Writer Bios

Last year’s lineup featured 140+ new faces & voices, and closed with award-winning author, Gary Soto, on Saturday, April 29, 2017. Which was your favorite reading?

Full list of participating writers below. See all LitHop 2017 events listed here.

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View & print last year’s event guide: Schedule | Map


Hira Amin is a first-year fiction graduate student at Fresno State and is originally from Pakistan. (5:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)

Eileen Apperson-Williams received an M.A. in creative writing with an emphasis in nonfiction prose and an M.F.A. in poetry from Fresno State. She has published both creative nonfiction and poetry in journals such as the Platte Valley Review and Writing It Real. Her narratives focus on the landscape of the San Joaquin Valley, sense of place and ecological concerns. Her book, Patterns of the Land: The Search for Home in an Altered Landscape, was released in 2012. (4:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

Shanyn Avila is a Spiritual Mother, Sauce-Maker, Finder of Lost Things, ShittyWife, Monster-Slayer, the one who leaves with unbrushed hair and the one who remembers to turn the lights off. She is in the homestretch of her first novel and finishing a Self-Styled M.F.A. (4:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven)


Marisol Teresa Baca graduated from Fresno State University with a B.A. in English, where she received the Andres Montoya Poetry Award. Marisol received her M.F.A. with honors at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, where she was the recipient of the Robert Chasen Poetry Award, and was an editor at the award winning EPOCH journal. She currently teaches English at Fresno City College and continues to write poetry. She has just recently finished a book of poems titled, Revelato(3:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn, 4:00 p.m. at Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen)

Armen Bacon is the author of three memoirs: Griefland – an Intimate Portrait of Love, Loss and Unlikely Friendship, My Name is Armen – a Life in Column Inches, and My Name is Armen (Volume II) – Outside the Lines. A columnist for The Fresno Bee since 2014, Armen is a four-year artisan alum of the CSU Summer Arts Program, and in 2015, was named “Top Dog” Distinguished Alumna of Fresno State. She is currently working on her next book project titled: Daring to Breathe(2:00 p.m. at Teazer World Tea Market)

Emily Basiletti is a graduate of the Fresno State M.F.A. program, where she studied creative nonfiction. Since graduating, she has primarily focused on her work as an English instructor, though she is currently working on a piece about refugees who have recently been resettled in the Central Valley. (5:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Emily Beals is professional singer, songwriter, and recording artist. Mother. Massage therapist. Reiki Master Teacher. Widow. Wife again. Student. Recovering over-achiever. Teacher. Writer. Speaker. Spiritualist. Pet-parent. Tree-hugger. Animal kisser. Activist. Life-lover. Questioner. Friend. And she’s just getting started! A graduate of Fresno State with an M.A. in Composition Theory with Distinction, you can usually find her working on contemplative composition pedagogical research to present at conferences, writing for academic publications, or teaching college writing courses, but she truly has a fondness for creative nonfiction. She lives in Fresno with her husband, five cats, two dogs, and, occasionally, her football-playing son who’s currently away at college. (5:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Stella Beratlis is the author of Alkali Sink (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2015), is the current poet laureate for the City of Modesto. Her work has been published in California Quarterly, In Posse Review, hardpan, Song of the San Joaquin, Penumbra, and Quercus Review, as well as the anthology The Place That Inhabits Us: Poems of the San Francisco Bay Area Watershed. She is co-editor of More Than Soil, More Than Sky: The Modesto Poets (Quercus Review Press, 2011), and is a founding board member of the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center. Recently, she organized a Writers Resist event in Modesto. She is a public librarian and lives in Modesto with her teenage daughter. (2:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

John Beynon earned both his B.A. and M.A. at the University of Utah and his Ph.D. at the University of California, Riverside. He teaches courses in Restoration and eighteenth-century British literature and culture, queer theory, and in lesbian and gay literature. Dr. Beynon co-edited Lesbian Dames: Sapphism in the Long Eighteenth Century (Ashgate 2010) and has published essays on Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, William Beckford, Daniel Defoe, and Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. Currently, he is working on a project that explores tea-drinking culture in eighteenth-century Britain. In spring 2014, Dr. Beynon joined Fresno State’s DISCOVERe faculty learning community and uses tablet and digital technologies in his English courses. He became the English M.A. Coordinator in the Spring of 2015. (3:00 p.m. at Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen)

Anne Biggs reads at 3:00 p.m. at Teazer World Tea Market with “Clovis Authors Across Genres”.

Megan Bohigian holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fresno State, and is the author of the poetry collection Sightlines. Her poems have been anthologized in the book Shadowed: Unheard Voices, and published in many journals, including In the Grove, Whiskey Island Magazine, and The Comstock Review. She coordinates the writers’ readings for the Respite by the River events of the San Joaquin River Parkway Trust, a 7-month annual reading and music series. She lives, writes and plays music in Fresno, California. (5:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Sara Borjas is a 3rd-generation Chicana and a Fresno poet. She digs space & time, memory, aromatics, tiny prints and oldiez. Her most recent poetry can be found in Calamity, The Acentos Review and Luna Luna. She lectures in the Creative Writing Department at UC Riverside, and lives in L.A. (2:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

David Borofka’s collection of stories, Hints of His Mortality, was the winner of the 1996 Iowa Award for short fiction, the stories appearing in such journals as The Southern Review, Carolina Quarterly, Black Warrior Review, and Missouri Review, among others. His novel, The Island, was published by MacMurray & Beck, portions of which appeared in Gettysburg Review and Shenandoah. Other work has appeared in Image, Manoa, Massachusetts Review, and Glimmer Train. He is the winner of the Missouri Review Editors’ Prize and the Charles B. Wood Award from Carolina Quarterly(4:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

Brigette Bowers holds a B.A. in English Literature from San Francisco State University, an M.A. in Education from Chapman University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Fresno State University. She teaches creative writing, professional writing, and composition at UC Merced. She is also a columnist for the Merced Sun-Star; her bi-monthly column, “Against the Grain,” has appeared in the Merced Sun-Star for five years and covers a wide range of topics, many of them autobiographical in content. Her work has been published in Pachuco Children Hurl Stones, San Joaquin Review, and Under the Gum Tree. Her essay, “Attempted Homicide,” was named a Best American Notable Essay in 2015. (2:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)

Megan Bronson is a Valley native with a degree in English and an affinity for tacos, cats, and vagina. She generally writes nonfiction unless the submission guidelines say only fiction. Her daily newspaper column won third place statewide in a collegiate competition and her cats are super proud. (5:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Phyllis Brotherton holds an M.A. and M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Fresno State University. Her writing is often lyrical, experimental and genre-bending, including topics on motherhood, identity, sexuality and aging. Her work has appeared online and in print including literary journals Spry, Your Impossible Voice, Shark Reef, Pithead Chapel and Under the Gum Tree. Her essay, “Ashes and File Cabinets” was nominated for Best of the Net by Jet Fuel Review. Phyllis is currently seeking publication for her manuscript, “Creating Artifacts, Writing in the Margins.” (2:00 p.m. at Teazer World Tea Market)


David Campos reads at 2:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery for “An Allegiance to Witness”.

