CLA's Reading Series
The San José State College of Humanities and the Arts founded the CLA in 1986 with a mission to bring writers of contemporary literature to the South Bay community. For over three decades, we’ve continued that mission with a host of readings, conversations, seminars, and workshops featuring authors of exceptional vision and voice. Thank you for your interest in the literary arts.
The Martha Heasley Cox Lecture
A generous endowment created by San José State Professor Emeritus Martha Heasley Cox established an ongoing series to bring celebrated and influential authors to San José.
Previous Cox lecturers include J.M. Coetzee, E.L. Doctorow, Maxine Hong Kingston, Norman Mailer, Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Ondaatje, Jayne Anne Phillips, Wallace Stegner, and Tobias Wolff.
CLA/Mt. Pleasant Series
Each year, the CLA brings presentations by contemporary authors to Mt. Pleasant High School in San José’s East Side Union High School District.
Past authors include Dorothy Allison, Ernesto Cardenal, Andrew Sean Greer, ZZ Packer, Ishmael Reed, Mary Roach, Gary Soto, and Susan Straight.
The James D. Houston Memorial Lecture
To honor the California author and former Lurie Author-in-Residence, the annual James D. Houston Memorial Lecture brings emerging writers from diverse backgrounds to San José State.
Past Houston lecturers include Daniel Alarcón, Lan Samantha Chang, Yiyun Li, Chang-rae Lee, and Karen Tei Yamashita.
The Lewandowski Family Poet
In honor of Frank and Dr. Mary Lou Lewandowski, the CLA celebrates poets whose work inspires and influences the next generation of poets.
Past Lewandowski Family poets include Claudia Rankine, Carmen Giménez Smith, Maggie Nelson, and D.A. Powell.