2016 Seminar Speakers

Jonathan Penner    “Point of View”                                                                                                 
Monday,  January 25, 3:00 – 5:00PM, Casa de la Cultura
Jonathan Penner is the author of two novels, Going Blind and Natural Order, and two story collections, Private Parties and This Is My Voice.  His fiction has appeared in Harper’s, Paris Review, and many other magazines.  He has held writing fellowships from the Guggenheim and Fulbright Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts, and his many honors include the Drue Heinz Literature Prize.  Penner has taught fiction writing at the University of Arizona, the University of Hawaii, and Vanderbilt University, and has given lectures and readings abroad under the auspices of the U. S. State Department.

Christopher Merrill      “The Forgotten Language”
Tuesday, January 26, 7:00 – 9:00PM, Casa de la Cultura
Friday, January 29, 7:00 – 9:00PM, Casa de la Cultura

CHRISTOPHER MERRILL photoAppointed by President Obama to the National Council on the Humanities, Christopher Merrill has published six collections of poetry, including The Forgotten Language, and Watch Fire, for which he received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; many edited volumes and books of translations; and five works of nonfiction, among them, Only the Nails Remain: Scenes from the Balkan Wars and Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain. His latest prose book, The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War, chronicles travels in Malaysia, China and Mongolia, and the Middle East. His writings have been translated into over thirty languages; his journalism appears widely; his honors include a Chevalier from the French government in the Order of Arts and Letters. As director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Merrill has conducted cultural diplomacy missions to more than forty countries. He serves on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.                                                                                                      

Bruce Berger       “Collecting the World”
Wednesday, January 27, 7:00 – 9:00PM, Casa de la Cultura                            
Friday, January 29, 7:00 – 9:00PM, Casa de la Cultura 
Bruce-Berger_2-300x282Nonfiction writer and poet Bruce Berger is best known for a series of books exploring the intersections of nature and culture, usually in desert settings. The first of these works, the essay collection The Telling Distance, won the 1990 Western States Book Award and the 1991 Colorado Book Award, and its contents have been widely anthologized. It was followed by There Was A River, whose title piece is a narrative of what may have been the last trip on the Colorado River through Glen Canyon before its inundation by Lake Powell, and by Almost an Island, which recounts three decades of exploration and friendship in Baja California.  In October, 2008, Bruce Berger was sent by the Department of State to represent the United States at the Mussoorie International Writer’s Festival in northern India, followed by a week of readings in New Delhi and Mumbai.

Meg Thompson       “What Agents Can (and can’t) Do For You”                                                                                      
Thursday, January 28, 3:00 – 5:00PM, Casa de la Cultura
MEG TMeg Thompson started in publishing in 2002 working for President Bill Clinton in his Harlem office as a researcher and fact checker on his memoirs, My Life. She then went to work for Charlie Rose as a writer and researcher at his legendary PBS show before joining LJK Literary Management, LLC. She worked at LJK for six years before founding her own firm, which is now Thompson Literary Agency. Meg is interested in memoir, narrative non-fiction, psychology, health, science, cookbooks, and books on popular culture and humor. Her clients include New York Times bestselling authors Lisa Leake, Ken Denmead, Kelle Hampton, and Jeremy Rifkin; Scientific American reporter Katherine Harmon Courage, New Yorker and New York Times essayist Tim Kreider, New Yorker cartoonist and essayist Emily Flake, New York Times Style reporter Julia Chaplin, journalist Mason Currey, memoirist and novelist Gordon Chaplin, mapmaker and author Becky Cooper, party planner to the stars Mary Giuliani, James Beard Award-winner Alan Tardi, Missy LeHand biographer Kathryn Smith, memoirist and women’s rights activist Maria Toorpakai, and many more. She is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives, The Women’s Media Group, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions, and she was recently named an Innovator Fellow by the Tribeca Film Festival’s Disruptor Foundation.  She lives in New York City with her rescue dog Grace.

