Las Positas Anthology: showcasing literary talent

Joshua Basrai
Staff Writer

“In the 4 .a.m. shadows we embraced, taking blood from the night transfused into morning; bones of memory, disappointment dissolved into mercies, a universe of living grace in her tender death.”

Sound like a riveting passage from great American literature and poetry? This is actually passage from a poem titled “Forgiveness” in Las Positas College’s very own anthology, written by Susan Wilson, first place winner and local teacher. Wilson, a local teacher in Livermore, took the Lydia Wood award for first place in prose and poetry.

“I’ve won some awards here before, but not like this.” said Wilson.

Her story titled “The Touch,” which covers the first seven years of her life in Appalachia took first place along with her poem titled “Forgiveness.”

The Las Positas College anthology class hosted their awards ceremony on Saturday May 12 to celebrate their publication of this year’s Anthology, “Descent of Dreams.”

The event commemorated the 30th anniversary of LPC’s annual creative writing publication. For many years, students at Las Positas and the surrounding community have used this publication as an avenue to publish their literary creations.

The collaboration produces a captivating collection of poetry, artwork ranging from photography to painting, and an abundance of short stories. More importantly, it provides an outlet for aspiring writers here at LPC and the surrounding community to have an opportunity to become published writers. Through this bond with the community, LPC has paved a path for a tradition of community interaction.

The consummate result of the latest collaboration came in the form of an awards ceremony. Writers, poets, and artists all gathered together to honor and celebrate the winners in three categories. Students, members of the Livermore community, and various sponsors were all in attendance to honor the publication of this book. Members of the anthology club handed out awards to the subsequent winners for prose, poetry, and artwork.

“I can’t obviously speak for about all the ones that were previously published, because I was not apart of that process,” Osama Ansari, the publication’s editor-in-chief said. “But this time I think people have gone above and beyond our expectations, and I think the teachers will vouch for that.”

There were three main awards for artwork, prose, and poetry. The panels of judges were randomly selected through the Tri-Valley branch of the California Writers Club. Each submission was judged anonymously.

Ari Farooq, husband of editor in chief, Osama Ansari, came in second behind Wilson.

He took second place in prose with his story entitled “The Tragedy of Almansur.”

Tyler Jinks, a student at LPC, took third place in prose, for his story entitled “m+.”

Peggy Schimmelman, another local resident, took second place for poetry for her poem entitled “Black.” Steven Santana, a student here at LPC, took third place for poetry for his poem entitled “Sandy Man.”

From paintings to photography, there are numerous illustrations in the anthology, all submitted by the community and students.

Local resident Neeraj Gupta took first place in artwork for his picture entitled “Golden Gate” for his HDR camera shot of the Golden Gate bridge.

“I took multiple shots in different exposure levels. It is a beautiful place, I go there whenever I can,” said Gupta said. “This is a hobby of mine, and I go there for family time.”

Second place for artwork was given to Lily Xu, for her painting, “Spring Rain.” Third place was given to Ramona Peterson, a student here at LPC for her photograph taken in Cuba of a Babaaláwo priest.

Finding members in the community to contribute was part of the anthology staff’s job. Through various outlets, they were able to get enough submissions and contributions to print this edition in color.

“To reach out to the community, we used a mix of talking to our peers, using Facebook, going to libraries, and coffee shops,” said Rosemary Plute, public relations manager. “We also created our first Facebook page.”

The class, which is offered during the spring under instructors Melissa Korber and Richard Dry, give students an opportunity to network with the community as well as test out their publishing skills.

“Everything you see here is done by the students,” Dry said. “We just help them out by giving them the resources and help them if they have any questions, but the actual production of the book is done solely by the students.”

You can support LPC’s publication by purchasing a copy for $10 in the bookstore.

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