The Visiting Writers Series at Hope College will conclude its 1999-2000 season with a reading by Luis J. Rodriguez and Susan Atefat Peckham on Monday, April 17, at 7 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.
Live music by the Hope College Jazz Chamber
Ensemble will precede the reading beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
Luis Rodriguez, best known for his memoir "Always
Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A." (1993), speaks
around the world to campuses and communities with standing-
room only audiences.
He bases his nonfiction and poetry on past
experiences as a teenage gangbanger. By the time he was 18,
he had lost 25 of his friends and family to suicide, murder
and other acts of senseless violence. He began his own
memoir as a 16-year-old, and was motivated to complete it as
his own son joined a gang in Chicago, Ill.
"Always Running" won the Carl Sandburg Literary
Award, and has also been recognized with a Lila Wallace-
Reader's Digest Writer's Award, a Chicago Sun-Times Book
Award, and several other fellowships and prizes. Rodriguez
lives in Chicago as a peacemaker among inner city gangs, as
he runs "Tia Church Press," which publishes emerging,
socially conscious poets.
Susan Atefat Peckham is in her first year as a
member of the Hope faculty, teaching creative writing as an
assistant professor of English. Her own writing is flavored
by her diverse background. She was born first-generation
American to Iranian parents, and has lived most of her life
in France and Switzerland, although she has also lived for
periods in Iran as well as the United States.
Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in "The
International Poetry Review," "International Quarterly,"
"The Literary Review," "The MacGuffin," "Onthebus," "Prairie
Schooner," "Puerto Del Sol," "The Southern Poetry Review,"
"The Sycamore Review" and "The Texas Review." She will be
anthologized next year in "In A Field of Words" (Prentice
Hall), and has been the recipient of various fellowships and
She was previously at the University of Nebraska,
where she earned her doctorate and taught creative writing,
literature and composition. She also served as an editorial
assistant for "Prairie Schooner Literary Magazine."