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Santa Monica College's Fall Literary Series Offers Eclectic Lineup HOME ad for NO on LV Initiative link

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By Lookout Staff

September 6, 2016 -- From pulp sonnets to a coming of age Chinese-Cambodian tale, books still matter. That is the theme of Santa Monica College's Fall Literary Talks and Readings series kicking off this month.

Now in its 14th year, the series -- which starts on September 15 and takes place on the main SMC campus at 1900 Pico Boulevard -- features a line-up of distinguished authors discussing and reading from their works.

Tony Barnstone, professor of English at Whittier College and a prolific poet, essayist, and literary translator, will launch the series with a discussion of his graphic poetry collection "Pulp Sonnets," which is "based on 20 years of research into classic pulp fiction, B movies and comic books," event organizers said.

"At times reinventing the sonnet tradition, Barnstone's linked sequences evoke serial-format comics and cinema, as each series breaks into discrete frames propelled by action," said a blurb for the book illustrated by Iranian artist Amin Mansouri.

The series continues Thursday, October 6, when May-lee Chai -- award-winning author of short stories, nonfiction prose and eight books -- reads from her novel “Dragon Chica," which tells the the tale of a Chinese-Cambodian teenager who flees to Texas as a refugee from the Khmer Rouge.

In this latest novel by the recipient of the prestigious NEA Fellowship in Prose, "the seemingly miraculous appearance of a wealthy aunt and uncle leads to unexpected fights, as "the past -- and a forbidden love -- threaten to tear them all apart," according to the publisher's promotional materials.

The series concludes Tuesday, November 8, with a discussion of the future of books by author and internationally recognized book artist Johanna Drucker, Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies in the UCLA Department of Information Studies.

Drucker, who is also joint professor with the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts, will discuss "the ways books continue to matter in current culture, and make a strong argument against the forms of ‘bibliocide’ that are destroying library collections and damaging popular perceptions," organizers said.

The presentations take place at 11:15 a.m. in the Humanities & Social Sciences Lecture Hall 165 and are sponsored by the SMC Associates -- a private organization that funds speakers and special programs on the SMC campus -- and the SMC English Department.

For more information, call the SMC Office of Public Programs at (310) 434-4100.

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