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Santa Monica College Celebrates Latino Heritage Month

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By Lookout Staff

September 15, 2015 -- Renown authors and poets will be featured as part of Santa Monica College's celebration of National Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month, college officials announced Monday.

The free live events will be held on September 24 and October 1 on the Santa Monica College main campus at 1900 Pico Boulevard, officials said. Seating is on a first-arrival basis.

The celebration kicks off September 24 at 11:15 a.m.when Steven Gutierrez & Dawna Kemper read from their works in the Humanities & Social Science Lecture Hall 165.

A CSU East Bay English professor, Stephen Gutierrez completed the trilogy with the release of "The Mexican Man in His Backyard." The first volume "Elements," won the FC2’s Nilon Award, while the second, "Live from Fresno y Los," garnered an American Book Award. He is also a playwright.

Kemper, an SMC English instructor, is the author of the short story "Hotel Minerva,” published in the Spring 2015 edition of Santa Monica Review, SMC’s national literary arts journal. Her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Idaho Review, Quarterly West, and other journals. Kemper was also listed as “Notable” by Best American Nonrequired Reading.

Three SMC professors who are published poets will cap the celebration with readings from their works on October 1 at 11:15 a.m. in Art Lecture Hall 214.

Ernesto Padilla is "both a poet providing an inner illumination and elevating our spirits, and a publisher who has introduced us to writers such as Poet Laureate of the United States Juan Felipe Herrera and SMC alum Michele Serros," SMC officilas said

He will be joined by fellow SMC English professor Mario Padilla, who was awarded a Fulbright to collect and translate the early works of reknown Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges. Padilla's poems have been published in North American Review, The Antioch Review and other publications.

Also reading from his works will be SMC English professor Wil Doucet, whose poems are "infused with influences ranging from Bob Marley to Bessie Smith to Carl Sandburg," college officials said.

Doucet's work, they added, "demonstrates that, fueled by aesthetic fortitude, we transcend the obstacles before us."

Both events are sponsored by the SMC Associates (, SMC Latino Center’s Adelante Program and SMC English Department.

For more information, please call (310) 434-4100.

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