2018 Schedule

Saturday, September 29th:

(Festival Registrants Only and at Camp Mariastella Unless Noted)

9:00 a.m. – Complimentary Coffee, Tea, Snacks, and Chat

9:30 a.m. – Welcoming Presentation & Ice Breaker

10:00 a.m. – Morning Workshops

12:00 a.m. – Lunch

1:30 p.m. – Keynote Presentation by Ron Koertge

2:15 p.m. – Afternoon Workshops

4:15 p.m. – Closing Presentation & Special Performance by Seven Dhar

7:00 p.m. – Poetry Slam @ The Village Grind (free, open to the public)

Sunday, September 30th:

(Free and Open to the Public Unless Noted)

Throughout the Day: One-on-One Editorial Help w/ Timothy Green (festival registrants only)

8:00 a.m. – Group Hike @ Grassy Hollow

9:00 a.m. – Young Poets Workshop @ Camp Mariastella – lead by teacher and poet Alejandro Escudé

9:00 a.m. – Adult Free Write @ Camp Mariastella

10:00 a.m. – Young Poets Award Presentation & Music @ Camp Mariastella – featuring Chet Noll on the chello.

11:00 a.m. – Festival Reading & Open Mic @ Camp Mariastella – featuring Ron Koertge, Nicelle Davis, Alejandro Escude, an open mic, and much more.

Saturday, September 29th

Keynote Presentation by Ron Koertge (festival registrants only)

1:30 p.m. @ Camp Mariastella

Ask Ron Koertgewhat he brings to the realm of young adult fiction and he responds matter-of-factly. “I write dialogue well, and I’m funny. I like iconoclasm and practice it in my fiction. I don’t like pretense or hypocrisy. I’m almost always irreverent.” A faculty member for more than 35 years at Pasadena City College, Ron Koertge is the author of several acclaimed novels, most of them for young adults. That Ron Koertge is a master at capturing teenagers’ voices–often in witty repartee–is fully evident in Margaux With An X, the story of a sharp-tongued beauty and a quirky, quick-witted loner. In addition to his young adult novels, Koertge is author of 19 books of poetry, and has been dubbed “the wisest, most entertaining wiseguy in American poetry” by poet laureate Billy Collins. In his inspiring 2018 Keynote Presentation, Ron Koertge will discuss the craft of entertainment, and what it takes to be a successful writer.

Performance by Seven Dhar (festival registrants only)

4:15 p.m. @ Camp Mariastella

Seven Dhar aims to push the limits of language, East and West, performing in Sanskrit and Gaelic, Spanish and the awed tongue of mystics. He’ll perform “The Shaman,” a Native American-tinged presentation, which includes humor, revolution, mysticism, and strong Irish elements. A Buddhist meditator, yogi, and urban shaman with Los Angeles Native American roots, he graduated from UC Berkeley and UCLA and also studied at Yale and Oxford. Among many other accomplishments, he was a Pushcart Prize nominee and the 2015 winner of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival chapbook contest. Seven is a poet from a bygone era enmeshed in our own, who combines the excesses of the Western canon with Buddhist, yogic, and Sanskrit sensibilities, Spanish revelry, urban shamanism, and playful mysticism.

Poetry Slam (free to the public)

7 p.m. @ The Village Grind (6020 Park Dr.)

For the third straight year, we’re bringing the lively spirit of slam poetry up into the mountains! Slam turns art into a competition, with poems olympic-style by volunteers from the audience. These are not your typical quiet poetry readings—the audience is encouraged to react, and the beer will be flowing as swiftly as the lines.

The rules will be traditional: original poems (or prose!) of any style, but no music, props, or costumes; a three minute time-limit per poem, with penalties for going over; and no repeating poems—there will be three rounds, so performers should have three poems ready to perform. The winner at the end of the night will earn $200, with another $75 for 2nd place and $25 for third. Festival registrants may perform for free; others may enter the competition for $5 at the door, though space is limited.

