Jun 17, 2019

MFA creative writing students are going Rogue

Students from the Fresno State Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing and the English department will join acts from across the state in Fresno’s 16th annual Rogue Festival during the first two weekends of March.

The Rogue Festival is one of the biggest art events in the state of California and this year will be no different.

Current U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera says that Fresno is the “capital of poetry in the world.”

This “non juried fringe festival” celebrates independent artists in theater, music, dance, poetry and more. Performances will begin Friday March 3 and will include 16 Fresno State students from the program. Students Eddie P. Gomez, Gilliann Hensley, Matthew Kenerly and Mary Pickett will be the first of 16 acts to represent Fresno State at the festival.

English department communication staff member Jefferson Beavers is excited about Fresno States’ opportunity to be represented at the festival and for the students to be on stage.

“My focus as a communication staff is to make opportunities for the students and to put them in the spotlight,” said Beavers, who also coordinates the show “Poetry and Prose” which showcases students’ work from the Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing and the English department.

On Sunday, four more Fresno State students will hit the stage; they are Jack Chavoor, Erica Hughes, Gloria Montez and Tara Williams.

Williams, a second-year grad student in fiction-writing, will be one of several fiction-writing students performing at the festival. It will be Williams’ first time performing at the festival, and she feels the nerves of the big day.

“I am a little nervous about performing,” Williams said.  “This is my first time. Hopefully, I’m as good as the other acts.”

Beavers is confident Williams, along with the other students, will excel in their performances at the festival.

Williams will be reading an original piece, either “Esme” or “Bones.” She will let the crowd  choose which piece she reads.

March 10 and March 11 will conclude the festival with performances by students Krystal Cantú, Jackie Huertaz, Arielle Jones, Arthur Morales, Linnea Alexander, Rebeca Flores, Beth Linder Carr and Dani Potter.

The Rogue Festival is also an opportunity for those outside of Fresno who want to have the opportunity to perform.

Performer Eliza Gibson is coming from San Francisco to perform her “Bravo 25,” a solo theater performance that will include role-playing of many different characters. Gibson is excited about coming to Fresno once again to perform at the festival.

“I like it. There is always a friendly, warm audience, which is great,” Gibson said.

She also provided a sneak peak into her performance, Bravo 25.

“If I could sum up ‘Bravo 25,’ it would be in the form of a question,” said Bravo. “Can artificial intelligence help us be better humans?”

Anyone interested in the acts or the festival can visit http://www.roguefestival.com/festival-history/ for more details.

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