University of California, Riverside

UCR Newsroom

UCR Palm Desert Gets Gneiss Poetry

Gneiss Poetry Series Moves to UCR Palm Desert Graduate Center

Poet Brendan Constantine launches the highly respected poetry forum

(November 7, 2006)

Brendan ConstantineEnlarge

Brendan Constantine

Palm Desert, Calif. ( — Since 2002, the Gneiss Poetry Series has been increasing awareness and appreciation of poetry in the Coachella Valley.

This year the series, named for a layered desert rock and pronounced “nice,” which features readings and workshops by outstanding regional and nationally recognized poets, will take place at the UCR Palm Desert Graduate Center.

“I am excited about the pairing of the Gneiss Poetry Series with the university,” said Lori Davis, founder and director of the series. “I believe we share a clear vision of making UCR Palm Desert the literary focal point in the Coachella Valley. Whether you are already a fan of poetry or new to the genre, this season’s readings will surely inspire and expand your heart and mind,” she said.

Brendan Constantine will launch the series on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. Constantine first read in the desert in 2002. He is currently poet in residence at the Windward School in Santa Monica and his work has appeared in Ploughshares, The Cortland Review, ArtLife and many other journals.

“We are thrilled to have Brendan back by popular demand for another electric, unbridled performance. This is not your grandmother’s poetry,” Davis said.

The Dec. 12 program will feature contributing writers to “Inlandia: A Literary Journey through California’s Inland Empire.” Featured poets will be announced for this reading and for the remainder of the season, which includes 2007 readings on Jan. 9, Feb. 20, March 13, April 10 and May 8. As announcements are made complete information will always be available at

Tom Lutz, director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts program at UCR Palm Desert, hails the Gneiss Poetry Series. “We’re very excited about teaming up with Lori Davis’s Gneiss Poetry Series. She has rallied a strong audience for poetry in the Coachella Valley over the years and UCR’s resources will help make the series even more ambitious and wide-ranging. The combination of readings by established poets, emerging voices from the region, and local practitioners is exactly the kind of partnership between the local literary community and the national and international scene that we are trying to build,” Lutz said.

The readings will be free and open to the public.


The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

A broadcast studio with fiber cable to the AT&T Hollywood hub is available for live or taped interviews. UCR also has ISDN for radio interviews. To learn more, call (951) UCR-NEWS.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Media Relations
900 University Avenue
1156 Hinderaker Hall
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-6397 (951) UCR-NEWS
Fax: (951) 827-5008

Related Links