This is overdue, but we wanted to give a recap of the SGV LitFest that we attended last month. It was mega packed, three days of glory, shine, poetry, fiction, food, small presses, vendors, music, and authors authors authors.
So much was going on it was impossible to attend, see, hear, experience everything. You’d need to clone yrself at least three times–a fourth time if you left to use the bathroom. You might as well hold it in because you did not want to miss a thing.
Friday, 15 February 2013
The Festival opened with 3 Stages.
The Inlandia Institute, a non-profit literary center headquartered in Riverside, opened the Library Stage.
Creepy Gnome Magazine hosted the Main Stage, featuring some authors it has published. They have put together a good magazine these last two years. This April will see their third annual publication. Buy it.
We were in attendance at Stay Classy Creative Writing Club‘s hour at the Outdoor Stage. They are a talented group of writers and readers. Their president opened the reading in a barbaric yawp–he recited Howard Beale’s “mad as hell” speech from Network (1976). We were hoping that loud cries of “I’m mad as hell too” would ripple through the crowds. It looked like it was about to happen like doing the wave at a baseball game, but the crowd was all poetry line break enjambed
During hour two we were fortunate to host a slot with a line up of some our authors. We had a good crowd with new faces.
Roy Anthony Shabla read some poems in association with his Keys chapbooklette but not from the chapbooklette collection itself. These poems continue to play with the symbol of lock and keys. When Shabla reads, it is always different. You might notice when he reads his more avant-garde poems. You can find some videos of him reading on YouTube. He also has a ton of publications and books available.
Kevin Ridgeway has been publishing all over the place within the last two years. He’s already landed a chapbook and even has another book of poems out titled All the Rage. He pleased the crowd with a reading of the title poem “Tape Deck Blues” and others.
Charlotte N. San Juan (she doesn’t write the “N”) read “Another Yellow Union Pacific” with some new and old poems. She is one of four authors to be included in the SGV’s Chapbook Compilation Contest titled Diesel–the book is fuming hot with new poetry.
Thomas R. Thomas (who does include the “R”) read some of his characteristic poems. He keeps his poems comparatively short and breezes through them like quick images that, if you are not paying attention to, you lose.
Happy we were to include Elder Zamora. When he breathes the architecture of his poetry, you will be taken to another place. That afternoon he took the crowd to visit his Vietnamese coworker, conveying differences in culture, and he also took us all to Sana’a when he read the poem which is the feature of his chapbooklette.
We mixed and mingled with authors and guests, meeting some great people.
The Food Trucks eventually got here. We were all hungry. It was way past lunch at 3:45. While many people left in search of food at the mall, we waited for the food. We heard it was going to be good. They booked The Dosa Truck (masters of South Asian cuisine, owned by a Brooklyn native Leena Deneroff). They also booked Crepe’n Around, one of the best, if not the best, crepe food truck in Los Angeles.