College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Writers From The Edge: Humanities and Communication

This annual series provides the campus with an opportunity to hear some of the best young contemporary authors, known and emerging, in the United States. These authors bring important perspectives on key concerns and issues confronting our nation and the world. The subject matter — migration, ethnic histories, transnational histories, and sexual identity, among other concerns—are relevant and important for our students and community, they also align with our curriculum.

These events support and further the CSUMB Founding Vision’s “commitment to multilingual, multicultural, gender-equitable learning.” They likewise serve in bringing positive and informed attention to the complex cultural differences that students bring to our campus and in the fostering of the University as a welcoming community that engages diversity in the service of student learning.  

This series receives annual support from the CSUMB Special Events Fund and our partners across campus, thank you for making this series possible. 

2022-23 Series:

Writers From the Edge Presents: Memoirist Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

Please join HCOM's Writers from the Edge as it hosts Lambda Literary Award-winning memoirist Alex Marzano-Lesnevich. Alex will read original work followed by a Q + A session moderated by HCOM Professor Daniel B. Summerhill. This is a free virtual event. Registration is required to attend!  

Event Information:

Wednesday, November 16, 2022
6 pm-Virtual Event on Zoom
Register Today for Link to Event! (registration link disabled following event)

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of "THE FACT OF A BODY: A Murder and a Memoir," which received a Lambda Literary Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the Grand Prix des Lectrices ELLE, the Prix des libraires du Quebec, and the Prix France Inter-JDD, an award for one book of any genre in the world. Named one of the best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Audible.com, Bustle, Book Riot, The Times of London, The Guardian, Paris Match, Lire, Telerama, and The Sydney Press Herald, it was an Indie Next Pick and a Junior Library Guild selection, long-listed for the Gordon Burn Prize, short-listed for the CWA Gold Dagger, a finalist for a New England Book Award and a Goodreads Choice Award, and has been translated into eleven languages. The recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Maine Arts Commission, the Eccles Centre at the British Library, and the Black Mountain Institute, as well as a Rona Jaffe Award, Marzano-Lesnevich has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Boston Globe, Oxford American, Harper’s, and many other publications. They earned their BA at Columbia University, their JD at Harvard Law School, and their MFA at Emerson College. They are now an assistant professor at Bowdoin College and live in Portland, Maine, with an enormous dog.

Their next book, BOTH AND NEITHER, is gender-bending and genre-bending work of memoir, history, cultural analysis, trans re-imaginings, and international road trip about life beyond the binary. It is forthcoming from Doubleday (US), Phoenix (UK), and Sonatine (France). An excerpt from the book was published in THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2020.

Writers from the edge presents Alex Marzano-Lesnevich type with photo of speaker

2021-22 Series:

Event Cancelled!

Writers From the Edge Presents: Memoirist Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

It is with regret that we inform you that the HCOM Writers From the Edge virtual event scheduled for April 6 with memoirist Alex Marzano-Lesnevich and Q+A with Kent Letham has been cancelled due to illness.  We hope to welcome Alex to campus in the fall. 

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich is the author of "THE FACT OF A BODY: A Murder and a Memoir," which received a Lambda Literary Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the Grand Prix des Lectrices ELLE, the Prix des libraires du Quebec, and the Prix France Inter-JDD, an award for one book of any genre in the world. Named one of the best books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, Audible.com, Bustle, Book Riot, The Times of London, The Guardian, Paris Match, Lire, Telerama, and The Sydney Press Herald, it was an Indie Next Pick and a Junior Library Guild selection, long-listed for the Gordon Burn Prize, short-listed for the CWA Gold Dagger, a finalist for a New England Book Award and a Goodreads Choice Award, and has been translated into eleven languages. The recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell, Yaddo, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Maine Arts Commission, the Eccles Centre at the British Library, and the Black Mountain Institute, as well as a Rona Jaffe Award, Marzano-Lesnevich has written for The New York Times, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Boston Globe, Oxford American, Harper’s, and many other publications. They earned their BA at Columbia University, their JD at Harvard Law School, and their MFA at Emerson College. They are now an assistant professor at Bowdoin College and live in Portland, Maine, with an enormous dog.

Their next book, BOTH AND NEITHER, is gender-bending and genre-bending work of memoir, history, cultural analysis, trans re-imaginings, and international road trip about life beyond the binary. It is forthcoming from Doubleday (US), Phoenix (UK), and Sonatine (France). An excerpt from the book was published in THE BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS 2020.

