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Spring Arts Preview: Books and Lectures

Pico Iyer

Santa Barbara’s literary community is bursting with life this spring, thanks to intuitions like Chaucer’s Books, where writers and readers continue to gather for inspiration. On Thursday, March 25, poet Cecelia Woloch will appear there to read from her new collection of poems, Carpathia. Two days later, on Saturday, March 27, Child Abuse Listening & Mediation holds it annual Celebrity Authors’ Luncheon at the DoubleTree Resort, featuring bestselling novelist Elizabeth Berg, comedian Carol Leifer, and others.

April is poetry month, which means a series of poetry-related community events. Don’t miss the Santa Barbara Poetry Series on Saturday, April 3, at the Faulkner Gallery, when area poets will read their recent work and sell copies of their books. Wednesday, April 7, brings suspense novelist Gayle Lynds to Chaucer’s to sign The Book of Spies. That same evening, filmmaker Werner Herzog and writer Pico Iyer will appear in conversation at UCSB’s Campbell Hall, courtesy of Arts & Lectures.

The weekend of April 10 and 11 is a rich one for poetry lovers: Sojourner Kincaid Rolle and Carol DeCanio will read at Karpeles Manuscript Museum on Saturday, April 10, and the Mission Poetry Series returns on Sunday, April 11, with Dan Gerber, Angelica Jochim, and Joyce La Mers reading and discussing their work at the Mission Renewal Center.

The following day, Monday, April 12, the popular Mind & Supermind series kicks off a new season with a panel discussion on mindfulness and social transformation at the Lobero Theatre. The series also includes a talk by Dr. Daniel Amen on Monday, April 26, and one by Dr. Daniel Siegel on Monday, May 10.

As May approaches, you might want to consider hitting the road for the Ojai Storytelling Festival, which runs from Friday, April 30, through Sunday, May 2, and brings with it a talented cast of performers and writers. Saturday, May 1, marks the Women’s Literary Festival, an intimate gathering of female writers and readers at the DoubleTree, including bestselling author Lisa See. Arts & Lectures follows with a strong double bill: On Monday, May 3, David Sedaris will return to the Arlington Theatre, where his readings always draw an enthusiastic crowd, and Greg Mortenson (of Three Cups of Tea fame) will appear there the next night, Tuesday, May 4.

Looking ahead, the sorely missed Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference returns this summer, running from Thursday, June 17, to Wednesday, June 23, at the Hotel Mar Monte and featuring stalwart speaker Ray Bradbury alongside authors Pico Iyer, Ron McLarty, and Alberto Urrea.

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