Las Vegas Writes
Since 2009, Nevada Humanities has commissioned writers for the Las Vegas Writes anthology to develop original works addressing a theme connected to Las Vegas. These works are compiled into a book-length volume of stories, essays, and poetry called Las Vegas Writes and published by Huntington Press. Nevada Humanities hosts a book launch event every year at the Las Vegas Book Festival with readings and conversations moderated by the project editors. Las Vegas Writes authors are also featured in readings and events throughout the state. Las Vegas Writes is published annually by Nevada Humanities. Current and past editions of Las Vegas Writes are sold by booksellers online and throughout the state or at the Nevada Humanities offices in Reno and Las Vegas.
2019 Las Vegas Writes
A Change is Gonna Come: Reinvention in the City of Second Changes
Las Vegas Writes, Volume 10
Nevada Humanities announces the publication of A Change Is Gonna Come: Reinvention in the City of Second Changes, Volume 10 of the ongoing Las Vegas Writes series, published by Huntington Press. Every year Nevada Humanities and the Las Vegas Writes project commission a series of writers to develop an original work surrounding a theme connected to Las Vegas. For the past nine years, topics have focused on Las Vegas’ history, future, and literature, highlighting the broad scope of the literary talents of those who live and work in Nevada. A Change Is Gonna Come showcases 14 Las Vegas-based writers who explore the theme of reinvention. Through essays, short stories, and poems, the authors explore the various manifestations of reinvention in the context of Las Vegas, long regarded as a city of second chances. Co-editor Scott Dickensheets notes, "Most reinvention is neither sinister nor worthy of note; it’s just everyday personal growth, as we work to extend or escape our narratives and histories."
Celebrating 10 Years of Las Vegas Writes Contributors
A Change Is Gonna Come Book Launch and Conversation with the Authors
Moderated by Scott Dickensheets and Geoff Schumacher
Thursday, October 17, 2019
Reception at 6:00 pm, Program at 7:00 pm
Clark County Library Theatre
1401 East Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV
Free and open to the public
Jennifer Battisti, Steve Bornfeld, Harry Fagel, Lonn M. Friend, A.D. Hopkins, Dayvid Figler, Veronica Klash, Oksana Marafioti, Mike Prevatt, Vogue Robinson, Erin Ryan, Steve Sebelius, Amanda Skenandore, & Elizabeth Quiñones-Zaldaña
Las Vegas Writes, Volume 10
A Change is Gonna Come: Reinvention in the City of Second Chances
Jennifer Battisti, a Las Vegas native, studies creative writing at Nevada State College. Her work has been anthologized in Legs of Tumbleweed, Wings of Lace, Where We Live, an anthology of writing and art in response to the October 1 tragedy and is forthcoming in The Good Fight. Her worked has also appeared in Desert Companion, Minerva Rising, The Citron Review, FLARE, Helen: A Literary Magazine, The Red Rock Review, 300 Days of Summer, and elsewhere. She is a contributing writer for Las Vegas Woman magazine. She is the coordinator and a participating teaching artist for the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project in Clark County. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Helen Stewart Poetry Prize, and was voted best local poet or writer by the readers of Desert Companion. Her first chapbook, Echo Bay was released in 2018 (Tolsun Books).
Originally from the Bronx, Steve Bornfeld spent decades working for daily newspapers and magazines in New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and, since 1997, Las Vegas. As an entertainment/feature writer, editor, and columnist, his work has appeared in the New York Post, Boston Herald, Hollywood Reporter, and the Gannett and Hearst newswires, as well as locally in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Weekly, Vegas Seven, Las Vegas Life, Desert Companion, and Showbiz Weekly. He has been honored with multiple state, regional, and national journalism awards from the Nevada Press Association, Best of the West journalism contest, and the Society for Features Journalism. In 2018, he was hired as managing editor/principal writer for LasVegasNewswire.com, produced by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Bornfeld is also a published poet and author of two one-act plays staged at Las Vegas Little Theatre. As a Bronx boy at heart, his only complaint about Las Vegas is he can’t take the subway to work.
