Join us in Bombay Beach on the Salton Sea for a literary festival complete with writers, filmmakers, musicians, activists, editors, and more!​



One Minute Memoir

Rachel ResnickDescription to come

Zine Creation and Culture

ioannis argiris & Matt Wall – A brief history of zines with ioannis, readings from both ioannis and Matt, followed by Q&A.

Heal Your Story, Heal Your Life

Samantha Dunn & Amanda Fletcher – What is the story I’ve told myself about who I am? What story do others tell me about who I am? What do these stories get right–and what do they get wrong? This workshop delves into these powerful questions that not only prompt self-reassessment but can fuel a whole new creative journey for you.

Writers & Recovery

Rob Roberge, Patrick O’Neil, David Martinez, Craig Clevenger, & Amanda Fletcher – A moderated panel discussion on the impact of recovery on creativity, literature, giving back, and the ways that art sustains us.

Documentary screening: The Great 14th - Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, in His Own Words

John Schimmel – A screening of the documentary, shot over ten years , featuring the current Dalai Lama talking about his own life against a backdrop of some never-before-seen footage of his life taken from his personal collection. Followed by a brief question and answer session.

Bombay Beach - Kelp Journal Noir Fest

David M. Olsen, Kathryn McGee, Megan Eccles, Craig Clevenger, Sara Marchant, Curtis Ippolito, & Brian Townsley – A half dozen readers from Kelp‘s latest, and future, crime/noir anthology collections.

Hi-Dez Writers Read: The Desert Split Open & Red Light Lit

Susan Rukeyser, Jennifer Lewis, Angelus, Alexandra Martinez, Jessica Leigh Studd, & Linda Ravenswood – The DSOM is a literary open mic and RLL is a curated performance series set to a live score. The DSOM is concerned with the feminist, queer, or otherwise radical; RLL explores love, relationships, and sexuality – so there is natural thematic overlap.


Whole Human Workshop: Breathwork for Creativity

Amanda Fletcher – Wonder and awe are what make our lives worth living. And you can experience those things anywhere, at any time with these simple and FREE activities. Whole Human incorporates intentional writing, movement and active breathwork meditation to fire you up mentally, physically and emotionally. From feeling stuck on a sentence to just stuck in a rut, this workshop is designed to make you feel some kind of way.
This class is for all skill levels and physical abilities. The only contraindications are folx suffering from seizures and COPD.

Activism & Literature

Melissa Chadburn & Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera – What’s deemed literature and what’s deemed activism and where do the two intersect? Both Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera and Melissa Chadburn work in various genres and their work addresses social injustices. What does it mean when your scholarship is borne out of activism rather than discourse? This workshop will explore innovative interventions through short readings, some generative writing prompts, and a brief reading and Q&A with the presenters.

Wild Crones: Women of a Certain Age Rebel

Meredith Maran, Ruth Nolan, Rachel Resnick, Samantha Dunn, moderated by Gina Frangello – Women writers over fifty discuss shattering stereotypes and the changing literary landscape for radical women who refuse to quietly settle into “invisibility”

Writing for Hollywood

Patty Lin, John Schimmel, & Joshua Malkin – A candid discussion about the business from the perspectives of screenwriters/producers and a recovering TV writer.

How to Uncover Your Truth

Barb Morrison & Brenda Kenneally –  A discussion about authenticity in the creative process” with brenda kenneally and barb morrison

guggenheim fellow photojournalist brenda kenneally (she / her) and platinum record producer barb morrison (they / them) will be in conversation about how to tell our most authentic stories. barb will be reading from their book “bottoming for god” – a story about gender euphoria, sobriety, old skool NYC, true love, past lives and coming home”. brenda and barb will also be discussing their own challenges and breakthroughs in the creative process.



Barb Morrison, Ruth Nolan, Susan Rukeyser, & Meredith Maran – Four queer writers read from their fiction and nonfiction, and discuss both new freedoms and alarming restrictions for LGBTQIA+ writers, as well as intersectional identities and art’s power to transform understanding.


ioannis argiris

ioannis is a first generation Greek American writer. He is driven to tell stories about working class immigrants, crime, and mental health. He shows symbolism of larger themes through surrealism because the world is mysterious and abstract. He expresses his stories with lots of color and offbeat visuals–blending his love of Rothko with the weirdness of Cronenberg. ioannis’s short film Blends is making its way through the film festival circuit, picking up multiple wins and selections. He is working on new short stories for his collection Encinal Nights. His work has been featured in the Kelp Journal, Coachella Review, and his zines are in many bookstores across the country (Powells, Silver Sprocket, spectators). He holds a MFA in Creative Writing from UCR Palm Desert. You can find him urban cycling through Oakland while he thinks of new tattoos to add to his sleeves.

