Part 1 • San Francisco
October 4-5 , 2013
Part 2 • Los Angeles
February 20-22, 2014

Tales From Two Cities

FORA.tv

San Francisco Conference Schedule

PART 1 • OCTOBER 4-5, 2013 • Free admission
San Francisco Public Library • 100 Larkin St. • Koret Auditorium

Friday, October 4

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

THE NEW PUBLISHING

Oscar Villalon, John Tayman, Elaine Katzenberger, Moderator: Will Hearst

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The conference opens with a discussion, moderated by Will Hearst, which explores "new publishing" in the Bay Area and beyond. How has, and how is, publishing changing? How might the dynamism in publishing, for good or ill, effect or alter regional distinctiveness when it comes to Bay Area literary production? What works? What doesn't? How can we think of new publishing well beyond easy caricatures of book publishing vs. digital publishing? Is the Bay Area a leader in this arena? Why, how, or why not?

2:45 p.m.-3:15 p.m.

READING

Dana Gioia

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A poetry reading by the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, distinguished poet, and literary scholar.

3:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m.

POETS' LIVES

Brenda Hillman and Robert Hass in conversation with Matthew Zapruder

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Poet Matthew Zapruder asks Robert Hass and Brenda Hillman if there is a Northern California tradition in poetry and writing? If so, what things make it distinct? And what does it have to do with physical place and geography? Or with historical setting or accident? Or with concepts of redemption, rejuvenation, spiritual or other liberation? Are there neglected and/or misunderstood Northern California poets or poetic traditions? And how might we deepen our understanding of what kind of poetry this region has produced?

4:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

KEYNOTE INTERVIEW

Armistead Maupin in conversation with David Ulin. Introduction: Ralph Lewin

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Introduced by the President and CEO of Cal Humanities Ralph Lewin, this free-wheeling conversation between Los Angeles Times book critic (and conference co-organizer) David Ulin and the writer Armistead Maupin will investigate Maupin’s body of work and the general landscape of writing about, in, and on San Francisco in the last several decades.

Saturday, October 5

9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m.

REGIONAL VOICES

Frances Dinkelspiel, Ellen Ullman, Karen Tei Yamashita, Faith Adiele, Moderator: Anthea Hartig

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Moderated by Anthea Hartig, the Executive Director of the California Historical Society, this panel is a wide-ranging discussion about regional literary production beyond the limits of San Francisco but still Northern Californian. How are the life stories of our distinguished panelists (their own and those they unspool in their fiction and non-fiction) inflected or influenced by Northern California? Can we speak of general Bay Area literary production or does the work of these writers insist that we think in different terms about region? What's local, what's regional, what's Californian, and how do we know?

10:15 a.m.-11:15 a.m.

FILMS

Presented by Richard Moore

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Join us for a time-travel excursion to 1965 to see some of the Bay Area’s most celebrated writers and cultural icons — Gary Snyder and Robert Duncan — captured in this rare series of remarkable cinematic biographies.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

UNIVERSITIES AND LITERARY COMMUNITIES

Tobias Wolff, Peter Richardson, Paul Yamazaki, Laura Cogan

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How do literary communities arise? How are they sustained? What's the lasting role and influence of single institutions — Stanford's Stegner program, for example — on the region, the state, the nation? How about bookstores, salons, other ways and places in which writers gather, gain support of one sort or another, and do their work? What are the connections — personal, historical, and otherwise—between such places and programs?

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

THE LITERARY TRADITION IN CALIFORNIA

Kevin Starr in conversation with William Deverell

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Kevin Starr's monumental "Dream Series" is the single most ambitious reckoning of California history ever undertaken. Trained in the American Civilization program at Harvard, Starr is also an astute literary critic and student. This conversation with conference co-organizer William Deverell will explore the meaning, power, and influence of California writers, north and south, then and now, fiction and non.

3 p.m.-4 p.m.

SCIENCE FICTION/ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING

Dana Gioia, Kim Stanley Robinson, Ursula Heise

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Moderated by poet and literary scholar Dana Gioia, this panel explores landscapes of fantasy and fact in California science-fiction and environmental writing. Ecotopia brought nature and science fiction famously together, but so too have other writers, thinkers, and scholars, including our panelists Kim Stanley Robinson and Ursula Heise. This conversation takes up these themes, in past and present, and with particular focus on the current and former work of the panelists themselves.

4 p.m.-5 p.m.

THE CITY

David Talbot, Phil Bronstein, Gary Kamiya, Michelle Tea; Moderator: Jane Ganahl

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Moderated by Jane Ganahl, this panel tackles “the city.” What's the enduring power of San Francisco as literary site, trope, problem, puzzle, mystery, icon? The City in fiction, The City in fact: where do they crossover, diverge, collide? Who are the great interpreters of The City then and now? What's right, what's wrong about portrayals? And, as this conference is meant to be the first of two, what questions about San Francisco can we bring to Los Angeles in February of 2014?

 
FORA.tv

Los Angeles Conference Schedule

PART 2 • FEBRUARY 20-22, 2014 • Free admission
Los Angeles Public Library • 630 W. Fifth St. • Mark Taper Auditorium

Thursday, February 20

7:15 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

WRITING ABOUT LA: CRIME, NOIR, AND FICTION

Walter Mosley in conversation with Attica Locke

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Co-presented with the Library Foundation’s ALOUD series: Walter Mosley, one of America’s most admired crime novelists joins one of its newest stars — Attica Locke — for a conversation about noir, race and writing in and from Los Angeles.

Friday, February 21

1 p.m.-2 p.m.

ARCHITECTURE, IDENTITY, AND THE CITY OF ANGELS

Christopher Hawthorne, Alice Kimm, and Jon Christensen in conversation with David Ulin

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For nearly 90 years, L.A.'s critics have zeroed in on the city's architecture as a way of labeling the city as shallow and without roots. But more to the point, L.A. architecture is an expression of the city's essential democratic impulse, which is a key to its personality, both literary and otherwise.

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3 p.m.-4 p.m.

EXILE AND PLACE: WHO GETS TO SPEAK FOR L.A.?

Lisa See, Naomi Hirahara, Lynell George, and Hector Tobar in conversation with Brighde Mullins

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Writers are from Los Angeles or they are not. Writers are at home here or they are, in myriad forms, exiles or exiled. How do ideas of nativity, naturalization, and exile inform contemporary writers?

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4:15 p.m.-5:15 p.m.

CREATING ALTERNATIVE UNIVERSES

Charles Yu and Edan Lepucki in conversation with Scott Timberg

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The literature of Los Angeles has long been a literature of bleed-through, where pop culture tropes mix with more literary concerns. How does this reflect the place itself and its prevailing sensibilities — reinvention and the sense of living on the edge?

