LitHop is Saturday, April 21, 2018.

With over 40 events and +150 readers–Which will be your favorite reading this year? Full list of events below.

View & print the LitHop 2018 event guide:  Map | Schedule

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🌟= May contain adult content not suitable for children

1:00-1:45 p.m.

Hysteria? Women Shattering the Silence on Mental Illness
1:00 p.m. | Brass Unicorn | feat. Chris Roup, Courtney Lizbeth Potts, Isabel Olivas, Dominique Heu

We have made leaps and bounds since the days of “Female Hysteria.” Whether it was covering up an actual mental health diagnosis, or an excuse to hold women back from being human. Society has come a long way. But women still face stigma. Whether it is from cultural barriers, body image after self-harm, or being labeled as “overly emotional,” these stigmas can prevent women from seeking help and living full lives. Four women read on their mental health journeys and struggles. But through faith, hope, acceptance, and community, they now choose to share and shatter the silence.    

Plastic Pollution Poetry
1:00 p.m. | Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt and Desserts | feat. students from Cooper Academy Middle School Communications and Drama

Cooper Academy Middle School Communications/Drama students will present original poetry on the effects of plastic on the environment.    

A New Land for Our Ghosts
1:00 p.m. | The Revue | feat. Joseph Rios, Sara Borjas, Alana de Hinojosa, Rocio Carlos

These poets will present work about memory, their dead, and the varying geographies where they reside in the real world and on the page. They cultivate new territories and realms for these ghosts to inhabit at a time when our neighborhoods and homes are rapidly changing or disappearing all together.

2:00-2:45 p.m.

Women Who Smell Like Where They Work 🌟
2:00 p.m. | Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore | feat. Tara Williams, Christine Weidenbach, Meredith Booey Sandrik, Bethany Hazen

So many of us have had those jobs that follow us home, that stick to our clothes, coat our skin, get into our pores, and potentially identify us, in the olfactory organs of others, as a particular type of wage or salary slave. Four candidates from Fresno State’s MFA Creative Writing program recount the experiences of women, real and imagined, whose work permeates them with identifying odors that serve as markers for privilege and class. Stinky jobs can define, unite, or oppress us in ways that don’t always shower off at the end of the day. Mature audiences only.

Bridging Chaos: Navigating Love in the Hmongscape 🌟
2:00 p.m. | The Revue | feat. Nou Her, Andre Yang, Ying Thao, HAUNTIE

Love is not universal. It is shaped between the fragments of our lives, and nurtured through memory and affective gesture. It expects our presence, and demands our attention. It forces us to draw a line between need and want, but is never definitive. From the entanglements of our Hmong experiences, this panel shares complex facets of love and intimacy from the diasporic nerve endings of being of/in/around Hmong. Here, we navigate our love, or what we know of it, in the geographies of our lives, mapping its textures through word, story, and poetic gesture. Mature audiences only.

Clock Talk: Stopping to Chat with the Second Hand
2:00 p.m. | Hi-Top Coffee | feat. Brianne Vogt, Marcello Ayers, Kassandra Gonzalez, Julia Baker

Four writers come together from their diverse places in life to make time — in their education, their searching, their work schedules — for words, for poetry, for making meaning out of their timelines.

CWAA Presents: A Blast from the Past, A Fresno State MFA Alumni Reading
2:00 p.m. | Spectrum Art Gallery | feat. Nancy Hernandez, Jessica R. Santillan, Ronald Dzerigian, Juan Luis Guzmán

Presented by the Chicano Writers and Artists Association at Fresno State, we invite you to a reading unlike any other showcasing alumni writers from Fresno State’s MFA program. We brought back four incredible writers who are beginning to make their mark on literary scenes of the valley and beyond. These four writers share deep understandings of what it means to be writers of the valley and how taking these mantles from the greats such as Gary Soto, Andres Montoya, Philip Levine, Larry Levis, etc, means to them. From fiction to poetry, the range of subject in this reading will be grand for all to hear. To which these writers will showcase their wits with words in forms of performance and reading with pride they took away from graduating from Fresno State. We invite all to witness the next wave of valley writers and what they offer to the land.

