2014 Afternoon Authors

 

Saturday, February 8th


Phil Taggart – 4:40PM
Phil Taggart

Phillip Taggart

Phil Taggart has published three collections of poetry, his newly published, Rick Sings (Brandenburg Press), Opium Wars (Mille Grazie Press) and an art book in collaboration with Texas artist Ann Harithas, Cowboy Collages. He served for nine years as the Poetry Editor of Art Life, and is currently editor and publisher of Askew with Marsha de la O and Friday Lubina. He received a Champion of Mental Health Award from the Turning Point Foundation for his work promoting the understanding of mental disorders, an Art Stars Award from the Ventura County Arts Council, and the Mayor’s Art Award and an Individual Artist’s Grant from the City of Ventura. He currently serves his community as a Cultural Affairs Commissioner. He grew up in South Whittier and now lives in Ventura, California with his wife Marsha de la O.


Kevin Ridgeway – 4:30PM
Kevin Ridgeway

Kevin Ridgeway

Kevin Ridgeway was born and raised in Southern California, where he currently resides with his girlfriend and their one-eyed cat. His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Trailer Park Quarterly, The Mas Tequila Review and My Favorite Bullet. He is the author of the poetry chapbooks Burn through Today (Flutter Press, 2012) and All the Rage (Electric Windmill Press, 2013).


Jeffrey Graessley – 4:20PM
Jeffrey Graessley

Jeffrey Graessley

Jeffrey Graessley lives in La Puente, California. His work can be found in several magazines including New Myths, The Idiom, and Tears in the Fence. He is also the author of the chapbooks Her Blue Dress from Silver Birch Press (2014), The Old Masters from Electric Windmill Press (2014), and Cabaret of Remembrance from Sweatshoppe Publications (2013). His recent discovery of the BEAT generation has prompted loving and longing thoughts for that simple, drunken, far-gone time in American history.


Sergei Andrevich Smirnoff – 4:10PM
Sergei A Smirnoff

Sergei A Smirnoff

Sergei Andrevich Smirnoff was born in Soviet-Russia. He mainly writes poetry in English, though remnants of his Soviet heart still find their way into his writing. Everything is a possible inspiration for Sergei Smirnoff; no page is writer’s block. His writing is very serious, most of time. Romance is an exception. He is a voice driven, rhythmic poet who has been inspired by Allen Ginsberg, Dean Young, Thomas Lux, and Nikita Nekrasov, among many many others. Some of his work can be found in Cadence Collective, East Jasmine Review, and Bank Heavy Press, among others. His bad poetry, however, is published under a name he wishes not to provide,in magazines he’d rather not name.


Elder Zamora – 4:00PM
Elder Zamora

Elder Zamora

Elder Zamora is a writer based out of Southern California. He holds a degree in English and is a curator of the San Gabriel Valley Literary Festival. His work has been published in various journals including Left Hook, Barnstorm, Soundings Review, Libertad and others.


Michael Dwayne Smith – 3:20PM
Michael Dwayne Smith

Michael Dwayne Smith

Michael Dwayne Smith is Publisher and Editor in Chief of Mojave River Press and its sibling journal, the Mojave River Review. His hybrid sequence of prose and poetry, entitled “What the Weather’s Like, Only Stranger,” arrives this April from ELJ Publications, and a poetry collection, “Happy Good Time News,” follows in late spring. A graduate of the creative writing program at U.C. Riverside, he’s the recipient of both the Hinderaker Prize for poetry and the Polonsky Prize for fiction. His work has appeared in numerous excellent journals, including: burntdistrict, Word Riot, Stone Highway Review, decomP magazinE, >kill author, and The Cortland Review. He lives near a ghost town in the Mojave Desert with his wife and rescued animals. Find him online at MojaveRiverPress.com and MichaelDwayneSmith.com


Michael Buckley – 3:00PM
Michael Buckley

Michael Buckley

Michael Buckley’s work has appeared in the Southern California Review, Vulcan, Struggle, and he is a regular contributor to both Alaska Quarterly Review and Spot Lit Journal. His work has also appeared in the national anthology The Best American Non Required Reading 2003, and he is the co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Transcurrent Literary Journal.


Ricki Mandeville – 2:40PM
Ricki Mandeville

Ricki Mandeville

Ricki Mandeville’s poems have recently appeared in Comstock Review, San Pedro River Review, Pea River Journal, Texas Poetry Calendar, and other journals and anthologies. She is a co-founder and consulting editor of Moon Tide Press and the author of A Thin Strand of Lights (Moon Tide Press). A speaker for various literary events, she lives near the ocean in Huntington Beach, California.


