I’m proud to have been, from 2013 through 2020, the Director of Writers Week, the longest-running, free literary event in California. The festival takes place every year at the University of California, Riverside, and regularly features seasoned authors, as well as those just beginning their careers. Starting in 2021, the Director is Allison Adelle Hedge Coke. Follow us on social media.
In those eight years, we brought an astounding array of brilliant writers, over 150 of them, to campus.
In 2020, we awarded Walter Mosley our LA Review of Books/UCR Creative Writing Lifetime Achievement Award. Other 2020 guests:
Stephen Minot Lecturer Norma Cantú, Charles D, Whitney Reader Ishmael Beah, Elizabeth Cantwell, Marilyn Chin, Kartla Cordero, Diana Marie Delgado, Jonathan Friedman, Rachel Howzell Hall, Brandon Hobson, Anna Journey, Angela Morales, Laila Lalami, Tom Lutz, Wendy C. Ortiz, Victoria Patterson, Cati Porter, Joseph Rios, Ricco Siasoco, Jake Skeets, Jerry Stahl, Susan Straight, Lisa Teasley, and Sergio Troncoso.
In 2019, we awarded Margaret Atwood our LA Review of Books/UCR Creative Writing Lifetime Achievement Award. Other 2019 guests included:
Keynote Speaker Rachel Cusk and Stephen Minot Lecturer Quincy Troupe, as well as Ayesha H. Attah, Aimee Bender, Evolve Benton, Sara Borjas, Lucille Lang Day, Alex Espinoza, Katie Ford, Ángel Garcia, Siel Ju, Anthonia Kalu, Chris Kraus, Casandra López, Yxta Maya Murray, Michael Nava, Ruth Nolan, Elise Paschen, Isabel Quintero, Arthur Sze, Trisha Thomas, and Desirée Zamorano
2018 guests included:
Maxine Hong Kingston, who received the LA Review of Books/UCR Creative Writing Lifetime Achievement Award, Hadara Bar-Nadav, Sherwin Bitsui, Chris Buckley, Micah Chatterton, Charmaine Craig, Nanette Deetz, Josh Emmons, Janet Fitch (Steven Minot Lecturer), Tee Franklin, Roxane Gay, Myriam Gurba, John Jennings, Krys Lee, James Luna, Marco Maisto, Gina Nahai, Tess Taylor, Justin Torres, and Vickie Vertiz
Writers Week celebrated it’s 40th anniversary in 2017. Ngugi was Thiong’o received the LA Review of Books/UCR Creative Writing Lifetime Achievement Award, and he appeared along with Stephen Minot Lecturer Dagoberto Gilb, Jade Chang, Natasha Déon, David Hernandez, Vaness Hua, Kima Jones, Michelle Latiolais, Robin Coste Lewis, William Luvaas, Ruth Nolan, Daniel Olivas, Lilliam Rivera, Luis Rodriguez, Michael Tolkin, and Sarah Vap, along with UCR faculty Emily Rapp Black, Rachelle Cruz, and Allison Adelle Hedge Coke.
John Rechyreceived the first LA Review of Books/UCR Creative Writing Lifetime Achievement Award, and Juan Felipe Herrera helped curate the poets, as it was his last year at UCR. Readers included Gabrielle Calvocoressi, David Campos, Brenda Cárdenas, Carolina De Robertis, Colin Dickey, Cory Doctorow, Piotr Florczyk, Parnaz Foroutan, Stephanie Hammer, Harmony Holiday, Li-Young Lee, Dinah Lenney, Matt Lippmann, Walter Mosley, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Daniel José Older, Angela Peñaredondo, Darryl Pinckney, Barbara Jane Reyes, Amy Uyematsu, and Karolina Waclawiak.
Readers included Keynote Speaker Claudia Rankine, Stephen Minot Lecturer NoViolet Bulawayo, Maria Bustillos, Steph Cha, Ching-In Chen, Michael Datcher, Geoff Dyer, Michelle Huneven, Ernest Hogan, MariNaomi, Mona Simpson, Alan Soldofsky, Jervey Tervalon and UCR faculty Mike Davis, Josh Emmons, Katie Ford, Tod Goldberg, Juan Felipe Herrera, Laila Lalami, Jane Smiley, and Allison Benis White.
The 2014 lineup included Keynote Speaker Wanda Coleman, Keynote Speaker Percival Everett, Daniel Alarcon, Daniel Chacon, Victoria Chang, Nicelle Davis, Kate Gale, Douglas Kearney, Krys Lee, Arturo Madrid, Nina Revoyr, Danzy Senna, Ben Stoltzfus, Ray Suarez, and UCR faculty Steve Erickson and Mark Haskell Smith.
2013 had Keynote Speaker Jamaica Kincaid, Stephen Minot Lecturer Jayne Anne Phillips, Jacqueline Berger, Reyna Granda, Patricia Hampl, Davan Maharaj, Rubén Martinez, Rebecca O’Connor, Marisela Norte, Aimee Phan, Sheila Sanderson, David Shields, Mariah Young, and UCR faculty Christopher Buckley, Tod Goldberg, and Nalo Hopkinson