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Saturday, February 22

10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

GREATER L.A.: REGIONS BEYOND SPACE AND TIME

Susan Straight, Michael Datcher, and Gustavo Arellano in conversation with Rubén Martínez

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Where do the boundaries of Los Angeles bleed towards "Greater Los Angeles?" Where and how do constructions of Southern California or the Southland or the Inland Empire or ... come to mean something or anything in terms of regional literary expression?

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11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

LOS ANGELES WRITERS AND LOS ANGELES WRITING: FROM BEYOND BAROQUE TO TODAY

Terry Wolverton, Joel Arquillos, and Luis Rodriguez in conversation with Tom Lutz

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This panel explores the recent history of writers and community in Los Angeles. How, across the vast metropolitan reach of the Los Angeles basin, do writers imagine, build, and sustain community?

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1 p.m.-4 p.m.

NOIR ON THE ROAD: RAYMOND CHANDLER'S L.A.

Judith Freeman and Richard Rayner

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A bus tour with Chandler biographer Judith Freeman and crime writer Richard Rayner.

 
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PROFILE: FAITH ADIELE

Faith Adiele

Faith Adiele was raised in the Pacific Northwest; educated at Harvard, Iowa, Chiangmai University in Thailand, and University of Nigeria; and teaches nonfiction around the world. She is the author of Meeting Faith (W.W. Norton), winner of the PEN Beyond Margins Award for Memoir; writer/narrator/subject of "My Journey Home," a PBS documentary; and co-editor of Coming of Age Around the World: A Multicultural Anthology (The New Press). After relocating to California four years ago to serve as Distinguished Visiting Writer at Mills College in Oakland, she is now Associate Professor at California College of the Arts.

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PROFILE: GUSTAVO ARELLANO

Gustavo Arellano

Gustavo Arellano is the editor of OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Orange County, California, author of Orange County: A Personal History and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, and lecturer with the Chicana and Chicano Studies department at California State University, Fullerton. He writes "¡Ask a Mexican!," a nationally syndicated column in which he answers any and all questions about America's spiciest and largest minority. The column has a weekly circulation of over 2 million in 39 newspapers across the United States, won the 2006 and 2008 Association of Alternative Weeklies award for Best Column, and was published in book form by Scribner Press in May 2007. Arellano has been the subject of press coverage in national and international newspapers, The Today Show, Hannity, Nightline, Good Morning America, and The Colbert Report, and his commentaries regularly appear on Marketplace and the Los Angeles Times. Gustavo is the recipient of the Los Angeles Press Club's 2007 President's Award and an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and was recognized by the California Latino Legislative Caucus with a 2008 Spirit Award for his "exceptional vision, creativity, and work ethic." Gustavo is a lifelong resident of Orange County and is the proud son of two Mexican immigrants, one whom was illegal.

Fora Video

Idea for the Future: Art, Media, and Race

Jun 28, 2012: The Aspen Ideas Festival presents Ideas for the Future: Art, Media, and Race. Featuring Adam Lerner, Amanda Michel, Gustavo Arellano, and ...

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PROFILE: JOEL ARQUILLOS

Joel Arquillos

Joel Arquillos is the Executive Director at 826LA, a non-profit writing and tutoring organization that serves youth ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and supports teachers by helping them get their students excited about writing. With locations in Echo Park, Mar Vista, and inside of Manual Arts Senior High School in South Los Angeles, 826LA has become the largest chapter in the 826 National network serving thousands of under-resourced youth throughout Los Angeles every year. 826LA is also the home of the Time Travel Marts — whimsical storefronts that financially support 826LA's free writing programs. Prior to relocating to Los Angeles, Joel worked alongside Dave Eggers and Ninive Calegari as Director of National Programs for 826 National. In that role, he oversaw the opening of 826 Boston, developed the evaluative tools being used at all 826 chapters, and, as a result of Dave Eggers's 2008 Ted Prize wish, he helped create OnceUponaSchool.org, a website that documents and pays tribute to collaborations between individuals and public schools. From 1998 to 2006, Joel taught social studies in the San Francisco Unified School District. Through a collaboration with the Bay Area Writing Project and the National Writing Project, Joel helped pioneer and implement curriculum using blogging and social media for learning in urban classroom settings.

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PROFILE: AMY BENDER

Amy Bender

Aimee Bender is the author of five books of fiction; the most recent, The Color Master, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2013. Her short fiction has been published in Granta, Harper's, The Paris Review and more, as well as heard on "This American Life" and "Selected Shorts." She teaches creative writing at USC.

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PROFILE: PHIL BRONSTEIN

Phil Bronstein

Phil Bronstein was named executive chair of the board of The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) in April 2012, when the organization merged with The Bay Citizen. Bronstein joined the CIR board in 2006 and became board chair in 2011. He is now in charge of overall operations. Previously, Bronstein was editor-at-large and director of content development for Hearst Newspapers. Before that, he was executive vice president and editor-at-large of the San Francisco Chronicle, after serving as the newspaper’s editor from 2000 to 2008. Bronstein was editor of the San Francisco Examiner, which merged with the Chronicle in 2000, from 1991 to 2000. He started at the Examiner as a reporter in 1980, where he specialized in investigative projects and was a foreign correspondent for eight years. He was a 1986 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his work in the Philippines. Before joining the Examiner, he was a reporter with public television station KQED in San Francisco. He is the former chairman of the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ International Committee and is currently on the advisory board of Litquake, the annual San Francisco literary festival.

Fora Video

Newspapers are Dead. Now What?

Jun 29, 2009: As traditional media passes into the great beyond, how will the landscape change? Experts weigh in.Newspapers are dying and everything is ...

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PROFILE: JON CHRISTENSEN

Jon Christensen

Jon Christensen is an adjunct assistant professor, journalist-in-residence, and senior researcher in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, the California Center for Sustainable Communities, the Department of History, and the Center for Digital Humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is editor of Boom: A Journal of California, a quarterly magazine published by the University of California Press that brings scholars, researchers, journalists, writers, artists, photographers, policymakers, advocates, and the public into common conversations about California in the world. Jon was executive director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, an interdisciplinary center for research, teaching, new media, and journalism at Stanford University before coming to UCLA. Jon has been an environmental journalist and science writer for more than 30 years. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Nature, High Country News, and many other newspapers, magazines, journals, and radio and television shows. Jon was a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford in 2002-2003 and a Steinbeck Fellow at San Jose State University in 2003-2004, before returning to Stanford to work on a Ph.D. in History. He is currently finishing a book entitled Critical Habitat: A History of Thinking with Things in Nature, leading a digital humanities project on nature in cities, and directing a large collaborative project to crowdsource a new, public environmental history of the San Francisco Bay Area with libraries, museums, archives, nonprofit organizations, scholars, researchers, the media, and the public during the Year of Bay in 2013.

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PROFILE: LAURA COGAN

Laura Cogan

Laura Cogan is the Editor of ZYZZYVA, a San Francisco literary journal publishing since 1985. The journal will publish its 100th issue next Spring.

