Cuesta-170Cuesta College’s popular Book of the Year program is gearing up with a variety of events throughout the coming weeks. This year’s book selection is The Yellow Birds, a novel written by Iraq war veteran and poet Kevin Powers. The novel follows the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive. The Yellow Birds has received the 2013 PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction. The program events will culminate with an author in conversation event and book signing with Powers on Cuesta College’s San Luis Obispo Campus in March.

The upcoming events include:

• A series of book discussions at local city libraries, beginning February 3 at the Atascadero Library. The final book discussion will be held at the Arroyo Grande Library on March 24.
• Community events, including discussions with Vietnam War veteran Jim Galvez, who will share photographs and memories of his war experience, beginning February 20 at the Atascadero Library. Other events include literary readings from veterans on March 13 and a discussion with United States Air Force SMSgt Brian Fleming on March 18.
• Workshops, including a Healing Trauma Through Art Workshop on March 18 and a Writers Workshop for Veterans on March 21.
• Two interviews on local FM radio station KCBX 90.1 discussing issues related to veterans on February 25 and a look at The Yellow Birds on March 18.
• Both the San Luis Obispo and North County campus libraries will feature book displays including poetry and novels written by veterans, military history, resources on transitioning from combat to home, books on understanding Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and more. Both libraries also carry copies of Powers’ featured novel, The Yellow Birds.

Powers’ visit to Cuesta College will take place on Thursday, March 26, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the Cultural and Performing Arts Center. General admission tickets are $5 and can be purchased at or by calling (805) 546-3198. Veterans and students are free. For veteran tickets, call the Cuesta College Veterans Resource Center at (805) 546-3142; for student tickets and event information, call (805) 546-3190.

Also taking place on March 26 is a panel discussion featuring Cuesta College veterans titled “Welcome Home: Veterans on Campus PTSD Training and Panel.” The free training will provide faculty, staff and the public with the knowledge needed to respond appropriately to issues related to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in the classroom and community. The panel will take place from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on the San Luis Obispo Campus in room 5401. To register, call (805) 546-3190.

The Book of the Year Program is a project of the Academic Senate of Cuesta College and is organized by the Cuesta College Book of the Year Committee. For more information please visit or follow the Book of the Year program on Facebook and Twitter.