Saturday, October 13, 2007

This Week in Orange County: Don't Say That Nothing Happens Here!

Mid-October offers an opportunity to tour Orange County's various college and university campuses, among other venues. Be prepared to pay for parking – but little else.

Tuesday finds acclaimed poet and Iraq war veteran Brian Turner reading at Fullerton College's Wilshire Auditorium. 7 PM Tickets are $5.00.

Click here for our earlier appreciation.

On Wednesday, Mike Sager, Esquire writer-at-large and UCI Pereira Visiting Writer in the Literary Journalism Program will read from his new book, "Revenge of the Donut Boys: True Stories of Lust, Fame, Survival and Multiple Personality (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2007), a collection of essays complied from his magazine work.

Publishers Weekly has this to say:
Sager demonstrates a lively curiosity about other people's lives, hopes, fears and disappointments in these 17 previously published articles. Sager's nimble celebrity profiles include Emmy winner Roseanne Barr, who attributes her multiple-personality disorder to an abusive mother, but more affecting are the everyday struggles of "almost famous" actors Steve Bean and Lynn Clark, who stay sane in the face of numerous professional rejections. Sager's best pieces showcase people battling nature: aging hippie and sandal-maker Lee Risler cuts off his own arm to free himself from a wrecked van and wears his stump as a badge of honor. Despite some forgetfulness and frailty, 92-year-old widower Glenn Brown Sanberg has a girlfriend with Alzheimer's and writes a weekly newspaper column. In a whimsical yet satisfying search for other Mike Sagers the author finds instant kinship with a police captain, a politician and a preacher. These are savvy, deftly written highlights from a talented career.
At UCI in HIB 135, at 7 PM with book signing and reception to follow in HIB 137. Free. Sounds like a party to me.

On Thursday morning, across the county, Santiago Canyon College welcomes Susan Patron, author of the children's book "The Higher Power of Lucky." Upon publication, Patron saw her book simultaneously win the Newbery Award and become banned at many libraries and schools across the country because of its language and subject matter. The book is about a ten-year-old orphan girl named Lucky who lives in the town of Hard Pan, California.

From "The Higher Power of Lucky":
"Running away takes very good planning. [Lucky] already had her survival kit. She thought of a few more items to take that most people wouldn't consider necessary for survival. They were not things you can eat or drink or use for protection or to get rescued or to keep from being bored. They were things that Lucky's heart needed in order to stay brave and not falter."
Santiago Canyon College, for those of you who don't often travel to the rural fringes of Orange County, is located where Chapman meets Newport Avenue, near Irvine Regional Park. It's beautiful out here in the foothills. The reading, free and open to the public, will be held in Building D, Room 101. 9:00 AM -11:00 AM. Parking is also free.

Then, on Thursday evening, poet Michael Collier will read at 7 PM at UCI in HIB 135. Collier is the director of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and professor of English and co-director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Maryland. His most recent collection is, "Dark Wild Realm" and his collection of essays on poetry and influence, "Make Them Wave Back," has just been published.

From Collier's collection, "The Ledge":

All Souls

A few of us—Hillary Clinton, Vlad Dracula,
Oprah Winfrey, and Trotsky—peer through
the kitchen window at a raccoon perched
outside on a picnic table where it picks

over chips, veggies, olives, and a chunk of pâté.
Behind us others crowd the hallway, many more
dance in the living room. Trotsky fusses with the bloody
screwdriver puttied to her forehead.

Hillary Clinton, whose voice is the rumble
of a bowling ball, whose hands are hairy
to the third knuckle, lifts his rubber chin to announce,
“What a perfect mask it has!” While the Count

whistling through his plastic fangs says, “Oh,
and a nose like a chef.” Then one by one
the other masks join in: “Tail of a gambler,”
“a swashbuckler’s hips,” “feet of a cat burglar.”

Trotsky scratches herself beneath her skirt
and Hillary, whose lederhosen are so tight they form a codpiece,
wraps his legs around Trotsky’s leg and humps like a dog.
Dracula and Oprah, the married hosts, hold hands

and then let go. Meanwhile the raccoon squats on
the gherkins, extracts pimentos from olives, and sniffs
abandoned cups of beer. A ghoul in the living room
turns the music up and the house becomes a drum.

The windows buzz. “Who do you love? Who do you love?”
the singer sings. Our feathered arms, our stockinged legs.
The intricate paws, the filleting tongue.
We love what we are; we love what we’ve become.

And, at the same time, across town, at Calacas, Inc., chica lit superstar, Mary Castillo, whose work has appeared in the anthologies, "Names I Call my Sister" and "Friday Night Chicas," will read from her new novel, "Switchcraft" at 7 PM.

Midwest Book Review has this to say about "Switchcraft":

"Unlike other body swap stories … Mary Castillo's new novel, Switchcraft is fresh, mesmerizing, and unmatched in what could have been a very derivative story in the genre. Castillo spends enough time creating three-dimensional Aggie and Nely characters that the reader feels a clear connection with both. Castillo's book is smart, inventive, and an extremely satisfying read!"
Calacas, Inc. is located 3375 S. Bristol in Santa Ana. ~FREE~


Quite a week ahead.

Read, she said.

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