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PROFILE: MICHAEL DATCHER

Michael Datcher

Michael Datcher did his undergraduate work at UC Berkeley and his graduate work at UCLA. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times Bestseller Raising Fences — a Today Show Book Book-of-the-Month pick. The film rights were originally optioned by actor Will Smith’s Overbrook Productions, who hired Datcher to write the screenplay. He is co-editor of Tough Love: The Life and Death of Tupac Shakur. Datcher’s play Silence was commissioned by and premiered at the Getty Museum. He is co-host of the weekly public affairs news magazine Beautiful Struggle on 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles. His writing is widely anthologized, including appearances in the volumes What Makes A Man (Penguin), Brown Sugar (Simon Schuster), Soulfires (Penguin), Testimony (Beacon Press), Another City (City Lights), and Body and Soul (Crown), among others. He has curated and/or presented his work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Hammer Museum and other art institutions. Datcher is the former Executive Director of The World Stage, a literary and jazz education and performance nonprofit in Los Angeles’ Crenshaw District. He is Editor of The Truth About the Fact: International Journal of Literary Nonfiction. Datcher is a professor of English at Loyola Marymount University.

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PROFILE: BILL DEVERELL

Bill Deverell

William Deverell is chair of the History Department at USC and Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California. He is the author of numerous works on the 19th and 20th century American West, including Whitewashed Adobe: The Rise of Los Angeles and the Remaking of Its Mexican Past. With David Igler, he edited The Blackwell Companion to California and with Greg Hise, he edited The Blackwell Companion to Los Angeles. He co-curated, also with Greg Hise, the online exhibit “Form and Landscape: Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Basin, 1940-1990.”

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PROFILE: FRANCES DINKELSPIEL

Frances Dinkelspiel

Frances Dinkelspiel is a fifth generation Californian who is fascinated by California’s past and its future. She is the co-founder of Berkeleyside, an online news site, and is the author of Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California. Her freelance journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and People magazine. She is currently working on a book about wine obsession.

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PROFILE: JUDITH FREEMAN

Judith Freeman

Judith Freeman is the author of four novels, a collection of short stories, and most recently the non-fiction work, The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved, chosen by Newsweek as one of the ten outstanding books of 2007. Her novels include The Chinchilla Farm, Set for Life (winner of the Western Heritage Award), A Desert of Pure Feeling, and Red Water, which won the Utah Book Award. Her essays and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines, including The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction, she was also recently awarded the Erle Stanley Gardner Fellowship in Mystery Studies by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, artist-photographer Anthony Hernandez.

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PROFILE: JANE GANAHL

Jane Ganahl

Jane Ganahl is the co-founder and artistic director of Litquake, the West Coast’s largest independent literary festival, now in its 14th year. A journalist and community organizer for 30 years, Jane is also an author (Naked on the Page: the Misadventures of My Unmarried Midlife) and editor (Single Woman of a Certain Age.) She has moderated panels and done on-stage Q&As for organizations from the Commonwealth Club to the Jewish Community Center San Francisco, from the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books to Genentech, and appeared on numerous TV and radio programs, from “The Today Show” to Sirius network to NPR.

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Anthology Readings

Jun 9, 2007: Anthology Readings: The Empty Nest, The Other Woman, Dangerous Liaisons, and Bad Girls with authors Eric Brandt, Jane Ganahl, Eddie ...

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PROFILE: LYNELL GEORGE

Lynell George

Lynell George is an L.A. based, journalist and essayist. Currently an arts and culture columnist for KCET’s Artbound, she has had a long career in L.A. journalism as staff writer for both the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly — focusing on social issues, human behavior and identity politics as well as visual arts, music and literature. She has taught journalism at Loyola Marymount University and is also a Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities Fellow at University of Southern California and a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow (2013).

Her work has appeared in various essay collections and in news outlets including Boom: A Journal of California, Slake, The Smithsonian, GoodReads, Vibe, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, Essence, Black Clock, The Root and Ms. She is the author of No Crystal Stair: African Americans in the City of Angels (Verso/Doubleday) a collection of features and essays drawn from her reporting.

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PROFILE: DANA GIOIA

Dana Gioia

Dana Gioia is an internationally acclaimed poet and critic. He is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, including Interrogations at Noon (2001), which won the American Book Award, and three collections of criticism, most notably Can Poetry Matter? (1992), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. A best-selling literary anthologist, Gioia has edited or co-edited over two dozen collections of poetry, fiction, and drama. He has also written two opera libretti and has collaborated with composers in genres ranging from classical to jazz and rock. For six years (2003-2009) he served as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts where he gained strong bipartisan support for the previously imperiled agency and helped launch the largest literary programs in federal history, including The Big Read, Poetry Out Loud, and Shakespeare in American Communities. He was twice unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. For two years he directed the arts and culture programs for the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. and Colorado. He is currently the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at the University of Southern California. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Sonoma County, California.

Fora Video

The International Power and Potential of the Arts

Jul 4, 2008: A panel of poets and artists discusses the power and potential of the arts both within America and throughout the world. Their conversation ...

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PROFILE: ANTHEA HARTIG

Anthea Hartig

Public historian Anthea M. Hartig came to the California Historical Society in the autumn of 2011 after six years with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where she directed the Trust’s Western Office and served the six continental far western states along with Hawai’i, Alaska and the Pacific Island Territories of Guam and Micronesia. Previously Hartig taught history and cultural studies at La Sierra University in Riverside and graduate courses in historic preservation at the University of California, Riverside from where she holds a Ph.D. and Master’s Degree. She was the tenth in her family to earn her bachelor’s degree at UCLA.

Hartig’s interest in the relevance of California’s stories and places has come to define her professional and advocational life. She served as a municipal preservation planner for over a decade, and owned a cultural resources consulting firm. She has served on many local, statewide and national history-related non-profit foundations’ boards of directors, including the California Preservation Foundation and is currently on the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Culture. Under Gov. Gray Davis, she served as Chairperson of the State Historical Resources Commission. Anthea writes whenever possible, and has published in both academic and professional journals and books. She is currently working on an essay about homesteading in Los Angeles County to be published by Heyday Press, and still tries her hand at writing down the poems that come floating into her mind.

In 2011, Hartig was honored with the California Preservationist of the Year Award. This prestigious award was presented in recognition of her outstanding contributions, exceptional achievements, and more than 25 years of service in the field of historic preservation in California.

Anthea lives with her husband, two sons, and their big dog in San Mateo.

