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In operation since 1973, the Cox Center promotes Steinbeck’s goals of empathy and mutual understanding through public programming, free curriculum for teachers, and fellowships for emerging writers.

 News and Events 

Join us Thursday Dec 10, 7pm, for a book launch. Silicon Alleys: Selected Metro Columns, 2005-2020, by Former Steinbeck Fellow Gary Singh. Zoom link.

The Center for Steinbeck Studies wishes to express its sympathy to the family of Anthony Veasna So, a current Steinbeck Fellow, who died unexpectedly this week. Anthony was a world-class literary talent at the beginning of a spectacular career. His loss is a blow to the literary community of SJSU, the Bay Area, and the world. Anthony's work appeared in The New Yorker, n+1, and many other publications. His first book, Afterparties: Stories, will be published by Ecco Press in August 2021. Anthony will be deeply missed.

Three of the 2020-2021 Steinbeck Fellows -- Tammy Delatorre, Daniel Pearce, and Anthony Veasna So -- read from their work in a free event held on Zoom December 3 at 7:00pm Pacific. Watch the reading on YouTube.

Congratulations to Chef José Andres, who received the 2020 John Steinbeck Award on Monday, November 30. The event was co-sponsored by the Commonwealth Club of California and featured Chef Andrés in conversation with 2004 Steinbeck Award winner Sean Penn and Steinbeck Center Director Nick Taylor. Watch the event on YouTube.

Biographer William Souder presented his new book, Mad at the World: A Life of John Steinbeck (W.W. Norton) on Monday, October 19, 7pm on Zoom. Souder discussed the book and his writing process with Steinbeck Center Director Nick Taylor and answered questions from the audience. A recording of the event is available on the Center's YouTube channel, as well as an audio transcript.

Steinbeck Center Director Nick Taylor participated in an online "tertulia" (seminar) on Steinbeck and Mexico sponsored by UNAM, the National Autonomous University of Mexico. In the YouTube recording, Taylor discusses Steinbeck's deep love of Mexican art, literature, and cinema with Prof. Adela Pineda of Boston University, author of a new scholarly volume on Steinbeck and Mexico.

For those who missed it live, here is the recording of the July 8, 2020, Reading by Black Steinbeck Fellows, featuring L. Rebecca Harris, Carrie R. Moore, Tommy Mouton, and SJSU Professor Keenan Norris.

L. Rebecca Harris (Fellow 2012-2013) is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco, where she earned a Master of Arts in Writing. She was an original member of WritersCorp, a unit of Americorps, the domestic Peace Corps program established by President Clinton. Through WritersCorps, she worked on several creative-writing projects with young people throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.  She has taught English and Creative Writing to middle school, high school and community college students. She lives in Oakland, California.

Carrie R. Moore (Fellow 2019-2020) is a graduate of the University of Southern California and Stanford University. She has published her fiction in The Normal School and received the Erica Landis Memorial and Tennessee Williams Scholarships. This fall she will be starting the MFA program at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas.

Tommy Mouton (Fellow 2013-2014) is a graduate of Southern University and San Jose State. His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have been published in Auburn Avenue, Callaloo, Reed Magazine, and other venues. He currently teaches at Huston-Tillotson University, an HBCU in Austin, Texas.

Due to COVID-19, the Center for Steinbeck Studies is open to researchers by appointment only. Email steinbeck@sjsu.edu to schedule an appointment.

Online Resources Available 24/7:

Six new Steinbeck Fellows have been selected for the 2020-2021 academic year. Congratulations to Rita Chang-Eppig, Tammy Delatorre, Brice Particelli, Daniel Pearce, Kate Osana Simonian, and Anthony Veasna So. Read more.

Schedule update: Due to the regional shelter-in-place order, the Steinbeck Fellows reading on April 22 has been postponed until fall semester.

Read Marcus Mumford's speech, delivered at the 2019 Steinbeck Award ceremony, about the influence of John Steinbeck in his thinking about justice, power, and community.

Announcing a paid summer program for SJSU students: the Steinbeck / Gentlemen of the Road Service Fellowship brings together a cohort of students from SJSU and Stanford to complete a summer of community service. The overall mission is to respect Steinbeck’s legacy by combining public service and creative writing, and to encourage engaged collaboration between students from the two great universities of “Steinbeck Country."

2019-2020 Visiting Scholar Dr. Luchen Li gave a presentation on November 4, 2019 at China's Hebei Normal University to an audience of faculty and graduate students on the subject of the "paradoxical duality" of American values in Steinbeck's work. Read more.

The Center is currently hosting an original antique nail from the Western Flyer, the famed vessel chartered by John Steinbeck during the Sea of Cortez Expedition. The nail is on loan from the Western Flyer Foundation, the nonprofit organization restoring the Western Flyer and making the ship seaworthy after almost 80 years.  

If you are interested in donating to the Western Flyer Foundation or owning a piece of Steinbeck history, please visit their site for more information. Additionally, you can follow the restoration process on the Western Flyer Foundation Youtube channel and their Instagram page.

Congratulations to Mumford and Sons, who received the 2019 John Steinbeck Award on September 18, 2019, in Bing Concert Hall at Stanford University. Mumford and Sons are the first musical group to receive the Steinbeck Award, as well as its youngest recipients to date. The award ceremony featured a conversation with the band members as well as an acoustic performance.

The timing and location of the event were chosen to mark the 100th anniversary of Steinbeck's arrival at Stanford in 1919. Proceeds from the event benefitted the Steinbeck / Gentlement of the Road Service Fellowship, a new program established by Stanford and SJSU to bring together students from both universities to participate in service projects across the region. Read more.

The Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies and Camino Arts have commissioned a new symphony inspired by El Camino Real, entitled "Camino Chronicles." Symphony Silicon Valley will premiere the work, by the Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz, during the 2020-2021 season. Read more.

May 1-3, 2019: The International Society of Steinbeck Scholars hosted "Steinbeck and the Twenty-First Century: Identity, Influence, and Impact," a conference in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Library at San José State University. Read the full conference program.

John Steinbeck

Steinbeck NowThe Steinbeck blog is a not-for-profit, non-commercial educational portal developed to benefit the public. SteinbeckNow.com accepts original articles and art with a fresh, transformative perspective on Steinbeck's life, thought, and persona.

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