As you head into the weekend and begin making plans for your writing and arts endeavors, remember that February brings a wonderful series of arts events that range from Phoenix to Tucson to the US/Mexico border. View the BNAR press release and head to binationalartsresidency.com for more information about these central and southern Arizona events, and about other opportunities to participate.
What & Who: Travel Writing Workshop conducted by Renee Rivers
When: Saturday, October 14th from 9:30AM to 11:30AM
Where: GCC Main, Room LA-141
Why: I mean, read the post. This sounds amazing!
Travel Writing is an area of writing that is open to everyone. Given the upsurge in travel and online publication possibilities with multiple audiences, travel writing opportunities abound. Once the parlance of colonial adventurers and conquerors, this art form has been rightfully infiltrated by genre- and boundary-busting creatives, inter-cultural sojourners, and reflective writers to produce a flurry of stories that not only transport readers into other places and cultures, but in which any reader can find themselves whether they travel or not.
Some of today’s most sumptuous and widely read travel writing seeks to situate the individual at the center of the narrative and defines travel in wide-open ways. When travel asks us to show up and interact with new places, peoples and cultures, we are often challenged to understand our inner world in terms of the outer.
And that’s where story magic happens.
You x place x culture x your interests x your memories x some kind of new insight is where the intersection of exciting new travel narratives emerge. Consider how a story may come to life after visiting a neighborhood ethnic market triggers a childhood memory, or how a grandparent’s journal takes you on a search for cousins across the country, or how sensuous food can transport you into the realm of imaginary travel, or how your college engineering notebooks inspire a trip to university archives or another country to research the science and history of aeronautics, or even how a family vacation may have gone hilariously wrong.
These ideas represent a tiny peephole into the rich and ready domain of travel writing available to writers of all backgrounds today.
In this workshop you will participate in:
exposure to many exciting expressions of travel writing
creative ways to access authors and practitioners of this craft
travel writing exercises meant to center you, your interests, and travel or every day experiences into a trip-tick for continued writing practices
reflective writing that explores where your internal and external travels may take you
finding travel writing and travel writing markets for your writing
mapping out story ideas and how to craft them for potential markets
Renee G. Rivers’ interests can find her behind an acetylene torch, shooing urban chickens from her kitchen or traveling to remote locales.
She holds an M.A. in English from SUNY Brockport, a B.S. in Special Education, and B.A. in German via the Goethe-Institut–Muenchen.
Renee’s stories have appeared in: PBS Filmmaker Jillian Robinson’s Change Your Life Through Travel, Canyon Voices, and The Feminist Wire and have won international awards from SouthWest Writers and Tin House.
Renee currently writes about teaching in remote Alaskan villages, taking her father in a wheelchair to Mount Everest, and teaches First-Year Composition and Travel Writing at Arizona State University at the West Campus.
Don’t forget our first Wednesday night reading is tonight, September 20th. We’ll have an open mic for anyone who wishes to share what they’re writing or reading or contemplating. We’ll have a few Traveler winners from last year to regale us with their published work. We’ll have author L.M. Reker to read from his published novels.
Light refreshments will be provided, along with copies of the Traveler, GCC’s Arts & Literary Magazine.
The fun begins at 7PM on GCC’s Main Campus, in SU104.
We know we’ve spent some time apart of late, Wednesday. First it was Tuesday that came between us, and then the summer months with their delirium-inducing heat. There arose in us the notion (far-fetched, we know that now) that Wednesday night readings were antiquated, a thing of the past, a glory day from a touch-too-long Springsteen concert, a near-real picture of you inside Robert Smith’s damp and neglected photo albums, Bryan Adams’ little-known second real six-string from 1972. As the great balladeers Skid Row once sang, “Remember yesterday, walking hand in hand. Love letters in the sand, I remember you.”
Well, Tuesday is gone, things done changed, and we remember you, Wednesday.
To celebrate the reborn commitment to our sacred union, we’re having a reading on–you guessed it–Wednesday. There’ll be an open mic, readings from our most recent Traveler winners, and excerpts from our featured reader L.M. Reker. Come to read, come to listen, come to make semi-obscure references, come to dramatically perform lyrics to forgotten songs about love and nostalgia. There’s something for everyone!
When: Wednesday, September 20th from 7:00 to 9:00PM.
Where: GCC Main Campus, SU104.
Why: Because if society accepted Skid Row as artistic talents, it sure as hell will accept you!
Wednesday, honey, there comes a time in every relationship when we realize that things have grown stale, become ordinary and predictable. Conversations replay themselves like the script from a credit card call center. Dinners become aggravatingly cyclical, dictated by the weekly coupons in grocery store circulars and disrupted only by Betty Crocker’s introduction of a new Hamburger Helper flavor. Date nights are spent at Applebee’s drinking colorful martinis and eating 2 for $20 deals or endless appetizers, all while talking past one another and allowing the watered-down booze to magically transpose the face of your high school girlfriend or Ryan Reynolds on the ever-more-wrinkled head of your partner. In short: Wednesday, it’s long past time that we see other people days.