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PROFILE: ROBERT HASS

Robert Hass

Robert Hass is, first of all, a poet of great eloquence, clarity, and force, whose work is rooted in the landscapes of his native Northern California. Widely read and much honored, he has brought the kind of energy in his poetry to his work as an essayist, translator, and activist on behalf of poetry, literacy, and the environment. Most notably, in his tenure as United States Poet Laureate, Robert Hass spent two years battling American illiteracy, armed with the mantra, "imagination makes communities." He crisscrossed the country speaking at Rotary Club meetings, raising money to organize conferences such as "Watershed," which brought together noted novelists, poets, and storytellers to talk about writing, nature, and community. For Hass, everything is connected. When he works to heighten literacy, he is also working to promote awareness about the environment. Hass believes that natural beauty must be tended to and that caring for a place means knowing it intimately. Poets, especially, need to pay constant attention to the interaction of mind and environment. And when he is talking about poetry itself, whether Matsuo Basho's or Elizabeth Bishop's, Hass is both spontaneous and original, offering poetic insights that cannot be found in any textbook.

Robert Hass has published many books of poetry including Field Guide, Praise, Human Wishes, and Sun Under Wood, as well as a book of essays on poetry, Twentieth Century Pleasures. Hass translated many of the works of Nobel Prize-winning Polish poet, Czeslaw Milosz, and he edited Selected Poems: 1954-1986 by Tomas Tranströmer, The Essential Haiku: Versions of Basho, Buson, and Issa, and Poet’s Choice: Poems for Everyday Life. He was the guest editor of the 2001 edition of Best American Poetry. His essay collection Now & Then, which includes his Washington Post articles, was published in April 2007. As U.S. Poet Laureate (1995-1997), his deep commitment to environmental issues led him to found River of Words (ROW), an organization that promotes environmental and arts education in affiliation with the Library of Congress Center for the Book. Hass is chairman of ROW's board of directors, and judges their annual international environmental poetry and art contest for youth; he also wrote the introduction to the poetry collection River of Words: Young Poets and Artists on the Nature of Things. He is also a board member of International Rivers Network. Robert Hass was chosen as Educator of the Year by the North American Association on Environmental Education and, in 2005, elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. His collection of poems entitled Time and Materials (fall 2007) won both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He wrote the introduction to a new edition of selected Walt Whitman poems in Song of Myself: And Other Poems. His most recent volume of poetry is The Apple Trees at Olema: New and Selected Poems. His recent book of essays, What Light Can Do: Essays on Art, Imagination, and the Natural World, is the recipient of the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay Awarded the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, twice the National Book Critics’ Circle Award (in 1984 and 1997), and the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 1973, Robert Hass is a professor of English at UC Berkeley.

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PROFILE: CHRISTOPHER HAWTHORNE

Christopher Hawthorne

Christopher Hawthorne has been the architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times since fall 2004. Previously he was the architecture critic for Slate, a contributing editor for Metropolis magazine and a frequent contributor to The New York Times. He has also written for The New Yorker, Architectural Record, Architect, Landscape Architecture Magazine and many other publications. With Alanna Stang, he is author of The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture and has contributed chapters to a number of recent books on architecture, urbanism and design, including Blackwell's A Companion to Los Angeles. He has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, Occidental College and the Southern California Institute of Architecture. In 1998 he was awarded a year-long fellowship at Columbia's National Arts Journalism Program. He holds a B.A. from Yale, where he studied political science and architectural history.

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PROFILE: WILL HEARST

Will Hearst

William R. Hearst III is chairman of the board of Hearst Corporation, one of the nation's largest diversified media and information companies. Hearst is a grandson of the company founder William Randolph Hearst.

The company's interests include magazine, newspaper and business publishing, cable networks, television and radio broadcasting, digital businesses, TV production and distribution, newspaper features distribution, business information and real estate.

Hearst is also president of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and director of The Hearst Foundation, having been actively engaged in the charitable activities and programs of the Hearst Foundations for the last 20 years.

Hearst is also a partner emeritus at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Prior to joining KPCB in 1995, he served for 10 years as editor and publisher of the San Francisco Examiner, then owned by Hearst Corporation. Hearst began his career with the Examiner in 1972 as a reporter and assistant city editor.

Hearst serves on the boards of civic organizations, including Carnegie Institution for Science, University High School, FORA.tv and the San Francisco Film Society. He is a 1972 graduate of Harvard University, holding a bachelor's degree in mathematics. He is is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was recently appointed an associate in mathematics by the Department of Mathematics at Harvard.

Fora Video

Alain de Botton in Conversation With Will Hearst

June 9, 2009: Alain de Botton is a British writer and television producer who employs a philosophical and accessible approach to examining a variety of ...

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PROFILE: URSULA HEISE

Ursula Heise

Ursula K. Heise is a Professor of English at UCLA and a faculty member of UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES). She is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and was President of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE) in 2011. Her research and teaching focus on contemporary environmental culture, literature and art in the Americas, Western Europe and Japan; theories of globalization; literature and science; and the digital humanities. Her books include Chronoschisms: Time, Narrative, and Postmodernism (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global (Oxford University Press, 2008), and Nach der Natur: Das Artensterben und die moderne Kultur [After Nature: Species Extinction and Modern Culture] (Suhrkamp, 2010). She is currently working on a book entitled Where the Wild Things Used To Be: Narrative, Database, and Endangered Species.

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PROFILE: LUIS HERRERA

Luis Herrera

Luis Herrera is the City Librarian of the San Francisco Public Library, where he is responsible for the administration of the city’s 28 libraries including a main library and 27 neighborhood branches. Previously, Herrera served as the Director of Information Services for Pasadena Public Library and the Deputy Director of the San Diego and Long Beach Library systems in California. In January 2012, Herrera was named the Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year. Herrera is currently Chair of the Cal Humanities and was recently appointed to serve on the Board of the Digital Public Library of America. Herrera was recently nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the Board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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PROFILE: BRENDA HILLMAN

Brenda Hillman

Brenda Hillman has published chapbooks with Penumbra Press, a+bend press, and EmPress; she is the author of nine full-length collections from Wesleyan University Press, the most recent of which are Practical Water (2009) and Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire (2013). With Patricia Dienstfrey, she edited The Grand Permission: New Writings on Poetics and Motherhood (Wesleyan, 2003). Hillman teaches at St. Mary's College of California where she is the Olivia C. Filippi Professor of Poetry; she is an activist for social and environmental justice and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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PROFILE: NAOMI HIRAHARA

Naomi Hirahara

Naomi Hirahara is the author of the Mas Arai mystery series, which features a L.A.-based gardener and Hiroshima survivor. The third in the series, Snakeskin Shamisen, won an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Paperback Original. Murder on Bamboo Lane, the first in her new series with a young female multiracial LAPD bicycle cop, will be released in April 2014. Her middle-grade book, 1001 Cranes, was awarded honorable mention in youth literature from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association. A former editor of The Rafu Shimpo newspaper in Los Angeles, Hirahara has also written, edited and published several nonfiction history books. She is currently co-writing a book on the lost communities of Terminal Island for Angel City Press on behalf of the Port of Los Angeles.

