Literary Southwest event features authors Barresi, Brandeis

PRESCOTT - The Literary Southwest program opens the book on a new season on Friday, Sept. 20.

Two award-winning writers, Dorothy Barresi and Gayle Brandeis, will kick off the sixth season with a reading beginning at 7 p.m. The free event, open to the public, will take place at the Yavapai College Library in the Susan N. Webb community room (room 147).

Both authors have won numerous awards. Los Angeles-based Barresi is the author of four books of poetry and the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, the Emily Clark Balch Prize, and the Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Prize. She currently works as a professor of English and creative writing at California State University.

Brandeis is the author of numerous fiction books and the recipient of the Barbara Kingsolver Bellweather Prize for social engagement and the Silver Nautilus Book Award. She currently teaches in the Master of Fine Arts for Creative Writing program at Antioch University.

Brandeis said she was excited to visit Prescott.

"I was so excited to get the invitation. I've never been to Prescott and have some very good friends who live there, so I'm eager to explore the area and meet people, and share my work. It's a wonderful opportunity," Brandeis said.

While she's currently writing a memoir about her mother's suicide, Brandeis is known for tackling social issues in her fiction.

"The challenge is to write about social issues in such a way that it's not me getting on a soap box or where it sounds like propaganda. I am just engaging these issues through story and letting the characters grapple with them," Brandeis said.

She's recently finished a new young adult novel as well, which is expected to be published prior to the memoir. Brandeis has been writing since the age of four. The memoir, she said, is a new twist for her.

Friday's program will include audience questions and answers, readings, and a book signing. Coffee will be provided by the Friends of the Yavapai College Library. The event is made possible through the support of the Prescott Area Arts and Humanities Council, the City of Prescott Office of Tourism, Yavapai College and the Yavapai College Foundation. Friends of the Yavapai College Library and Peregrine Book Company provide additional support.

For author information, and for more on the Literary Southwest series, visit www.yc.edu/hassayampa.