University of Southern California

Festival of Books 2013

Why Did the Writer Cross the Genre?: About the Panelists

Luis Alfaro is a Chicano writer/performer known for his work in poetry, theatre, short stories, performance and journalism. He is also a producer/director who spent ten years at the Mark Taper Forum as Associate Producer, Director of New Play Development and co-director of the Latino Theatre Initiative. His plays and performances include ElectricidadNo Holds BarrioBody of Faith, Straight as a LineBitter Homes and Gardens, LadybirdBlack Butterfly and Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. Alfaro is the recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant and is Assistant Professor in the USC School of Dramatic Arts.

Bernard CooperBernard Cooper is the recipient of the 1991 PEN/USA Ernest Hemingway Award, a 1995 O. Henry Prize, a 1999 Guggenheim grant and a 2004 National Endowment of the Arts fellowship in literature. His work has appeared in several anthologies, including The Best American Essays of 1988, 1995, and 1997, 2002, and 2008. His work has also appeared in magazines and literary reviews including Harper’s, The Paris Review, Story and The New York Times Magazine. He teaches Creative Non-Fiction at Bennington College and at the USC Master of Professional Writing program.

Dinah LenneyDinah Lenney (Moderator) wrote Bigger than Life and co-authored Acting for Young Actors. Her essays and reviews have appeared in Agni, Creative Nonfiction, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The New York Times and elsewhere. She teaches in the Bennington Writing Seminars, the Rainer Writing Workshop and in the Master of Professional Writing program at USC. Counterpoint Press will publish her memoir, The Object Parade, in spring 2014.

Sandra Tsing LohSandra Tsing Loh is a writer, whose books include Mother on Fire, A Year in Van Nuys, Depth Takes a Holiday and If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home By Now. “THE BITCH IS BACK” (Atlantic) was named 2012 Best American Essay and will be published as a book by W.W. Norton in 2014. Her syndicated daily minute “The Loh Down on Science” is heard weekly by almost 4 million people.