The long-running series has been held on campus since 2009. The Fresno Poets Association was originally started decades prior by alumnus C.W. Moulton, who was deeply influenced and supported by famous creative writing program emeriti faculty Philip Levine, Peter Everwine, and Chuck Hanzlicek. It will continue with this evening’s reading by Glover Davis, a pupil of Levine’s.
“Glover was among the first generation taught by Levine,” Jefferson Beavers, a Communications Specialist for the Fresno State English department, says. “He was a Navy man and originally came to Fresno State to earn a bachelor’s degree in something else, but took writing courses from Levine and Levine changed his life.”
Glover went on to become a well-known poet and author of six poetry collections, including My Cap of Darkness and the forthcoming Against Winter. Not only is he a Fresno State alumnus but a professor emeritus of creative writing at San Diego State University. He’s also an alum of the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His work has appeared in journals including The Southern Review, Poetry, The Yale Review, Prairie Schooner, and the New England Review.
Beavers says this is the first time Glover has read on campus since a tribute to the late Levine in 2016, and even more time has passed since he last read from his own body of work. With Against Winter soon to be released, attendees will be able to hear some of Glover’s latest work.
“It is great for a poet from the first generation to connect with current students,” Beavers says. “It not only benefits students, but this is great for the community literary scene. It’s a great way to kick off this series and for Glover to kick off his new book. It gives everyone a chance to hear him share his new work in his own voice.”
At the second reading in the series on Oct. 12, five Fresno State faculty members will read excerpts from their most recent works. Readers include Steven Church, author of the nonfiction book One with the Tiger: Sublime and Violent Encounters Between Humans and Animals; Corrinne Clegg Hales, author of the poetry collection To Make It Right; John Hales, author of the nonfiction book Shooting Polaris; Randa Jarrar, author of the book of stories Him, Me, Muhammad Ali; and Tim Skeen, author of the poetry collection Risk.
For those unfamiliar with the series, Beavers says the faculty reading is a great introduction to the literary community as audience members will get to hear from a variety of voices.
He says he is most excited to hear from Jarrar, who was recently awarded the American Book Award. The October event will be her first Fresno reading since receiving the honor. Skeen is another Beavers is anxious to hear speak, as he just released his third book of poems.
The third and final reading in the series will be held Nov. 2 and will feature Shawn Wen, a writer, public radio producer, and multimedia artist debuting her first creative nonfiction book, A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause, a book-length essay on the mime Marcel Marceau. Wen’s writing has appeared in The New Inquiry, The Seneca Review, The Iowa Review, and the anthology City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis. Her radio work has been broadcast on This American Life, Freakonomics Radio, Marketplace, and Youth Radio.
“She is interesting because she has worked as the main public radio producer for Youth Radio and this is her debut nonfiction book,” Beavers says. “I’m interested to see how she mixes her public radio aesthetic with nonfiction creative work.”
All readings in the series will be held at 7 p.m. at the Alice Peters Auditorium (Peters Business Building room 191) in the University Business Center. Admission is free. Parking is recommended in lots P5 and P6 and is free for the Friday reading only. On the other nights, a free parking code is available by calling 559-278-1569.
(Photos provided by Jefferson Beavers)