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Hays Lecture/Writers Week

Former CNN CEO to Speak at UCR

Walter Isaacson will present the annual Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture on Feb. 4 as part of Writers Week.

(January 15, 2009)

Walter IsaacsonEnlarge

Walter Isaacson

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Walter Isaacson, a former chairman and CEO of CNN and former editor of Time, will give the 41st annual Hays Press-Enterprise Lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 7:30 p.m. in University Theatre at the University of California, Riverside.

The Hays lecture is scheduled as part of the university’s annual Writers Week, which runs from Tuesday, Feb. 3, through Saturday, Feb. 7. Writers Week activities are free and open to the public. Isaacson's topic is "The Survival of Journalism in the Digital Age."

Isaacson, who is president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, is the author of “Einstein: His Life and Universe,” “Benjamin Franklin: An American Life” and “Kissinger: A Biography.”

The Hays lecture series honors former Press-Enterprise editor and publisher Howard H “Tim” Hays and features a news media leader discussing the state of the industry. Past speakers have included Benjamin Bradlee of the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page and syndicated columnist George Will.

The lecture, presented at UCR for many years, returns to the campus after being held at the Mission Inn in recent years.

“We're delighted at the opportunity to bring the lecture back to its roots,” said Ron Redfern, The Press-Enterprise’s publisher and chief executive officer.

Redfern also said he was pleased that Walter Isaacson’s lecture is part of UCR’s annual Writers Week, which will feature more than a dozen award-winning poets, novelists and journalists.

With the exception of the Hays lecture, weekday events will be held in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) Interdisciplinary Building, room 1128. The final reading on Saturday, Feb. 7, will be held at the downtown branch of the Riverside Public Library, 3581 Mission Inn Ave.

The schedule is:

Tuesday, Feb. 3
3 p.m. – Gustavo Arellano, a staff writer with OC Weekly and author of the nationally syndicated column “Ask a Mexican”
5 p.m. – Mark Jenkins, an adventure travel columnist for Outside magazine

Wednesday, Feb. 4
11a.m. – Betsy Amster, president of Amster Literary Enterprises, a literary agency in Los Angeles
1 p.m. – Elena Karina Byrne, literary programs director for The Ruskin Art Club and the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Night Vision poetry programs
5 p.m. – Joseph Stroud, poet and winner of the Witter Bynner Fellowship of the Library of Congress and a Pushcart Prize
7:30 p.m. – Walter Isaacson

Thursday, Feb. 5
1 p.m. – Patrick Michael Finn, assistant professor of English at Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler, Ariz., and winner of Cleveland State University’s 2007 Wiley Memorial Novella Contest for “A Martyr for Suzy Kasasovich”
3 p.m. – Marsha de la O, whose first book of poetry, “Black Hope,” won the New Issues Press Poetry Prize and a Small Press Editor’s Choice Award
5 p.m. – Susan Straight, UCR professor of creative writing, novelist and winner of numerous awards including a Lannan award for “A Million Nightingales” and the 2008 Edgar Allan Poe Award for her short story “The Golden Gopher”
7:30 p.m. – Panel on Place with Thursday’s authors

Friday, Feb. 6
1 p.m. – Amy Wallace, an award-winning journalist who worked for the Los Angeles Times for 14 years and whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Esquire, Men's Journal, Elle, the New York Times Magazine, The Nation and Conde Nast Portfolio
3 p.m. – Michelle Latiolais, associate professor of English at UC Irvine and author of the novel “Even Now”
5 p.m. – Gary Phillips, author of the Martha Chainey and Ivan Monk novels.

Saturday, Feb. 7
2 p.m. – Patrick Michael Finn

Michael Jayme, assistant professor of creative writing and director of Writers Week 2009, said he is proud to bring such a diverse range of writers, poets and journalists to UCR.

“A central theme in the work of many of this year’s authors is the matter of place, the matter of how where they come from shapes their work,” Jayme said. “I am excited to hear Gustavo Arellano discuss Orange County, to hear Susan Straight discuss the Inland Empire, and to hear Patrick Michael Finn, who is returning to campus for our first Distinguished Alumnus reading.”

For more information, contact Jayme at or (951) 827-4291, or view the schedule online.

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.

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