Review and is finishing her doctoral dissertation at Yale.

Saito’s first book, “The Palace of Contemplating Departure,” was a finalist for the 2013 Northern California Book Award, and her second collection is coming in 2016. Her poetry has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Ninth Letter, Pleiades and others. A Kundiman Asian American Poetry Fellow, Saito recently served as writer-in-residence for the Sierra Nevada College creative writing program. She’s a Fresno native who lives and writes in San Francisco.

The reading and book signing will be held at 7 p.m. in the Alice Peters Auditorium (Peters Business building, Room 191) inside the University Business Center. Parking is free in suggested lots P5 and P6.

The craft talks will be held inside the Henry Madden Library. Saito will present at 10 a.m., Lipsyte at 1 p.m. and Jamison at 3 p.m. Seating for the craft talks is limited. Interested students and community members can email csufwordfest@gmail.com to reserve a spot. Parking is free in suggested lots P30 and P31.

Founded in 2004, the San Joaquin Literary Association is a student organization at Fresno State that promotes literary events throughout the community and brings authors to Fresno for readings and workshops both on and off campus. Most members are graduate students in the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing. For information about WordFest, contact Jacob Eckrich at csufwordfest@gmail.com or 559.372.9068.