DVC Literature Week, Nov. 8-10, Showcases Creativity on Campus


Andrea Madison, Editor-in-Chief

Diablo Valley College will host Fall Literature Week, celebrating the creativity of the written word, from Nov. 8 to 10. College faculty, staff and students will read selected pieces from different genres during the virtual event, and audience members will have the opportunity to interact with the featured writers during a Q&A session.

“I’m so excited to highlight our journalism students along with our creative writing and literature students. It’s all really exciting,” DVC English professor and the host of Lit Week, Rayshell E. Clapper, told The Inquirer.

Clapper said Lit Week has a history at the school going back to 2006, and it became a regular event starting in 2009. Clapper took over organizing the biannual readings in 2017.

When the event was held on campus, she said, it would take place in DVC’s Diablo Room, “which is also a really nice venue for readings.” Lit Week was canceled in Spring 2020 due to the sudden quarantine, but has been held virtually since the Fall 2020 semester.

“It’s been really interesting to see the works that people are sharing now, because even if they’re not directly pandemic-esque, that theme of isolation or that theme of not connecting or being [reliant] on the computer… has really shown through in these interesting ways,” Clapper added.

“And then there’s also this secondary theme of questioning oneself, whether that’s through gender identity or race identity.”

DVC Literature Week helps showcase the creative work of faculty, staff and students writing in a variety of genres. Another purpose is to demonstrate to the campus community the variety of classes available at DVC and the types of work that the students produce in those classes.

Lit Week also brings the perspective of published authors to DVC, with guest speakers sharing their work and talking about their experiences. The event has featured authors from all over the country. At the same time, “we do, once a year, try to get Bay Area authors [for Lit Week] to really highlight, ‘Look, this is happening in our backyard, you can do this, too,’” said Clapper.

DVC faculty and staff will kick off Lit Week on Monday, Nov. 8, with four faculty members reading pieces and engaging in conversation from 11:10 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.

This fall’s guest speaker, Tanna Tucker, will be reading from her works on Tuesday, Nov. 9, from 11:10 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.. Tucker, a Bay Area-based graphic artist and writer whom Clapper called “a spectacular reader,” was also a keynote speaker during the virtual DVC James O’Keefe Comic Awards held in May 2021. Her work focuses on Afrofuturism and uses comics to explore Black presence and/or absence in historical or mythical spaces.

Lit Week wraps up on Wednesday, Nov. 10, with a collection of DVC Literature/Creative Writing and Journalism students reading their works aloud from 12:45 p.m. to 2:10 p.m..

The broader aim of the event, Clapper said, is to “celebrate writing and get a little bit of recognition” for writers who may not often receive it. Even for published authors, “it takes a bravery to share our work,” she said.

“[A goal is] to celebrate the creativity that’s happening out in the world,” said Clapper. “But more generally it’s about bringing everybody together in this creative community and showcasing what we can do.”