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PROFILE: ELAINE KATZENBERGER

Katzenberger

Elaine Katzenberger is the Executive Director and Publisher of City Lights Books, and Program Director for the City Lights Foundation. She has edited many books of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and has served on an advisory panel for the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses and for the National Endowment for the Arts. Her books have received numerous prizes and awards. She is on the Board of Directors of La Pocha Nostra, a performing arts company, and Contraband, a dance theatre company.

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PROFILE: GARY KAMIYA

Gary Kamiya

Gary Kamiya was born in Oakland in 1953 and grew up in Berkeley. After dropping out of Yale he got his BA and MA from UC Berkeley, where he was awarded the Mark Schorer Citation in English literature while driving a taxi in San Francisco. He worked for the San Francisco Examiner as senior editor of its Sunday magazine Image, book editor and culture critic before co-founding Salon.com, where he was executive editor and staff writer. In August, Bloomsbury published his bestselling book Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco, acclaimed by author Herb Gold as San Francisco’s "defining lyrical panorama for a generation or longer."

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PROFILE: ALICE KIMM

Alice Kimm

Alice Kimm is a partner in the Los Angeles firm John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects (JFAK). She is a former Fulbright Scholar and has held the position of Director of Undergraduate Architecture at USC's School of Architecture since 2010. There, she is currently co-teaching a seminar titled Literature and the Urban Experience with David Ulin, which focuses on how cities (and Los Angeles in particular) shape literature, and how literature in turn informs our understanding and experience of cities.

Designed for urban and cultural literacy, JFAK's work spans public schools, university research and activity centers, commercial ventures, houses, housing, and public installations. It has been recognized for its technological, material, and sustainable intelligence, as well as for its spatial fluidity, quality of light, and social significance. The firm’s LA Design Center — an adaptive reuse project located in South L.A. that was a catalyst for urban revitalization — received an AIA Institute Honor Award as well as the Rudy Bruner Silver Medal for Urban Excellence. In 2012 JFAK completed its second project for Caltech — The Resnick Institute for Sustainability and The Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis — and recently broke ground on its La Kretz Innovation Campus for the City of Los Angeles' new Cleantech Corridor. With these projects, JFAK continues to incorporate developing technologies, drawing upon the expertise of its clients and collaborators to realize a fully integrated, performative, and artful design intelligence. Alice and her partner were named Emerging Voices by The Architectural League of NY in 2004. Alice was elevated to Fellowship of the American Institute of Architects in 2010.

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PROFILE: DAVID KIPEN

David Kipen

David Kipen founded the Libros Schmibros lending library and neighborhood bookshop last summer at 2000 E. First Street in Boyle Heights, where his family used to live. He has been the book editor and critic of the San Francisco Chronicle and director of literature at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he developed and ran The Big Read initiative. David is the author of The Schreiber Theory: A Radical Rewrite of American Film History (Melville House, 2006) and translator of Cervantes' The Dialogue of the Dogs (Melville House, 2009), and he wrote the introductions to this spring's republished WPA guides to Los Angeles and San Francisco (UC Press).

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In Conversation with Ian McEwan

Apr 12, 2010: David Kipen is the author of The Schreiber Theory: A Radical Rewrite of American Film History, and translator of Cervantes' The Dialogue of ...

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PROFILE: EDAN LEPUCKI

Edan Lepucki

Edan Lepucki is a staff writer for The Millions and the author of the novella If You're Not Yet Like Me. Her first novel, California, is forthcoming this July from Little, Brown. She is the founder and director of Writing Workshops Los Angeles.

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PROFILE: RALPH LEWIN

Ralph Lewin

Ralph Lewin is president and CEO of the Cal Humanities. Lewin serves on the Board of Governors of the UC Humanities Research Institute and is an Advisory Board Member of Boom: A Journal of California. Lewin holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and another in Germanic literature and languages from the UC Santa Barbara, as well as a master’s degree in international relations from San Francisco State University. He has studied at Georg August University in Goettingen, Germany, Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and taught at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina.

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PROFILE: ATTICA LOCKE

Attica Locke

Attica Locke’s first novel, Black Water Rising, was shortlisted for the prestigious Orange Prize in the UK in 2010 and nominated for an Edgar Award as well as a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Attica has spent many years working as a screenwriter, penning movie and television scripts for Paramount, Warner Bros, Disney, and Twentieth Century Fox, among others. She was a fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Feature Filmmakers Lab and is a member of the board of directors for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most recently, she wrote the introduction for the UK publication of Ernest Gaines’s A Lesson Before Dying. Her second book is The Cutting Season, for which Locke recently received The Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence.

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PROFILE: TOM LUTZ

Tom Lutz

Tom Lutz is the author of Doing Nothing, Cosmopolitan Vistas, Crying, and American Nervousness, 1903, and has written for numerous magazines, newspapers, academic journals, and literary reviews. He teaches at UC Riverside and is the founding editor and publisher of Los Angeles Review of Books.

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PROFILE: RUBÉN MARTÍNEZ

Rubén Martínez

A native of Los Angeles and the son and grandson of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador, Rubén Martínez is a writer, teacher and performer. He holds the Fletcher Jones Chair in Literature and Writing at Loyola Marymount University, and is an artist in residence at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts. He is the author of: Desert America: A Journey Across Our Most Divided Landscape (Metropolitan/Holt), Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail (Metropolitan/Holt), The New Americans (New Press) and The Other Side: Notes from the New L.A., Mexico City and Beyond (Vintage).

A journalist with over two decades of experience in print, broadcast and online media, he hosted and co-wrote the feature-length documentary film about the first century after contact between Europe and the New World, When Worlds Collide, shot on location throughout Latin America and Spain, for PBS. He won an Emmy Award for hosting KCET-TV’s politics and culture series, “Life & Times.”

His essays, opinions and reportage have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Salon, Village Voice, The Nation, Spin, Sojourners, and Mother Jones. He is the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Fellowship in Non Fiction, a Loeb Fellowship from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, a Freedom of Information Award from the ACLU and a Greater Press Club of Los Angeles Award of Excellence.

As a musician, he has collaborated with Grammy-winning musicians like Quetzal and La Marisoul of La Santa Cecilia. He is the host of the VARIEDADES “performance salon” in Los Angeles, interdisciplinary shows that focus on topical themes. In 2012, he wrote, produced and hosted “The Ballad of Ricardo Flores Magón,”a theatrical and musical performance about the epic political saga of a Mexican anarchist in Los Angeles at the turn of the 20th century. The show was presented at the John Anson Ford Theatre as part of its “Live @ The Ford” series and broadcast by KCETLink.

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PROFILE: ARMISTEAD MAUPIN

Maupin

Launched in 1976 as a groundbreaking serial in the San Francisco Chronicle, Armistead Maupin's iconic Tales of the City series has since blazed its own trail through popular culture — from a sequence of globally best-selling novels, to a Peabody Award-winning television miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney, to an ambitious new musical that had its world premiere at San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater in 2011. The series now encompasses eight hugely popular novels: Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You, Michael Tolliver Lives, and Mary Ann in Autumn. The next Tales novel, The Days of Anna Madrigal, is to be released January 2014.

