Writers Week 2021 UCR Department of Creative Writing Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony: Rita Dove, Joy Harjo, Juan Felipe Herrera  

Friday, February 19
UCR 6:30-8:00 pm PST 
Register here

UCR Department of Creative Writing 
Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony

This award night is the closing event of the UCR-hosted festival.
A ticketed after-event award celebration is scheduled with LA Review of Books. Learn more

2021 LA Review of Books (LARB) – UCR Department of Creative Writing 
Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees, 
US Poet Laureates

Rita Dove
Joy Harjo  
Juan Felipe Herrera 

Department of Creative Writing

44th Annual Writers Week Festival 2021

Allison Adelle Hedge CokeWriters Week director
Writers Week is the longest-running, free literary event in California and features the most renowned authors of our day alongside those at the start of promising careers. writersweek.ucr.edu

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke 
Director, Writers Week
Distinguished Professor

Tom Lutz 
Publisher, Los Angeles Review of Books 
UCR Creative Writing Department Chair 
Distinguished Professor 


February 13 and 16-19, 2021
ONLINE. Free and open to the public. 

Captioned & ASL translated.
February 20 Post-festival ticketed celebration with our Lifetime Achievement Award partner LA Review of BooksLearn more

Download the Interactive Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees Poster here

Download the Interactive 44th Writers Week Poster here

Rita Dove, Joy Harjo and Juan Felipe Herrera

2021 LA Review of Books (LARB) – UCR Department of Creative Writing 
Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees, US Poet Laureates

Mike Davis – D. Charles Whitney Reader 
Karen Tei Yamashita – Stephen Minot Lecture

44th UCR Writers Week Featured Writers 
Millicent Borges Accardi • Kazim Ali • Francisco Aragón • Joseph Cassara • Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle • Camille T. Dungy • Carolyn Dunn • Steve Erickson • Kelli Jo Ford • Reyna Grande • Stephanie Elizondo Griest • Nalo Hopkinson • LeAnne Howe • John Jennings • Stephen Graham Jones • Laila Lalami • Brandy Nālani McDougall • Shin Yu Pai • Craig Santos Perez • Tommy Pico • Elizabeth Powell • Kamala Puligandla • Alison C. Rollins • Jane Smiley • Michael Torres • Melissa Valentine • Allison Benis White

Friday, Feb 19
Session 3 – UCR 6:30-8:00 pm PST

2021 LA Review of Books (LARB) – UCR Department of Creative Writing 
Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees, US Poet Laureates

Rita Dove 
2021 LA Review of Books (LARB) – UCR Department of Creative Writing 
Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree, US Poet Laureate, Poet Laureate of the Virginia Commonwealth 

Collected Poems 1974-2004 (W.W. Norton, 2016)
The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry (Penguin, 2011)
Rita Dove, University of Virginia   
Rita Dove, Library of Congress  

Joy Harjo  
2021 LA Review of Books (LARB) – UCR Department of Creative Writing 
Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree, US Poet Laureate

An American Sunrise (Norton, 2019
When the Light of the World was Subdued (Norton, 2020
Joy Harjo, Joy Harjo  
Joy Harjo, Blue Flower Arts 
Joy Harjo, Library of Congress 

Juan Felipe Herrera  
2021 LA Review of Books (LARB) – UCR Department of Creative Writing 
Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree, US Poet Laureate, California Poet Laureate

Every Day We Get More Illegal (City Lights, 2020)
187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007 (City Lights, 2007
Juan Felipe Herrera, UCR Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing  
Juan Felipe Herrera, Blue Flower Arts 
Juan Felipe Herrera, Library of Congress  



Rita Dove 
In 1993, Rita Dove was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, making her the youngest person – and the first African-American – to receive this highest official honor in American Poetry. She served 1993-1995. In 1999 she was reapppointed Special Consultant in Poetry for 1999/2000, The Library of Congress Bicentennial year. From 2004-2006, she served as Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia. She is a Pulitzer Prize winner (Thomas and Beulah, 1987), author of numerous poetry books, a novel, short stories, a play, and, as editor, The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Her honors include the 1996 National Humanities Medal from President Clinton and the 2011 National Medal of Arts from President Obama — the only poet ever to receive both medals — as well as the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities, the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets, Lifetime Achievement Medals from the Liberty of Virginia and the Fulbright Commission, as well as 28 honorary doctorates, and an NAACP Image Award (for Collected Poems: 1974-2004). She has served as president of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and as chancellor of the honor society Phi Beta Kappa. An elected member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is the Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. Her next volume of poems, Playlist for the Apocalypse: Poems, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton in the summer of 2021.  

