Literature Week Highlights Achievements By Student, Faculty and Professional Writers


DVC Literature Week Flyer

Kristine Cox, Staff

The DVC English Department celebrated its 15th annual Literature Week on April 26 – 29 as attendees heard readings from local writers, professors and DVC student contest winners.  

English professor Rayshell Clapper, author of the forthcoming collection of fables, The Prices We Pay, organized the event with the goal of highlighting both new and seasoned writers connected with the college.

“I love these events, and all events like it,” said Clapper, adding that it is wonderful “to showcase the talent on our campus through faculty, staff, and students.”

The opening day of Lit Week featured original pieces written by DVC faculty members and others, composed in a range of literary mediums ranging from prose and poetry to creative nonfiction. 

Creative writing professor Ana Maria Carbonell read an engaging work, titled “The Grapevine,” about a relationship that had run its course. Professor Ivan Hoffsman received praise for his published poems. And as a novice to poetry I was moved hearing Professor Allen Haslam’s reading of “I Forget,” an autobiographical piece touching on parental disappointment that brought many listeners in the audience to tears. 

On April 27, the public heard readings by celebrated local artist Jade Cho, a Chinese-American writer and educator from Oakland and author of In the Tongue of Ghosts, her debut book of poetry. Cho read a beautiful collection of poetry and answered questions from the audience. 

The following day celebrated DVC student literary contest winners, which were broken down into the following categories:

Creative Nonfiction Winners: 

First Place: Danny Morris for “The Hike” 

Second Place: Cianna Book for “Treatment Kid” 

Third Place: Hali Lloyd for “The Pit”

Poetry Winners: 

First Place: Kelly Autumn for “Be Careful, I Pinch” 

Second Place: Sarah Jimison for “My Catalogue of Fears” 

Third Place: Tess Manto for “I Don’t Look for Butterflies Anymore”

Prose Winners: 

First Place: Joe Chung for “Four-Two-Nine 

Second Place: Stephanie Pick for “Wraith”

Third Place: Samantha Snider for “How to Date a Millennial Boy (Executive, Techie or Burnout)”

Professor Carbonell, one of the judges in the creative nonfiction category, explained her definition of creative nonfiction as a “true story well told… which often takes the [reader] on an introspective journey.” 

Jenn Givhan, the featured reader on the final day of Lit Week, is a Mexican-American/Chicana writer from Albuquerque, New Mexico and author of four full-length poetry collections. Givhan explained that anyone who writes has to grapple with language, but said she doesn’t give herself labels.

“If we free ourselves of labels, our work will reach levels we never thought possible,” she said. 

Givhan also promoted a new genre of poetry called “graphic poetry,” which are poems set in a graphic novel. As an example, she urged the audience to read a new work called “Embodied,” written by Wendy Chin-Tanner.

If you missed any of Literature Week, please see the attached video links below.