Yuba Lit to focus on values threatened under Trump | TheUnion.com

Yuba Lit to focus on values threatened under Trump

Stephen Roberson
Staff Writer

On Friday, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

From where Rachel Howard sits, Trump's administration has many concerned about the freedoms and values they currently enjoy. The question becomes how to channel those concerns.

Howard, a Nevada City memoirist and fiction writer who launched Yuba Lit in September, 2015, turned her focus to the ninth installment of the reading series. On Friday, Yuba Lit will host "United We Stand: Writers Respond to Trump," a reading with three local authors whose work addresses the values they believe could be threatened by a Trump presidency.

"We're in a new reality now," Howard said. "Are we just going to pretend this new reality isn't happening?"

"United We Stand: Writers Respond to Trump" is at 7 p.m. at The Open Book, 671 Maltman Drive in Grass Valley. Tickets are sold on a $5-$10 sliding scale (nobody is turned away for lack of funds) and may be purchased in advance at https://theopenbook.yapsody.com/event/index/59294/yuba-lit to guarantee a seat. Tickets, as available, may also be purchased at the door by cash or check.

Friday's featured readers include Nevada City novelist Sands Hall, Sacramento poet Indigo Moor and Nevada City environmental science writer Jordan Fisher Smith.

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OUT OF THE ORDINARY

This month's Yuba Lit includes some special features. Half of the proceeds will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Also, there will be 10 flash readers instead of the standard five. Flash readers are audience members selected through raffle tickets to read a passage of their own original work.

"It's important for those of us who are worried about possible restrictions on the idea of freedom that is the bedrock of our nation," Hall said. "Freedom to worship as we choose, freedom to love whom we choose, freedom to assemble, peaceably.

"Rachel has designed the evening so that we can hear from others in addition to the featured readers — called 'a page or a poem,' it offers the opportunity to hear from a number of voices."

READERS' CHOICE

Howard said deciding whom to invite was pretty simple, and each of the writers is free to choose what they want to read.

"Who is speaking the kind of truth that seems to be threatened in the current culture?" she asked rhetorically, describing her selection criteria. "I've not given them any directives as to what they should read or what they should address."

NOT EVERYONE HAS TO AGREE

Howard said she recognizes some audience members will be Trump supporters, and that's a good thing. During intermission of the last Yuba Lit held nine days after the election, Howard got into a heated discussion with an audience member who'd voted for Trump and supported a plan to register Muslims. While the discussion did not bring the two closer to agreement, the audience member stayed.

"They are so, so welcome, and it's so important to have conversation with people who may hold different policy desires than our own," Howard said. "Let's discuss policy ideas in a truth-seeking way and in a place of seeking mutual understanding."

Hall agreed diverse opinions only add to the dialogue.

"I'm hoping for a crowd that understands the most beautiful things about the country in which we live is our freedom of expression," she said. "I hope we hear from all kinds of different perspectives."

To contact reporter Stephen Roberson, email sroberson@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

yuba lit

WHEN: 7 p.m. Jan. 20

WHERE: The Open Book, 671 Maltman Drive, Grass Valley

PRICE: $5-$10

SPEAKERS: Nevada City novelist Sands Hall, Sacramento poet Indigo Moor and Nevada City environmental science writer Jordan Fisher Smith

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