Amber Carpenter is an English Education student at Fresno State and is the acting opinion editor at The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper. Amber likes Thai food, slip-on Vans, and Oxford Commas. She is extremely proud of all [sic] that Fresno Women’s Reading Series has accomplished and couldn’t be more honored to be on board. (4:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Angelica Cazares is brand new to OutWords. She is a freshman at Edison high but approaches writing with the vigor and humility of a seasoned poet. Her writing is often focused on topics and issues outside herself but like her peers she is just as brave and willing to touch on personal issues. Already she is a well of inspiration the way she crafts her lines. (5:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Teresa Chacon is a Chicanx writer living in Central California, where she writes, teaches English, pretends to be an artist and gardener, and enjoys road tripping with her daughter. She received her M.F.A at Fresno State, where she was the recipient of the Andrés Montoya Scholarship. Excerpts from her first collection of stories, To Be Good, have been published in Pachuco Children Hurl Stones, and Asymmetric Magazine(2:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Kenneth Chacón is a native of Fresno, California, where he spent much of his youth and part of his adult life involved in gangs and drugs. He received his M.F.A. from Fresno State in 2004. His work has appeared in San Joaquin Review, Cimmaron Review, Poetry Quarterly, BorderSenses among others. His first collection of poems, The Cholo Who Said Nothing, was published in January 2017. He lives with his wife and children and teaches English and Chicano Literature at Fresno City College. He hopes that through his writing, he can reach the ones who need comfort, the hurt, the lost, the broken, so somehow, impossible as it once seemed, he can welcome light into a dark world. (6:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Angela Chaidez Vincent divides her time between writing, teaching computer science, and dance performance. She holds an M.F.A. from Fresno State, and her poetry has appeared in Bellevue Literary Review, Atlanta Review, 32 Poems, North American Review, and others. (5:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Zury Chavez is a Los Angeles native, born and raised in South Central. She is currently majoring in Media Studies and Gender & Women’s Studies with an emphasis on how [sic] women of color are represented in the media and how that relates to social behaviors. She is interested in community organizing and consciousness-raising. She enjoys reading, writing, and dancing to anything with a catchy beat. (4:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Kazumi Chin is the author of Having a Coke with Godzilla (Sibling Rivalry Press). He lives in California, where he works to build loving communities with marginalized people, to put language to the mechanisms of structures and identities, and the create spaces and tools that allow others to do the same. He is interested in scholarship at the intersection of art-making and critical theory, and has a profound love for maps, spreadsheets, algorithms, taxonomies, simulations, and also poetry & the mythical power of true friendship. (5:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe)

Maya Chinchilla is the author of The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética. Maya received her M.F.A. in English and Creative Writing from Mills College and her undergraduate degree from University of California, Santa Cruz, where she also founded and co-edited the annual publication, La Revista. Her work has been published in anthologies and journals including Mujeres de Maíz; Sinister Wisdom, Americas y Latinas: A Stanford Journal of Latin American Studies; Cipactli Journal; and The Lunada Literary Anthology. Maya is a founding member of the performance group Las Manas, a former artist-in-residence at Galería de La Raza in San Francisco, CA, and La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, CA, and is a VONA Voices, Dos Brujas and Letras Latinas workshop alum. She is the co-editor of Desde El Epicentro: An anthology of Central American Poetry and Art and is a lecturer at San Francisco State University, UC Davis, and other [sic] Bay Area universities. (3:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Mary Coomes holds a doctorate in history. She has worked as a union organizer and currently teaches Women’s Studies at Fresno State. She has written poetry, fiction and history. Her current work is a creative non-fiction manuscript about renovating her home and life inspired by the philosophy of the Arts and Crafts Movement of the 19th century. (6:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Angela M. Corbett is from Ohio. She’s never met anyone famous. She received her M.F.A. at Fresno State where she served as the Associate Fiction Editor and Managing Web Editor for the The Normal School. Her short story, “Grievers” won the 2015 Sonora Review Fiction Contest judged by Stuart Dybek, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. (2:00 p.m. at Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen)

Doug Cox got born and raised in Fresno, California. He is the author of The Last Decent Jukebox in America, and his recent work has appeared in Belletrist, Cimarron Review, Crab Orchard Review, Juked, New Madrid, Repurposed, and Suss. He teaches writing at Fresno State and Fresno City College, and serves as co-host of the Remix Reading Series. (4:00 p.m. at Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen)


Alana de Hinojosa is a doctoral student at University of California, Los Angeles, in the Cesar E. Chavez Department of Chicana/o Studies. She is a creative writer and interdisciplinary scholar who approaches her work as a storyteller. As a poet [pursuing] a cultural and ethnic studies dissertation, her methodology considers how various texts and materials, across form, genre and language(s), [sic] imagines alternative poetic geographies tied to histories of migration, displacement and erasure. (2:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe)

Suzy de Jesus Huerta is a composition writing professor and poet from San Jose, CA. She is a two-time VONA alumna (2010, 2012). Her work has appeared in Cheers from the Wasteland, Imaniman, The Packinghouse Review, Bordersenses, Poetry of Resistance: A Multicultural Anthology in Response to Arizona SB 1070, Xenophobia, and Injustice, Tecolote, and other journals. Suzy currently curates the reading series, Oakland Crossroads, at Studio Grand in Oakland, California. She lives in San Francisco. (5:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Jennifer De La Cruz is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern. She has competed and performed in various open mics and slams throughout the Central Valley, Southern California, and Hawaii. She was a participant in the Fresno Grand Opera’s Opera Remix event in 2015 and their Music & Verse event in 2016. Her most recent work, titled, “Dear Pornography,” was published by xxxchurch.com and she has plans to write a chapbook. (4:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Yvonne A. De La Cruz Sánchez is the [sic] author of idyllic, motley prose, with a sprinkling of quixotic poetry, some of which has been published in community college anthologies and university journals, such as Modesto Junior College’s Celebration of Humanities and CSU Stanislaus’ Penumbra. Painter of obscure and sublime art. Sketcher of impromptu portraits. Singer of bedtime stories. Maker of dreams for three beautiful girls. Appreciative and loving wife of a stay-at-home father. Believer in the future. Self-healer in progress. Wearer of heart-on-sleeve. Organizer of toys and books. Motivator of learning minds. Invoker of critical thought. Imbiber of words. Humble writer of a first novel, which is wholly casted from a bronze heart. (4:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Jennifer M. Dean earned her M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction at Fresno State and her M.A. in poetry from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her work has appeared in Crazyhorse, Poetry Quarterly, Midwestern Gothic, and elsewhere. She has three dogs whom she has accidentally taught to spell the works BATH, WALK, and DINNER. (3:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

Oscar Del Toro is a Fresno native and recent graduate from UC Santa Cruz, where he studied literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. He is both a poet and fiction writer, and has had his poems published for two of UCSC literary magazines: Matchbox Magazine and Red Wheelbarrow Anthology. He authored a chapbook titled Cuidado Con Las Espinas for his senior project and has another upcoming chapbook, In All But Paper(4:00 p.m. at Teazer World Tea Market)

David Dominguez holds a B.A. in comparative literature from the University of California, Irvine, and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Arizona. He is the author of the collections Work Done Right (University of Arizona Press) and The Ghost of César Chávez (C&R Press). His poems have appeared in numerous journals, such as Crab Orchard Review, The Bloomsbury Review, Border Senses Literary Magazine, PALABRA a Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art, and Southern Review. In addition, his work has been anthologized in The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry; Bear Flag Republic: Prose Poems and Poetics from California; and Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing. New work is forthcoming in Miramar and in the anthology Latino Poetics (University of New Mexico Press). (4:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery, 6:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)


Tongo Eisen-Martin, originally from San Francisco, Tongo Eisen-Martin is a movement worker and educator who has organized against mass incarceration and extra-judicial killing of Black people throughout the United States. He has taught in detention centers from New York’s Rikers Island to California county jails. He designed curricula for oppressed people’s education projects from San Francisco to South Africa. His latest curriculum on extrajudicial killing of Black people, We Charge Genocide Again, has been used as an educational and organizing tool throughout the country. His poems have been published in SFMOMA’s Open Space and Harper’s Magazine. His latest book of poems titled, Someone’s Dead Already, was nominated for a California Book Award. His next book titled Heaven Is All Goodbyes is being published in the City Lights Pocket Poets Series. (6:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)

