Prominent writers to speak at SummerWords

Courtesy of Michael Spurgeon

Cheyenne Drury and Cheyenne Drury

Among this year’s speakers at SummerWords, a writing workshop held by American River College’s creative writing faculty, are the author of “Jarhead,” an interviewee of Stephen Colbert and a published poet.

For the last three years, the ARC creative writing faculty has joined together and decided upon which authors should be brought to SummerWords.

The keynote speaker is Carolyn Forche, who will be speaking at the workshop which runs from May 28 to May 31 and whose aim is to expose students to professional writers and their philosophies.

Forche has published four books of poetry and in 1998 was presented with the Edita and Ira Morris Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture award for recognition of her work with regards to human rights and the preservation of culture and memory.

Other notable speakers who will be in attendance are Edan Lepucki, whose novel “California” was featured by Stephen Colbert on “The Colbert Report,” and ARC alum and author of “Jarhead”, Anthony Swofford.

The workshop and day readings are held in the student center and the evening readings are in the ARC main theater.

“It is a service and an opportunity that the faculty and the college provide to the community,” said professor Michael Spurgeon. “We use it as a way to promote our communities’ members.”

There are 50 fully funded scholarships that go toward funding the event. 30 are for ARC students and the remaining 20 go to high school students.

For those who do not receive a scholarship, the general admission is $95, which will include the readings and workshop, however the keynote reading is $12.

The event is mainly funded through a grant from Spurgeon’s nonprofit organization, the Albert & Elaine Borchard Foundation.

ARC student and English major Thomas Smith has attended the writing workshop twice in the past.

“(SummerWords) is incredible for its ability to pull together and grow the creative writing community on campus, which is already a spectacular community,” said Smith. “It’s very inspirational to meet and talk with a lot of like minded people about their own work.”

Added Smith: “The whole event really just makes you want to sit down and write.”