The CSUSM Community and World Literary Series hosts on-campus literary readings several times a semester. Our visiting authors have produced some of the most innovative and original work in contemporary poetry, fiction, drama and performance art. Some of these writers are local to southern California, while others come from elsewhere in the country and the world. All are at the forefront of developments in contemporary aesthetics and culture.
Students, faculty, staff, and members of the public are invited to experience, live, some of the most exciting literature of the present moment. Whether you think of yourself as a writer, someone who wants to be a writer, or someone who’s interested in any of the amazing possibilities in contemporary literature, art, culture, politics or history, The Community and World Literary Series offers you a chance to hear and interact with writers exploring subjects of crucial contemporary relevance. Their work may very well suggest possibilities for your own future.
Come on out and become part of the CSUSM literary community! Each event is free and open to the public, and no tickets are required!
Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom and has lived transnationally in the United States, Canada, India, France, and the Middle East. His books encompass multiple genres, including the volumes of poetry Inquisition, Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth Day; All One’s Blue; and the cross-genre texts Bright Felon and Wind Instrument. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and among his books of essays are the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. He is also an accomplished translator (of Marguerite Duras, Sohrab Sepehri, Ananda Devi, Mahmoud Chokrollahi and others) and an editor of several anthologies and books of criticism. After a career in public policy and organizing, Ali taught at various colleges and universities, including Oberlin College, Davidson College, St. Mary's College of California, and Naropa University. He is currently a Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. His newest books are a volume of three long poems entitled The Voice of Sheila Chandra and a memoir of his Canadian childhood, Northern Light.
Francesco Levato is a poet, a literary translator, and a new media artist. Recent books include Arsenal/Sin Documentos; Endless, Beautiful, Exact; Elegy for Dead Languages; War Rug; Creaturing (as translator); and the chapbooks A Continuum of Force and jettison/collapse. He has collaborated and performed with various composers, including Philip Glass, and his cinépoetry has been exhibited in galleries and featured at film festivals in Berlin, Chicago, New York, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA in Poetry, a PhD in English Studies, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Literature & Writing Studies at California State University San Marcos.
Courtney E. Morgan is the author of The Seven Autopsies of Nora Hanneman, a finalist for the Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Award. Her writing has also appeared in Pleiades, Lunch Ticket, American Book Review, and others. Morgan is the founder and managing editor of The Thought Erotic sexual culture journal and received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she has also taught. She currently teaches at Lighthouse Writers Workshop, runs an outreach writing program in local homeless shelters, and teaches personalized on-site and online creativity and writing courses. She lives in Denver with her son and is working on a literary speculative novel.
Chad Sweeney has published six books of poetry, most recently Little Million Doors (Nightboat Books, winner of the Nightboat Prize, 2019), White Martini of the Apocalypse, Parable of Hide and Seek (Alice James), and Wolf’s Milk (bilingual Spanish/English, Forklift Books)—as well as two books of translation, including Pablo Neruda’s final book, Calling on the Destruction of Nixon and the Advancement of the Chilean Revolution (Marick Press, 2019) and The Art of Stepping Through Time, the selected poems of Iranian dissident poet, H.E. Sayeh (White Pine, with Mojdeh Marashi). Sweeney’s work has been featured in Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Poets & Writers, Verse Daily and is forthcoming in Poem-a-Day from the Academy of American Poets. He teaches creative writing at California State University San Bernardino and lives in Redlands with his partner, Jennifer K. Sweeney and their two little boys.
Raised along the borderlands of Calexico, CA, Karla Cordero is a descendant of the Chichimeca people from Northern Mexico, a Chicana poet, educator, and ARTtivist,. She is a three-time Pushcart nominee and has received fellowships from VONA, Macondo, CantoMundo, the Loft Literary Center, and Pink Door Retreat. She is the editor of SpitJournal, an online literary review for poetry and social justice, and the founder of Voice 4 Change, a reading and workshop series promoting diversity and cultural competency. Her poems have appeared and forthcoming in The Boiler Journal, PANK, ANMLY, Tinderbox, Bettering American Poetry, The Acentos Review, the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign Rally, The BreakBeat Poets Volume 4, and LatiNext Anthology, among other anthologies and publications. She is the author of the chapbook Grasshoppers Before Gods (Dancing Girl Press 2016). Her full-length collection of poems, How To Pull Apart The Earth (NOT A CULT 2018) is a 2019 San Diego Book Award winner and awarding-winning finalist for the 2019 International Book Awards. She currently serves as a Professor of Creative Writing and English at MiraCosta and San Diego City College.
Charles Borkhuis is a poet, playwright, screenwriter, and essayist. His nine collections of poems include: Dead Ringer [BlazeVOX], Finely Tuned Static (with paintings by John McCluskey) [Lunar Chandelier], Disappearing Acts [Chax], and Alpha Ruins [Bucknell University], selected by Fanny Howe as a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Book Award. His plays have been presented in NYC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hartford, and Paris and have been published in Mouth of Shadows [Spuyten Duyvil], The Sound of Fear Clapping [Obscure Press], Present Tense [Stage This 3], and Poets’ Theater [Ailanthus]. His two radio plays The Sound of Fear Clapping and Foreign Bodies were produced on NPR and can be heard at pennsound. He is the recipient of a Dramalogue Award and the former editor of Theater: Ex, an experimental theater publication. He lives in New York City and San Diego and has taught at Hofstra University and Touro College.
Stay tuned for details about our other upcoming events!