Impressions of the USA

Note: Cong Tran, or Tran Quoc Cong in Vietnamese naming convention, paid his first visit to the United States in 2007, an invited guest at the memorial service for author and Pulitzer Prize winning Vietnam War correspondent David Halberstam. ... Mr. Tran suspects his first visit to the U.S. was also his last.

By Cong Tran
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Oklahoma City Bombing: Speak Tenderly to the City

An annual remembrance of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Some of you have succumbed to the propagandized image of the “Muslim terrorist”—even some of you who are pretty darn progressive. What image comes to mind when you hear the word “terrorist”?

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Trinkle Tinkle:

Frank's Maiden Voyage to the Senior Center

By Dan McClenaghan

Jolene enrolled me in a class, something about learning how to baby my ailing heart. I bitched about it, but acquiesced. The morning of the class, I ate my English muffin and washed it down with two cups of coffee, jumped into my car and aimed myself at the Senior Center.

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Pursuing the Dream

What You Need to Know About DACA, Immigration, and Beyond

From Brave New Films

In Trump’s America, it seems that no one is safe from detention and deportation, even if you have legal grounds to be in the United States.

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Sun Dog

By Ruth Nolan

—All that backyard and
         (no) watchdog / my grass is uneasy—

He says he knows, he knows what it’s like
to go from desert heat to the cold and back.

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Lentil Soup

By Penny Perry

A coyote calls to its kin.
A rabbit shifts under porch light.
Lizards, coyotes, hummingbirds,
foxes—your daughter, Natalie,
rescued, nursed them all.

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Creative Writing Workshops Spring-Summer Schedule

Writers Read at Fallbrook Library Offers Two New Creative Writing Workshops

Writing for Our Lives

Women’s voices are censored—often silenced—in a multitude of spirit-crushing ways. This workshop encourages women of all ages to explore our voices, our experiences, our spirits, and to write our stories, loud and clear.

Summer Read and Critique

Join a group of committed writers who appreciate constructive input and writerly camaraderie.

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Declaration of Defendence

By Conney D. Williams

I save my tears for weddings and presidential elections
while America the beneficent thrusts anthems up our spleens
the pasty ballot of deprecation without representation
please GOD, bless Ol’ Glory with sufficient stars and stripes
to vandalize my person until even bowels lose their allegiance

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Book review: Goosestep by Harold Jaffe

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

While a tide of new political activists is frothing across the nation, one seasoned revolutionary is quietly practicing his decades-long resistance in Mission Hills. Harold Jaffe, author and SDSU professor, continues his quest to challenge popular perception in his 24th book, Goosestep: Fictions and Docufictions (Journal of Experimental Fiction Books, November 2016).

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At Risk of Drowning

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

I love this road. Its metropolitan name, Fifth Street, belies its rural character. Just past the Rainbow Oaks—a favorite of truckers and bikers, which means good coffee, ample servings and a bar—acres of plants potted for sale line the road’s borders. Rustic fences, never-mowed yards, overhanging trees. And it has a wonderful dip, to accommodate a creek that becomes a roiling river when we have the rare downpour in San Diego County.

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On the Front Lines

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

You look in the bedroom mirror, small enough to deny self-adoration, and pull your brownish hair into a ponytail. Tight, like Mother used to do it, just the right way. You turn to the bed. Your clothes are laid out on sheets held taut by perfect hospital corners. You dress in practical layers, to accommodate the variable temperatures of the daylong vigil you perform every Thursday. First, your unmentionables, then flesh-tone tights and a plain white t-shirt. Next, the pleated blouse Mother used to wear, when you held the vigils together, and ski pants, a modest one size too large. Finally, a nice worsted wool skirt you found at Goodwill for a dollar. It’s a bit matronly, but you top it off with your 12-week ultrasound hoodie.

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Writers Read Presents Rocco Versaci

Join Writers Read at Fallbrook Library on February 14, 2017

Rocco Versaci‘s That Hidden Road is a funny, bittersweet and sometimes aching story of loss and recovery. It recounts the author’s bout with cancer, fractured family, and cross country cycling quest in search of self—illustrated with Versaci’s comics.

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The Power of Art and Things to Come

A profile of artist Patrick Brown

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt

Artist Patrick Brown is a fairly quiet man—perhaps a bit shy—with a cute laugh, a slight Southern accent, and a gentle sadness that sometimes shades his eyes. It’s a companionable sorrow, though. It reaches into his paintings and says, “It might hurt, but it’s OK to look; you know me.” And while there’s no recognized treatment for his particular sorrow, it is treatment of another sort that brought Patrick to California almost four years ago, from Nashville, Tennessee.

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Writers Read Presents “An American Genocide”

The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe

Between 1846 and 1873, California’s Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Madley is the first historian to uncover the full extent of the slaughter, the involvement of state and federal officials, the taxpayer dollars that supported the violence, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended. This deeply researched book is a comprehensive and chilling history of an American genocide.

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The Gift of the Magi

By O. Henry

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

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