We Read Banned Books: City College Hosts 7th Annual Week-Long International Book Fair

by on September 30, 2012 · 0 comments

in Culture

Despite the financial difficulties that came with trying to fund a big cultural event featuring books during hard economic times, the San Diego City College International Book Fair continues to deliver excellent literary talent for San Diego.  Director Virginia Escalante has put together a lineup that features a little bit of everything with emerging writers, like Reyna Grande, alongside established talents such as Susan Straight and Gustavo Arellano.

This year’s Book Fair’s theme, “We Read Banned Books,” is a nod to the egregious censorship taking place in Arizona.  Saturday will feature a showing of the documentary Precious Knowledge, which details the heartbreaking elimination of the Tucson School District’s ethnic studies programs, which served at-risk Mexican American students with great success.  Following the film, there will be a reading from some of the books banned from use in Arizona’s schools.

As always, Friday night features the debut of a San Diego City Works Press title.  San Diego City Works Press is a project of the San Diego Writers Collective and is dedicated to the publication of books by local authors.  This year’s book, Lantern Tree: Four Books of Poems, is a luminous collaboration that explores life’s spaces – the lantern of relation, journey, spirit, desire, loss, and home. At once disparate and entangled, the voices found here are those of Chris Baron in Under the Broom Tree, Heather Eudy in Bills of Lading, Cali Linfor in A Book of Ugly Things, and Sabrina Youmans in Pacific Standard Time. As the poets note, “the lantern tree acknowledges that many hands are needed to assemble the possibility of light. But, of course, each book is a thing of its own, hangs a light of its own, makes and unmakes a home of its own. To read these poems is to be transported and rooted within shadow and light.”

San Diego City Works Press is run by a non-profit all-volunteer collective that is solely sustained by sales and donations.  For more information on this unique local project, San Diego’s only small press dedicated to the publication of local writers, go to: www.cityworkspress.org.

Please come on out and support The 7th Annual San Diego City College International Book Fair and City Works Press this week!

Here is the full lineup:

Seventh Annual San Diego City College International Book Fair


Event runs from Oct. 1 – 6, 2012, with free admission.  Open to the public.  All events take place on the City College campus.

Monday, Oct. 1, 2012

  • Room 121A/B Faculty Lounge
  • 12:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Reading and book signing with Reyna Grande, author of The Distance Between Us



Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012

  • Room 121A/B Faculty Lounge
  • 9:35 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Reading and book signing with Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here
  • Buy one, get one free:  For each purchase of Between Heaven and Here ($12), the author will give a free copy of Take One Candle Light a Room, part of her Rio Seco trilogy.

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012

  • Room 121A/B Faculty Lounge
  • 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Panel discussion with Justin Hudnall, Corinne Goria, Mindy Solis, and Erica Blunt, contributors to The Far East: Everything Just As It Is, an anthology that combines non-fiction and poetry to create a portrait of life in East San Diego County.

Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012

  • Room 121A/B Faculty Lounge
  • 11: 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Reading and book signing with Zohreh Ghahremani, author of Sky of Red Poppies
  • 12:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Reading and book signing with Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America

Friday, Oct. 5, 2012

  • Saville Theatre
  • 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.: City Works Press reading and book signing with Chris Baron, Heather Eudy, Cali Linfor, and Sabrina Youmans, contributors to Lantern Tree:  Four Books of Poems

Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012

  • Saville Theater
  • 10:30  a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Screening of Precious Knowledge, documentary and discussion
  • 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Readings of excerpts from banned books by faculty and staff members including: Roberta Alexander, June Cressy, Farrell Foreman, Kevin Gossett, Jan Jarrell, Nadia Mandilawi, Elizabeth Meehan, Oscar Preciado, Anna Rogers, Elva Salinas. Discussion to follow.

Readings and book signings by authors banned in Arizona, including:

  • 1:30  p.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Rudy Acuña, author of Occupied America, Anything But Mexican, and Corridors of Migration
  • 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Matt de la Peña, author of Mexican White Boy, Ball Don’t Lie, and We Were Here
  • 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Herbert Sigüenza, author of Culture Clash: Life, Death and Revolutionary Comedy

For more information, visit sdcitybookfair.com

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Jim Miller

Jim Miller, a professor at San Diego City College, is the co-author of Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See and Better to Reign in Hell, and author of the novel Drift. His most recent novel on the San Diego free speech fights and the IWW, Flash, is on AK Press.
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