Book fair displays professors’ works

Katrina Cameron

Displaying the talents of local and regional writers and artists, the fifth annual San Diego City College International Book fair will occur from Sept. 24 to Oct. 2.

Free of cost, this year’s fair features a variety of events such as dance and drama programs, book panels and signings, documentary showings and readings.

“We tried to invite local and regional authors because we want to make it accessible to the students, families and the rest of the community regardless of income,” Virginia Escalante, book fair organizer and English professor at City College, said. “We want to uplift (attendees) spirits and enhance their learning. We want to make cultural events accessible to them, their families and the rest of the community.”

The event also displays talent from City College’s staff. Communications Department Chairwoman and RTVC professor Laura Castaneda co-produced the featured documentary, “Hybrid Identities: Artistic Voices from the Border,” along with Elizabeth Meehan and Antonio Jimenez, both City College professors.

“It’s an excellent documentary and it’s timely,” Escalante said. “Border issues are important and it gives a different view point of view… that challenges the stereotypes.”

The film features six artists from Tijuana, Mexico.

“All of us were tired (of) hearing about all the negativity coming from across the border so we decided to do something to show something positive for a change,” Castaneda said.

Her first documentary, “The Devil’s Breath,” was on the undocumented people who died in the 2007 San Diego wildfires. The film was nominated for an Emmy Award and also screened at the San Diego Latino Film Festival.

English and Labor Studies professor Jim Miller wrote the book fair featured novel “Flash”.

The novel follows the journey of journalist, Jack Wilson, as he investigates the century-old mystery of the identity of Bobby Flash- San Diego outlaw and revolutionary.

Miller has published poetry, fiction and non-fiction in a variety of journals and other publications.

Along with his wife, English professor Kelly Mayhew, Miller is a co-founder of the City Works Press.