Anoush Ekparian-Hadden is a teacher-activist [sic] and a harsh, moving poet. (4:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)

James Espinoza is currently an English professor at College of the Sequoias, [sic] and his writing has appeared in the anthology Windows into My World (Arte Publico Press, 2009), Metroactive, Vulcan, Yellow Medicine Review, turnrow, theNewerYork, among other publications. In 2011, Slipstream nominated his poem, “The Patience of Beans,” for a Pushcart Prize. (6:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)


Andrea Farber-De Zubiria’s poems have appeared in literary journals such as Cargo, Hoot Review, The Offbeat, Foliate Oak, Mothers Always Write, The San Joaquin Review and Smokey Blue. A Physical Therapist by profession, her writing reflects her appreciation for all things kinesthetic, mindful and quirky. She is passionate about community health and the arts and is one of the organizers of CenCalVia, Fresno’s second annual Open Street event. (6:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Jamie Asaye FitzGerald has poems published in magazines and anthologies including The American Poetry Review, Mom Egg Review, and Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts in Los Angeles (Tia Chucha Press, 2016). She holds an M.F.A. in poetry from San Diego State University. Originally from Hawaii, she lives in Los Angeles. (2:00 p.m. at Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen)

Theo Flores is an English major working on his A.A., attending Community College in the same South Valley town where he was born and raised, Porterville, CA. He spends the majority of his time writing or reading poetry and short stories. He writes with the hope that one day his own collection of poems and stories will inspire future generations of young writers, but he’d settle for just being published for now. (2:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Patrick Fontes, Ph.D., received his Ph.D. in American History from Stanford University. Patrick’s poetry has appeared in The Más Tequila Review, the Acentos Review, The James Franco Review, Suisun Valley Review, Silver Birch Press, as well the Latino literary site La Bloga. Floricanto Press published Patrick’s first novel, Maria’s Purgatorio, in January 2016. (6:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)

Carribean Fragoza is a writer and artist from South El Monte, CA. She has published fiction and poetry in publications such as Palabra Literary Magazine, Emohippus, BOMB Magazine, and Huizache Magazine. Her arts/culture reviews and essays have been published in online national and international magazines such as Letras Libres, Culture Strike, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Tropics of Meta. She is founder and co-director of the South El Monte Art Posse (SEMAP), a multi-disciplinary arts collective. (6:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe)

Christa Fraser grew up in the Central Valley. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she has taught online for the International Writing Program, the University of Iowa, and is currently a writing instructor at UC Merced. She has also been a fiction fellow at the MacDowell Colony and was both a first- and a second-year fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her work has been published in The Missouri Review and published online in ShankPainter 2015 and 2016. She is currently working on a novel. (3:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)


Olga García Echeverría is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants. She is the author of Falling Angeles: Cuentos y Poemas. She teaches literature to college students and creative writing to 5th graders. She lives, writes, and shape shifts in Los Angeles. (6:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

Thalea Gastelum is a student at Fresno State, rolling with the punches, taking life as it comes, welcoming the journey with open arms. She keeps a pen and paper nearby for all the raw stories that come from the chaos. Her writing is inspired by her surroundings and a desire to move her reader to feel something. She thanks the one and only, T. Chacon, for making her feel seen after so long and for showing her how badass writing can be. (2:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Kathleen Godfrey (Ph.D. Literature) is the co-director of the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project. She has published numerous scholarly articles, interviews, and essays. She is an Associate Professor of English at Fresno State University. (3:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)

Eddie Gomez is a late bloomer to writing and good living, which has led him to develop a case of wanderlust. Movement is a principle in his life. He enjoys travel and writing about people and food. He is in his third year within the Fresno State M.F.A. program, where he studies creative nonfiction, works as a composition teacher and contributes to several other endeavors, including as associate editor of The Normal School online. He has also finished his first manuscript, which is partially a travel adventure. (6:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Esmeralda Gonzales is a sophomore at Washington Union High School (WUHS) in Easton, California. She has been writing for several years and finds writing to be a cure for her life’s heartaches. She believes in speaking the truth, even if it’s hard. Esmeralda is an active member of the WUHS Poetry Club as well as the school choir. (2:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Nancy Aidé González is a Chicana poet, educator, and activist. Her work has appeared in Huizache-The Magazine of Latino Literature, La Tolteca, Mujeres De Maiz Zine, DoveTales, Seeds of Resistance Flor y Canto: Tortilla Warrior, Hinchas de Poesía, and several other literary journals. Her work is featured in the Poetry of Resistance: Voices for Social Justice, Sacramento Voices: Foam at the Mouth Anthology and Lowriting: Shots, Rides & Stories from the Chicano Soul. (3:00 p.m.m at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore, 6:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

Cynthia Guardado is a Salvadorian-American poet and professor of English. She received her Master of Fine Arts from Fresno State, with an emphasis in poetry. Her poems have appeared in Huizache, Bozalta Journal, The Acentos Review, The Packinghouse Review, Palabra: A Magazine of Chicano and Literary Art, and Wandering Song, an anthology of Central American writing forthcoming from Tia Chucha’s Press. Her debut collection of poetry, Endeavor, was published by World Stage Press in 2017. (2:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery, 4:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Juan Luis Guzmán is the director of LitHop 2017; and has written for Poets’ Quarterly, and his work has most recently appeared in CRATElit, Huizache, and Pilgrimage. He earned an M.F.A. from Fresno State. A member of the Macondo Writer’s Workshop and a fellow of CantoMundo, he teaches writing at Fresno City College. (4:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe, 5:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)


Steven Hammond reads at 3:00 p.m. at Teazer World Tea Market for “Clovis Authors Across Genres”.

Juliana Harris is a journalist who spent much of her career covering science, medicine and the cultural arts. Upon retiring from full-time writing and editing, she returned to her first passion–making visual art. You can visit her online gallery at julianaharris.com. She also volunteers for Fresno Wildlife Rehabilitation, where she cares for orphaned and injured wildlife. (6:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Gilliann Hensley is a long time Central Valley resident who was born in Los Angeles. She is currently completing her third and final year as an M.F.A. student at Fresno State with a focus on Creative Non-Fiction, where she also works as a tutor at the Writing Center and serves as Assistant Managing Editor for The Normal School literary magazine. In her writing, she tends to use nature as a vehicle for exploring human relationships both to each other and to the world around them. (6:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Tim Z. Hernandez is an award winning poet, novelist, and performance artist. His debut collection of poetry, Skin Tax (Heyday Books), received the 2006 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, and the James Duval Phelan Award from the San Francisco Foundation. His debut novel, Breathing, In Dust (Texas Tech University Press), was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, and went on to receive the 2010 Premio Aztlan Prize in Fiction. His second collection of poetry, Natural Takeover of Small Things, was released in 2013 and received the 2014 Colorado Book Award, and his novel, Mañana Means Heaven, which is based on the life of Bea Franco, also released in 2013, went on the receive the 2014 International Latino Book Award in historical fiction. Both books are with the University of Arizona Press. His latest book, All They Will Call You, was released on January 28, 2017, also with the University of Arizona Press. A genre bending work labeled a Documentary Novel, it is based on the song by Woody Guthrie, “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee).” (3:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe, 5:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

Destina Hernandez is a student at College of the Sequoias. She has performed at local poetry slams in Fresno and Visalia and has also performed in the Rogue Festival for the past two years. She plans to double major in literature and creative writing and wants to teach at a high school. (6:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo reads at 4:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffè for “Latinidad Across the U.S.: Emerging Voices in Contemporary Poetry”.