Maupin's 1992 novel, Maybe the Moon, which followed the serio-comic adventures of a dwarf actress working in Hollywood, was named one of the ten best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly. The Night Listener (2000), a psychological suspense novel inspired by an eerie episode in Maupin's own life, became a 2006 feature film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette.

In 1997 Maupin received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle of New York. In 2002 he was honored with the Trevor Project's Life Award "for his efforts in saving young lives." Maupin was the first recipient of Litquake's Barbary Coast Award for his literary contribution to San Francisco. In 2012 he was awarded Lambda's Pioneer Award which is bestowed on individuals who have broken new ground in the field of LGBT literature and publishing.

He lives with his husband, Christopher Turner, a web developer.

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Armistead Maupin: Michael Tolliver Live

June 12, 2007: San Francisco's own, internationally best-selling author, Armistead Maupin, discusses the new book, Michael Tolliver Lives where he revisits ...

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PROFILE: RICHARD MOORE

Richard Moore

Richard Moore once described his pioneering work in Public Broadcasting as "an avocation which pays the bills" and his work in poetry as his "true vocation and lifetime work." Regardless of early publication in literary magazines such as Circle, his first book of poems was published some fifty years later. Writing the Silences, edited by Brenda Hillman and Paul Ebenkamp, with a foreword by Hillman was published in 2010 by the University of California Press, one month before the poet's 90th birthday. A second book, Particulars of Place, is scheduled for publication by Omnidawn in 2015.

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PROFILE: WALTER MOSLEY

Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley is the author of more than 34 critically acclaimed books, including the bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. His work has been translated into 21 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Riggio Forum at The New School: Walter Mosley

Oct. 13, 2010: Walter Mosley has published more than 30 books, on subjects ranging ...

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PROFILE: BRIGHDE MULLINS

Brighde Mullins

Brighde Mullins' plays include Rare Bird; Monkey in the Middle; Those Who Can, Do; Fire Eater; Topographical Eden; and Pathological Venus. Her plays have been seen in London, New York, Dallas, and San Francisco. Theaters she has worked with include Hartford Stage, the Magic, New York Stage and Film, Clubbed Thumb, Lincoln Center, the Public, NYTW, and Mabou Mines. Her plays are published by Playscripts, Inc. Recent awards include Guggenheim (2012) and United States Artists Award in Literature (2010). She has taught at Brown University, and was the Director of Creative Writing at Harvard University; she currently teaches at USC. She recently served as the Writer in Residence at Deep Springs College. She lives in Los Angeles.

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PROFILE: RICHARD RAYNER

Richard Rayner

Richard Rayner was born in the north of England, educated at Cambridge University, where he studied philosophy and law, and has lived in Los Angeles for twenty years. He is the author of ten books, both fiction and non-fiction, including Los Angeles Without a Map (filmed from his own script with David Tennant, Vinissa Shaw, Johnny Depp and Julie Delpy), The Blue Suit, Murder Book, and, most recently A Bright and Guilty Place, a history of certain true crimes in Los Angeles in the 1920s and 1930s, optioned for film by Christopher Nolan. He writes for the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker and other publications. He continues to write for TV, as well as film. He teaches at USC.

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PROFILE: PETER RICHARDSON

Richardson

Peter Richardson is an editor at the University of California Press, a lecturer in the humanities department at San Francisco State University, and a frequent book reviewer for Truthdig. His publications include A Bomb in Every Issue (2009), a history of Ramparts magazine; and American Prophet (2005), a biography of author and editor Carey McWilliams. He is currently finishing a cultural history of the Grateful Dead for St. Martin's Press. A former associate professor of English at the University of North Texas, he received his Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1991.

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The Short, Unruly Life of Ramparts Magazine

Sep 24, 2009: Peter Richardson, Robert Scheer, and Susan Griffith discuss the short (1962-1975) but utterly remarkable life of Ramparts magazine, which ...

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PROFILE: KIM STANLEY ROBINSON

Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson is a science fiction writer who lives with his wife and family in Davis, California. is first novel was published in 1984, and his work has since been translated into 23 languages. His best-known work is his Mars trilogy, Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars. The U.S. National Science Foundation sent him to Antarctica in 1995 as part of their artists and writers program, and TIME magazine called him a "Hero of the Environment" in 2008. His novel 2312 was a New York Times bestseller and was given the Nebula award by the Science Fiction Writers of America, for best novel of 2012. His latest novel, Shaman, was published in September of 2013.

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Kim Stanley Robinson: In Conversation

Aug 28, 2010: American science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson, best known for his award- winning Mars trilogy, joins Lucy Sussex at the Melbourne ...

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PROFILE: LUIS RODRIGUEZ

Luis Rodriguez

Bio to come.

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PROFILE: LISA SEE

Lisa See

Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, Shanghai Girls, and Dreams of Joy. She has also written a mystery series that takes place in China, as well as On Gold Mountain, which is about her Chinese-American family. Her next novel, China Dolls, will be released by Random House in June 2014. See serves as a Los Angeles City Commissioner on the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Monument Authority. She was honored as National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women in 2001 and was the recipient of the Chinese American Museum's History Makers Award in Fall 2003.

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PROFILE: GARY SNYDER

Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder is the author of numerous works of poetry including the epic Mountains and Rivers Without End. Snyder won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975, and was a finalist for The National Book Award in 1992 and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2006. He won the Bollingen Prize in poetry, the Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award, the John Hay Award, and most recently the Wallace Stevens Prize. He has lived in his homestead in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains since 1970.

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The Practice of the Wild

Jan 1, 2010: This film, The Practice of the Wild, features poet and naturalist Gary Snyder, who has been at the center of cultural changes which transformed ...

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PROFILE: KEVIN STARR

Starr

Kevin Starr holds a BA from the University of San Francisco, an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, and a Master of Library Science from UC Berkeley. He is currently University Professor and Professor of History and Associate Dean of Libraries at the University of Southern California. His many articles and books, including his Americans and the California Dream series, have won him a Guggenheim Fellowship, membership in the Society of American Historians, the Presidential Medallion from USC, the Centennial Medal from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard, and the Humanities Medal from the National Endowment of the Humanities.

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The Golden Gate Bridge at 75: What Makes An Icon?

May 24, 2012: Come take an incisive look at the history of the Golden Gate Bridge and how it's achieved iconic status in both an aesthetic and emotional ...

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PROFILE: LOUISE STEINMAN

Louise Steinman

Louise Steinman is the author of three non-fiction books, including The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father's War, and most recently, The Crooked MIrror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation. For the past two decades, she has curated the ALOUD literary and performance series for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. She also co-directs the Los Angeles Institute for Humanities at the University of Southern California. She contributes essays to The Los Angeles Review of Books.