Inside My Head: Teens shed light on the realities of adolescent mental health
2:00 p.m. | Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt and Desserts | feat. Norma Gonzalez, Noah Martin Arnao, Nicholas Anaya, Esmeralda Gonzales

Four youth poets from Washington Union High School shine a light into the dark corners of the adolescent mind. Ranging from mental health issues to the intricacies of relationships, these poets stand as a witness to the complexities of the voices inside our heads.

Insistence to Endure
2:00 p.m. | Detention Billiards | feat. Danielle Potter, Mellissa Jessen-Hiser, Rose Galaviz, James O’Bannon

Time and time again there are news segments depicting the clashing of differing ideals and beliefs. As of late, the general American public has remained especially divisive over a number of issues, often prompting tensions to rise. But among all the contention, the news also depicts one of the universal traits we all have in common: the ability and insistence to endure. There may be natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or the most basic of injustices such as communities starving or going without clean water, but the more we take the time to focus on these seemingly distant occurrences, the more familiar they seem. A hurricane can cause a tragedy, but such tragedy allows for small, precious moments of beauty to occur. Enduring a sometimes hellish world for the sake of beauty and hope is a fundamental ingredient that makes us all human.

Shifting American Landscapes 🌟
2:00 p.m. | Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen | feat. Emily Tallman, Paula Treick deBoard, Brigitte Bowers, Christa Fraser

From the erasure of environmental protections on lands previously protected, to the emergence of the #metoo movement, the American landscape has been in a state of rapid transition this past year. With the ground moving beneath our feet, how do we make sense of the world, and how can we move forward and claim our own place in the landscape? Four writers from UC Merced examine shifts in social, political, cultural and ecological landscapes—and explore a world where the changes feel increasingly personal. Mature audiences only. Must be +21 and older to enter venue.

Three Lies and a Truth 🌟
2:00 p.m. | Brass Unicorn | feat. Erin Cook, Ethan Chatagnier, Jim Schmidt, Carole Firstman

Three fiction writers and a nonfiction writer will come together for an event that runs the gamut from eco-science-fiction to literary short stories to personal memoir. The fantastical will intermingle with the everyday as fact intermingles with fiction in this varied reading. Mature audiences only.

3:00-3:45 p.m.

Brothers in Arms
3:00 p.m. | Spectrum Art Gallery | feat. S. Bryan Medina, James Tyner, Joe Osejo, Martin Velasco Ramos

Four Fresno writers sharing original works about life living in the  San Joaquin Valley.

Carrying Ghosts 🌟
3:00 p.m. | Detention Billiards | feat. Jamie Moore, Brenda Venezia, Steven Sanchez, Monique Quintana

This reading will feature poetry and prose that reveal how these writers carry ghosts: the ghosts of our ancestors, the ghosts of myth, and the ghosts of memory. These pieces share themes of conjuring  these ghosts,  wrestling with spirituality and brujeria, and claiming unspoken voices. Mature audiences only.

Peregrinas: California Women Poets in the Southwest 🌟
3:00 p.m. | The Revue | feat. Marisol Baca, Yaccaira Salvatierra, Vanessa Angélica Villareal, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo

Peregrinas means pilgrims, from the noun peregrinación, “to journey to a sacred place.” Las Peregrinas is a reading featuring four California Latinx writers: Marisol Baca (author of Tremor), Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo (author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge), poet Yaccaira Salvatierra and Vanessa Angélica Villarreal (author of Beast Meridian).  In the new year, these four poets traveled together over the backbone of the southwest, along the border reading their work. This LitHop reading brings Las Peregrinas together again to share stories, read poems, and call the spirits out. Their work contains stories of the forgotten, the abused, the unseen and reawakens these stories through pilgrimage. We seek healing when we remember the words, “no regrets” spoken by our grandmothers, or Malinche “hunting the wilderness” in herself, the canonization of the ordinary beloved uncle, and the celebration of “the infinite tiny self.” Mature audiences only.

