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David MatlinAuthor David Matlin will read from his recently released novel, A HalfMan Dreaming, on March 14 at 7 p.m. in Room LL430 of the SDSU Library as part of the Spring 2012 Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series. The event is free and open to all.

Matlin is a novelist, poet, and essayist and the author of 10 books. His first novel, How the Night Is Divided, was nominated for a National Book circle Critics Award. Prisons: Inside the New America, published by San Diego State University Press, is based on a 10-year experience teaching in one of the oldest prison education programs in the nation. Matlin is an associate professor of English and Comparative Literature at SDSU and teaches in the MFA program.

For more information, contact Meagan Marshall at Additional information can be found on Facebook by “liking” The Living Writers Series.


For the first time in the series’ 30 years, the Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series is being offered as a course at SDSU (ENGL 579). The folks who organize this program have done an excellent job of assembling an impressive roster of writers for their inaugural course, and, as always, the public is invited to hear these writers speak at evening readings during the fall 2011 semester. All of the readings listed below will be held at 7 p.m. in Room LL430 of the SDSU Library.

September 19: Fred Moramarco is a professor emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at SDSU and founding editor of Poetry International. He is the author or editor of seven books, including his most recent, The City of Eden. Fred Moramarco
Sarah Maclay is a clinical professor of English at Loyola Marymount University, book review editor of Poetry International, and the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Music for the Black Room, as well as three chapbooks. Her poems and criticism appear in APR, Ploughshares, FIELD, The Best American Erotic Poetry: 1800 to the Present, The Writers Chronicle, and elsewhere. Sarah Maclay
October 3: Daniel Shapiro is director of literature and editor/managing editor of Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas. He is the author of the poetry manuscripts The Red Handkerchief and Other Poems and Child with a Swan’s Wings. His poems and translations have appeared in the literary magazines American Poetry Review, Grand Street, and Poetry Northwest and in the anthologies Burnt Sugar, Mexico: A Traveler’s Literary Companion, and many others. Daniel Shapiro
October 10: Ishion Hutchinson is a native of Jamaica and an MFA graduate of New York University. His work has appeared in the LA Review, Caribbean Review of Books, Poetry International, and the chapbook Bryan’s Bay. He recently won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry for his debut collection, Far District. Ishion Hutchinson
October 24: Shirley Geok-Lin Lim’s first collection of poems, Crossing the Peninsula, was published in 1980 and won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize. Her memoir, Among the White Moon Faces, received the American Book Award in 1997. She is the author of five books of poems, three books of short stories, two books of criticism, and two novels (Joss and Gold and Sister Swing). Lim is a professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Shirley Geok-Lin Lim
November 7: Richard Burgin is the author of 15 books, including the novels Rivers Last Longer and Ghost Quartet and the short story collections The Spirit Returns and Fear of Blue Skies. His book The Identity Club: New and Selected Stories and Songs was listed in The Times Literary Supplement as one of the best books of 2006 and was listed in The Huffington Post as one of the 40 best books of fiction in the last decade. Burgin was the founding editor of Boston Review, New York Arts Journal and the founding and current editor of the internationally distributed literary journal Boulevard. Richard Burgin
CANCELED – November 21: Chris Abani’s first novel, Masters of the Board, published when he was 18, landed him in prison, as the Nigerian government believed the book to be a blueprint for a real coup. He has since published two more novels, two novellas, and five books of poetry, including his most recent, Sanctificum, in 2010. His 2005 novel, Graceland, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and a silver medal from the California Book Award For Fiction. Abani is a professor at the University of California, Riverside, and the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award. Chris Abani
December 5: Tayari Jones is the author of three novels: Leaving Atlanta, which received the Hurston/Wright Award for Debut Fiction; The Untelling; and Silver Sparrow. She has received fellowships from organizations such as the Illinois Arts Council, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and The MacDowell Colony. Jones is an associate professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University and will spend the 2011-12 academic year at Harvard University as a Radcliffe Institute Fellow, researching her fourth novel. Tayari Jones

For more information about any of these readings, please contact Meagan Marshall at or “like” the Living Writers Series on Facebook.

Salons—a gathering of people at a residence or hall to converse and to listen to works of literature and philosophy—were popular during the 17th and 18th centuries in France. However, considering the list I’ve included below, I believe the SDSU Library could rival even the most famous French salon, the Hotel de Rambouillet! At the Salon de Malcolm Love, you don’t have to know French to enjoy the brilliant writers and lecturers we’re hosting this spring. You just need a thirst for knowledge and a taste for literature.