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An Evening with Toni Morrison

Nov 19, 2008: In 1993, the Nobel committee lauded Toni Morrison "who, in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essentia ...

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PROFILE: SUSAN STRAIGHT

Susan Straight

Susan Straight has published eight novels and two books for children. Her new novel Between Heaven and Here (McSweeney’s) is the final book in the Rio Seco trilogy. Take One Candle Light a Room (Anchor Books) was named one of the best books of 2010 by The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Kirkus, and A Million Nightingales (Anchor Books) was a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2006. Highwire Moon was a Finalist for the 2001 National Book Award. "The Golden Gopher," published in Los Angeles Noir, won the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Story. Her stories and essays have appeared in The O Henry Prize Stories, Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Harpers, McSweeney's, The Believer, Salon, Zoetrope,, Black Clock, and elsewhere. She has been awarded The Lannan Prize for Fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. She is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at UC Riverside. She was born in Riverside, California, where she lives with her family, whose history is featured on susanstraight.com.

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PROFILE: JOHN SZABO

John Szabo

John Szabo is the City Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library, which serves over four million people—the largest population of any library in the United States. As City Librarian, he oversees the Central Library, 72 branches and the library's $123 million budget. In 2013, 14 million people visited the library and borrowed 15 million items.

Szabo's major initiatives include those related to immigrant integration and citizenship, improving financial literacy and providing health resources and programs. He has expanded the library's reach into the city's diverse communities through partnerships with community-based organizations.

He has more than 20 years of leadership experience in public libraries. Throughout his career, Szabo has championed innovative library services that address critical community needs in areas including health disparities, workforce development, adult literacy, school readiness and emergent literacy for preschoolers. He also has extensive experience in consensus building and outreach to diverse communities.

Szabo's previous experience includes serving as the director of the Atlanta-Fulton (GA) Public Library System (2005-2012), Clearwater (FL) Public Library System (1998-2005), Palm Harbor (FL) Public Library (1995-1998), Robinson (IL) Public Library District (1992-1995).

Szabo received his master's degree in information and library studies at University of Michigan and his bachelor's degree in telecommunications from University of Alabama. He completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He participated in a Group Study Exchange with Rotary International, visiting libraries and archives in Sicily and the Aeolian Islands.

He is currently a member of the Executive Board of the Urban Libraries Council.

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PROFILE: DAVID TALBOT

Talbot

David Talbot is the founder and former editor-in-chief of Salon. He has been called "a pioneer of online journalism" by The New York Times. Talbot is the author of The New York Times bestseller Brothers, about Robert Kennedy's secret search for the truth about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He is also author of Season of the Witch, a national bestseller about the wild and bloody history that gave rise to "San Francisco values." Talbot is now at work on a book about the CIA under legendary spymaster Allen Dulles that will examine how many of the agency's current dark practices — from assassination to extraordinary rendition — originated during that era.

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Exploring Untold History: Oliver Stone and David Talbot

Dec 15, 2011: Filmmaker Oliver Stone and Salon founder and CEO David Talbot will be exploring Stone's upcoming Showtime series, The Untold History of ...

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PROFILE: JOHN TAYMAN

John Tayman

John Tayman is Founder and CEO of Byliner. Byliner publishes original fiction and nonfiction by the world's best writers, including bestsellers by Amy Tan, Margaret Atwood, Jon Krakauer, Ann Patchett, Nick Hornby, Chuck Palahniuk, Nicole Krauss and Sebastian Junger, among others. These Byliner Originals are written to be read in two hours or less, and are sold at major digital bookstores, and by subscription at Byliner. Prior to founding Byliner in June 2011, Tayman founded, edited, or contributed to many award-winning publications, including Outside, GQ, TIME, and The New York Times Magazine. His bestselling nonfiction book The Colony was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

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Engaging the Next Generation of News Consumers (Part 1)

Oct 25, 2011: As traditional business models for news have weakened, the news industry must look to innovators, entrepreneurs, and emerging technologies ...

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PROFILE: MICHELLE TEA

Tea

Michelle Tea is the author of four memoirs, including the illustrated Rent Girl and the award-winning Valencia, which was recently adapted for the screen by 20 different directors; a collection of poetry, a novel and a YA fantasy series, the first of which Mermaid in Chelsea Creek, was published this spring by McSweeney's. She is the founder and Artistic Director of RADAR Productions, which oversees the decade-long RADAR Reading Series at the San Francisco Public Library, the international Sister Spit literary tours, and the Radar LAB, a free writers' retreat in Mexico. She is Editor at Sister Spit Books, an imprint of City Lights. Michelle's blog, Getting Pregnant With Michelle Tea, runs weekly at xoJane.com, and she is currently working on a memoir for Penguin/Plume, titled How to Grow Up.

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PROFILE: SCOTT TIMBERG

Scott Timberg

Scott Timberg a longtime arts and culture writer based in Los Angeles; his book Creative Destruction: How the 21st Century is Killing the Creative Class, and Why It Matters comes out this fall. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, Salon, and Los Angeles magazine. Timberg is also an enthusiastic if middling jazz and indie-rock guitarist.

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PROFILE: HECTOR TOBAR

Hector Tobar

Hector Tobar is a Los Angeles born writer. He is the author of three books. Most recently the novel The Barbarian Nurseries, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and named a New York Times Notable Book. The Barbarian Nurseries, translated into French, German and other languages, also won the California Book Award Gold Medal for Fiction, a distinction Tobar shares with John Steinbeck, Michael Chabon, T.C. Boyle, and many other distinguished California writers. For two decades, he's worked for the Los Angeles Times: as a city reporter, national and foreign correspondent (on assignments from Alaska to Patagonia, and from East Los Angeles to Iraq), and was part of the reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 1992 L.A. riots. He was The Times bureau chief in Buenos Aires and Mexico City. For several years he wrote a column for the Los Angeles Times, and has also worked as Features Editor at the LA Weekly and as editor of the bilingual San Francisco magazine El Tecolote. He has a Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of California Irvine, and studied at UC Santa Cruz and at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico City. He is also the author of Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking United States, and The Tattooed Soldier, a novel. He's married, the father of three children and the son of Guatemalan immigrants.

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Honoring the Winners of the California Book Awards 2012

Jun 7, 2012: The winners of the California Book Awards 2012 are honored at the Commonwealth Club of California. Since 1931, the California Book Awards ...

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PROFILE: DAVID ULIN

Ulin

David L. Ulin is book critic, and former book editor, of the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, Labyrinth, and "The Myth of Solid Ground: Earthquakes, Prediction, and the Fault Line Between Reason and Faith, selected as a best book of 2004 by the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle. He is also the editor of three anthologies: Another City: Writing from Los Angeles, Cape Cod Noir, and the Library of America's Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a 2002 California Book Award. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Black Clock, Boom, Columbia Journalism Review, and on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered." He teaches in the low residency MFA in creative writing program at UC Riverside's Palm Desert Graduate Center and in the Masters of Professional Writing program at USC.