Alice Pero – 2:00PM
Alice Pero’s poetry has been published in many magazines and anthologies including Nimrod, National Poetry Review, River Oak Review, Poet Lore, The Alembic, North Dakota Quarterly, The Distillery, Fox Cry Review, The Griffin, and G.W. Review Her book of poetry, Thawed Stars was praised by Kenneth Koch as having “clarity and surprises.” Pero is a teacher of poetry and a member of California Poets in the Schools. An accomplished flutist and former dancer, she is also the founder of Moonday, a reading series which has been on-going in the Los Angeles area for 12 years. Ms Pero has created dialogue poems with over 20 poets. She continues to do poetry features around the Southland and New York.


Lauren Candia – 1:40PM
Lauren Candia

Lauren Candia

Lauren Candia is the co-creator of the Shades & Shadows Reading Series. She holds a B.A. in Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies from UC Riverside, and proudly claims the feminist title. When not planning literary events, she writes creepy stories and is currently working on her first YA novel. www.shadesandshadows.org


Thomas R. Thomas – 1:20PM
Thomas R. Thomas

Thomas R. Thomas

Thomas R. Thomas is sitting on the couch and reading his book. He looks up from his book and wonders why he is thinking of himself in the third person – silly boy, he thinks. Thomas R. Thomas is scowling at you for thinking his name is silly since it is a good Welsh (Cymru) name and he is pleased that his Mom wanted a Tommy. I was previously published in Don’t Blame the Ugly Mug: 10 Years of 2 Idiots Peddling Poetry, Creepy Gnome, Carnival, Pipe Dream, Bank Heavy Press, Conceit Magazine, Marco Polo & Electric Windmill. In 2012 Carnival came out with Scorpio, an eChapbook. In 2013 World Parade Books came out with my book of poems Five Lines. I am happy to share my little poems, and you may call me Tom or Tommy. Visit my website at thomasrthomas.org.


Mary Torregrossa – 12:40PM
Mary Torregrossa is originally from Rhode Island. She is a long-time resident of Southern California where she teaches ESL at the El Monte Adult School. Mary is a founding member of the Emerging Urban Poets in Pasadena. She teaches poetry workshops to children, youth and adults. Mary has helped organize special events including the inaugural poetry reading for the La Puente Art Walk, and has performed her poems at the “Music for Charity” events in La Canada helping to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Research Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease, and for Hillsides, a Foster Care center. The Los Angeles Poetry Festival selected Mary as a 2009 Newer Poet of LA. She has been profiled in the Los Angeles Times and read her poems on LA radio station KPFK’s “Porcho Hour of Power,”. Her poems have been published in Juan Felipe Herrera’s recent project “Poems for Unity,” and selected by Writers At Work for their “Poem of the Month.”


Brian Yu – 12:20PM
Brian Yu is a 19 year old Poet and Community College Student. Although he is relatively new to the poetry community, he has earned enormous praise from people such as his mother, who is happy that he isn’t spending so much time on the computer, and his dog, who quite literally ate up his last poetry collection. In the past, Brian has earned international recognition for his writings from organizations such as the Gulen Youth Platform and the Carnegie Council Center of Ethics. When asked if he would like to become a politician in the future, Brian has declined on the basis that he “would actually like to do some good in the world


Grant Hier – 12:00PM
Grant Hier

Grant Hier

Grant Hier has just been named as the winner of the 2014 Nancy Dew Taylor Prize for Literary Excellence in Poetry.  His winning poem, “The Difference Between Rattle and Settling,” will appear in the 2014 issue of Emrys Journal, and Grant will travel to Greenville, South Carolina to accept the prize (and cash!) and give a featured reading.  He is the author of the book, Cul-de-Sac.  His poetry, fiction, and essays have been widely published internationally — including the award-winning book, John Fante: A Critical Gathering.  He has served as editor of several literary journals and magazines. In addition to poetry and fiction, he writes screenplays, teleplays, and music, and recorded his original musical compositions for A&M Records in Los Angeles. He continues to show his installation art in galleries throughout Southern California. Grant earned his MA in Literature and MFA in Creative Writing Poetry at CSULB.  He teaches creative writing and literature at Laguna College of Art and Design, where he is Professor of English and Chair of Liberal Arts and Art History.

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