Melissa Chadburn

Melissa Chadburn’s writing has appeared in The LA Times, NYT Book Review, NYRB, Paris Review online, and dozens other places. Her debut novel, A Tiny Upward Shove, was published with Farrar, Straus, & Giroux in April 2022 and was longlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Debut Novel Award. She was just awarded her Ph.D. from USC’s Creative Writing Program. Melissa is a worker lover and through her own work and literary citizenship strives to upend economic violence. Her mother taught her how to sharpen a pencil with a knife and she’s basically been doing that ever since.

Craig Clevenger

Craig Clevenger is the author of three novels, “The Contortionist’s Handbook,” “Dermaphoria,” and most recently, “Mother Howl.” His work has been published in “Black Clock Magazine,” “San Francisco Noir 2: The Classics,” “The Coachella Review” and elsewhere. He divides his time between the Mojave Desert and the central coast, where he works at a public library and runs a writing workshop for the local community.

Samantha Dunn

Samantha Dunn is the senior editor of premium content at the Southern California News Group, which publishes the Orange County Register. She produces the virtual program BOOKISH about authors, thinkers and the literary life with host Sandra Tsing Loh. But she is also the author of several books including the novel Failing Paris, a finalist for the PEN West Fiction Award, and a bestselling memoir, Not By Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life. Sam’s work is anthologized in a number of places, including the short story anthology Women on the Edge: Writing from Los Angeles, which she co-edited. Sam also teaches nonfiction at Chapman University and through the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers with Pam Houston.

Megan Eccles

Megan Jauregui Eccles lives in the foothills of San Diego and is a writer, poet, and professor. When she’s not rehoming rattlesnakes, she plays Dungeons and Dragons with her five sons and hatches a variety of poultry. She holds an MFA in Fiction from UCR—Palm Desert.

Amanda Fletcher​

Amanda Fletcher is a writer with a degree in kinesiology. Her Whole Human Workshops utilize three biohacking modalities: intentional writing, movement and active breathwork meditation.

Amanda’s writing has appeared in all of the Southern California News Group’s publications, among many others, and her forthcoming memoir recounts the time she broke her neck in a diving accident and the four months she spent in a cervical HALO. Her website is

Gina Frangello

Gina Frangello is the author of four books of fiction and one memoir. Her sixth book, on Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet, is
forthcoming from IG Publishing’s “Bookmarked” series. Now a lead editor at Row House Publishing, Gina also brings more than two decades of experience as an editor, having founded both the independent press Other Voices Books and the fiction section of The Nervous Breakdown. She has served as the Sunday editor for The Rumpus, the faculty editor for both TriQuarterly Online and The Coachella Review, and the Creative Nonfiction Editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books. She is on the low residency MFA faculty at the University of Nevada-Reno/Tahoe and runs Circe Consulting, a full-service company for writers, with the writer Emily Rapp Black.

Curtis Ippolito

Curtis Ippolito is an Anthony and Derringer Award-nominated writer. He is the author of BURYING THE NEWSPAPER MAN, a crime novel set in San Diego. His short stories have been published or are forthcoming in prominent markets, including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Tough Crime, Vautrin Magazine, and Rock and a Hard Place magazine, among others. He is a member of Sisters in Crime, and serves as vice president of the San Diego chapter of Sisters in Crime. You can find him on Instagram @Curtis_SD.

Brenda Ann Kenneally

Brenda Ann Kenneally is a mother, multi platform documentary maker, Guggenheim Fellow, and retired carnival snake charmer with lived experiences of poverty and incarceration that continue to shape their life and work. Kenneally is a long time contributor to The New York Times Magazine and has worked with Rolling Stone, Vice, VQR, Time and New York Magazine. Their projects have received support from The New York State Council For The Arts, Mother Jones, The Soros Foundation, and more. In 2017 Kenneally founded A Little Creative Class Inc. a 501c3 with mission to support young people from low status communities on their journey to discover artistic voice and authentic self.

Jennifer Lewis

Jennifer Lewis is a writer, editor, and the publisher of Red Light Lit. Her debut short story collection, The New Low, was released in October 2022 by Nomadic Press, where her short story, “New Low,” was the winner of the Bindle Award in 2018. In 2020, she won the Los Angeles Review Flash Fiction award for “Put a Teat in It.” She received her MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University in May 2015. She teaches at The Writing Salon in San Francisco.

Patty Lin

Patty Lin is the author of END CREDITS: HOW I BROKE UP WITH HOLLYWOOD, a memoir about her years as a TV writer, which Book Reporter calls “a thoughtful rumination on the rewards and challenges of pursuing a creative career.” Her credits include “Freaks and Geeks,” “Friends,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “Breaking Bad.” She has also written pilots for Fox, CBS, and Nickelodeon. She received a Peabody for her work on the first season of “Breaking Bad,” and her episode was nominated for a Writers Guild Award. She retired from television to save her sanity and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dogs.