Tattle Tales 🌟
3:00 p.m. | Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore | feat. Sallie Perez Saiz, Sylvia Savala, Loretta Kennedy, Teresa Chacon, Mary Coombs

Four (maybe five) writers from the Central Valley come together to provide a snapshot of the travails of dating as feminists in the #MeToo movement. At a time when the passionate voices of women and feminists are being heard at a heightened level, they are also being met with an intense backlash from anti-feminists. How does this dichotomy play out in the dating scene? These writers will share stories about what is often not discussed publicly:  How some women navigate the murky waters of the psychological and emotional abuse they experience. Their stories tell of women utilizing traditional healing tools such as therapy, family support, religion, and sisterhood, while some find empowerment in the old ways of dream work and brujeria. Mature audiences only.

The Other Half of the Story
3:00 p.m. | Brass Unicorn | feat. Megan Anderson Bohigian, Angela Chaidez Vincent, Kirk Stone, Victor Trejo

Four Fresno poets transform the stuff of memory to live on the page, in lines and their images and narratives, what Pablo Neruda calls “the threads in the thread-bare event,” the significance of which is never obvious at the time they occur. We are all ‘avid forgetters’…it is the poets’ task to mine memory for its treasures, look its disasters in the eye, and give the truth a name.

Where We Live: A Reading by the Gillis Poets
3:00 p.m. | Hi-Top Coffee | feat. Paul Aloojian, Judith Chibante, Scott Hicks, Sally Vogl

Because a blend of life experiences has brought them and kept them in central California, the Gillis poets see and reflect shapes of San Joaquin Valley landscapes. They have developed a literary palette to express their personal lives as they have intersected with valley life, events, and history. Some themes include bounty versus poverty, beauty versus harshness, and transience versus permanence. Poems in their reading will feature Fresno County scenes in urban and agricultural settings. Their eclectic work reflects on the natural, physical and social elements of this valley.

Women Behaving Boldly 🌟
3:00 p.m. | Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen | feat. Paula Treick deBoard, Shanyn Avila, Debbie Soro Adair, Yvonne de la Cruz Sanchez

What does it mean to be a woman behaving boldly? How do we define our changing identities in challenging times? Four writers with a history of unladylike behavior take on these questions through the lens of poetry, creative non-fiction and fiction. After bonding over yoga and devoting ourselves to a monthly writing group that is part sharing, part therapy session, we’ve found our voices in stories of female camaraderie, familial strength and self-discovery. Mature audiences only. Must be +21 and older to enter venue.

Bye-Bye Taboos: Poems of Strength and Healing
3:00 p.m. | Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt and Desserts | feat. Angie Gonzalez-Barajas, Patricia Vazquez-Topete, Denise Silva, Mercedes Preston

Four young women poets explore themes related to their personal experiences with reclaiming their bodies, their identities, and their voices. Their fierce poetry takes on many topics society has labeled as taboo, and seeks to forge an understanding of what it means to be a strong woman who has survived the unspeakable and now dares to speak about it.      


4:00-4:45 p.m.

Chicanx Gothic 🌟
4:00 p.m. | Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen | feat. Patrick Fontes, Nicole Henares, Carribean Fragoza, Monique Quintana

A reading by multi-genre writers that will explore the intersections of family, Catholicism, ghosts, monsters, borders, the occult, and the grotesque violence projected on the Chicanx body politic. Mature audiences only. Must be +21 and older to enter venue.

