Joyce Johnson is the author of the acclaimed memoir Minor Characters that chronicles her experiences with the Beat Generation writers, and the forthcoming Door Wide Open, a collection of letters written between Jack Kerouac and Johnson during their love affair in 1957 and 1958. An accomplished memoir and fiction writer Johnson’s work has appeared in New Yorker, Harpers, New York Times Magazine, and many other publications.Visit Joyce Johnson’s website ›
Diane Leslie is the author of Fleur De Leigh’s Life of Crime which, according to the New York Times, “offers a delicious and disturbing glimpse behind the high stucco walls of Hollywood, circa 1957.” She has a genuine gift for creating characters that live and breathe in the posh environs of her childhood. Great wit and insight in both her writing and conversation!Visit Diane Leslie’s website ›
Writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh has been called a “master of the excruciating moment.” Her witty and trenchant observations of the So Cal scene can be found in her critically acclaimed one-person show, Aliens in America; the best-selling essay collection, Depth Takes a Holiday, and the hilarious novel of L.A., If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now. “The Loh Life,” her lively radio commentary, is heard weekly on KCRW.
A graduate of L.B. Millikan High School, and now a professor at Loyola Law School, Yxta Maya Murray is the author of two novels set in today’s East Los Angeles: Locas, and What It Takes To Get To Vegas. According to the Chicago Tribune, Murray is a writer “with an insiders’s eye, eloquently capturing the struggles of being poor and Mexican-American in LA.”
Rita Nachtmann grew up in Illinois, graduated from NYU, acted and wrote in Chicago and New York City, and now lives in California, teaching dramatic writing at UCLA. Her eight plays include, How I Spent My Life’s Vacation (Pen West Award), Mama Drama and A Shiksa in Boca Raton, plus numerous one-acts and screenplays. Nachtmann adroitly pokes fun at the pretentious, and investigates life’s daily drama.
What an honor to have with us the current New York State Poet Laureate, Sharon Olds! Often compared to both Plath and Sexton, Olds is the author of several acclaimed books of poetry, most recently, Blood, Tin, Straw. This widely anthologized winner of numerous awards and grants teaches graduate writers at NYU, and severely physically challenged writers at a state hospital.Visit Sharon Olds’s website ›
Texas-born Sandra Scofield resides in Oregon. She is the author of seven novels - most recently Plain Seeing and A Chance to See Egyypt - and a National Book Award finalist for Beyond Deserving. Her writing combines humor and pathos with a sense of history and place and an “extraordinary understanding of the power of absence.”
Lee Smith’s writing “…sparkles like diamonds with all the diamond’s cutting edge,” revealing keen insights into small-town Southern life. Readers delight in Smith’s deft interweaving of lyric prose and richly comic scenes in her highly praised novels, which include, Family Linen, Fair and Tender Ladies, and Saving Grace, and in her three collections of stories, the latest of which is News of the Spirit.Visit Lee Smith’s website ›