Harry Fagel is a lifelong resident of Clark County, and served for twenty-five years in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, retiring at the rank of captain. He has authored two books of poetry published by Zeitgeist Press and has been published in numerous anthologies. He received the Hildebrand grant from the University of Nevada, Reno and has been commissioned for a range of poetry projects, both private and public. His album Wordmurder, available from Wood Shampoo Records, featured the late Tommy Marth on saxophone. He is currently writing full time, producing poetry, books, performance art, photography, and more. He loves his wife and kids more than anything.
Dayvid Figler is a lifelong Nevadan. He bounces like a manic racquetball ball between the worlds of law (where he’s a capital defense attorney) and prose (where he’s a professional essayist and storyteller). A two-time Nevada Arts Council Fellow, 2013 Las Vegas Book Festival Crystal Bookmark honoree, and 2019 Medal of Justice recipient from the Nevada State Bar, he finds quirky solace in the third rail of poetry.
Lonn M. Friend writes about music, culture, and life. His first major recognition came during his stint as editor of the music periodical RIP Magazine in the late 1980s and early ’90s, where he wrote about most of the major music acts of the day, including Guns N’ Roses and Metallica. He told the story of those years in his 2006 memoir Life on Planet Rock, following up in 2011 with the rest of the story in Sweet Demotion: How An Almost Famous Rock Journalist Lost Everything and Found Himself (Almost). He has also appeared frequently as a commentator for music shows on VH! And E! Entertainment, and in rock documentaries. He has written locally for Las Vegas Life, Las Vegas Weekly, Vegas Seven, and Desert Companion, and nationally for HITS, Relix, Metal Edge, In the Loop and others.
Award-winning journalist and Nevada Newspaper Hall of Famer A.D. Hopkins is a native of Stuart, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Richmond. He moved to Las Vegas in 1969, and during his forty-six-year career worked for all three of Las Vegas’ daily newspapers, largely as an investigative reporter and editor. He was founding editor of Las Vegas Today, one of the first magazines about the casino industry. He edited Nevadan and Cerca, magazines published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He also edited the Cerca County Guides series of books, including Great Hikes, Road Trips, Mountain Biking, and Adventures. He edited many books for Stephens Press, including Base Camp Las Vegas. Hopkins co-authored The First 100, a history of Las Vegas, and is an authority on early Nevada gunslingers. The Boys Who Woke Up Early, his debut novel, was released in 2019 by Imbrifex Books and reflects realities and people Hopkins met as a reporter in the small towns, police stations, and courthouses of Virginia in the 1960s.
Veronica Klash loves living in Las Vegas and writing in her living room. Her fiction work has been published in online literary magazines such as Cheap Pop and Ellipsis Zine. She is a fiction reader for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas literary magazine Witness. Her nonfiction can be found in Desert Companion. When she’s not writing, Veronica indulges in her other obsessions: food, martinis, and goofy socks. Find more at veronicaklash.com.
Oksana Marafioti is an award-winning American writer of Armenian-Romani descent. Her memoir American Gypsy was published in 2012 by FSG. She has published essays and stories in Time, Slate, The Rumpus, Pilgrimage, storySouth, and several anthologies, including Immigrant Voices (Penguin Books, 2015). She is a 2013 Library of Congress Kluge Fellow and a guest lecturer at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Mike Prevatt is a Los Angeleno by blood but a Las Vegan at heart. After frequent visits as a teenager and college student, he relocated to the Las Vegas Valley in 1998 and began his professional journalism career at alternative weekly Las Vegas CityLife, where he began covering local musicians and became the first local journalist to cover the Strip’s DJ and nightlife scene. After a brief hop back to Los Angeles, he returned to Las Vegas and CityLife at the dawning of Downtown’s Fremont East scene, where Mike immersed himself in its musical and lounge/DJ scene. He moved to Las Vegas Weekly in 2013, covering a greater range of topics, and then transitioned to radio producer at KNPR in 2019. Mike is still an avid concertgoer, as well as a fussy cinephile and an unabashed roller-coaster enthusiast. You can follow him on Twitter at @mikeprevatt.