Yari Herrera is from Fresno and secretly loves to write, but hasn’t thus far shared any of her works. (4:00 p.m. at Teazer World Tea Market)

Lee Herrick was the Fresno Poet Laureate (2015-2017) and the founder of LitHop. He is the author of two books, Gardening Secrets of the Dead and This Many Miles from Desire, and his poems appear or are forthcoming in The Normal School, The Bloomsbury Review, Columbia Poetry Review, and Indivisible: Poems of Social Justice, among others. Born in Daejeon, Korea, and adopted at ten months, he lives in California and teaches at Fresno City College and in the M.F.A. Program at Sierra Nevada College. (2:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe)

Alyssa Hoffa‘s personal essays, poems, and reviews have appeared in Southern Indiana Review, Atticus Review, The Broken Plate, and Sliver of Stone, among others. Her essay, “Colorless Life: An Essay in Grayscale,” was named a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2014. She is currently an M.F.A. candidate at Fresno State, where she is the President of the San Joaquin Literary Association and the Senior Associate Creative Nonfiction Editor for The Normal School(3:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

Javier O. Huerta is the author of the groundbreaking Some Clarifications y otros poemas and the cult classic, American Copia, both published by Arte Publico Press. He earned his M.F.A. from the Bilingual Creative Writing Program at the University of Texas at El Paso. He lives in Berkeley, California. (3:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Erica Hughes is a M.F.A. poetry student at Fresno State. (5:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)


Randa Jarrar is an associate professor of English at Fresno State and a recent Lannan Foundation fellow. [sic] Her latest story collection is Him, Me, Muhammad Ali from Sarabande Books. She won an Arab-American Book Award for her debut novel, A Map of Home(3:00 p.m. at Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen, 6:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe)

Delmira Jimenez is a freshman at Washington Union High School in Easton, California. Delmira has been writing for four years. She finds that writing and performing poetry is a good outlet and has given her a great sense of confidence in herself. Delmira believes that poetry is important because it allows people to express themselves in a very genuine way. Delmira admits to being a lover of mint-chocolate chip ice cream, running, and everything Harry Potter. (2:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Breanna Johnson graduated from Fresno State in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. She is currently working on a teaching credential and Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction and will begin teaching in August 2017. Her goals in life include: advocating for the youth, teaching empathy through literature and helping young people seek their truths. (4:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)

Arielle Jones earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. While in San Francisco she served as Editor in Chief for the campus’s undergraduate literary magazine. Prior to joining the M.F.A. program at California State University, Fresno, she was grateful to attend the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. (3:00 p.m.m at Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen, 4:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)


Melanie Kachadoorian has an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction. She teaches at Fresno State and Reedley College. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Exposition Review, If and Only If, and Monkey Puzzle. (4:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Matthew Kenerly is a Fresno native who’s in his second year within the Fresno State MFA program. He is an editor and writer for SB Nation’s Mountain West Connection blog, where he has covered Fresno State football and Mountain West athletics for nearly four years, as well as the social media coordinator for the Fresno State Writing Center, The Normal School literary magazine and the San Joaquin Literary Association. He hopes to parlay his limitless enthusiasm for sports into the world of literary journalism and raise the discourse around the relationship between athletics and their communities. (6:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Loretta Kennedy writes lies that tell the truth about families and relationships, revealing the complex territories that exist within. She is a former Fresno State Graduate Equity Fellow, UCLA Extension Writers’ Program Fellow, and a recipient of University of Washington PCE’s Scholarship and Fishtrap’s Sally Bowerman/Bob Hall Memorial Scholarship. Loretta teaches writing at UC Merced and earned an M.F.A. from Fresno State. (2:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn, 3:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Kerry Klein is a radio and print reporter who’s covered issues ranging from air and water quality to renewable energy and space exploration. After stints at KQED, the San Jose Mercury News, and NASA, she freelanced for outlets like The Atlantic, Science, and Stanford Magazine. In 2015, she was awarded a grant from the Public Radio Exchange to report a national story on the health effects of noise pollution. After growing up near Boston, Kerry graduated from McGill University with a B.S. in geology. When she began working as an exploration geologist and geothermal energy analyst, radio reporting was a distant and unlikely future. But she found meaning in media while hosting a talk show at a Montreal public radio station and later while producing a podcast for Science Magazine. She subsequently studied science journalism at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is excited to be exploring community health and the rich diversity of the San Joaquin Valley here at KVPR. (3:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe)

Dana Koster is the author of Binary Stars, winner of the 2016 Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series. She was raised in Ventura, CA, and went on to earn degrees from UC Berkeley and Cornell University. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow and the recipient of a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, Koster’s poems have appeared in EPOCH, Indiana Review, Southern Humanities Review, Cincinnati Review, The Collagist, and many others. A founding member of the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center, she lives in Modesto, CA with her husband and two sons, where she works as a wedding photographer. (2:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Belinda Kremer is the author of Decoherence: Poems, and numerous artist’s books, including Blue: Poems for New York; All Begin Guy Walks into a Bar; and Departure. The poetry editor of CONFRONTATION: The Literary Magazine, now in its 50th year, she welcomes your submissions there, including to its 2017 Poetry Prize, which she will judge (see confrontationmagazine.org). She holds an M.F.A. from the University of Michigan; among her awards is the Rackham Prize for Poetry. Belinda is faculty in UC Merced’s Merritt Writing Program, and is the co-editor of COLLIDE: Styles, Structures, & Ideas in Disciplinary Writing. A native Californian who has long lived elsewhere, she is happily returned home, and currently at work on multiple manuscripts and in the exploratory steps of a translation project on Alma Rubens’ Corazon: Poemario(2:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)


Nena Larieze is an activistic, soap-boxy, mother-bearish, adventure-seeking, anxiety-ridden poet and educator. Her work has been featured and published in Poetry to Feed the Spirit and Love and other Passions, as well as university publications within the University of Central Florida and Valencia College. She has a collection of poetry and nonfiction prose entitled Activistic, available on http://www.amazon.com, and posts poetry on http://www.nenalarieze.com. In between teaching and chasing after toddlers, she is working on a novel, a collection of short nonfiction, and poetry entitled The Sea Also Rises, Chronicles of a Broken Childhood and On Maternity Leave: When Anxiety Meets Silence. Her poetry has been featured at Queen Bean Coffee in Modesto and Bad Ass Coffee in Orlando, FL. She is scheduled to participate in the Women’s Slam in Stockton honoring Women’s History Month and Spoke’n’Heard Poetry Slam at Merced’s Multicultural Arts Center. (4:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Ryan LaSalle attended college at Fresno State and received his B.A. in English in 1996 and his M.A. in Composition Studies in 2002. He finished his first screenplay in 1994 and has continued writing for more than a decade. His award-winning screenplay, The Fall of Dreams, has earned numerous distinctions including: genre winner in the Screenwriting Expo 4 screenplay competition (2005), finalist in the Scriptapalooza screenplay competition (2006), and quarterfinalist in the Austin Film Festival screenplay competition (2005-2007). (4:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

Jon Latham reads at 3:00 p.m. at Teazer World Tea Market for “Clovis Authors Across Genres”.

