Wordsmith Productions Receives Grant Award From California Humanities

By Staff Reports

(Hesperia) — California Humanities has announced the recent round of Humanities For All Quick Grant awards. Wordsmith Productions has been awarded $5,000 for its project entitled “Exploring the Literature of the California Desert.”

The Humanities For All Quick Grant is a competitive grant program of California Humanities that supports locally-initiated public humanities projects that respond to the needs and interests of Californians, encourages greater public participation in humanities programming, particularly by new and/or underserved audiences, and promotes understanding and empathy among all our state’s peoples in order to cultivate a thriving democracy.

Exploring the Literature of the California Desert will be a special additional set of prose and poetry readings at the 2019 High Desert Book Festival, which is co-sponsored by Hesperia Recreation and Park District and the City of Hesperia. It will have a featured presentation and writing workshop by noted desert scholar and poet Professor Ruth Nolan from the College of the Desert. Other panels of High Desert writers are designed to encourage community discussions about literature inspired by the California Desert.

Nolan is the editor of the anthology, No Place for a Puritan: The Literature of the California Desert.

“We see this as a unique opportunity to add to the vibrancy of public dialogue on literature that is relevant to life in the desert and stories inspired by the locale,” said Davida James, project director and founder of the High Desert Book Festival.  “We will continue to have readings of desert-inspired literature and public discussions beyond the dates of the book festival.”

James said that Wordsmith Productions hopes people will want to participate by articulating their feelings about what the California desert means to them through their own writings and those from the existing literature. The initial events will be held on Friday, October 11that Hesperia Library with readings and a writing workshop led by Prof. Nolan. Events will continue at the book festival on Saturday, October 12that Hesperia Civic Plaza Park. More details will be updated regularly on the book festival website at www.highdesertbookfest.org.

“These projects will bring the complexity and diversity of California to light in new ways that will engage Californians from every part of our state, and, will help us all understand each other better,” said Julie Fry, President and CEO of California Humanities. “We congratulate the grantees whose projects will promote understanding and provide insight into a wide range of topics, issues, and experiences.”

A complete list of all Humanities For All Quick Grants can be found on the calhum.org website at


California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment of the Humanities, promotes the humanities – focused on ideas, conversation and learning – as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect us to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more visit calhum.org, or follow California Humanities on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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