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Sunday, September 30th

Editing Advice with Timothy Green (festival registrants only)

GreenThroughout the Day @ Camp Mariastella

At various times throughout the day, Rattle editor Timothy Green will be offering one-on-one publishing advice to paid festival registrants. Sign up for a 10-minute slot, and have any questions answered about your work, or publishing in general. Bring writing samples, or anything else you want to ask about, given the time constraints. Space is limited, so sign up when you check in at Camp Mariastella on Saturday.

Group Hike (free to the public)

8:00 a.m. @ Grassy Hollow

cr:Sabrina Denunzio Grassy Hollow Visitor Center, located on Scenic Hwy. 2 in the San Gabriel National Monument, is the starting point of an easy hike that includes views of Mt. Baden-Powell, Antelope Valley, and the San Gabriel River Basin. Ten spots free parking. Also free parking on the highway. ($5 adventure pass required at other spots) Easy .8 mile hike at 7,300 feet elevation. Gail Nieto, naturalist, will lead the hike. If interested, sign up at the camp on Saturday. You’ll have the option to meet at Grassy Hollow or carpool from the camp. (duration: 1 hour)

Young Poets Workshop w/ Alejandro Escudé (free to the public)

9 a.m. @ Camp Mariastella

Day 2 of the festival is free and open to the public, and kicks off with a pair of writing opportunities for both young people and adults. The young poets workshop will be led by award-winning poet Alejandro Escudé. Alejandro will teach a brief lesson on poetry, and share writing exercises to guide participants through the creation of their own poem. Young poets of all ages are welcome, and parents are welcome, too! Bring a notebook and something to write with. (duration: 1 hour)

Adult Free Write (free to the public)

9 a.m. @ Camp Mariastella

While the young poets learn in the back portion of the lodge, the front room will be open to everyone else who wants a quiet space to relax and write. We’ll play some peaceful background music, and have writing prompts and resources around the room. Coffee, tea, and light snacks provided. Get writing! (duration: 1 hour)

Young Poets Award Presentation & Music w/ Chet Noll (free to the public)

10 a.m. @ Camp Mariastella

Come celebrate with the winners of our 2018 Young Poets Competition. The winners will receive their gift baskets and read their poems. Then, Chet Noll of Keyboard Art School of Music will perform kid-friendly poetry with vocal accompaniment on the cello. Afterword, there will be a brief reception with cake and coffee. (duration: 1 hour)

Festival Reading and Open Mic (free to the public)

11 a.m. @ Camp Mariastella

The main presentation on Sunday features readings and book signings by our guest faculty Ron Koertge, Nicelle Davis, Alejandro Escudé, and Yi Shun Lai, sometimes with cello accompaniment by Keyboard Art School‘s Chet Noll, all of it interspersed with an open mic and hosted by Rattle editor Timothy Green. Coffee, tea, and light snacks will be available. (duration: 2 hours)

Soap-Ku Contest (free to attendees, $5 online)

WholeLifeSoapsBefore you leave, don’t forget to drop off your entry for our haiku contest! Sponsored by Whole Life Soaps, the winning haiku poet will receive $50 and have their haiku printed on a specialty soap that will be available at the soap store for the rest of the year. The winner will also receive a few complimentary bars once they’re ready. The contest is free to enter for festival attendees, but those who can’t come to the festival can still enter for $5 online. There are no rules, other than that the haiku should relate to either nature or soap. Drop off your entry at Camp Mariastella that weekend of the festival for free, or enter online at WholeLifeSoaps.com. If you stop by the shop at 6013 Park Drive in Wrightwood, last year’s soap-ku bars might still be in stock. The 2017 winner was Cheryl Heineman:

My dad held me up.
I smell him almost in the
soap you left behind.

For more on the Soup-Ku process, read owner Bill McConnell’s blog post about the Soup-Ku Contest.