Women’s Literary Festival

The first Women’s Literary Festival was initiated 12 years ago as a Santa Barbara event by Gail Marshall and her daughter Jennifer Adams, and this weekend marks the 12th Annual Women’s Literary Festival,  taking place on Saturday, October 28 from 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. at Fess Parker A Doubletree by Hilton Resort (633 E. Cabrillo Blvd.).

The idea to showcase women authors was inspired by their attendance at the Long Beach Women’s Festival. With a mission to celebrate diversity, literacy and social justice through women writers, the Santa Barbara event celebrates both the writers and readers connections to each other’s human spirit through dialogues on the inner dynamics of the creative writing process as it interweaves within the authors’ writing genre.

The five distinguished authors invited this year represent a diversity in fiction and nonfiction work and include:

Steph Cha, crime fiction mystery writer

Micheline Aharonian Marcom, a fiction novelist who bases her work on historical events

Enid Osborn, Santa Barbara Poet Laureate

Kate Schatz, a New York Times bestselling author of Rad Women books

Andrea Smith activist/author on women of color and Native American violence

The registration fee ($65) includes coffee, lunch and all author presentations, including Breakout Sessions. To register, visit womensliteraryfestival.com.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on October 26, 2017.

Poetry: William Stafford Community Reading

William Stafford, courtesy photo.

William Stafford, courtesy photo.

The 11th annual  William Stafford Community Reading takes place at the First Crossing Day Use Area on Paradise Road in Los Padres National Forest at 2 pm on Saturday, January 28.

“This year’s featured readers are Enid Osborn, Ron Alexander, and the inspiring student poets from the Los Prietos Boys Camp,” says organizer Paul J. Willis, former Santa Barbara Poet Laureate and Westmont College Professor of English. 

“There are always a couple of featured readers, but anyone in attendance is also welcome to read a Stafford poem aloud,” Willis says.

Since 2007, Willis has hosted the Los Prietos Stafford Readings, an annual community reading of the poems of William Stafford at the First Crossing Day Use Area on Paradise Road in Los Padres National Forest. This is the former site of the Los Prietos Civilian Public Service Camp, where Stafford served as a conscientious objector during World War II. The First Crossing Day Use Area does not have an address, but it is almost directly across the road from the Los Prietos Boys Camp, 3900 Paradise Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93105. (In case of rain, meet a mile down the road at the Los Prietos Ranger Station, 3505 Paradise Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93105.)

Also on the horizon at 7:30 pm on Thursday, February 16, the young adult novelist Sara Zarr will read and speak in Kerrwood Hall at Westmont College (955 La Paz Rd.).  Zarr is the author of six novels, the first of which, Story of a Girl, was nominated for the National Book Award.

Both of these readings are free and open to the public. 

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 26, 2017.