The fall 2018 Fresno Poets’ Association reading series celebrates Fresno State writers, including an accomplished poet and professor emeritus, and a featured reading with two new fiction faculty from the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing.

Admission is free to all three community readings, which are sponsored by the Fresno State College of Arts and Humanities, Arte Américas, and The Revue.

Saturday, Sept. 29 – Fresno State creative writing faculty

Readers will include:

  • Venita Blackburn, author of the story collection “Black Jesus and Other Superheroes.”
  • Joseph Cassara, author of the novel “The House of Impossible Beauties.”
  • Steven Church, author of the nonfiction book “One with the Tiger.”
  • Corrinne Clegg Hales, authors of the poetry collection “To Make it Right.”
  • John Hales, author of the nonfiction book “Shooting Polaris.”
  • Brynn Saito, author of the poetry collection, “Power Made Us Swoon.”
  • Tim Skeen, author of the poetry collection “Risk.”

Faculty Randa Jarrar and Mai Der Vang will not read on this night.

The reading will be held at 7 p.m. in the community gallery at Arte Américas, 1630 Van Ness Ave.

 Friday, Oct. 26 – Venita Blackburn and Joseph Cassara

Venita BlackburnJoseph CassaraBlackburn and Cassara joined the Fresno State English Department faculty this fall.

A native of Compton, Calif., Blackburn earned her MFA from Arizona State University, was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship in 2014, and won several Pushcart Prize nominations. Her debut story collection, “Black Jesus and Other Superheroes,” won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Blackburn’s writings have appeared or are forthcoming in The Paris Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Print Quarterly Journal, American Short Fiction, and others.

A native of New Jersey, Cassara was a 2016-17 writing fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Mass. He earned his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His debut novel, “The House of Impossible Beauties,” was published in 2018 by Ecco Press, an imprint of HarperCollins. The book was chosen by Barnes & Noble as a Discover Great New Writers selection.

The reading will be held at 7 p.m. in The Backroom at The Revue coffee bar, 620 E. Olive Ave.

Friday, Nov. 16 – C. G. Hanzlicek  

A poet and professor emeritus of English, Hanzlicek retired in 2001 from Fresno State after 35 years, many of which he directed the Creative Writing Program. He coordinated the Fresno Poets’ Association from 1994-2009. Hanzlicek’s ninth book of poetry is “The Lives of Birds,” published by the Ash Tree Poetry Series, an imprint of Tebot Bach. His work has appeared in many anthologies and journals such as: Poetry, Kenyon Review, Southern Review, North American Review, Hudson Review, and Iowa Review.

The reading will be held at 7 p.m. in the Alice Peters Auditorium (Peters Business Building, Room 191) inside the University Business Center at Fresno State. Parking is free and recommended in lots P5 or P6.

(Creative Writing Program graduate assistant Nou Her contributed to this report.)