Michelle Lin is a poet, activist, and author of A House Made of Water (Sibling Rivalry Press, a lyrical examination of Asian American identity, gender and daughterhood, the inheritance of stories, and survival from trauma. Her latest poems can be found in HEArt, Apogee, Powder Keg Magazine, and more. She has performed for Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture, grlhood–redefining the I // here I am, Litquake, and more. She is a Kundiman fellow. (5:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe)

Kenji Liu’s poetry collection, Map of an Onion, is the 2015 national winner of the Hillary Gravendyk Prize. His writing appears in The American Poetry Review, Asian American Literary Review, Barrow Street Journal, CURA, RHINO, Split This Rock’s poem of the week series, and several anthologies. He is also the author of the poetry chapbook You Left Without Your Shoes. A recipient of fellowships from Kundiman, VONA/Voices, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and Community of Writers at SV, he holds an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Social Transformation. (5:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe)

Gloria Longin is a poet, blogger, and self-proclaimed over-lover from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, raised in Florida, and currently calling North East Los Angeles her home. You can find her performing at open mics at the World Stage in Leimert Park and Avenue 50’s La Palabra in Highland Park. She is a member of Las Lunas Locas womyn’s writing collective. She has released poetry in The Grid Zine of her candid, playful, diasporic “Immigrant”. She is actively working on a collection of poetry and short story fiction. At CSU Fullerton, she recently performed a collection of poems on the intersection of veganism and blackness: the role of social awareness in our lives and how we love those realms. Gloria describes her work as flowing into consciousness, weaving into nature, spiritual work, with the dynamic impact of lust and love. (4:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Abril Lopez is a Fresno native and recent graduate of UC Santa Cruz. She earned her degree in History of Art and Visual Culture, an endeavor that has seen her travel to Mexico to study the fashion of ancient indigenous peoples. She is a spokeswoman for both immigrant and women’s rights. (4:00 p.m. at Teazer World Tea Market)

Aurelia Lorca is a poet, storyteller, and high school English teacher who lives in San Francisco, California. She has her B.A. in English from UC Davis, her M.F.A. in Writing and Consciousness from California Institute of Integral Studies, and is an alumna of the Voices of Our Nation Writing Workshops. Her work has appeared in The Acentos Review, Huizache, Luna Luna, Quailbell, and Razorhouse Magazine. Her manuscript, Monterey Gothic, won Honorable Mention in Leapfrog Press’s Fiction Contest. She is interested in how Lorca’s duende, the duende of Andalusia and flamenco, is a cross cultural spirit. (6:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)


Alison Mandaville earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Washington. She has published poetry in a number of national and international journals such as Fifth Wednesday and Berkeley Poetry Review. A Fulbright Scholar to Azerbaijan in 2007-8, she lectured at Azerbaijan University of Languages and Qafqaz University. She returns regularly to the Caucasus to teach creative writing and conduct research. Publications include poetry, book and journal articles on comics, literature, and Azerbaijani studies. She recently co-edited and translated an anthology, Poetry by Women in Azerbaijan: Classical to Soviet (2014, UNESCO). She is an Assistant Professor at California State University, Fresno. (3:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)

Nicolas Mareshall: Born in Santiago, Chile. Studied Latin-American, English and American Literature at Fresno State. Has a Master’s Degree in Hispanic Literature with an emphasis on Literary Theory. Founder of Revista Literaria Austral. In 2001, he was a Golden Pen recipient from the San Francisco Cultural Center for Latino Arts. Poems from his book, Sueños deshabitados (Empty Dreams) (2010), have been published in literary journals in Ottawa, Canada, and Chile. His second book of poems, Rostros en la lluvia (Visage under the rain) (2017) is currently being published by Editorial Porrua, in Mexico City. (2:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Lizbeth Marquez was born in Mexico. She began writing poetry and short stories at an early age. In eighth grade, she was published in an anthology. In 2010, she obtained a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Degree. Her thesis, “The Last Leaf,” was highly recommended for publication. She writes poetry and fiction. (2:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Jasmine Marshall Armstrong is a Doctoral Student in Interdisciplinary Humanities at UC Merced, and holds an M.F.A. from Fresno State. Her poetry has been published in Sojourners magazine, Askew, Solo Press, Corners of the Mouth: A Celebration of 30 Years at the San Luis Obispo Poetry Festival and L.A. Miscellany. A visual artist as well as poet, Marshall Armstrong is also a former journalist, and enjoys tweeting hardball policy questions to the supposed President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. (3:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Renato Martinez: Born in Santiago, Chile. Studied at UC, San Diego, wherein he received a Doctorate in Contemporary Latin American Literature, in 1985. He has taught Spanish, literature, and Hispanic American Culture at the University of Iowa, Cornell College, Iowa, and presently at Fresno City College. He has published two poetry books: Estaciones, and Caminos(2:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Cecilia Martinez-Gil is a poet, writer, translator and former journalist. She is the author of two books of poetry, a fix of ink (Finishing Line Press, 2016) and Psaltery and Serpentines (Gival Press, 2010), winner of the 2010 Poetry Award. Psaltery and Serpentines was a finalist for the ForeWord Reviews’ Book of the Year Award for Poetry, a finalist in the USA National Best Books Award for Poetry, and Runner-Up for the Los Angeles Book Festival Poetry Award (2010). Martinez-Gil’s poems have been published in Voices, A Santa Monica Women’s College Publication, Anthology of Latin American Writers in Los Angeles, Imaginarias: Antología de Poesía (Ediciones de la Crítica, Montevideo, Uruguay), and on her first chapbook Muecas de Fósforo (Ediciones Caballo de Fuego, Montevideo, Uruguay 1987). Her work as a journalist/writer has been published on several Uruguayan newspapers and magazines (1987-1989). She also co-wrote and played the lead character in the award-winning (SODRE) experimental video Itinerarios, directed by Roberto Mascaró (CEMA 1988). She teaches English and Latin American Literatures at Santa Monica College. (3:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)

Mas Masumoto: A third generation farmer, Masumoto grows organic peaches, nectarines, and raisins on an 80 acre farm south of Fresno, CA. Masumoto is currently a columnist for The Fresno Bee and The Sacramento Bee. He was a Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow from 2006-2008. His writing awards include Commonwealth Club Silver medal, Julia Child Cookbook award, the James Clavell Literacy Award and a finalist in the James Beard Foundation awards. Wisdom of the Last Farmer was honored as “Best Environmental Writing in 2009” by National Resources Defense Council. The Perfect Peach was named by USA Today as one of best summer cookbooks in 2013. Masumoto received the “Award of Distinction” from UC Davis in 2003 and the California Central Valley “Excellence in Business” Award in 2007. He is currently a board member of the Fresno Regional Foundation and the Public Policy Institute of California. He has served on the James Irvine Foundation from 2002-2014, and is the former chair of the California Council for the Humanities board. In 2013, President Obama appointed Masumoto the National Council on the Arts, the board for the National Endowment for the Arts. (3:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe)

Nikiko Masumoto first learned to love food as a young child slurping the nectar of overripe organic peaches on the Masumoto Family Farm. Since then, she has never missed a harvest. Farmer, artist, and leader, Nikiko works alongside her father to raise organic peaches, nectarines and grapes. She hopes to add another generation’s voice to the story of the Masumoto Family Farm. She calls herself an “agrarian artists” cultivating the richness of life in the Central Valley through farming, food, stories, art, & community. In 2007 she graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Gender and Women’s Studies and in 2011 completed a Master of Arts in Performance as Public Practice at the University of Texas, Austin. She debuted her one-woman show “What We Could Carry” about Japanese American Redress hearings in 2011. In 2012, she started the Valley Storytellers Project whose aim was to create spaces for people to tell stories in and about the Central Valley. Her intellectual & artistic curiosities continue to inspire creations and inquiries into community building, memory, place, public art, justice and healing. In 2013 she published her first book, The Perfect Peach (Ten Speed Press), co-authored with Marcy & David Mas Masumoto. She and Mas have a new book, Changing Season: A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm (Heyday). (3:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe)

