Our Story

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What is LitHop?

LitHop was founded by Lee Herrick in 2016. For over a decade, he’d envisioned an all-day literary festival in Fresno that would bring together several elements: a walkable event with multiple venues, writers of all ages from middle-school to old school, writers from Fresno’s rich diversity and acclaimed award-winning authors, with one Fresno-based headliner in the evening. He wanted it to be entirely free. He wanted high quality and a lot of fun. We’re proud that all of this happened.

In 2016, after a year of hard work, LitHop was born.

We proudly featured Juan Felipe Herrera, United States Poet Laureate at the time, who told a standing room only audience at Fresno City College’s historic auditorium that “Fresno is the poetry capital of the world.” There were over 140 writers reading to packed venues throughout the day.

In 2017, we featured Gary Soto, who delivered an inspired reading to another packed house, and another 140+ writers from throughout California at nearly 40 different events gave readings throughout Fresno’s historic Tower District in bars, coffee shops, skateboard shops, bookstores, and art galleries.

LitHop is fueled by the hard working volunteers who love the written word and the unique city we share, a city known for its literary traditions and its new, bold authors enriching the literary terrain. LitHop thrives because of its writers, audiences, partners, venues, and the spirit that runs through all of us. LitHop is proud that its original vision has come to fruition, and we are deeply grateful for your support.

We look forward to seeing you at LitHop this year on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 2:00 – 8:00 pm in Fresno’s Tower District.

With gratitude and good wishes for the words inside of you,
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 Let’s keep this going, together.

LitHop is powered by parents, teachers, media makers, writers, and neighbors who believe that it’s  important to celebrate Fresno’s rich literary legacy.
If you would be interested in volunteering for next year’s festival, please contact us today!

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Special thanks to the LitHop 2017 Planning Committee: Juan Luis Guzmán (executive director), Lisa Herrick (Web editor & marketing director), Christina LeAnn Robles (graphic design & event support), Brenda Venezia (event support), Joseph Rios (event support); and all our volunteers, venue hosts, entertainment & beverage donors, readers–and supportive significant others–who made LitHop 2017 a great success!

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LitHop is an annual literary festival & Fresno Poet Laureate initiative founded by Lee Herrick (Fresno Poet Laureate Emeritus 2015-2017). The LitHop 2018 executive director is Juan Luis Guzmán. The Web editor & marketing director is Lisa Herrick.

All LitHop events, including the closing headline event, are free of charge, all-ages (unless noted otherwise), and open to the general public. All donations benefit poetry programming sponsored by the Fresno Arts Council. The next LitHop is Saturday, April 21, 2018. 


 Other questions about LitHop?

Please e-mail: LitHopFresno[at]gmail[dot]com

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