SMC Presents Fall Literary Series

Talks and Readings Begin September 19

Santa Monica College opens its fall “Literary Talks & Readings” series with “America’s Constitution: Past, Present, and Future” – a talk by American legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar – at 11:15 a.m. and at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 19, in Stromberg Hall (HSS 165) on the main SMC campus, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Dana Gioia presents “Rebel Tongues & Poetic Blues” at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, October 3, in Stromberg Hall (HSS 165) on the main SMC campus, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica.

Stephen Yenser presents “Stephen Yenser Reads His Poems” at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, October 15, in Stromberg Hall (HSS 165) on the main SMC campus, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica.

Katya Apekina presents “Katya Apekina Reads from Her Novel and Other Work” at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, October 29, in Art 214 on the main SMC campus, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica.

Lynell George presents “Lynell George Views Los Angeles Outside the Frame” at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, November 19, in Stromberg Hall (HSS 165) on the main SMC campus, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica.

September 4, 2019

SANTA MONICA, CA — Santa Monica College (SMC) is pleased to continue its Literary Talks & Readings series featuring a noteworthy spectrum of writers reading from and discussing their works. The ongoing series opens its fall season on September 19.

All presentations in the series are free and will be held in Stromberg Hall (HSS 165), located on the main SMC campus, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Unless otherwise noted, the series is sponsored by the SMC Associates — a private organization that funds speakers and special programs on the Santa Monica College campus — and the SMC English Department. Seating is on a first-arrival basis.

The fall 2019 series lineup is:

  • Thursday, September 19: Akhil Reed Amar: “America’s Constitution: Past, Present, and Future” at 11:15 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. in Stromberg Hall (HSS 165). American legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University and a recipient of the American Bar Foundation’s Outstanding Scholar Award, is an expert on constitutional law and criminal procedure. He has written for publications that include The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, and is the author of The Constitution Today: Timeless Lessons for the Issues of Our Era (2016, named by Time magazine one of the year’s top 10 nonfiction books ), The Law of the Land (2015), and America’s Unwritten Constitution (2012, named by The Washington Post one of the year’s 100 best nonfiction books). He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

  • Thursday, October 3: Dana Gioia: “Rebel Tongues & Poetic Blues” at 11:15 a.m. in Stromberg Hall (HSS 165). In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, poet and critic Dana Gioia will read from and talk about his work. The former California Poet Laureate and Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts has authored five collections of verse, most recently 99 Poems: New & Selected (2016), which won the Poets’ Prize. He has also published critical collections — including a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, Can Poetry Matter? — as well as written four opera libretti and collaborated with musicians in genres from classical to jazz and rock. Additional sponsor for this event: SMC Adelante Program.

  • Tuesday, October 15: Stephen Yenser: “Stephen Yenser Reads His Poems” at 11:15 a.m. in Stromberg Hall (HSS 165). UCLA Distinguished Emeritus Research Professor Stephen Yenser is renowned as a poet, critic, and the co-editor of six volumes of James Merrill’s work. Yenser’s first volume of poetry, The Fire in All Things (LSU), won the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award. More recent poetry volumes include Blue Guide (University of Chicago) and Stone Fruit (Waywiser). A former Fulbright Fellow, he curates the Hammer Poetry Readings at the Hammer Museum, and has also written three critical books, including A Boundless Field: American Poetry at Large (University of Michigan Poets on Poetry).

  • Tuesday, October 29: Katya Apekina: “Katya Apekina Reads from Her Novel and Other Work” at 11:15 a.m. in Art 214. Author Katya Apekina will read from her novel The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish (Two Dollar Radio), which was named a Best Book of 2018 by Kirkus, won the 35 Over 35 award, was a finalist for the 2018 Los Angeles Times First Fiction Prize, and garnered accolades from LitHub, NPR, Huffington Post, New York Magazine, and others. Apekina’s short fiction has been published in The Iowa Review, Electric Literature, Santa Monica Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere, and has appeared on the Notable list of Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013. Her nonfiction can be found in the LA Review of Books and heard on the radio. She also co-wrote the screenplay for the feature film New Orleans, Mon Amour, which premiered at SXSW in 2008 and starred Elisabeth Moss and Christopher Ecclestion.

  • Tuesday, November 19: Lynell George: “Lynell George Views Los Angeles Outside the Frame” at 11:15 a.m. in Stromberg Hall (HSS 165). Lynell George will talk about her recent book of essays and photography, After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame, which explores the city where she grew up. Her extensive career includes working as a staff writer for both the Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly — covering social issues, human behavior, and identity politics, as well as visual arts, music, and literature — and teaching journalism at Loyola Marymount University. In 2017, she won a Grammy Award for her liner notes for Otis Redding Live At The Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings, and was also awarded the Huntington Library’s Alan Jutzi Fellowship for her studies of California writer Octavia E. Butler. George is also a contributing arts-and-culture columnist for KCET|Artbound.

Now in its 19th year, the SMC Literary Series has brought to campus such acclaimed writers as Khaled Hosseini (author of the bestselling The Kite Runner), Steph Cha (writer of the popular ‘Juniper Song’ novels), Audrey Niffenegger (author of the bestselling Time Traveler’s Wife), and Edward J. Larson (author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion).

For additional information, please call SMC’s Office of Public Programs at (310) 434-4100.

Please note: Street parking is restricted around the main SMC campus. Transportation and parking options are listed at smc.edu/transportation. Attendees are encouraged to arrive via the Expo line, the bus, or a ride-sharing service. Visitor parking is available for $10 in SMC’s Lot 6, located at 14th Street and Pico Boulevard.

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