Ghosts Among Us: The Poetry of Elegy and Loss
4:00 p.m. | The Revue | feat. Dana Koster, Jacques J. Rancourt, Erin Rodoni, Gillian Wegener

Haunted by the living and the dead, four award-winning poets from across Northern California will dazzle and devastate with their poetry of grief and loss. Dementia, abandonment, the AIDS crisis, cancer, miscarriage – if you like sad things, this reading truly has it all!  Expect plenty of ghosts, dark humor, and tenderness, because when your heart is broken, the best thing to do – sometimes the only thing to do – is write poetry. Tissues and chocolate will be provided.

Love Stories with Vomit 🌟
4:00 p.m. | Brass Unicorn | feat. Christine Weidenbach, Manivone Sayasone, Elizabeth Bolanos, Tara Williams

What do Sylvia Plath, Isabel Allende, Dean Koontz, and Samuel Beckett have in common? They’ve all explored the literary intersection at which the contents of the heart and the contents of the stomach have been known to meet. Four MFA Creative Writing Fiction candidates from Fresno State take an eclectic mix of characters out for a chunder on the Sea of Love. It’s really not that far, after all, from butterflies in the belly to a full-on hurl. Mature audiences only.

Matter and Mercies: An Embodiment 🌟
4:00 p.m. | Spectrum Art Gallery | feat. Dawn Trook, Samantha Tetangco, Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco, Christa Fraser

Four Central Valley writers explore the physical world and the assumptions, assaults, and attendant graces that any body encounters, whether human, animal, or geologic–whether individual or interconnected. Their readings will include explorations of the #metoo movement as a personal and national phenomenon, Central Valley farming narratives, and stories about the creation and dissolution of identity, which serve as insufficient but essential explanations of life lived in a particular body. Mature audiences only.

No Boundaries: Prose Poems, Flash Fictions, and Other Loose Forms
4:00 p.m. | Detention Billiards | feat. Michael Medrano, Kenneth Robert Chacon, Nicholas Belardes, Marcos Dorado

Is it a poem? A story? Both? Four valley writers share their experimental verse, and other short forms for a lively reading that will make you think, cry, or feel as if you were inside  an episode of the Twilight Zone.

Sugar, Spice, Not Always Nice
4:00 p.m. | Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore | feat. Melanie Kachadoorian, Nancy Hernandez, Jackie Williams, Lena Mahmoud

Three Central Valley writers, will be reading excerpts from their nonfiction, poetry, and fiction.

The Ties That Bind Us: Teens explore the complexities of relationships
4:00 p.m. | Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt and Desserts | feat. Marcella Medina, Sophia Garcia, Frances Adelia Rundle, Angel Arellano

Four youth poets from Washington Union High School lead an exploration into the complex relationships that we may find ourselves in, by weaving a story that strings together those we love: parents and children, young love, love lost, and even ourselves. They reveal the ways that love binds us, both real and imagined.

Writing the Past 🌟
4:00 p.m. | Hi-Top Coffee | feat. Christina Lynch, Jorden Dungan, Noah Prill, Domingo Munoz

Three members of the COS Quill Creative Writing Club and a professor/novelist read from new works of historical fiction that use the past to shed light on the present. What can history teach us about where we are now? What are the challenges of writing about an era before you were born? How can historical fiction help us see beyond the names in our history books to a fuller view of those who came before us? Mature audiences only.

5:00-5:45 p.m.

Brothers For Sisters
5:00 p.m. | Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt and Desserts | feat. Dashiell Myers-Holmes, Ayran Mateo, Rory Schmidt, Lee Knight, Jr.

Four youth poets from Lowell High School in San Francisco and Lee Knight Jr will read poems about the roles boys can play in feminism and gender equality- addressing what forces can tear us apart, and what forces can bring us together.

Cat Poems and Other Beasts
5:00 p.m. | Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen | feat. Steven Church, Liz Scheid, Courtney Hughes, Jacob Kelly

A multi-genre reading, featuring two poets and two essayists, exploring human relationships with animals, our offspring, and each other; four friends searching for illumination, enlightenment, and hairballs. Must be +21 and older to enter this venue.