Zyanna Maynard is a senior at Edison High and student of OutWords. She has participated with OutWords starting her freshman year. Since then she has featured at many events and venues performing her poetry for intimate crowds and large audiences. Zyanna is a thoughtful, often goofy, fun-loving student who is no stranger to sharing her often incisive and gorgeous writing. (5:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Bryan Medina is a former student of U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and his poetry has graced stages in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Kansas City. He founded the Inner Ear as a way to free poetry from the confines of academic institutions, making it accessible to all. Medina has been awarded two City of Fresno Commendations, including the 2014 Fresno Arts Council Horizon Award, for contributions to the rich artistic and cultural heritage in Fresno, CA. He has been featured as one of the four “Fresno Poets” from writer Nick Belardes’s Distinguished Valley Writers series, and he was an honorable mention for the 2006 Larry Levis Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in journals such as Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets, In the Grove, the San Joaquin Review, Jubilee, and Invisible Memoirs. Medina is a recent graduate of Fresno Pacific University and plans to teach special education. (6:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Michael Medrano is the author of Born in the Cavity of Sunsets (Bilingual Press). His poems and short-fiction have appeared in The Cortland Review, North American Review, Rattle, Askew, The Packinghouse Review, and more. He is the host of Pakatelas, an interview show on KFCF 88.1FM, of and about poets, prose writers, y mas. You can also find Medrano’s sports related articles where he writes about the Oakland Raiders on Cover32.com and Yahoo! Sports. He teaches English at Fresno City College, and considers Fresno, the center of the universe. (6:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Larissa Mercado-Lopez is an assistant professor of Women’s Studies at Fresno State, and has a doctorate in Literature from the University of Texas San Antonio. Her book, Esteban de Luna, Baby Rescuer! is newly released from Arté Público Press (2017). Larissa’s current children’s manuscript recounts the 1917 protest against the chemical delousing of Mexicans on the border. (6:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe)

Maceo Montoya grew up in Elmira, California. He comes from a family of artists, including his father Malaquias Montoya, a renowned artist, activist, and educator, and his late brother, Andrés Montoya, whose poetry collection, The Iceworker Sings and Other Poems, won the American Book Award in 2000. Maceo graduated from Yale University in 2002 and received his Master of Fine Arts in visual art from Columbia University in 2006. Montoya’s first novel, The Scoundrel and the Optimist (Bilingual Review, 2010), was awarded the 2011 International Latino Book Award for “Best First Book” and Latino Stories named him one of its “”Top Ten New Latino Writers to Watch.”” In 2014, University of New Mexico Press published his second novel, The Deportation of Wopper Barraza, and Copilot Press published Letters to the Poet from His Brother, a hybrid book combining images, prose poems, and essays. You Must Fight Them, a novella and story collection, was published by University of New Mexico Press in 2015 and was named a finalist for Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award. TheLatinoAuthor.com cited it as one of its “Top Ten Best Fiction Books by Latino Authors for 2015.” Just released, Montoya’s latest publication, Chicano Movement for Beginners, is a work of graphic nonfiction. Montoya is an assistant professor in the Chicana/o Studies Department at UC Davis where he teaches the Chicana/o Mural Workshop and courses in Chicano Literature. He is also the director of Taller Arte del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA), a community-based arts organization located in Woodland, CA. (3:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Jamie Moore is an English Professor at College of the Sequoias and coordinator of Women Who Submit, Fresno Chapter. She is the author of the novella, Our Small Faces, and has work featured in Drunk Monkeys Magazine, Mojave River Review, Book Riot, and others. She is the Literary and Workshops Director for the Mixed Remixed Festival, and a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow. She received her M.F.A. in Fiction & Creative Writing Pedagogy from Antioch University, Los Angeles. (3:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn, 6:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Arthur Morales was born in El Paso, Texas, where he graduated from University of Texas, El Paso, with his bachelor’s degree. He is currently a second year student in Fresno State’s M.F.A. program, where he studies Creative Nonfiction and serves as the managing editor for The Normal School’s online platform. He is working on his thesis, which is a memoir that explores loss, illness and peace. (6:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Thomas Morton reads at 3:00 p.m. at Teazer World Tea Market for “Clovis Authors Across Genres”.


Trinity Serafina Najera-Bartlett is a junior at Washington Union High School in Easton, California. She has been writing for twelve years. Trinity loves to write and perform poetry. She finds poetry to be an outlet in life and performs because she loves to do it. Trinity thinks that poetry is important because it shows us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. She has been reading and writing since she was four years old and dreams of becoming an author or psychologist. Trinity’s believes in equality for all. (2:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Rosa Lisbeth Navarrete is a Writer, Filmmaker, and Performing Artist Immigrant, born in Perú and raised in Los Angeles. She’s proud to be part of Las Lunas Locas circle of writers. She’s just discovered her love for poetry, and is enjoying sharing her work. Her spoken word piece “I come from…” was performed at the Los Angeles UCB for the Gringos Improv Night – Hispanic Heritage Month! (Oct 5, 2016), at Late Nights in East Los’ FB Live Show (Nov 8, 2016), and with Las Lunas Locas at the Melrose Below Free Literary Festival 2016 (Nov 12, 2016). Her short play “Comete Flores” will be amongst the other Frida Kahlo inspired pieces featured in the upcoming Chicanas, Cholas, Y Chisme 2017 Play Festival – Su Frida Calo! beginning March 17, 2017. Rosa’s immigrant experiences has contributed to her creative spirit; it’s nourished her desire for constructive and compassionate social change within the work. She has completed two Undoing Racism training workshops with The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (pisab.org). Education: Pre-professional filmmaking skills (Inner-City Filmmakers), Bachelor’s in English with minors in Creative Writing and Dance Performance (University of California, Berkeley), and she is a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst, CLMA (Integrated Movement Studies). (4:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)


James O’Bannon is a M.F.A. student at Fresno State University with a focus in poetry. He received his undergraduate degree in Creative Writing at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Kentucky. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, James developed a love for poetry at an early age and set out to discover what all was possible through language and poetry. Recently James has been experimenting with voice and narrative in his poetry, which has opened his eyes to new possibilities in his poetry. James credits his success so far to his grandmother, who instilled a love of reading and language in him from a young age. (5:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)


Leslie Patron lives and writes in San Jose, California, where she edits the place-based journal Cheers from the Wasteland. Her writing has appeared in littletell, Entropy, Weird Sister, Harp & Altar, La Petite Zine, Swine Mag, and others. She recently self-published a book-length lyric essay called MOBS: A History of St. James Park. She is the Social Media Editor for 1913 Press and is an active member of the San Jose zine community. (5:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Michelle Patton teaches English at Fresno City College. Her poems have appeared in The Atlanta Review, Zyzzyva, Southern Poetry Review, and others. (4:00 p.m. at Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen)

Mary Pickett is in her second year of the M.F.A. Fiction program at Fresno State. She is a proud member of the San Joaquin Literary Association, and is the fiction reader for The Normal School. When she’s not reading speculative fiction for a literature class or writing her own YA-esque short stories for workshop, she enjoys binge-watching episodes of Supernatural and Bob’s Burgers on Netflix. (3:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

Danielle Potter is studying creative nonfiction in Fresno State’s M.F.A. creative writing program. Danielle has been published in The San Joaquin Review 2015 and 2016 issues. In 2016, she was on the editorial staff for the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. So far this year, she is on the editing staff for The San Joaquin Review, read for the Chicano Writers and Artists Association (CWAA) at the Rogue Festival, and ran a workshop for the Young Writers’ Conference. (5:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)

Courtney Lizbeth Potts received her B.S. in Biology from Sierra Nevada College in 2016. After threatening to switch majors for the entirety of her senior year, she finally did and is currently pursuing her M.F.A. at the low-residency program at Sierra Nevada College. Courtney is a mental health advocate and runs the blog, Pens, Pages, & Antidepressants, to provide information and support to students with mental illnesses. Courtney is a professional worrier and lives in Madera with her 12-year-old dachshund, Peanut. Her favorite pastime is making loud noises to disrupt Peanut’s constant napping. (5:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)