Writers from the edge presents Alex Marzano-Lesnevich type with photo of speaker

Writers From the Edge Presents: Laureates in Conversation

The Center for Black Student Success and HCOM's Writers From the Edge Present Laureates in Conversation, reading and conversation with San Francisco Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin and Monterey County Poet Laureate HCOM Assistant Professor of Poetry/Social Action and Composition Studies Daniel Summerhill.  The evening will begin with opening readings by CSUMB students Elizabeth Wiles and Zoe Atlas.  

Laureates in Conversation
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
6:00 pm, In-Person Event
CSUMB World Theater, Building 28
Registration/Tickets Required

Ticket Information: (links disabled following event)

FREE for CSUMB Students, Faculty, and Staff (Registration Required)

Alumni & Community Members:
$12 General Admission
$17 General Admission Ticket + Parking Pass
Buy Your Tickets today!  No tickets available at the door.

photo of San Francisco poet laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin and Monterey County poet laureate Daniel Summerhill

Registration for Current CSUMB Students, Faculty and Staff:

This event is FREE to current CSUMB students, faculty, and staff, register today to guarantee your seat.  Registration is required in accordance with current COVID-19 protocol.  

Tickets for Alumni and Community Members:

Tickets are $12.00 for general admission or $17.00 for general admission plus a parking pass (required on campus 24/7).  Registration is required in accordance with current COVID-19 protocol.  There will be no tickets available at the door, so please purchase your tickets online today.

Please note, in accordance with the CSUMB Covid-19 protocols, all event attendees agree to comply with the self-attestation statement. Masks must be worn in all indoor spaces by vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

CAHSS strives to make events accessible for all.  For accommodation, please email hcom@csumb.edu.

The Writers from the Edge Series is made possible through CSUMB Special Event funding; The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; The School of Humanities and Communication, and The Center for Black Student Success. 

For more information about the series, please contact Daniel Summerhill, Assistant Professor of Poetry/Social Action and Composition.

Writers From the Edge Welcomes Queer Cat Productions

Please join HCOM's Writers from the Edge Series as we host theater company Queercat Productions on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 6:30 - 8:00 pm. Queercat will produce an interactive and engaging virtual production, followed by a Q+A.  Register via zoom today. (Link disabled following event)

About Queercat: Queer Cat Productions is a Bay Area-based theater company that creates consent-forward, accessible, immersive theater and experiences that leave our audiences more connected. We create playful, curious, haunted works of art that are queer, not just in content, but in vision, perspective, care, and collaboration at every level of the process. Queerness as we define it is loving community, playfulness, joy, upending hierarchies, and collective liberation. We know that Black, Indigenous, and POC queer and trans resistance has made our existence possible. We honor those queer ancestors by being accountable to one another, celebrating our survival, and fashioning the tools we need to build a world where we are most free. We envision an artistic practice, process, and community that leads us to better show up for one another, fight for one another, and love one another as we build our liberated futures. queercatproductions.com

Logo for Queer Cat Productions cat paw

The Writers from the Edge Series is made possible through CSUMB Special Event funding; The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; The School of Humanities and Communication, and The Office of Inclusive Excellence & Sustainability.  For more information about the series, please contact Daniel Summerhill, Assistant Professor of Poetry/Social Action and Composition.

Writers From the Edge Presents David Heska Wanbli Weiden

In celebration of Native Heritage Month and in collaboration with the Native American Council, please join HCOM's Writers from the Edge Series as we host award-winning novelist David Heska Wanbli Weiden on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 6:30 - 8:00pm. A virtual event, David will read from his original work followed by a Q + A.   

photo of David Heska Wanbli Weiden

About David Heska Wanbli Weiden: an enrolled citizen of the Sicangu Lakota nation, David Heska Wanbli Weiden is the author of the novel WINTER COUNTS, nominated for the 2021 Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and winner of the Anthony, Thriller, Lefty, Barry, and Macavity Awards for Best First Novel.  The novel was also awarded the Spur Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and Best First Novel, the High Plains Book Award, and the Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing. Weiden is also the author of the children’s book SPOTTED TAIL (Reycraft, 2019), a biography of the great Lakota leader and winner of the 2020 Spur Award from the Western Writers of America.  He’s published work in the New York TimesShenandoahYellow Medicine ReviewTransmotionCriminal Class ReviewTribal College Journal, and other magazines.  He teaches in the low-residency MFA programs at Regis University, the Pan-European MFA program at Cedar Crest College, and at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts, his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. His last name, Weiden, is pronounced “Why-den.” Heska Wanbli is pronounced “Heh-ska Wahn-blee.”  His nation, the Sicangu Lakota, is pronounced “See-chon-goo Lah-coat-ah.”

