Prominent authors to appear at 26th Annual Literary Arts Festival


Jounalist Maggie Downs

The 26th annual Grossmont College Literary Arts Festival returns April 25 for a week of virtual events featuring acclaimed authors and poets from around the nation who will read their work, teach their craft, and discuss sources of their inspiration.

“The Literary Arts Festival from Grossmont College’s Creative Writing Program is the leading festival of its kind in the region, and we are proud to bring together so many distinguished writers to discuss their craft and share their work with our students and the entire community,” said festival and Creative Writing Program Co-coordinator Adam Deutsch.

All events are open and free to the public. Biographies of the writers, as well as workshop descriptions, bibliographies and registration links are available at

Following is the festival’s lineup of events:


Monday, April 25, 2 to 3:15 p.m.

Why Literature Matters

A panel of Grossmont College students, faculty, and administrators share personal accounts of the role literature has played in their journeys, advocating the relevance of literature and its potential to inspire change.


Monday, April 25, 7 to 8:15 p.m.

Maggie Downs

Journalist and nonfiction writer Maggie Downs will read from her award-winning grief memoir, “Braver Than You Think: Around the World on the Trip of My (Mother’s) Lifetime” (Counterpoint 2020). 


Tuesday, April 26, 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Chris Baron

Chris Baron is the award-winning author of two middle grade novels-in-verse: “All of Me” (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan 2019); and “The Magical Imperfect” (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan 2021). 


Tuesday, April 26, 7 to 8:15 p.m.

New Voices

Exceptional writers from this semester's creative writing classes and workshops perform some of their best new and original works of fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, drama, spoken word, mixed media word art, and other innovative forms.


Wednesday, April 27, 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.

Manuel Paul Lopez

Chicano border poet and CantoMundo fellow Manuel Paul López reads from his forthcoming collection, “Nerve Curriculum” (Futurepoem 2022). Previously published works include “These Days of Candy” (Noemi Press, Akrilica Series 2017); “Death of a Mexican and Other Poems” (Bear Star Press, 2006); and “The Yearning Feed”. 


Wednesday April 27, 2 to 3:15 p.m.

Erin Rodondi

Poet Erin Rodoni presents a reading from her newest collection, “And If the Woods Carry You” (Southern Indiana Press 2021), winner of the 2020 Michael Waters Poetry Prize. 


Wednesday, April 27, 7 to 8:15 p.m.

Cherie Dimaline

Cherie Dimaline is the highly acclaimed author of the young adult novel, “The Marrow Thieves” (DCB 2017), that captured book of the year honors on numerous lists and has been translated into several languages.


Thursday, April 28, 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.

Kosoko Jackson

Maryland native Kosoko Jackson is the author of the newly released, “I’m So (Not) Over You” (Berkeley Romance 2022), an adult #OwnVoices queer romcom novel. Other releases include “A Place for Wolves” (2019); the time-travel adventure, “Yesterday Is History” (2021); and “Survive the Dome” (March 2022).


Thursday, April 28, 7 to 8:15 p.m.

Marco Wilkinson

The Literary Arts Festival closes with essayist, creative nonfiction writer, and ecopoet, Marco Wilkinson reading from his acclaimed first book, “Madder: A Memoir in Weeds” (Coffee House Press 2021).

Guest readers and presenters at literary events are neither censored for language nor edited for the content of their readings, which may at times be considered suited for mature audiences only. Visitors who may be sensitive to such language and topics are urged to research the writers in advance using the event pages the Literary Arts Festival website,


New Vice President of Student Services at Cuyamaca College

After a nationwide search, Victoria Marron has been selected as Vice President of Student Services at Cuyamaca College.

View More

District Has $1.3 Billion Economic Impact

A study found that Grossmont and Cuyamaca College graduates have a return of $7 in higher lifetime earnings for every...

View More