By Jefferson Beavers, communication specialist, Department of English
More than 100 writers will gather in Fresno’s Tower District on Saturday, Oct. 16 for LitHop 2021, the city’s free literary festival.
At least half of the writers performing at LitHop have connections to Fresno State as students, faculty, staff, or alumni. This includes three shows that feature fellows from the university’s Laureate Lab Visual Wordist Studio, and six current graduate students from the Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing.
The lineup — which includes more than 30 readings to choose from at seven different venues, between noon and 7:30 p.m. — features literary heavy-hitters such as U.S. Poet Laureate Emeritus Juan Felipe Herrera, and current and past Fresno poets laureate Megan Anderson Bohigian and Marisol Baca. LitHop’s schedule is also full of high school and college student writers, slam poets, published authors with multiple books, performers reading in Spanish and Hmong, and more.
Fresno State’s Laureate Lab fellows are scheduled to perform at three shows:
- 1 to 1:45 p.m. at The Revue coffee shop (620 E. Olive Ave.) — Readings and Experiments from the Laureate Lab. Featuring Anthony Cody, Paul Sanchez, Rodolfo Avelar, and Rebeca Abidail Flores.
- 2 to 2:45 p.m. at Hart’s Haven bookstore (950 N. Van Ness Ave.) — A Future Reading from the Laureate Lab. Featuring Chevas Vandel, Gaoyong Yang-Vang, Hermelinda Hernandez Monjaras, and Tony Vang.
- 4 to 4:45 p.m. at Fresno Music Academy (1298 N. Wishon Ave.) — Readings and Experiments from the Laureate Lab. Featuring Juan Felipe Herrera, J.J. Hernandez, Mariah Bosch, and Javier A. Lopez.
The full festival schedule is available. LitHop venues will operate in accordance with local, state, and national health guidelines regarding the spread of COVID-19.
LitHop is an initiative of the Fresno Arts Council and was founded in 2016 by Lee Herrick, a past City of Fresno poet laureate who teaches at Fresno City College. In addition to Herrick, this year’s organizing committee includes poet and educator Von Torres, who teaches at Clovis Community College; poet and educator Juan Luis Guzmán, a Fresno State alum who teaches at Fresno City College; and author Lisa Lee Herrick.