Joshua Malkin

Joshua has written feature projects for Sony, Fox, Universal Pictures and more than a dozen other companies. In 2008 he wrote Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever for Lionsgate. Joshua co-authored top-selling fantasy comic book series The Source and the upcoming YA graphic novel, Unikorn. The book and screenplay for Unikorn have been acquired by Armory Films and is scheduled to film Summer 2024. Joshua is a professor of screenwriting at the University of California Riverside, an occasional story architect for the video game industry, and the proud – if bewildered – father of twins.

Meredith Maran

Meredith Maran is the author of a dozen books and a book critic for the Washington Post and other venues.

Sara Marchant

Sara Marchant received her MFA from the University of California, Riverside/Palm Desert. She is the author of THE DRIVEWAY HAS TWO SIDES (Fairlight Books), a memoir, PROOF OF LOSS (Otis Books), and her latest novel BECOMING DELILAH (Fairlight Books). Her essay Haunted was a Notable Mention in Best American Essays and Nonfiction 2021. Sara is a founding editor of the literary magazine Writers Resist.

David Martinez

David Martinez earned his MFA from University of California, Riverside, Palm Desert, and previously taught English and creative writing at Glendale Community College in Arizona. He is a dual citizen of the United States and Brazil and has lived in both countries as well as in Puerto Rico. His debut memoir, Bones Worth Breaking, is forthcoming from MCD on April 9th.

Alexandra Martinez

Alexandra Martinez is a writer, tumbleweed, and radio host living in Joshua Tree, CA. She is the author of two poetry collections, HEARTBREAKER (2022, WaxNine) and Our Lady of Perpetual Desert (Inlandia Books, 2023).

Kathryn E. McGee

Kathryn E. McGee’s horror stories have appeared in Kelp Journal, Ladies of the Fright, Lit Angeles, Best of Gamut, Horror Library Vol. 6, Halldark Holidays, and the Bram Stoker Award-nominated Chromophobia anthology. She is the author of the chapbook, Mondays Are for Meat, and writes articles about horror books and film for The Lineup. She is an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association. She manages the MFA Program in Creative Writing at UC Riverside Palm Desert.

Barb Morrison

Barb Morrison (they / them) is an American recording artist, Top 5 Billboard dance chart songwriter, and Platinum record producer, best known as producer for numerous artists such as Blondie, Rufus Wainwright, Franz Ferdinand (band), LP, Asia Kate Dillon and as an ASCAP-featured film score composer. They have just released their first book entitled “bottoming for god”.
Elizabeth Gilbert (author of ‘Eat Pray Love) said “They say that beautiful art should be both surprising and inevitable, and that’s how it felt to read ‘bottoming for god’. But mostly inevitable. It touched me in such a deep and familiar and intimate place. I just love it.”

Ruth Nolan

Ruth Nolan writes about life in the Mojave Desert. Her writing has been published in Writing the Golden State: The New Literary Terrain of California Press; Campfire Books Volume II Stories Vol. 2: Voices from America’s National Parks and Trails; Joshua Tree: Where Two Deserts Meet and Los Angeles Fiction Anthology. Her essays have appeared in Boom California; McSweeney’s and KCET Los Angeles and her books include After the Dome Fire (poetry) and No Place for a Puritan: the literature of California’s Deserts (editor.) She is Professor of Creative Writing at College of the Desert and California Indian Nations College.

Instagram @ruthnolan

Davin M. Olsen

David M. Olsen is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, and poet. He is an alumnus of Stanford’s OWC program in novel writing and holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts from the University of California, Riverside. He is at work on a collection of linked short stories, a novel, and a chapbook. David is a former fiction editor at The Coachella Review and is currently the Editor-in-Chief at Kelp Journal. His work has appeared in Catamaran Literary Reader, The Rumpus, The Coachella Review, Close to the Bone, Scheherazade, and elsewhere.

Patrick O'Neil

Patrick O’Neil is the author of the memoirs Anarchy At The Circle K, Gun, Needle, Spoon, and Hold-Up. He is the co-author of two instructional writing manuals, Writing Your Way to Recovery: How Stories Can Save Our Lives, with the author James Brown. And in the company of an amazing list of writers, The Sentences That Create Us: Crafting A Writer’s Life in Prison from PEN America’s Prison and Justice Writing Program. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including: Juxtapoz, Air/Light, Decibel, and Razorcake. He is a contributing editor for Sensitive Skin Magazine, holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and has taught writing at universities, rehabs, and correctional facilities.