Exploring the Gothic (2.0): Four Women On What Continues to Haunt Us 🌟
5:00 p.m. | Brass Unicorn | feat. Alysha Hoffa, Mary Pickett, Jennifer Dean, Aaliyah Green

Sponsored by Fresno State’s San Joaquin Literary Association, “Exploring the Gothic (2.0)” brings together past and present MFA candidates – four female writers that share a deep fascination with gothic literature and tales of the supernatural. Alysha Hoffa and Jennifer Dean will read from essays that explore what it means to be truly haunted; within a former residence of an abandoned Midwestern schoolhouse and within the defense of La Llorona. Mary Pickett and Aaliyah Green will read coming-of-age stories of young women who battle with their deep connections to apparitions and the paranormal. Mature audiences only.

Inspired by the Work of Others: The Reedley College Creative Writing Faculty Share Work Inspired by Their Favorite Artists
5:00 p.m. | Spectrum Art Gallery | feat. Eileen Apperson, David Borofka, David Dominguez, Ryan LaSalle

In the ancient Greek treatise On the Sublime, the unknown narrator states, “many authors are inspired by the work of others.” Join Eileen Apperson, David Borofka, David Dominguez, and Ryan LaSalle as they share works stirred to life by artists whispering from bookshelves, stacks of vinyl, museum walls, film, and stage. Join these creative writing instructors as they reveal who inspires their work when they sit at their desks with sheets of paper and fistfuls of pencils.

Ripples: Four Femoirists
5:00 p.m. | Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore | feat. Linnea Alexander, Jamie Barker, Cindy Bradley, Jackie Williams

Ripples. Undulations. Ruffling of the surface, particularly when caused by an object dropped into its interior. Four female memoirists explore the lingering effects that an action, event or individual has had on their lives, what reverberates, what echoes from the past flow into the present. An all-girls road trip in the sixties. Losing, and regaining, a sense of self in the shadow of abusive men. Remnants of a relationship that show up in the most unexpected places. #MeToo. With themes including discontent, countering stereotypes, identity, risk-taking, renewal, and hope, these femoirists discover what emerges, what’s left behind, what to discard, and what remains.

The Weight of it All: Family Narratives as Time Travel 🌟
5:00 p.m. | Detention Billiards | feat. Arthur Morales, Jessica Turney, Xai Lee, Kirk Alvaro

Four poets, from different parts of the country, come together to read about family and how the weight of trauma, poverty, abuse, dislocation and sexual discovery can complicate how we interpret time and handle love. The themes of the reading not only overlap but often times find themselves in conversation with each other, asking the question: How do we pick up the pieces that our families helped remove? Mature audiences only.

Cada Cabeza es un Mundo: CantoMundo Poets  🌟
5:00 p.m. | The Revue | feat. Juan Luis Guzmán, Sara Borjas, Joshua Escobar a.k.a. DJ Ashtrae

Three poets representing CantoMundo, a national organization that works to cultivate Latinx poetry, come together to prove the famous dicho that every mind is its own world. Join these writers as they give you a glimpse into the galaxy that makes up their work.

6:00-6:45 p.m.

A Guided Tour of the In-Between
6:00 p.m. | Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen | feat. Marisol Baca, Larissa Mercado-López, Ife-Chudeni Oputa, Sasha Pimentel

Fresno Women Read presents four women of color with Fresno ties; countless awards; and beautiful, important new books to celebrate. These writers take us to borders, geographical and otherwise, and confront us with what is between: between countries, identities, safety and danger, waking and dream. They explore the U.S.-Mexico border, love, addiction, gender identity, the elements, family, social norms, and more, and if there were ever a quartet you’d want to help you navigate it all, this is the one.

