Celebrate the Literary Arts

A Free Resource for Teachers

Breaking News! Literature for Life will introduce the literary arts into three LAUSD metropolitan public schools over the 2016-2017 school year. These will include classrooms at James Foshay Learning Center, West Adams Preparatory High School and 32nd Street School. Along with story content provided by leading and emerging Los Angeles-area authorsand illustrated artwork, teachers will be provided with state-of-the-art curriculum. Workshops will also be conducted allowing students to dialogue with our authors and develop their own writing skills.

This model program is funded by the City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs, The Ahmanson Foundation and will be delivered in partnership with USC’s Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI). We are most excited to work with USC’s NAI and the and these community schools as the program was launched on the college campus in 2011.



Literature for Life unites writers, artists, and educators to ignite young minds with a love of reading, writing, and the visual arts. We consider ourselves to be a new kind of beast: part online literary journal, part educator’s resource center, and part community salon. Our goal is to connect LA’s youth with an open source text filled with contemporary works by local writers and artists while simultaneously sharing LA’s rich literary offerings with the world.


Our site will feature two issues a year, containing a collection of fiction and nonfiction, poetry, short stories, articles, essays, and artwork created for us by writers and artists primarily from the Los Angeles region. Texts and images are paired with tailor­made lesson plans, designed to help teachers introduce locally produced writing and artwork into their classrooms so that students may better see themselves and their communities represented in their curriculum. Filling the gap left by expensive, monolithic, and often outdated textbooks, our literature and artwork are selected to resonate with L.A.­based youth and celebrate the full diversity of Los Angeles, its culture, and its people.

We hope that Literature for Life will become a prestigious publication for writers and artists to showcase their work, a go-to resource for teachers throughout Los Angeles, and a model for cities and schools everywhere for uniting local talent with youth to improve communities.

Literature for Life is a program of the Light Bringer Project. All donations to Literature for Life are made through the Light Bringer Project, and are tax­ deductible to the extent provided by law.

 Jervey Tervalon & Editor & Curriculum Developer

Jervey Tervalon, MFA, is the award-winning, Los Angeles Times best-selling author of five books including Understanding This, a novel based on his experiences teaching at Locke High School in Los Angeles, for which he won the Quality Paper Book Club’s New Voice’s Award. His newest novel, Monster’s Chef, was published by Harper Collins in June 2014. He was the Remsen Bird Writer in Residence at Occidental College and now is an associate professor at National University and a Lecturer at the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara. Jervey has lectured with USC and Occidental College. He is also an award-winning poet, screenwriter, dramatist, and the Founder and Editor of Literature for Life. He was born in New Orleans and raised in Los Angeles. He received his MFA from UC Irvine and studied with Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler’s Ark.

Rosalind Helfand. Managing Editor & Curriculum Developer

Rosalind Helfand works independently to create and lead innovative programs that connect and improve communities. From the arts to conservation, her focus is on doable big ideas that lead to lasting positive change and a better future. A leader in LA’s literary community, she co-founded the award-winning West Hollywood Book Fair in 2000, directing the festival for its first decade. She’s developed, curated and produced hundreds of literary programs, in partnership with leaders from LA’s diverse literary and arts communities, with a focus on multi-disciplinary collaborations with the arts, sciences, politics, and more. In addition to Literature for Life, her recent literary projects include LitFest Pasadena 2013 and Lit Crawl LA: NoHo over the past several years. She was also a curator of The Last Bookstore’s Indie Shelves Initiative, and curates annual readings and performance events. In 2013, Rosalind produced a community wide dialogue series in conjunction with the play “Cooking Oil’s” premiere in Los Angeles, which brought together nonprofit leaders to discuss international aid, women’s rights, and education. She works with the nonprofit performance arts collective, SparkleBlob, and is the Board Chair of the education nonprofit, Seekers Unlimited. Rosalind is a past programming director of West Hollywood’s Women’s Leadership Conference and Human Rights Speakers Series, and is currently directing educational programming for NewFilmmakers Los Angeles. She was a guest speaker at the California World History Association’s annual conference. Rosalind teaches high school writing classes in creative writing and academic writing at West Hollywood College Preparatory school. She is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz. www.rozhelfand.com