Co-sponsored by CSUMB Special Events Funding; College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; School of Humanities and Communication; The Office of Inclusive Excellence & Sustainability, and The Native Advisory Council.

For more information on this series, please contact Daniel Summerhill, Assistant Professor of Poetry/Social Action and Composition.

Spring 22 Event Listing Coming Soon!

2020-21 Series

 

Photo of Star Finch

Writers from the Edge Welcomes Star Finch: Please join HCOM's Writers from the Edge Series as we host San Francisco-based playwright, Star Finch on Thursday, March 25, 2021, 6-8 pm. Star will share excerpts of her work, engage with participants and have time for conversation and Q + A.

About our Speaker: Star Finch is a native San Franciscan trying her best to hold ground amidst the Black-erasure of gentrification. She is currently the Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence at both Campo Santo and Crowded Fire Theater. She’s also a resident playwright within Playwrights Foundation’s RPI program. She’s received support for her work from the Creative Work Fund and the San Francisco Arts Commission.

 
 
 
 
artwork of girl cutting ponytail Kunoichi productions

Writers from the Edge Welcomes Kunoichi Productions: Please join HCOM's Writers from the Edge Series as we host theatre company Kunoichi Productions February 18, 2021, 6-8 pm. Kunoichi will present interactive original work followed by Q & A and discussion.

About Kunoichi Productions: The mission of Kunoichi Productions is to create bold, innovative multidisciplinary theater with Japanese aesthetics, blending the ancient and the modern, using both comedy and philosophy while fusing Eastern and Western theatrical elements.

Nick Ishimaru

Nick Ishimaru is a co-founder of Kunoichi Productions. Prior to working with Kunoichi, he served as the Artistic Director of Theatre of Yugen from 2016 to 2020. He holds a BA in Performing Arts from Colorado State University, where he directed a kabuki adaptation of Macbeth, a Masters in Drama from San Francisco State University, and did additional doctorate work at the University of Hawaii. As a director, his work explores combining Western and traditional Asian performance techniques to create original productions, as well as an interest in musical theatre. He has trained in noh and kyōgen for over 10 years with Theatre of Yugen, and Theatre Nohgaku and the Kita school noh master Oshima Teruhisa in Tokyo. Ishimaru has also studied kabuki, jingju (Beijing Opera), and nihon buyo (traditional Japanese dance). He also has led master classes for all levels from elementary school through university, and has presented work at conferences and university lectures both in the Bay Area and internationally.

Ai Aida

Ai Aida is a Japanese-born playwright, poet, translator, illustrator, puppet-builder and multidisciplinary theater-maker who is a winner of the Austin International Poetry Festival and the Leonard Isaacson Award Browning Monologue Contest and a semifinalist of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2020 and the Beverly Hills Julie Harris Playwright Award Competition. Ai’s plays have been produced or staged-read at the Shelton Theater, Exit Theater, San Francisco Olympians Festival, Z-Space, Piano Fight, Theatre of Yugen, Fringe Festival, Breach Once More, 9x9 Festival and GreenHouse Festival; and poetry, short stories, and artworks have appeared in various literary magazines as well as in National Geographic, which published "Öyku Denizi"/"The Sea of Stories," a children’s book they wrote and illustrated. Ai holds an M.A. in Creative Writing and an M.F.A. in Playwriting from San Francisco State University.

Keiko Shimosato

Keiko Shimosato Carreiro is a Collective and Board Member with the Tony award winning San Francisco Mime Troupe. Since 1987, she has been an Actor, Designer, Co-Writer and Director with the Company and has been in almost every summer show since joining. She is a Co-founder of “ Kunoichi Productions”, and Director of its seminal production, “ The True Take of Princess Kaguya”, which premiered as a virtual piece in November of 2920. Carreiro has performed at theaters throughout the Bay Area, including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, A.C.T., The Magic Theater, The Aurora Theater, Word for Word, and Center Rep. She was nominated for The Shellie Award for Outstanding Actress in the role of Grace in “The Sisters Matsumoto” at Center Rep. She is an award winning Costume Designer ,nominated for TBA Best Costumes, Bay Area Critics Circle award, and recipient of the 2018 Meritorious Achievement Award,(American College Theater Festival). Carreiro teaches with The San Francisco Opera Guilds’ “Book to Bravo”and “Voices for Social Justice” programs and enjoys raising up the next generation of artists/activists.

