Two Truths and a Lie

UCSC’s Living Writers Series offers a (mostly) non-fiction reading lineup this fall

Peter Orner
Nina Revoyr
David Vann

“Two truths and a lie is a creative writing exercise in which students write about three events in their life, two true, one a lie, and the class tries to figure out which is the lie,” says UCSC associate literature professor Micah Perks.

“It's an exercise in convincing an audience through details and voice,” she adds.

It’s also the title of this fall’s installment of the Creative Writing Program’s Living Writers Series, where each quarter the Literature Department brings up to 10 notable writers to the UCSC campus.

“The title of our series playfully refers to the fact that many of these writers also write fiction and/or poetry as well as non-fiction,” explains Perks, co-director of the Creative Writing Program.

“It also refers to the question that underlies non-fiction as a genre: what is truth?”

The Living Writers Series is attended by all creative writing students, and is free and open to the general public.

The Bay Tree Bookstore helps out by selling the author’s books at each reading.

“Our aim is to connect the UCSC creative writing community to the larger community of professional writers, and to expose the campus to as wide a variety of writers as possible,” says Perks.

The readings take place on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. in the Humanities Lecture Hall.

This fall’s guests will include Pulitzer Prize winning alumna Martha Mendoza, "sexpert" Susie Bright, and award winning novelist and human rights lawyer Peter Orner—who edits collections such as Underground America for McSweeney's Voice of Witness series.

Check out the complete lineup below:
September 29-- Jaimy Gordon
Jaimy Gordon’s “fantasy” novel, Shamp of the City-Solo, has garnered an underground following, and is regarded as one of the finest comic novels in the last 50 years. Her most recent book, Lord of Misrule, won the National Book Award for fiction.

October 6-- Nina Revoyr
Nina Revoyr is the author of four novels: The Necessary Hunger, Southland, The Age of Dreaming, and Wingshooters, for which she received the Midwest Bookseller’s Choice Award and the Indie Bookseller’s Choice Award. Wingshooters was also named one of Oprah’s ‘books to watch out for.’

October 20--Martha Mendoza
Martha Mendoza graduated from UCSC and started her career as an Associated Press National Writer. Mendoza won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in investigative journalism for her work on the No Gun Ri story. Her writing has prompted Congressional meetings and Pentagon investigations alike.

October 27--Peter Orner
Peter Orner is a human rights lawyer, editor, and writer of novels and short stories. His works include: Esther Stories, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo, Underground America: Narratives of Undocumented Lives, and the soon-to-be-released Love and Shame and Love: A Novel.  Orner has been awarded several honors including the Guggenheim Fellowship, Lannan Literary Fellowship, and the Bard Fiction Prize.

November 3--Maggie Nelson and C. S. Giscombe
Maggie Nelson is a poet and non-fiction writer. Her nonfiction work includes: The Red Parts: A Memoir, Bluets, and, recently, the 2011 release of The Art of Cruelty. Nelson’s poetry has been published in six collections; the most recent is Something Bright, Then Holes.

C. S. Giscombe’s love of the outdoors is evident in his poetry as well as his teaching at UC Berkeley, where he has taken nonfiction classes on nature-oriented fieldtrips. His books include Giscome Road, In and Out of Dislocation, and Prairie Style. In 2008 he received the American Book Award for Prairie Style.

November 10-- Susie Bright
“Sexpert” Susie Bright is a writer, performer, and teacher on the subject of sexuality. A UCSC alum, she has written several books, including Mommy's Little Girl and How to Write a Dirty Story. Her latest work is titled Big Sex, Little Death: A Memoir. Bright founded the first women’s erotica book series, Herotica, and was editor for several of its volumes.

November 17--David Vann
David Vann writes both fiction and non-fiction and has won several awards, including the Grace Paley Prize 2007, California Book Award 2008, the Prix Medicis 2010, and the Premi Llibreter 2011. His work has been published by 22 different publishers in 16 different languages. Vann’s books have also appeared on 43 Best Book lists in 10 countries. His works include Caribou Island, Sukkwan Island, A Mile Down, and Legend of a Suicide.

December 1—Student Reading

Sponsored by the Literature Department, Porter Hitchcock Poetry Fund, Puknat Endowment, Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center, Laurie Sain Creative Writing Endowment, and El Centro: Chicano Latino Resource Center.