Linda Ravenswood

Linda Ravenswood BFA MA PhD abd is an American poet. She is the founding editor in Chief at The Los Angeles Press, est. 2015, and the founder of the Poet Laureate programme in Glendale, California. In 2023 her book — a poem is a house — won an Oxford Prize in Poetry, The Edwin Markham Prize in Poetry from US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, and The Arthur Smith Prize in Poetry from Madville Press. Her Literary Collections include The Stan Poems, Cantadora — Letters from California (Pushcart nominee, 2023) and the forthcoming Gloucestershire Poetry Prize winning , genre bender — girls in the desert (2025). Find her at

Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera​​

Chicana Feminist and former Rodeo Queen, Tisha Marie Reichle-Aguilera (she/her) writes so the desert landscape of her childhood can be heard as loudly as the urban chaos of her adulthood. A former high school teacher, she earned an MFA at Antioch University and a PhD at USC. Her short stories have been anthologized and nominated for awards. Her play Blind Thrust Fault was featured in Center Theater Group Writers’ Workshop Festival. Her YA novel, Breaking Pattern, is available from Inlandia Books. She is a Macondista and works for literary equity through Women Who Submit.

Rachel Resnick

Bio to come.

Rob Roberge

Roberge is the author of four books of fiction, most recently the novel The Cost of Living (OV Books, 2013), about which Cheryl Strayed wrote “is both drop-dead gorgeous and mind-bendingly smart.” He is core faculty at UC Riverside’s Palm Desert MFA in Writing Program, his short fiction and essays have been widely published and anthologized, and several of his plays have been produced in Los Angeles. A number of his books and screenplays have been optioned. Also a musician, he has released two solo albums and has played with the LA-based roots-rock bands The Violet Rays and The Danbury Shakes, and he plays guitar and sings with LA’s art-punk band The Urinals.

Susan Rukeyser

Susan Rukeyser hosts the Desert Split Open in Joshua Tree, California. Her new novel, The Worst Kind of Girl, appears this June from Braddock Avenue Books.

John Schimmel

John Schimmel is currently executive producer for Cloud Imperium Games. He was an executive producer on the feature film Shaquille O’Neal Presents Foster Boy, and on the documentary The Great 14th: Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, In His Own Words. As a studio executive and producer he was involved with such films as The Fugitive, Tim Burton’s Batman, Interview with a Vampire, Outbreak, Face/Off, Lucky Number Slevin, Lord of War. He’s been the President of Michael Douglas’ Furthur Films and Ascendant Pictures, an executive at Douglas-Reuther Productions, Belair Entertainment, and Warner Bros; co-penned the Tony-nominated musical “Pump Boys and Dinettes;” and published fiction and nonfiction. John is also part of the core screenwriting faculty at the University of California at Riverside’s Low Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts.

Jessica Leigh Studd

Jessica Leigh Studd is a writer and poet whose work primarily revolves around the themes of finding wholeness in oneself, connection, forgiveness, trauma healing, and our relationships with the world around us. Originally from outside Baltimore, MD, Jessica moved to California in 2011 and has been a member of the performance art community in Joshua Tree for the past few years.

Brian Townsley

Brian Townsley is an award-winning writer, as well as a podcaster and the Executive Editor at Starlite Pulp. He is the author of three collections of poetry, as well as the Sonny Haynes crime fiction books A Trunk Full of Zeroes and Outlaw Ballads. His short fiction has appeared in various publications, including Mystery Tribune, Quarterly West, Black Mask, Berkeley Poetry Review, Connecticut Review, Frontier Tales, and many others, and he had a story make the distinguished list in Best American Mystery Stories, 2019. He is a graduate of the Professional Writing program at USC and is also an alum of the mighty California Golden Bears. He lives in Southern California.

Info:, and insta @starlite_pulp

Matt Wall

Matt Wall is a writer / musician / filmmaker / artist out of Los Angeles. He started his career fronting the punk band Creepersin then had a prolific film career under the name Creep Creepersin. He has written many novels, short stories and collections of poetry. He is the editor is the Blood Rag and Bloodshed Review. Former editor of Weird Mask and The Time MaZine. Matt also founded Poetic Anarchy Press in 2021 and hosts the podcast I Hate Matt Wall Poetry Podcast. 


Angelus is a poet living on the outskirts of Joshua Tree National Park. Editor of The Poetry Corner in Joshua Tree Voice Magazine, her poems explore the ethereal nature of the soul and its exquisite capacity to heal through love. She is currently working on her debut collection of poetry, Notes2TheSelf. You can find her on Instagram @Notes2theself.


  • Bombay Beach will be PEDESTRIAN ONLY during the weekend (unless you are a full-time BB resident or staying on the property of a full-time BB resident). There will be no parking/camping/driving on the beach starting Wednesday, March 20th. 
  • Please plan to park/camp at Bombay Beach North (there will be a small fee which goes directly to the town, not collected by BBB – help us support the town!).

Questions or want to participate? Email [email protected].