2018-19 Events:

The Latinx Poetix Symposium is part of CSUMB’s Writers from the Edge Reading Series that features poets who speak to the Latinx experience in the United States. The symposium is a two day event that begins at CSUMB’s main campus on Thursday night, heads to the CSUMB Salinas Center for Arts & Culture, and finishes with a grand finale reading at Old Capitol Books in downtown Monterey. This year’s symposium features a mixture of nationally recognized Latinx poets, editors and scholars in addition to outstanding local and emerging Latinx voices.

Blas Falconer
Poet and Editor Blas Falconer

Main Campus Reading, CSUMB Thursday, April 11@ 6 p.m. Alumni & Visitor’s Center Features the award winning poet, Jose-Luis Moctezuma, poetry editor Blas Falconer, local spoken word artist LaSofaQueen, Poet Manuel Paul Lopez, and recent CSUMB graduate Shirley Ramos.

Panel Discussion “The Latinx Voice in Modern American Poetry” Friday, April 12@ 10 a.m. CSUMB Salinas Center for Arts & Culture Jose-Luis Moctezuma, Manuel Paul Lopez, and Círculo de Poetas and Writers moderated by Nathan X Osorio and Rachelle Escamilla.

Free Public Writing Workshops & Open Mic by Círculo de Poetas and Writers Friday, April 12 @ 11 a.m. to Noon CSUMB Salinas Center for Arts & Culture Círculo de Poetas and Writers is a community of bilingual multicultural authors dedicated to the creation, promotion and dissemination of Latinx poetry and prose through workshops, publications, and public presentations in California. Featured poets are Adela Najarro, Javier O. Huerta, Yaccaira Salvatierra and Norma Liliana Valdez.

Grande Finale Latinx Poetry Reading Friday, April 12 @ 7 p.m. Old Capitol Books, 559 Tyler Street, downtown Monterey Featuring all of the participating Latinx Poets.

2018-19 Series Kick Off with Gary Soto

Gary Soto with student
Gary Soto with CSUMB Students

Photo credit for all: @poetita

The School of Humanities and Communication welcomed author Gary Soto to the first event of 2018-19.

Before Gary Soto’s poem, Oranges, I did not know that there were such things as Chicano writers. I did not know that there were writers whose hands also picked fruits and vegetables, whose families struggled to eat, whose minds struggled to think because their bodies toiled to live. Before Gary Soto’s name, I thought the written world was only for bodies that did not look like mine, that the pen belonged to someone else. My students ask over and over, “why do we not know enough about our own struggles?” and the only answer I can ever give is that there are not enough of us writing our worlds, in multi-lingual, multi-faceted language.
~Rachelle Escamilla, from her moving introduction of Gary Soto

About the author (as taken from garysoto.com: Gary Soto has published more than 40 books for children, young adults and adults, including Baseball in April, Living Up the Street, A Summer Life, Buried Onions and The Afterlife. He is the author of "Oranges," the most anthologized poem in contemporary literature.

He has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (twice). His New and Selected Poems was a 1995 finalist for both the National Book Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. In 1999, he was featured as NBC Person of the Week for his advocacy for reading and his books have sold four million copies nationwide as well as translated into French, Japanese, Italian, Korean, and Spanish.

The Gary Soto Literary Museum is located at Fresno City College. He resides in Berkeley, California.

Past Presenters Include:

  • Latinx Poetry Symposium: Vickie Vertiz, Raquel Salas Rivera, Farid Matuk, Erick Saenz, Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta, Spring 2018
  • Beth Piatote, Spring 2018
  • Ronaldo Wilson and Aya de Leon, Spring 2017
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen, Spring 2017
  • Evelina Galang, Spring 2016
  • Keenan Norris and Lysley Tenorio,
    Spring 2014
A collage of previous Writers from the Edge Speakers Posters

Organized by our School of Humanities and Communication, this annual event has been funded each year since 1997 by the campus’ special events funding pool, coupled with contributions of staff and faculty time, talent and funds from campus departments.

Writers from the Edge Welcomes Queer Cat Productions

Please join HCOM's Writers from the Edge Series as we host theater company Queercat Productions, November 10th, 2021, 6:00 - 8:00 pm. Queercat will produce an interactive and engaging virtual production, followed by Q + A. 

queercat productions logo cat paw

The Writers from the Edge Series is made possible through CSUMB Special Event funding and campus co-sponsors.  For more information about the series, please contact Daniel Summerhill, Assistant Professor of Poetry/Social Action and Composition.