Cindy Uh         “What Agents Can (and can’t) Do For You”                                                                                                                     
 Thursday, January 28, 3:00 – 5:00PM, Casa de la Cultura
Cindy UhCindy Uh is an agent with Thompson Literary Agency. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston College with a degree in Communications and a minor in Faith, Peace, and Justice and went on to receive her J.D. from UCLA School of Law where she was the Editor in Chief of the Asian Pacific American Law Journal. After practicing law for six years, she left the world of litigation behind to pursue her lifelong love of books, getting her start in publishing as an intern at the Einstein Thompson Agency. Cindy joined Meg Thompson at Thompson Literary Agency in January 2015 and sold her first project, The Wayfarer’s Handbook, in a six-house auction. She is currently working with clients on several novels, including middle grade, young adult, and commercial fiction. While her focus is on fiction, on the nonfiction side, she is interested in biography, memoir, cookbooks, blog-to-book projects, health and wellness, and business. Cindy is also a member of SCBWI and on the Advisory Board of First Book Manhattan.

Andrea Barzvi         “What Agents Can (and can’t) Do For You”                                                                                                                  
Thursday, January 28, 3:00 – 5:00PM, Casa de la Cultura 
Andrea BarzviAndrea Barzvi started her own agency, Empire Literary, LLC, after thirteen years as an agent at ICM Partners. She represents both commercial fiction and nonfiction in the self-help (relationships, health, diet, fitness, lifestyle) categories as well as bloggers and celebrity and other memoirs. Some of her projects include The New York Times bestsellers The This Man trilogy by Jodi Ellen Malpas, He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, G-Free Diet by Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Making the Cut by Jillian Michaels, Five Factor Diet by Harley Pasternak, The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan, Howie Mandel’s memoir Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me as well as bloggers Lexi Kornblum of Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, Ilana Wiles of Mommy Shorts and Shelly Jaronsky of Cookies and Cups among many others. Andrea earned her law degree from Cardozo Law School before becoming an agent.                                                                                                                                                        

Viviane Mahieux             “Earth Needs Writers!”                                                                                                                     
Friday, January 29, 7:00 – 9:00PM, Casa de la Cultura 
VIVIANE FotoViviane Mahieux grew up in La Paz and Todos Santos. She has a BA from UC Berkeley and a PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University. She is currently Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at UC Irvine. She teaches and writes on contemporary Latin American literature, with a particular focus on Mexico. She has written Urban Chroniclers in Modern Latin America (University of Texas Press, 2011), and published in various academic and cultural journals, including Letras Libres and Nexos in Mexico.
Bryan Jáuregui             “Earth Needs Writers!” 
Friday, January 29, 7:00 – 9:00PM, Casa de la Cultura
BRYAN PHOTOBryan first came to Baja California Sur on a sea kayaking trip in the Sea of Cortez in 2000. She enjoyed the whole trip so much that two years later she married the guide, Sergio Jáuregui, and together they started Todos Santos Eco Adventures (TOSEA) and a boutique hotel, Los Colibris Casitas. TOSEA is now a leader in Baja trip innovation, quality and safety. Last year they published their first book, Birding in Baja California Sur, a collection of photographs by local artist Kaia Thomson. In 2015 they published a book of Los Colibris Chef Iker Algorri’s recipes, Cooking Adventures in Baja California Sur. Bryan writes regularly on Baja nature, culture and conservation,for the Journal del Pacifico and the TOSEA blog.

Heriberto Parra Hake      “Earth Needs Writers!”
Friday, January 29, 7:00 – 9:00PM, Casa de la Cultura

Foto Heriberto Parra Hake (1)Nació en Tepic, Nayarit; México donde realizó sus primeros estudios, se graduó de Ingeniero Agrónomo especialista en fitotecnia en la Escuela Nacional de Agricultura de Chapingo, México. Trabajó como investigador desde su creación en 1971 en el Campo Experimental Forestal Todos Santos, posteriormente fungió como Director regional del Instituto de Investigaciones Forestales y Agropecuarias del Noroeste. Dedicó la mayor parte de su carrera a la investigación sobra las plantas nativas útiles de zonas áridas y particularmente en la domesticación de Jojoba Simmondsia Chinensis y Neem Azadirachta indica. Paralelamente dedicó sus tiempos libres al cultivo de las artes, entre otras a escribir obras de dramaturgia, producción de obras de teatro, trabajo actoral de interpretación musical y muy particularmente a la promoción cultural, la rehabilitación del Teatro Manuel Márquez de León y la creación del Festival del Arte Todos Santos del cual fue director durante 15 años. Actualmente dirige el Vivero Todos Santos que se especializa en la producción de suculentas y plantas y flores exóticas.