The Literary Uprising (Lit Up) is a quarterly event that celebrates the writing of students, alumni, and faculty of Antioch University Los Angeles. It is sponsored by the BA in Liberal Studies program and its online Literary Journal the “Two Hawks Quarterly.” Each quarter, four readers share their pieces during a live reading, which is open to the public.
The story of the Literary Uprising began in the Library.
Core Faculty in the Undergraduate Program, Dean of Assessment and Student Learning, and event co-founder Andrea Richards recalls a time when there was no library on campus. “In 2004, we didn’t yet have a library or a librarian so we built a space to collect books and tutors would catalogue in between their sessions.”
Richards worked hard to get students and faculty interested in reading and celebrating literature. “The library needed to be a place where people came and shared this community space.” The tutors—including now core faculty member Kathryn Pope and teaching faculty Robert Fox—at the time took initiative, which led to the first of many library readings in Winter 2005, where twelve to fifteen guests would come to hear readings of faculty and student work. Undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty read from all different walks of creative life.
What actually changed the library readings to something more formal was the influence of Urban Sustainability Chair Donald Strauss, then a core faculty member of the BA Program and head of its Creative Writing Concentration. A group of his students formed Two Hawks Quarterly, an online literary journal that undergraduate students could work on during their time at Antioch. Through a collaborative effort, the online journal fused with the library readings to create what is now known as the Literary Uprising, the original working title for the literary journal.
“The original idea was that if you read, your work would be published in Two Hawks Quarterly,” Richards explained. “It became something that people kept coming to and our audience grew to about ninety people.”
MFA and BA affiliate faculty member Alistair McCartney joined Andrea Richards with Lit Up formally in fall of 2012. “We added Jim Krusoe, who teaches both at Antioch and Santa Monica College, where he has an advanced fiction workshop and students from there come to read at Lit Up as well,” said McCartney. “Since the addition of his Santa Monica College students to Lit Up, audience members keep rising and has expanded the focus of the reading, bringing in outside talent.”
Past readers have included Eloise Klein Healy, Erin Aubry Kaplan, Kim Dower, and BA Core Faculty Kathryn Pope, who took over from Strauss.
Both Richards and McCartney are proud of the work they do, “We enjoy that it gives Antioch a sense of community and a place to celebrate each other’s works.” McCartney says. “We always look forward to seeing both returning and new faces each time.”
The next Literary Uprising is scheduled for May 2018.
Featured Image: Photo taken during Lit Up in Fall of 2017