RC Literary Arts

In 1999, the Reedley College Speakers Series began with an appearance by local peach farmer and author David Mas Masumoto. In subsequent years, the series has hosted such writers as Tobias Wolff, Philip Levine, Charles Baxter, Bernard Cooper, Joyce Carol Oates, Jane Smiley, Richard Blanco, Meg Wolitzer, Richard Rodriguez, Brian Turner, T. C. Boyle, Manuel Munoz, and Timothy Egan, to name just a few.

One Book/One College

In 2016, the RC Literary Arts adopted the 1Book/1College program, hoping to create a college- and community-wide conversation around a single work in the belief that a shared experience leads to deeper and more meaningful engagement and connection. That first 1B/1C selection was Richard Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory followed by T.C. Boyle’s The Tortilla Curtain. For 2018, our common read was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, featuring members of the Lacks family as our guests. In 2019, we hosted Meg Wolitzer, author of The Female Persuasion, and in 2020, we read Susan Orlean's The Library Book. 2021 brought Tommy Orange and his novel, There, There. Timothy Egan joined us in 2022 to discuss his book, The Big Burn and Sonia Segovia was with us in 2023 with her novel The Murmur of Bees. In 2024 we look forward to Javier Zamora being with us to discuss his memoir, Solito.

Many instructors incorporate the One Book into their courses and/or encourage students to participate in a series of free events to encourage college-wide conversation, creativity, and community.

Javier ZamoraSolito by Javier Zamora

Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador in 1990. His father fled the country when he was one, and his mother when he was about to turn five. Both parents' migrations were caused by the U.S.-funded Salvadoran Civil War. When he was nine, Javier migrated through Guatemala, Mexico, and the Sonoran Desert. His debut poetry collection, Unaccompanied, explores the impact of the war and immigration on his family. Zamora has been a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard and holds fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

Solito Book Cover“The magic of this book lies not only in the beguiling voice of young Javier, or the harrowing journey and immense bravery of the migrants, or in the built-in hero’s journey of this narrative. It’s hard to reconcile the fact that this book hasn’t always been with us. How can something so essential and fundamental to the American story not already be part of our canon?”

—San Francisco Chronicle

“Zamora . . . recounts in absorbing detail the dangerous, weekslong journey he took from ElSalvador to reunite with his parents in the United States when he was just 9.”

—The New York Times

Javier Zamora to visit Reedley College:

March 14, 2024 at 7:00PM
RC Cafeteria

Speaker Series 2023-2024

Author of the award winning Here, Bullet, Brian Turner, in celebration of his newest collection of poems, The Wild Delight of Wild Things.

Located in the RC Forum Hall
View Campus Map

Longtime RC Favorite, Mas Masumoto, in celebration of his new memoir, Secret Harvests: A Hidden Story of Separation and the Resilience of a Family Farm.

Located in the RC Forum Hall
View Campus Map

RC Authors Emeriti in Conversation - retired faculty members, David Borofka and Deborah Lapp, in celebration of their new books, The End of Good Intentions (novel) and At Home: A Client's Appreciation for Authentic Architecture (architectural memoir).

Located in the RC Forum Hall
View Campus Map

San Francisco Shakespeare Festival

Donate to Writers by the River

The Literary Arts Speakers Series has a long tradition of bringing Pulitzer and National Book Award-winning authors to Reedley College.  Your donation to the Writers by the River will help continue to bring life-enriching literary and cultural experiences for our students and community.