First Press Reading Series—September Event!

on the campus of Woodbury University in Burbank, California

The olive is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world, grown before the written language was invented. In California, there are many isolated trees or fragments of old groves, such as the trees that still stand on the Woodbury campus. Traditionally, after harvest, oil was pressed in screw or hydraulic presses. The paste was subjected to increasingly high pressures with subsequent degradation in the flavor of the oil. Thus, the “first press” of oil was considered the most flavorful and desirable. ~ the Olive Oil Source, 2018

You are all welcome to MORIA’s First Press Reading Series on September 30th, which will take place from 4pm–6pm at the Ahmanson Main Space on the Woodbury University campus. We are hosting Douglas Manuel as the featured reader!


Douglas Manuel was born in Anderson, Indiana. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and a MFA from Butler University where he was the Managing Editor of Booth a Journal. He is currently a Middleton and Dornsife Fellow at the University of Southern California where he is pursuing a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing. He has served as the Poetry Editor for Gold Line Press as well as one of the Managing Editors of Ricochet Editions. His poems are featured on the Poetry Foundation’s website and have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Northwest, The Los Angeles Review, Superstition Review, RHINO, North American Review, The Chattahoochee Review, New Orleans Review, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. His first full-length collection of poems, Testify (Red Hen Press, 2017), won the 2017 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for poetry. Manuel’s poems explore identity, race, and masculinity. Grounded in autobiography, his first book tracks a speaker struggling between worlds. In an interview with Sofia Bosch, Manuel remarks, “I think the two biggest catalysts of Testify would be my mom’s death when I was 8 and my father’s long prison sentence. I was raised by my auntie … so, I was always kind of straddling those two worlds. I was always told when I was in the black space … I wasn’t black enough and then when I was at school, suddenly, I was too black—I always felt out of place.”

Fear No Lit, Tour Grind: Douglas Manuel Interview:

At the September 30th event, there will be an open mic, where anyone who would like to read their work is invited to share a short piece. There will also be light refreshments, food, and fun to be had!

Woodbury University’s address is 7500 N Glenoaks Blvd, Burbank, CA 91504. There is guest parking available on campus, so just introduce yourself to the security guards at the entrance gate, and they will direct you to the Ahmanson Main Space.

Please RSVP on the form below so that we have an idea of how many people to expect. Hope we will see you there!


Lory Bedikian           November 11th

Richard Garcia          February 24th

Lynne Thompson      April 27th

Name *
Name of person attending. If you are responding for a party of people, just your name is required.
Total Number of People *
Confirm the number of people you are responding for.


Heidi Seaborn and Reuben Ellis, April 2019

Suzanne Lummis, February 2019 (WORDSHOP)

Désirée Zamorano, November 2018

Brendan Constantine, October 2018 (WORDSHOP)

Naoko Fujimoto and Angela Narciso Torres, April 2018 (WORDSHOP)

Chiwan Choi, April 2018

Linda Dove, February 2018

Neil Aitken and Mike Sonksen, November 2017