Tuesday, how you doing?
For clarity’s sake: March’s Open Mic is upon us, and it’s going to be on a Tuesday. Not only that, but it will be a bilingual night. Come share your work in English, Spanish, or both! Not in the mood for sharing? Come just to listen, then, and give these talented folks the audience they deserve.
When:Tuesday, March 7th from 7:00PM to 9:00PM.
Where: GCC Main Campus, SU104e.
Why: Applebee’s closed down. No, really, the whole chain.
David Alberto Muñoz (1959) was born in Mexico at the end of the 1950s. In 1973, he migrated to the United States of America. He has colleges degrees in Theatre Arts, Religious Studies and a Master of Arts in Hispanic Literature and a Master of Arts in Theology, as well as a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion. He has written a variety of books, which includes collection of shorts stories, essays, chronicles, poetry, and a couple of textbooks. Insanities, soundness, and reality: A collection of shorts stories written perhaps by the same person, is his first fiction book written directly in the English language. Muñoz enjoys the study of popular culture as well as the sometimes-complex problem of religious ideology in a contemporary society. He describes himself as a “cuentero” (fabulist), who likes to reflect on the complex human experience. He lives in Glendale, Arizona, with his wife Mireya, a music educator, and they have a daughter, Mirita, 23 years old who is attending California State University at Northridge.
It is officially Go Time. Classes are churning. Deadlines are looming. New Year’s Resolutions are beginning to lose to pragmatism and habit. Writing professors, faced with the first of many waves of essays, are once again questioning their life choices. And, of course, blog posts are coming fast leisurely and furious with mild sarcasm now.
Also, there’s this Open Mic thing happening, with Josh Rathkamp as our featured reader.
When: Wednesday, February 15th from 7:00PM to 9:00PM.
Where: GCC Main Campus, SU104e.
Why: Because all of this has happened before, and it will happen again.
Josh Rathkamp received an MFA in Poetry from Arizona State University and an MFA in Poetry Translation from Drew University. He has published two collections of poems, A Storm to Close the Door (selected by Terrance Hayes as the 2016 Georgetown Review Poetry Prize) and Some Nights No Cars At All (Ausable Press). His work has appeared in numerous literary journals and public art projects, including American Poetry Review, The Southern Review, Narrative, Poet Lore, and Rattle. He directs the Creative Writing Program at Mesa Community College
Interested in transforming waves of sound into variations of electrical energy? I know: Who isn’t? Thankfully, GCC has us covered. Soon, GCC will be hosting an event involving microphones. These microphones will be of the open variety (we tried the closed variety, but testing proved unfavorable). Bring your poems, your short fiction, your short nonfiction, your creativity (short is optional here) and share any or all of it with an audience of listeners eager to experience the transformation of sound waves into electrical energy.
In addition to the Open Mic, we will also have Shawnte Orion as the featured reader. The longtime MC of these readings, Shawnte returns to share much of his own work. So, come read, come listen, and come support creative writing in the community.
When: Wednesday, September 21st from 7:00 to 9:30PM.
Where: GCC Main Campus, SU104.
Why: Because it will make your neighbors jealous.
Shawnte Orion has published a recent book of poetry The Existentialist Cookbook (NYQBooks) and a new chapbook Faithful as the Ground (Five Oaks Press). His poems have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Barrelhouse, Gargoyle Magazine, and New York Quarterly. He has been invited to read at bookstores, bars, universities, hair salons, museums, and laundromats.
Before some of you head off into what’s sure to be a luxurious Spring Break, mark your calendars for the next open mic event at GCC.
When: Wednesday, March 23rd at 7:00PM
Where: GCC Main – Student Union, Room 104E
Why: It provides your daily dose of vitamin C.
The event is free, open to the public, but not recommended for children. So, bring what you’ve been working on and regale everyone with your talent. Hosted by Shawnte Orion, the open mic portion of the evening will begin at 7PM, and the night will conclude with a reading from featured guest, Joel Salcido.
Born a Los Angeles cockroach and smuggled to the Westside of Phoenix, Joel Salcido translates the poetry of the barrio pigeons into surrealist prophecies. He is blessed with a beautiful wife and two sons as well as a cadre of talentedly mad brothers, friends, coconspirators and fellow hood radicals. He writes poetry and prose and is working towards a mastery of arts while building a boat out of editor’s rejection letters to float back to the moon. Joel is an MFA candidate in poetry at Arizona State University.