Gateway to the Sierras: English Faculty from Clovis Community College
6:00 p.m. | Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore | feat. Galin Dent, Cynthia Elliott, Erik K. Fritz, Von Torres

Clovis. Gateway to the Sierras and, indeed, a way of life. Just not, perhaps, the “way” people often imagine. Faculty from the Department of English & Reading at Clovis Community College will read from their original poetry.

Moving Forward: Teens speak truth about the injustices facing girls and women today, and explore the journey to empowerment
6:00 p.m. | Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt and Desserts | feat. Frances Adelia Rundle, Marissa Swetnam, Jaylyn Reddix, Liliana Serna

Four youth poets from Washington Union High School give voice to a reality that is often hidden, misrepresented, or simply forgotten. Inspired by recent female empowerment movements as well as their own personal experiences, these young ladies shine a light in a dark corner of our society exploring the teen perspective on the silent crimes against women as they look for the path to empowerment.

Mujer Libre: Insiste y Resiste! 🌟
6:00 p.m. | Detention Billiards | feat. Marissa Candy Raigoza, Nancy Aidé Gonzalez, Olga García Echeverría, Yaccaira Salvatierra

Mujer Libre is a woman set free.  Free to be.  Free to speak.  Free to follow her heart.  Resiste.  She resists.  Refuses all rhetoric or doctrine that threatens human dignity or inalienable rights.  Insiste.  She insists.  Insists, as a citizen of the world, that every life be given the respect, compassion, and love that it is due.   She insists and stands.  She insists and is loud.  She insists until she’s heard.  Four mujeres.  Poetry and palabras.  Join us! Mature audiences only.

Tell Me About It: Writing About Memory and Reclamation
6:00 p.m. | The Revue | feat. Lee Herrick, Tim Z. Hernandez, Brynn Saito, Lisa Lee Herrick   

Lee Herrick, Tim Z. Hernandez, Brynn Saito, and Lisa Lee Herrick will read from new work exploring various aspects of cultural and personal memory: a Korean adoption memoir, a novel about deceased Mexican deportees and family, poems about Yonsei memories and internment, and the nature and aftermath of hidden violence on Hmong refugee families.

The Long View: Four Fresno Writers
6:00 p.m. | Spectrum Art Gallery | feat. Megan Anderson Bohigian, Corinne Clegg Hales, John Hales, C. G. Hanzlicek

Three poets and an essayist come together to read from their new and published work. In strikingly different ways, each of these writers’ work is known for profound connections to the natural world and their personal geography–the known world of conscious, observant, reflective lives––as well as their antipodes. These experiences, closely examined and wrought in poetry and prose, shed light on what it is to be human.

Write Where We’re From
6:00 p.m. | Hi-Top Coffee | feat. Cindy Bradley, Eddie Gomez, Alysha Hoffa, Jackie Huertaz

Four creative nonfiction writers spanning different generations and geographical areas converged in the Central Valley while attending Fresno State’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction program. A sense of place permeates their writing, as they discover the myriad ways we’re all influenced by where we come from. Lions and movie stars tangle in Southern California suburbia. The most amazing place in the history of the world revealed. Crime and toxic masculinity in small town Indiana. The ways we rise and fall in the grey areas of culture and class. Now, alumni of the program and on the verge of spreading out once again, they come together to read from work that explores family, identity, nostalgia, countering predisposed roles, defying expectations, rising above limitations, all woven together with threads of home.


Headline Event

7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. | Fresno City College Old Administration Building Auditorium, feat. Carmen Giménez Smith


8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. | ViSTA Theatre, located inside the Fresno Music Academy (1298 N. Wishon Avenue). FREE beer and wine (must be +21 and older with valid state or federal ID).


See You at LitHop 2018!

Fresno Arts Council logoLitHop is a Fresno Poet Laureate initiative, and donations are welcome to help sustain poetry programs from the Fresno Arts Council, a private 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to support and foster the arts in Fresno. Discover how you can support the arts by visiting online at: