Writers to converge on SNC Tahoe for summer events | SierraSun.com

Writers to converge on SNC Tahoe for summer events

Special to the Bonanza

The staff at Sierra Nevada College has been working hard to expand its literary offerings.

For example, the Sierra Nevada Review, a literary journal produced by SNC Tahoe students, has been in publication for decades and gets submissions and praise from around the country.

Further, the campus's Writer-in-Residence program has hosted authors like Patricia Smith, author of "Blood Dazzler" and a two-time Pushcart Prize winner and Guggenheim Fellow.

Before Smith, Kelle Groom was also a Writer-in-Residence at SNC Tahoe; Groom is the author of "I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl," a 2011 Oprah's Summer Reading pick.

Each April, the English Department hosts its own poetry slam, and sometimes Smith — a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam — makes an appearance alongside the students.

Since 2008, the College has also hosted a literary speaker series – Writers in the Woods – that brings even more great talent to the area throughout the year.

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This year, the first Writer in the Woods will be Ben Percy, author of The Dead Lands and Red Moon, who has also done work for DC comics.

He will read and present a workshop on Sept. 11 and 12 at SNC Tahoe.

Most of these literary events are free, and open to the public as well as students.

Further, Isabel Allende, the New York Times bestselling author and human rights activist, will give a public talk at SNC Tahoe this fall for the biennial Tahoe Forum, and free tickets are still available at sierranevada.edu/forum.

For a taste of the rich literary community and culture that is growing at Lake Tahoe, residents may also consider attending some of the public events associated with the college's upcoming Writers Residency.

Twice a year, writers from all over the country congregate at Sierra Nevada College for eight intensive days of workshops, seminars and readings that support the college's two-year low-residency MFA in Creative Writing program.

Visiting writers for past residencies have included Colum McCann, Nick Flynn, and Rick Moody — this August, you can enjoy Ben Percy on Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 7 p.m.

The college's MFA program is directed by Brian Turner, author of "Here, Bullet" and "Phantom Noise" and recipient of the USA Hillcrest Fellowship in Literature; the New York Times has described Turner's new memoir, "My Life as a Foreign Country," as "Triumphant," which is also a great way to describe the lineup for this August's residency.

Percy and Smith will be teaching, alongside Gailmarie Pahmeier; poet laureate of Reno; Rebecca Makkai, frequent contributor to Salon.com; Jen Percy, contributor to the New York Times; and poet Tanya Shirley, who joins the faculty from Jamaica.

For a complete listing of the public events for the Writers' Residency and other events on the SNC Tahoe campus, visit sierranevada.edu/community.

This article was submitted by Sierra Nevada College.