Joy Harjo 
Joy Harjo’s nine books of poetry include An American SunriseConflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. Harjo’s memoir Crazy Brave won several awards, including the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the American Book Award. She co-edited two anthologies of contemporary Native women’s writing: When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through and Reinventing the Enemy’s Language: Native Women’s Writing of North America, one of the London Observer’s Best Books of 1997. She is the recipient of the Ruth Lilly Prize from the Poetry Foundation for Lifetime Achievement, the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets for proven mastery in the art of poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the United States Artist Fellowship. In 2014 she was inducted into the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally, solo and with her band, the Arrow Dynamics. She has five award-winning CDs of music including the award-winning album Red Dreams, A Trail Beyond Tears and Winding Through the Milky Way, which won a Native American Music Award for Best Female Artist of the Year in 2009. Harjo’s latest is a book of poetry from Norton, An American Sunrise. In 2019, Joy Harjo was appointed the 23rd United States Poet Laureate, the first Native American to hold the position. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Juan Felipe Herrera 
Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012-2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Every Day We Get More IllegalNotes on the AssemblageSenegal TaxiHalf of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include: SkateFate, Calling The Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. His book Jabberwalking, a children’s book focused on turning your wonder at the world around you into weird, wild, incandescent poetry, came out in 2018. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.


The 44th Writers Week 2021 is made possible by support from Ken Crocker, Inland Empire Magazine, Thea Temple / Jack and Jacob Myers Literary Fund, Riverside Latino Network, African Student Programs, Middle Eastern Student Center, UCR Department of English, UCR Department of Ethnic Studies, UCR Department of Music, UCR Department of Theatre, Film, and Digital Production, Center for Ideas and Society, California Center for Native Nations, Dr. Michael Alexander, Associate Professor and Maimonides Chair of Jewish Studies, Dr. Melissa Wilcox, Professor and Holstein Endowed Chair, Pr. Alex Espinoza, Associate Professor, Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair of Creative Writing and English, Distinguished Professor, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Dr. Clifford Trafzer, Distinguished Professor of History and Rupert and Jeanette Henry Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs, UCR ARTS, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Dean’s Office, our generous sponsors through #UCRGivingTues donors, Native American Student Programs Office (NASP), Joshua Gonzales, Director, the Ratcliffe Family Creative Writing Endowment Fund and Los Angeles Review of Books.

#UCRGivingTues* donors include: Mark O. Bailie, Melissa A. Bartholomew, Katherine Benouar, Kathleen DeAtley, Clyde D. Derrick III, Terri L. Dunlap, Pr. Alex Espinoza, Diana Fontaine, Katherine K. Fugate, Jeffrey J. Girod, Kimberly V. Gomez-Fraser, Pr. Allison Hedge Coke, Travis B. Hedge Coke, Dr. Laila Lalami, Malinn C. Loeung, Michael Lundell, Jennifer Merrett, Heather M. Morales, LaSharon A. McLean Perez, Cati Porter, Rachel L. Pulido, Assistant Vice Chancellor Emily M. Rankin and Eveleen D. Samayoa.

Book purchases
A hyperlink is now available for all attendees to purchase books from our own campus B & N bookstore here. Cellar Door Books is our recommended local independent store. Be sure to stop by their page.

Information: writersweek@ucr.edu 

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Click here to read UC Riverside's statement of support for Black Lives Matter and Native Land Recognitions. 

View the 44th Writers Week Events Calendar Directory here

Friday, February 19, 2021 at 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Virtual Event