Highlights from the Bay Area Book Festival, 2019
On the weekend of May 3-5, 2019, the SFSU Creative Writing Department participated in the Bay Area Book Festival as a co-sponsor. Thanks to support from the Marcus Fund, we were able to contribute to this major local literary event in the following ways:
• As co-sponsors of the festival, the Creative Writing MFA Program was prominently featured on key materials for the festival, featured prominently in print, online, and in a major insert in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle preceding the festival.
• Our program held a festival booth in Downtown Berkeley for two full weekend days. This booth was staffed by Creative Writing faculty and graduate students, and received a great deal of foot traffic, inquiries, and expressions of enthusiasm about our program. As other local MFA programs at private universities also held booths nearby, our presence was essential to outreach for ongoing recruitment of prospective applicants, and for maintaining our profile as a premiere program and the Bay Area’s only public university MFA.
• As co-sponsors of the festival, our program held a featured panel entitled “SFSU Creative Writing MFA Program Presents: Who’s Got the Power?,” showcasing our department chair Nona Caspers, professors May-lee Chai and Michael David Lukas, and professor Carolina De Robertis as moderator. This well-attended panel discussion explored fiction writing from craft as well as sociopolitical perspectives, and publicly showcased the pedagogy and community that makes the SFSU Creative Writing program so unique. The lively discussion was followed by a question and answer session, and a book signing. (The photo included here features panelists and moderator with SFSU MFA students who were in attendance.)
• One faculty member attended the private Women Lit Salon during the festival weekend, with the festival’s major donors and literary leaders such as the editor of The Paris Review.
• Creative Writing faculty attended the exclusive Author Gala on May 3, along with leading figures of the national literary landscape, building community and networks on a broad scale. Select MFA students also attended via +1 tickets offered by faculty, offering a rare experience and expansion of horizons for our students as they venture into the broader literary landscape.