Monique Quintana is the managing editor of the blogazine, Razorhouse, contributing fashion editor at Luna Luna Magazine and writes for CLASH Media. Her work has appeared in Huizache, Bordersenses, and The Acentos Review, among others. She is a member of the Central Valley Women Writers of Color collective and likes to binge watch horror shows and collect zines in her free time. (2:00 p.m. at Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen)


Marissa Candy Raigoza is a teacher, writer, poem collector, and thrift store fanatic from Fresno, California. She’s a graduate of Fresno State where she received a bachelor’s in English, and San Diego State University where she received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Recently, Sugartown Publishing accepted her work for an upcoming publication: The Biggest Valley: Poems from California’s Heartland. Her work has appeared in The San Joaquin Review, Flies, Cockroaches and Poets, and Chachalaca Review. (6:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

Mayra Ramirez is a junior at Edison High. Her start with OutWords began in fits and spurts but this school year she has given writing poetry her all. Self-described shy, Mayra can be unassuming but rest assured she is just as strong and enthusiastic. Her writing centers around the hurdles of social anxieties and the preservation of happiness. (5:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Jaylyn Reddix is a sophomore at Washington Union High School in Easton, California. She writes and performs poetry to get her feelings out on paper. She finds that it is easier to share her thoughts with the person they are meant for when she writes it in a poem. Jaylyn says of poetry “it allows us to speak our truth and connect with our audience in important ways.” She believes that her life experiences, no matter how chaotic, does not define who she is. Jaylyn accepts people for who they are, and believes we are more powerful when we unite together. (3:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Luivette Resto: a mother, teacher, poet, and Wonder Woman fantastic, as born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, but proudly raised in the Bronx. Her two books of poetry, Unfinished and Ascension, were published by Tia Chicha Press. She is a CantoMundo fellow. Some of her latest work can be read in Entropy Magazine, Coiled Serpent, Altadena Anthology 2015 & 2016, and a forthcoming anthology of Afro-Latino poetry titled ¡Manteca! published by Arte Publico Press. Currently, she lives in the Los Angeles area with her three children. (5:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

Yosimar Reyes reads at 4:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffè for “Latinidad Across the U.S.: Emerging Voices in Contemporary Poetry”.

Joseph Rios reads at 2:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffè for “Fuel for Our Fires: Poets on Literary Ancestry, Heroes, and Inspiration”.

Angelica Rodriguez is a sophomore at Washington Union High School in Easton, California. She has been writing and performing poetry for one year. Angelica writes poetry to express her feelings that are often to hard to say out loud. She feels that poetry is important because it helps people to express themselves. Angelica has been an active cheerleader for nine years and is currently on the Washington Union Cheer Squad. (2:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Frances Rundle is a sophomore at Washington Union High School in Easton, California. She’s been writing poetry for several years. This is her first year on the WUHS Slam Poetry Team. She has experience as a theatre performer, which has helped her when performing poetry. Frances has a wonderful way with words and craft poems that allow her audience to feel every word. Frances is an avid runner and competes with the Washington Union Track and Field Team. (3:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)


Erick Sáenz is a Latinx writer from Los Angeles, currently living in San Jose. He is a contributing editor for the online journal Cheers From The Wasteland. In 2017, he launched a poetry zine called Saplings. In addition to several self-released chapbooks, his fiction has previously appeared in Hobart, Entropy, Alien Mouth, Pinball, and Elderly Magazine. He drinks too much coffee. (5:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Crystal Salas reads at 2:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery for “An Allegiance to Witness”.

Dixie Salazar reads at 2:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffè for “Fuel for Our Fires: Poets on Literary Ancestry, Heroes, and Inspiration”.

Yaccaira Salvatierra is an educator and art instructor living in San José. Her poems have appeared in Huizache, Diálogo, Puerto del Sol, and Rattle, among others. She is a VONA (Voices of Our Nation) alumna, the recipient of the Dorrit Sibley Award for achievement in poetry, the 2015 winner of the Puerto del Sol Poetry Prize, and a nominee for a Pushcart Prize. Although she has lived in over seven cities in California, San José has been home for the past 17 years where she lives with her two sons. (5:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore, 6:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

Steven Sanchez is a CantoMundo Fellow and Lambda Literary Fellow. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fresno State; and Mark Doty selected his first book, Phantom Tongue (Sundress Publications, 2018), as the winner of Marsh Hawk Press’ Rochelle Ratner Memorial Award. He is also the author of two chapbooks, To My Body (Glass Poetry Press, 2016) and Photographs of Our Shadows (Agape Editions, 2017). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Nimrod, Poet Lore, Crab Creek Review, The Cossack Review, and Assaracus, among other journals. (3:00 p.m. at Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen)

Jessica R. Santillan was born in Bakersfield, CA. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Fresno State, where she worked as an assistant editor for The Normal School magazine and was the fiction editor and arts curator for The Normal School online. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and has had her work published in The San Joaquin Review, Sirens Call, Drunk Monkeys, freeze frame fiction, Cactus Heart, and Hypertext Magazine(3:00 p.m. at Spectrum Art Gallery)

Marina Santos is a Teacher Consultant for the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project. She is currently a teacher at Hoover High School in Fresno. (3:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)

Sylvia Savala is a poet, nonfiction writer, and visual artist. Her art and writings have been published in Entering the Picture: Judy Chicago, the Fresno Feminist Art Program, and the Collective Visions of Women Artists; her nonfiction and poetry in Introduction to Mexican-American Studies. She teaches English at Fresno City College. (6:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe)

Tricia Savelli is a San Francisco Bay Area expat living in Fresno. She is a graduate candidate in the M.F.A. program at Fresno State, where she teaches creative writing and is a graduate writing consultant. Her work is featured in the April 2017 edition of under the gum tree(4:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)

Linda Scheller is a writer, teacher, and founding board member of the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center. Her poems and plays have been published in numerous journals and anthologies including Notre Dame Review, Poem, Slipstream, Poetry East, Plays, and Hawaii Pacific Review. Her new book from Future Cycle Press, Fierce Light, illuminates thirty-six women from world history and culture. Her website is lindasheller.com. Linda, mother to two grown children, lives in Newman, CA, on a property she shares with dogs, donkeys, and an occasionally cantankerous river. (2:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Lily Serna is a junior at Washington Union High School (WUHS) in Easton, California. Lily has been writing for the past two years and has started to venture into the world of slam poetry this year with the WUHS Slam Poetry team. She writes and performs because it gives her the ability to have a voice. Lily finds that poetry has the ability to relieve stress and believes that it is an important outlet that everyone should explore. Lily describes herself as “very tall with a serious face.” She is one of the most caring people that you will ever meet and finds first impressions to be very important. (3:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Analicia Sotelo reads at 4:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffè for “Latinidad Across the U.S.: Emerging Voices in Contemporary Poetry”.

Gary Soto is the featured headline writer for LitHop 2017, and will be reading at Fresno City College’s Old Administration Building Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Read more about how Gary Soto started his literary career in Fresno & find driving directions here.

