New to the Fresno area literary scene and want to get a taste through LitHop 2016? In my Sunday Spotlight column, I give a rundown on the festival and talk to creator Lee Herrick.
To help you navigate through the festival, here are six suggestions for authors to hear in several genres that range from established to emerging writers.
All events are Saturday, April 23. They begin at 2 p.m. at various venues in the Tower District and culminate in a 7 p.m. headline event with U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera at the Fresno City College Old Administration Building Auditorium. For a full schedule, go to www.lithopfresno.wordpress.com.
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Event: “Writers’ Block: Fresno Neighbors Read,” 5 p.m., Cafe Corazon, 1306 N. Wishon Ave. Featuring Church, John Hales, Corrinne Clegg Hales and Andrea Mele.
The buzz: He is author of the forthcoming nonfiction book, “One With the Tiger: On Savagery and Intimacy,” and a founding editor of Fresno State’s flagship literary magazine, The Normal School.
What he’ll read: Probably an excerpt from “One With the Tiger.”
One thing to know about his work: “My nonfiction writing is essayistic, often imaginative, and personal with an eye toward pop culture.”
Event: “Pedestrian Beautiful,” 5 p.m., Mia Cuppa Caffe, 620 E. Olive Ave. Featuring Campos, Ashaki M. Jackson, Kenji C. Liu and Vickie Vertiz.
What he’ll read: “I will be reading new work from a collaboration project titled ‘American House Fire.’ It’s poetry written in conversation with art by Maceo Montoya.”
One thing to know about his work: In “American House Fire,” the poems’ speakers attempt to evoke self-criticism and honesty by facing their own humanity in all its beauty and ugliness. And, hopefully, revealing that to some of its readers.
Event: “Edison High School Writers,” 2 p.m., Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt and Desserts, 802 E. Olive Ave. Featuring Vannini, Sanzari Aranyak, Morgan Shannon and Junior Sicairos.
The buzz: She’s had “The Mixed Bag” published in Spectrum and The Art of Unremembering” published in Chautauqua.
What she’ll read: “The Scarf.”
One thing to know about her work: “While I have been writing fiction for as long as I can remember, my interest in social issues has recently inspired me to write more creative nonfiction based on those topics.”
Event: “The Doomsbury Group,” 4 p.m., Tower Sports Club, 1294 N. Wishon Ave. Featuring Takemoto, Ronald Lawrence Dzerigian, J.J. Hernandez and Sean Kinneen. (21-and-over venue)
The buzz: Two of her favorite poems are “Lanterns for the Dead” and “Love Poem,” both published in The Chagrin River Review.
What she’ll read: Poems from her manuscript “Lanterns for the Dead.” The manuscript “is about being a Japanese person and this weird connection I feel with Japanese ghost stories and to the ghost of my grandfather.”
One thing to know about her work: “I want my poetry to be an out-of-body experience for readers. I want to take them to a place where we can commune with our ancestors.”
Event: “LGBTQ Voices of the Central Valley,” 2 p.m., Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen, 1279 N. Wishon Ave. Featuring Jarrar, Steven Sanchez, Ying Thao and Juan Luis Guzman.
The buzz: Two books are “A Map of Home: A Novel (2008)” and “Him, Me, Muhammad Ali” (2016)
What she’ll read: A selection from “Him, Me, Muhammad Ali.”
One thing to know about her work: “I write fiction and essays that center on Arab American, Muslim, queer, fat, and other misfit-y characters. I am a firebrand, a single mother, a professor, and I love Fresno to pieces.”
Event: “Brothers in the Word,” 5 p.m., Fulton Street Art, 1118 N. Fulton St. Featuring Hernandez, Daniel Chacón, Kenneth Chacón and Lee Herrick.
The buzz: He got lots of attention for the book “Manana Means Heaven.” His forthcoming book, about the 1948 crash of a plane carrying Mexican farm laborers west of Coalinga, is “All They Will Call You.”
What he’ll read: a preview of “All They Will Call You.”
One thing to know about his work: “I write about historical events that have gone overlooked or erased, and all my books are based on stories from the Central Valley.”