Elizabeth Quiñones-Zaldaña earned a B.A. in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her poetry has been published in From Snowcaps to Desert Flats: An Anthology of Latino Writers in Nevada; Legs of Tumbleweeds, Wings of Lace: An Anthology of Literature by Nevada Women; Clark: Poetry from Clark County, Nevada; and 300 Days of Sun. Her chapbook, Bougainvillea, is forthcoming in August 2019 from Tolsun Books. She lives in Southern Nevada with her husband and three children.
Vogue Robinson was named Clark County’s second-ever poet laureate in 2017, and she currently serves as executive director of the nonprofit Poetry Promise, Inc. Robinson is a graduate of San Diego State University, where she earned her BA in English. Vogue has been working with the valley’s Battle Born Slam team since 2013, and has represented Vegas at four national competitions. She is the author of Vogue 3:16 and her work has also been published in Clark, Desert Companion, Red Rock Review, and Legs of Tumbleweeds, Wings of Lace: An Anthology of Literature by Nevada Women.
Erin Ryan has seventeen years of clips in her garage, about half wrapped up in Las Vegas. As a writer and editor for newspapers and weekly magazines, she has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, Best of the West, and state press associations in Idaho and Nevada. As a freelancer, she fine-tunes a little of everything and tells stories for outlets ranging from Travel + Leisure and Guardian Media Group to Las Vegas Magazine and Desert Companion. Off the page, she is mom to an ancient dog and a brand-new human.
Steve Sebelius has covered government and politics for nearly thirty years in California and Nevada, writing for daily and weekly newspapers and television stations. He’s currently the politics and government editor for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, where he writes a weekly column on Nevada politics. He’s also the political analyst for 8NewsNow, the Las Vegas CBS affiliate, where he co-hosts the weekly show PoliticsNOW. Sebelius graduated from Biola University in La Mirada, California, in 1989. He worked for the Huntington Beach Independent, the Pomona Progress-Bulletin, the Sacramento Union, the Las Vegas Sun, the San Bernardino Sun, and Las Vegas CityLife before being hired to write political columns for the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 1999. Sebelius also served as the editor of CityLife from 2005-2011. In 2010, he was hired to do political analysis for 8NewsNow, and in 2015, began co-hosting PoliticsNOW.
Amanda Skenandore is the author of two historical novels, The Undertaker’s Assistant and Between Earth & Sky, winner of the 2019 American Library Association’s Reading List award for Best Historical Fiction. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their pet turtle, Lenore.
Scott Dickensheets is the deputy editor of Desert Companion, the magazine of Nevada Public Radio. Before that, he top-edited Las Vegas CityLife and the Las Vegas Weekly, served as managing editor of Las Vegas Life, and worked in a number of positions at the Las Vegas Sun. Dickensheets has edited, co-edited, or contributed to eight previous volumes of the Las Vegas Writes series and was an assistant editor of Nevada: 150 Years in the Silver State.
Geoff Schumacher is the senior director of content for the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, responsible for its exhibits, artifacts and public programs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno, and his master’s degree in history from Arizona State University. He had a twenty-five-year career in journalism, with stops at the Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas CityLife, Las Vegas Mercury, Las Vegas Review-Journal and Ames (Iowa) Tribune. He is the author of Sun, Sin & Suburbia: A History of Modern Las Vegas and served as editor of Nevada: 150 Years in the Silver State, the official book commemorating the state’s sesquicentennial. He is associate editor of the Nevada Historical Society Quarterly and has edited, co-edited or contributed to seven editions of the annual Las Vegas Writes anthology for Nevada Humanities.