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An Evening with Toni Morrison

Nov 19, 2008: In 1993, the Nobel committee lauded Toni Morrison "who, in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential ...

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PROFILE: ELLEN ULLMAN

Ullman

Ellen Ullman is the author of the cult classic memoir Close to the Machine: Technophilia and Its Discontents and The Bug: A Novel, a runner-up for the PEN/Hemmingway award for first fiction, both books drawing upon her long experience as a software engineer. Her most recent work is the novel By Blood, a New York Times Notable Book for 2012, which Kirkus Reviews describes as a book that "thematically interweaves fate, identity, obsession, and genetics, a multilayered mystery (in the same way that Dostoevsky was a mystery writer)." Ellen Ullman's essays and opinion pieces have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, and Harper's, as well as in several "Best Essay" collections.

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PROFILE: OSCAR VILLALON

Villalon

Oscar Villalon is the managing editor of ZYZZYVA, the San Francisco literary journal whose 100th issue will be published in spring 2014. The former book editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, his reviews and essays have appeared in Black Clock, The Believer, the Los Angeles Times, VQR, NPR.org, and regularly air on KQED's "The California Report." A board member of the National Book Critics Circle and a long-time juror for the Commonwealth Club's California Book Award, he lives with his wife and their son in San Francisco's Mission District.

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BGE: The Latino Experience

Jun 17, 2006: Oscar Villalon has been the Book Editor for the San Francisco Chronicle since 2001. He has been with the paper since 1996, and has been ...

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PROFILE: SAM WATTERS

Sam Watters

Sam Watters is an historian who lives in Venice, the ocean-side community that a recent Los Angeles mayor called our "greatest human zoo." Watters current book is Gardens for a Beautiful America on the progressive era photo-journalist Frances Johnston. At present he is thinking about California and what Gertrude Stein, according to Hemingway, tagged as the Lost Generation.

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Sam Watters on the Myths of Hollywood Homes

May 31, 2008: Sam Watters says the houses of Hollywood actors during the 1920s were constructed to maintain a public image of the celebrity resident ...

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PROFILE: TOBIAS WOLFF

Wolff

Tobias Wolff’s books include the memoirs This Boy’s Life and In Pharaoh’s Army: Memories of the Lost War; the short novel The Barracks Thief; the novel Old School, and four collections of short stories, In the Garden of the North American Martyrs, Back in the World, The Night in Question, and, most recently, Our Story Begins: New and Selected Stories. He has also edited several anthologies, among them Best American Short Stories 1994, A Doctor’s Visit: The Short Stories of Anton Chekhov, and The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories. His work is translated widely and has received numerous awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, both the PEN/Malamud and the Rea Award for Excellence in the Short Story, the Story Prize, and the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Tobias Wolff is the Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor in the Humanities at Stanford, where he lives with his wife Catherine. They have three children.

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Tobias Wolff in Conversation

Apr 1, 2008: Tobias Wolff is a contemporary master of short fiction, conjuring a full emotional range within the form's compression. His widely-anthologized ...

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PROFILE: TERRY WOLVERTON

Terry Wolverton

Terry Wolverton is a literary artist and author of ten books of fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction, most recently Wounded World: lyric essays about our spiritual disquiet. She is a founder of Writers At Work, a creative writing studio in Los Angeles, and Affiliate Faculty for the MFA Writing Program at Antioch University Los Angeles. She has been collaborating with jazz composer David Ornette Cherry to adapt her book, Embers, as an opera.

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PROFILE: KAREN TEI YAMASHITA

yamashita

Karen Tei Yamashita is the author of Through the Arc of the Rain Forest, Brazil-Maru, Tropic of Orange, Circle K Cycles, and I Hotel, all published by Coffee House Press. I Hotel was selected as a finalist for the National Book Award and awarded the California Book Award, the American Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Award, and the Association for Asian American Studies Book Award. She recently received a U.S. Artists Ford Foundation Fellowship, is Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and currently the co-holder with Bettina Aptheker of the U.C. Presidential Chair for Feminist Critical Race and Ethnic Studies.

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PROFILE: PAUL YAMAZAKI

Yamazaki

Paul Yamazaki has been a bookseller since 1970. He has been the principle buyer at City Lights Booksellers for more than thirty years. Yamazaki has served on the board of directors of several literary and community arts organizations. Among them are the Council of Literary Magazines & Presses (CLMP), Small Press Distribution (SPD) and the Kearney Street Workshop (KSW). Yamazaki was one a member of the jury that selected the 21 writers that were included on the Granta Best Young American Writers 2 that was published in the spring of 2007. Yamazaki participated in The Translation Market, a world literature and translation summit as a panelist as well as being part of a delegation of American booksellers that was invited to attend the Beijing Bookfair. He has also participated at The Oxford Conference of the Book at the University of Mississippi and the Los Angeles Times Festival of the Book. Yamazaki is on the jury for the 2014 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.

Yamazaki has been asked to work with the following organizations: National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, National Association of State Arts Agencies, Lila Wallace Readers Digest Fund, Ford Foundation, Headland Center for the Arts, American Booksellers Association, Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, National Book Foundation, Creative Work Fund and many others.

Yamazaki was a founding member of the Asian American Jazz Festival, that celebrated its 23rd anniversary in 2004. He was also on the initial advisory board of the San Francisco Jazz Festival.

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PROFILE: CHARLES YU

Charles Yu

Charles Yu is the author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, which was named one of the best books of the year by Time magazine. He received the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award for his story collection Third Class Superhero, and was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award. His work has been published in The New York Times, Playboy, and Slate, among other periodicals. Yu lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Michelle, and their two children.

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Charles Yu: How to Live Safely in the Fictional Universe

Jul 26, 2012: Charles Yu discusses his acclaimed novel How to Live Safely in the Fictional Universe with editor Eli Horowitz. A big-box store employee is ...

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PROFILE: MATTHEW ZAPRUDER

Matthew Zapruder

Matthew Zapruder is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon 2010), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Sun Bear, forthcoming from Copper Canyon in spring 2014. He is also co-translator from Romanian, along with historian Radu Ioanid, of Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems of Eugen Jebeleanu (Coffee House Press, 2007). His poems, essays and translations have appeared in many publications, including Tin House, Paris Review, The New Republic, The New Yorker, Bomb, Slate, Poetry, and The Believer. He has received a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, a William Carlos Williams Award, a May Sarton Award from the Academy of American Arts and Sciences, and a Lannan Foundation Residency Fellowship in Marfa, Texas. An Assistant Professor in the St. Mary's College of California MFA program and English Department, he is also an Editor at Wave Books. He lives in Oakland, CA.

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