On Saturday, May 7, Las Pazitas College will host the Get Lit literary art festival with a keynote address by Tamim Ansari, Afghan American science fiction and history writer.
Ansari, who won the 2010 Northern California Book Prize for “Fate Broken: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes,” first became known after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks when he condemned the Taliban but warned the United States of the danger of involvement in a full-scale war in Afghanistan. He has also promoted a writers’ workshop in San Francisco for more than 20 years and edited a collection of essays by young Afghans, “Pictures: This is Afghan-American Life.”
The Las Pazitas Department of English has accepted Ansari’s memoir “West of Kabul, East of New York” for its spring reading on campus on the 22nd.
Other presenters at the free literary festival will include:
Brian Turner, whose memoir “My Life as a Foreign Country” was included in the list of the best journalistic works of 2014 according to Powell’s Books, will make a report on “Literature as a Witness.” Turner is also the author of the famous poem “Behold, the Bullet,” which discusses the concept of fear.
Reina Grande, whose memoir “The Distance Between Us”, which tells of her life before immigrating to the United States as a child, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award, will speak on “In a Conversation about the Ballad of Love and Glory.”
Paul Guay, whose credits include working on The Endless Story and The Little Rogue, will give lectures and offer a workshop on screenwriting.
Sean Taylor, creator of the Nerds of Color website, will moderate the panel discussion “Race and Graphics” and present a workshop on graphic novels. Guai was also a co-founder of the Black Comix Arts Festival, which promotes artists who are on the margins of the major comics industry.
Michelle Cruz Gonzalez, professor of English and author of the memoir “Spitboy Rule: Stories of Xicana in a Women’s Punk Band”, will discuss “Inclusive Characteristics”. Gonzalez and her band Spitboy were featured in the 2017 documentary “Turn it Around: Story of East Bay Punk”.
Gabriel Myers, a poet and food writer whose book The Mind of the Beehive details her transition to organic farming, will moderate a panel on Writing Food and Wine.