In an earlier post, I promised you an updated list of our happenings, and here it is:

March 15: Glover Davis will give a poetry reading at 7 p.m. in Room LL108. Davis is a professor emeritus of creative writing at SDSU, where he taught for almost 40 years. His books of poetry include Bandaging Bread, August Fires, Legend, and Separate Lives. His most recent collection is Spring Drive. For more information, call (619) 594-6054. This event is part of the Spring 2011 Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series.
March 22: Poet Shadab Zeest Hashmi will be the featured artist at the Laurie Okuma Memorial Reading at 7 p.m. in Room LL430. Hashmi has been the editor of the annual Magee Park Poets Anthology since 2000. Originally from Pakistan, she now lives in San Diego. Her work has appeared in Nimrod International, New Millennium Writings, The Bitter Oleander, Poetry Conspiracy, San Diego Poetry Annual, and Pakistani Literature. Her book of poems, Baker of Tarifa, was published in 2010.
March 24: Author David Kirby will present a poetry reading at 7 p.m. in Room as part of the Poetry International Spring Reading Series. Kirby is a professor of English at Florida State University and the author of more than 20 books, including Little Richard: The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll, The House on Boulevard St., and The Ha-Ha. His work has won numerous awards, including four Pushcart Prizes, the James Dickey Prize, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Art, and the Guggenheim Foundation. For more information, call (619) 594-1522 or email
April 13: Harold Jaffe will read from two recent books (Paris 60 and Induced Coma) at 7 p.m. in Room LL430 as part of the Spring 2011 Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series. Jaffe is a professor of English and Comparative Literature at SDSU and the author of 19 volumes of fiction, docufiction, and nonfiction. His books include Jesus Coyote, Terror-Dot-Gov, False Positive, and his most recent, Anti-Twitter: 150 50-Word Stories. He is the editor of Fiction International. For more information, call (619) 594-6054.
April 14: In conjunction with the SDSU Library’s Civil War exhibit, Ed Blum will discuss “Satan and the Civil War: Considering Ultimate Evil in the War that Shaped America.” The lecture will be held at 4 p.m. in Room LL430. Blum is an assistant professor of history at SDSU and the author of Reforging the White Republic and W. E. B. Du Bois, American Prophet.
April 18: Nikola Madirov will present a poetry reading at 7 p.m. in Room LL430 as part of the Poetry International Spring Reading Series. Madirov is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Locked in the City, Somewhere Nowhere, and Relocated Stone. He was the poetry editor for the Macedonian e-magazine Blesok and lives in Macedonia and works as a poet, essayist, and literary translator. For more information, call (619) 594-1522 or email
April 20: “Neither Historian Nor Novelist: Captain Francis Moore & The Making of Civil War Memory” is the topic of a lecture to be given by Thomas Bahde, visiting scholar in the Department of History at UCSD, at 7:30 p.m. in Room LL430. Bahde is a specialist in nineteenth-century U.S. history with a focus on race, slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.The lecture is in conjunction with the library’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War.
May 9: Writers Rikki Ducornet and Katie Farris will present a reading at 7 p.m. in Room LL430 as part of the Poetry International Spring Reading Series. Ducornet is the author of five books of poetry and eight novels, including the Fan Maker’s Inquisition and The Jade Cabinet.
Farris has been widely published in literary journals, and her first book, Boysgirls, is due out in spring 2011. For more information, call (619) 594-1522.

All of these events are free and open to the public. We’d enjoy hearing your feedback if you attended any of these events, so please leave a comment by clicking “Leave a Comment” under the post title.

Susan ConleyA lot of people have written memoirs about living abroad. A lot of people have penned about motherhood. And if you check the shelves at Barnes & Noble, you’ll find a lot of biographies written by people dealing with cancer. But Susan Conley has written about all three…in one book.

Conley, her husband, and two sons moved from Maine to Beijing in 2007 in time for the build-up to the 2008 Olympics. Just as they were settling in, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She returned to the States for treatment and then rejoined her family in China. That would drive a lot of people crazy; it drove Conley to write a best-selling book titled The Foremost Good Fortune, which was picked as a Top 10 Read for February 2011 by O, The Oprah Magazine.

We at the SDSU Library have the foremost good fortune of cohosting a reading by Conley on March 3 at 7 p.m. in Room LL430. Like all the Hugh Hyde Series events, it’s free and open to all.

Actually, this is something of a homecoming for Conley; she is an SDSU MFA graduate in poetry. She’s also the cofounder and executive director of the Telling Room, a writer’s workshop and literary hub for the southern Maine area. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Paris Review, Harvard Review, and Ploughshares.

I hope you’ll attend this reading. We all could learn a lot from Conley…about writing, about China, and about plowing through the hard times with grace.

Joe Haske

Joe Haske

The Hugh Hyde reading scheduled for Wednesday night features TWO excellent authors. That’s double the good words and entertainment!

Authors Joe Haske and Eric Miles Williamson will read from their works on February 16 at 7 p.m. in Room LL430. As always the reading is free and open to all.

Haske is the book review editor for The 7pm Texas Review, and his critical and creative work has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as Boulevard, American Book Review, and Southwestern American Literature.