Brandi M. Spaethe received her M.F.A. in poetry from Fresno State where she worked for The Normal School and The Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in The New Engagement, CRATE, Minola Review, and BLOOM, to name a few. She is the program associate at Poets & Writers’ California Office, festival coordinator for Lambda LitFest, and teaches at California State University, Los Angeles. (2:00 p.m. at Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen)

Kirk Stone grew up on the California coast near strawberry fields and the ocean. Except for a brief stint in Poland teaching English, he has lived in Fresno for the past two decades. He has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and is currently the Assistant Director of California State University, Fresno’s Writing Center, where he focuses on facilitating small writing groups. (5:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Richard Stone’s publications include the books, Beyond, Incarnation and Hidden in Plain Sight: Profiles of Fresno’s Grassroots Activists. Besides writing books, essays, plays, poems and stories, he has taught in a variety of settings and served on the board of the Fresno Center for Nonviolence for 25 years. He spent his Peace Corps years in Ethiopia, and has worked with prisoners and their families in the Houses of Healing Program. (6:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)


Emily Tallman is a writer, mother, teacher, and makeup artist. She currently teaches at UC Merced for the Merritt Writing Program. She received her M.F.A. from Fresno State. Her written work has been published in New Millennium Writings, Pacific Review, Blood Orange Review, Gargoyle Magazine, Fictional Publications, and The San Joaquin Review. Her manuscript, Invitation to Elsewhere, was also a finalist for the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, 2009. (3:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Maurisa Thompson was born and raised in San Francisco, and is a proud alum of June Jordan’s Poetry for the People and VONA/Voices of Our Nation. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Pedestal Magazine, The Black Scholar, La Bloga, Cosmonauts Avenue, the anthologies A Feather Floating on the Water: Poems for Our Children and En Vuelo: In Celebration of el Tecolote, and The Haight-Ashbury Journal, which nominated her for a Pushcart Prize. She is proud to have a home in the arts in the Bay Area, where she has worked with various organizations and actions, including Librotraficante Bay Area Califas and Richmond’s RAW Talent. When she is not teaching high school in San Francisco or reading her students’ own poems, she is working on her first poetry manuscript that combines history and folklore with her grandparents’ stories from Louisiana and San Francisco, and a middle-grade novel exploring police brutality, for which she was honored to receive a Walter Grant from We Need Diverse Books. (6:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)

Paula Treick DeBoard holds an M.F.A. from the University of Southern Maine and divides her time between writing and teaching. Her novels include The Drowning Girls (2016)–which was selected by Target as part of its Emerging Authors program–and The Fragile World (2014), and The Mourning Hours (2013). Her novels have been translated into several languages. Since 2015, she has been a faculty member at Go Deep, a yoga and writing retreat in the Sierra Nevadas. She joined the Merritt Writing Program at UC Merced in 2015, and lives in Modesto with her husband Will, two small dogs with surprisingly vicious barks, and the world’s least patient cat. (2:00 p.m. at Shredworthy, 4:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Liliana Trejo is a woman with many roles: mother, student, educator, artisan, Aztec dancer, and above all, a poet. Many experiences shape my poetry; passion for education, eagerness for social justice, joy for anthropology and devotion for family. (2:00 p.m. at Hart’s Haven Used Bookstore)

Victor Trejo was born in 1978 and raised in California’s Central Valley. He spent a moderately idyllic childhood growing up in Fresno, where he was exposed at an early age to music, theater, and the beauty of poetry. After winning several awards for his writing, and being voted most likely to join the circus, he left Fresno to continue his education. After receiving his B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, he returned to the Central Valley. A lapsed writer, he works as a teacher and photographer of the events and people in his corner of the city. (5:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)

Dawn Trook works in Merced as a writing teacher, community arts organizer, theater producer, and children’s performer. She moved to Merced in 2008 to teach at UC Merced. Trook completed her M.F.A. in Poetry at UC Irvine in 1996. Focusing on unconventional methods of poem distribution, every day for a year in 2011-2012, she put a poem in a plastic Easter egg and left them at different locations around Merced. However, her work also has been published in journals such as Colorado Review, Brooklyn Review, Poetry Flash, and The Curator(2:00 p.m. at Shredworthy)


Jonathan Vargas is a student at CSU Northridge studying communications. He is an event planner and poet, as well as the founder of a music organization on his campus. He produces his own music as an independent artist, and the musicality of his lyrics translate onto the written word of his poetry. (4:00 p.m. at Teazer World Tea Market)

Martin Velasco-Ramos is an English major and president of the The Quill, the creative writing club at College of the Sequoias. He’s a VONA alum and has been published in The Painted Cave, an award-winning literary journal out of Santa Barbara City College. (6:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Brenda Venezia is the director of the Fresno Women’s Reading Series, and a proud member of the Women Writers of Color—Central Valley. She teaches at Fresno State, and her work has been published in The Collagist, Puerto del Sol, Knee-Jerk Magazine, and elsewhere. (3:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn, 4:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Vickie Vértiz is from southeast Los Angeles and was the 2016 Summer Resident at the University of Arizona Poetry Center. A Macondo Fellow, Vickie is also a VONA and Community of Writers alumna. Her second book and first full collection, Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut, will be published by the Camino Del Sol Series from The University of Arizona Press in the fall of 2017. (5:00 p.m. at Mia Cuppa Caffe)

Sally VoglTo satisfy her restless nature, Sally Vogl has lived in seven states and in Lesotho, Africa, proudly serving in the U.S. Peace Corps. In 2013, she received an M.F.A. in creative writing from Fresno State. Sally’s writing has appeared in The Comstock Review, damselfly press, Gemini Magazine, Hoot Review, Lunch Ticket, Stone Voices and The Main Street Rag. Her presentations include Binghamton University and AWP. Sally facilitates a poetry workshop at the public library, and teaches poetry at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. (2:00 p.m. at Teazer World Tea Market)

Joseph Voth is an Assistant Professor of English at Fresno City College. He is the author of the poetry collection, Living with Noise, and co-curates the Remix Reading Series in Fresno. (4:00 p.m. at Goldstein’s Mortuary & Delicatessen)


Gillian Wegener is the author of three books of poetry: a chapbook, Lifting One Foot, Lifting the Other (In the Grove Press, 2001); a full-length collection, The Opposite of Clairvoyance (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2008); and her newest collection, This Sweet Haphazard (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2017). Widely published, she has won several awards for her work, including the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize in 2006 and 2007 and the Zocalo Public Square Prize for Poetry of Place in 2015. She is also co-editor of More Than Soil, More Than Sky: the Modesto Poets (Quercus Review Press, 2011). Wegener, a junior high teacher, lives with her family in Modesto, where she coordinates and hosts the monthly Second Tuesday Reading Series. She is founding president of the Modesto-Stanislaus Poetry Center and has served as poet laureate for the City of Modesto. (2:00 p.m. at Dianna’s Studio of Dance)

Jackie Williams received her M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Fresno State. She teaches creative nonfiction, literature, composition, and web writing across the Central Valley, and joined the faculty at Porterville College in 2015. Her essays and flash fiction pieces have appeared in publications by Jaded Ibis Press, Connotations Press, and Fiction Brigade. She blogs about parenting in a blended, multiracial family. (2:00 p.m. at Teazer World Tea Market)


See Xiong is a graduate student at Fresno State. She is a cultural organizing fellow with Pan Valley Institute and is a Digital Editor and writer for the Asian Pacific Review, an ethnic subsidiary of the Fresno State Collegian. See writers a variety of forms, so she simply considers herself a storyteller. (3:00 p.m. at Brass Unicorn)


Linda Yang is a senior at Edison High and an OutWords student. Linda joined OutWords during her junior year and has been a poetic phenom ever since. She is emotive, powerful, vulnerable often writing about family and suffering and self-triumph. Ever ready to connect with those around her Linda is brave in her self-reflection and is always ready to share. (5:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)


Kevin Zamora is a junior at Washington Union High School in Easton, California. He began writing and performing poetry 2 years ago and has been competing on the WUHS Slam Poetry Team since 2016. He believes poetry is a powerful way to let feelings out that have been trapped inside for way too long. Kevin describes himself as “very tall, goofy, dorky, and really outgoing.” Kevin can have a good time with anyone, and finds a stranger in no one. (3:00 p.m. at Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Not listed individually, but equally important and exciting to see: the students from Cooper Academy’s 7th Grade Drama & Communication Class! (4:00 p.m., Cindy’s Frozen Yogurt)

Fresno Arts Council logoLitHop is a Fresno Poet Laureate initiative, and doations 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: