CI to hold 10th Annual Campus Reading Celebration
California State University Channel Islands
California State University Channel Islands

Camarillo, CA - CSU Channel Islands (CI) will welcome award-winning writer Luis Urrea for the 10th Annual Campus Reading Celebration, Thursday, Oct. 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the Grand Salon.

The Campus Reading Celebration is an annual event that unites the campus, community and notable authors in a shared intellectual experience. This year, students nominated and selected Urrea’s 1996 non-fiction work, "By the Lake of Sleeping Children: The Secret Life of the Mexican Border," as the Campus Reading Celebration book. Fitting CI's dedication to an interdisciplinary curriculum, the book touches on topics and issues studied in Environmental Science & Resource Management, Political Science, English, Biology, Sociology, Psychology, History, Communication, Spanish, Economics, Business, Global Studies, and Chicana/o Studies.

Urrea is a prolific and award-winning writer of 13 books. He is a master of language and a gifted storyteller who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and an American mother, Urrea grew up in San Diego. Like many great writers, he got his start in literature writing poems to impress girls in junior high. His early heroes were all rock stars, but not being especially musically gifted, Urrea chose to follow in the steps of his literary role models. A fanatical hunger for reading pushed him at the age of 13 "to do what my heroes were doing," he has said.

Urrea attended the University of California at San Diego, earning an undergraduate degree in writing, and did his graduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Aside from his Fellowship at Harvard, he has also taught at Massachusetts Bay Community College, the University of Colorado, and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Urrea is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He lives with his wife Cinderella ("Cindy") and their youngest daughter in Naperville, Ill.

The event will include Urrea's presentation, a Q&A session with the audience, a book signing, and a light reception. Registration is required online at Admission is free for CI students, faculty and staff; $5 for all other students; and $10 for the public. Copies of Urrea's book will be available for sale and signing at the event and in advance at the Cove Bookstore on the CI campus for $15.

Complimentary event parking is limited and only available in the designated parking lot on campus. Free parking is also available at the Camarillo Metrolink/Lewis Road parking lot with bus service to and from the campus. In order to waive bus fares, riders should present their event registration confirmation when boarding the CI Vista Bus; otherwise, the cash-only bus fare is $1.25 each way. Buses arrive and depart from Camarillo Metrolink Station every 30 minutes, Monday through Friday. For exact times, check the schedule at:

For additional information, visit or contact Merissa Stith, Events Coordinator, at 805-437-8548 or

About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI’s Social Media.