Eric Miles Williamson

Eric Miles Williamson

Williamson is a novelist and literary critic, member of the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle, and an editor of the American Book Review, Boulevard, and Texas Review. He is the author of four books, most recently Welcome to Oakland. He is currently a professor of English at the University of Texas-Pan American.

If you enjoy the reading, leave a comment here or on our Facebook page.

We’ve got a treat for you coming up this week. On November 17, author Jim Miller will give a reading at 7 p.m. in Room LL430 as part of the Fall 2010 Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series.
Jim Miller

Miller is a native San Diegan and a graduate of SDSU’s MFA program. He is a founding member of the San Diego Writers Collective and a co-founder of San Diego City Works Press. He is the author of the novels Flash and Drift and co-author of the nonfiction works Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See and Better to Reign in Hell: Inside the Raiders Fan Empire.
Gregory Page

And we have a bonus guest: Miller will be accompanied by Gregory Page, a local musician who won the 2006 San Diego Music Award for Best Acoustic Artist. I don’t know what your plans are for Wednesday night, but really, are they as good as this?

Stephen GutierrezPatricia Eakins

Which would you rather do, watch a movie or listen to poetry? We’re offering you the chance to do both tonight.

Authors Patricia Eakins and Stephen Gutierrez will be sharing their works at 7 p.m. in Room LL430. This reading is free and brought to you by the Hugh Hyde Living Writers Series. Eakins is the author of The Hungry Girls and Other Stories and The Marvelous Adventures of Pierre Baptiste, which won both the NYU Press Prize for Fiction and the Capricorn Fiction Award of the Writer’s Voice. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Parnassus, Conjunctions, and The Paris Review, which awarded her the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction. In 1997, The Hungry Girls was made into a work of theatre by the performance ensemble Collision Theory. Gutierrez is the author of Live from Fresno y Los and Elements. He teaches at California State University, East Bay.

Also at 7 p.m., we’re presenting Part 2 of the Ken Burns documentary Mark Twain. The movie will be shown in Room 1500 of the Student Services Building, and it’s also free.

Two entertaining events, both free. Hard choice!

Martha CollinsThe Hugh Hyde Living Writers Series continues tomorrow night (October 12) with a reading by an exceptional writer, Martha Collins. The reading will be held in Room LL430 at 7 p.m.

Collins is the author of a book-length poem, Blue Front, which was chosen as one of “25 Books to Remember from 2006” by the New York Public Library. She also authored four other books of poetry: Some Things Words Can Do; A History of a Small Life on a Windy Planet; The Arrangement of Space, winner of the Peregrine Smith Poetry Competition; and The Catastrophe of Rainbows.

Collins established the creative writing program at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and is currently editor-at-large for FIELD magazine and one of the editors of the Oberlin College Press. She has received fellowships from the NEA and the Ingram Merrill Foundation and has won three Pushcart Prizes.

Hope you can make it tomorrow night!

We have an “eventful” week coming up at the library, beginning with Jerry Griswold’s lecture on April 20 (see previous post). On April 21, two guest speakers will visit the library, the first being George Peale, professor of modern languages and literatures at CSU–Fullerton. His presentation, which will be given in Spanish, is titled “Dos Calas en las Estructuras Profundas de la Tragedia Moderna–El Caballero de Olmedo de Lope y Lorca.” The location is Room LL430 and the time 2 p.m. Sponsoring this event are the Sociedad Estudiantil de Lenguas, Artes 7 Culturas Hispanicas and the SDSU Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Also on April 21 will be a lecture given by Thomas Morgenfeld, a retired Navy captain and former test pilot. His talk will be held in Room LL430 at 7 p.m., and it’s sponsored by the SDSU Student Branch of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series continues on April 22 with a reading by mother and son authors Debra Ginsberg and Blaze Ginsberg. Come to Room LL430 at 7 p.m. and prepare to be enlightened!

Carolyn ForcheI’ll admit that I don’t know a lot about poetry or who currently is considered a titan among poets. However, there’s a lot of folks here at the SDSU Library who are well versed in this field, and they’re pretty excited about the poet who’s going to speak at the library in a couple of weeks.

Carolyn Forche—known as a “poet of witness”—will share her work and her experiences on Tuesday, April 13, at 5:30 p.m. in Room LA108. She’s the author of four books of poetry: Gathering the Tribes, which received the Yale Younger Poets Award; The Country Between Us, chosen as the Lamont Selection of the Academy of American Poets; The Angel of History, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Award; and Blue Hour, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has been a human rights activist for 30 years and is currently the Lannan Visiting Professor of Poetry and Professor of English at Georgetown University.

The reading is cosponsored by the Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series, the Department of English and Comparative Literature, and the SDSU Library. It’s free, and you don’t need a reservation. Just come prepared to be enlightened!

More information about Carolyn Forche:

University of Illinois, Department of English
Poetry Foundation
Blue Flower Arts

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