From City Times

   ‘Sunshine/Noir’ exposes underbelly
of the San Diego postcard

by Jordan Banks

The launching-project for City College’s City Works Press will hit the shelves of San Diego in June. “Sunshine/Noir” is a multi-genre anthology of creative work from and about San Diego and Tijuana.

Edited by Jim Miller with help from the San Diego Writers Collective, S/N explores all aspects of this region, from the gleaming La Jolla light, to the downtown dirt and heartbreaking border.

“What’s really beautiful about a place, frequently isn’t the way we advertise ourselves.” Miller said adding, “This is a more authentic view of the city than the tourist media version.”

Miller is a professor of English at City and has a doctorate in American cultural studies. He began developing the idea and theme for this project with the Collective a couple of years ago as they were trying to jumpstart the press. They put a general call out on the press’ website and received about 300 submissions.

According to Miller, after sifting through the good and the bad, they ended up bringing together mostly local writers, but also frequent visitors and expatriates with a certain adoration for the city. The sections of the book were then developed from the material they received.

The first section is called “Border Crossings,” and is about both the literal borders that we use to separate ourselves, and the figurative borders of our vastly different cultures. S/N crosses some of these figurative borders with its eclectic group of “writers brought together in a way you don’t usually see, there’s historical and journalistic pieces along with poetry and fiction,” Miller said.

In Miller’s introduction to the anthology he wrote, “San Diego is the Anglo Mission fantasy that evolved…(S/N) explores San Diego and Tijuana’s border culture; San Diego’s multiple identities and lost history; the city’s natural beauty and endangered ecologies…”

The anthology also features artwork and photography throughout. Mario Chacon, City’s dean of student affairs, contributed three paintings inspired by a former student who was murdered in a gang related shooting.

There will be a small local book tour in June and July as well as showings in the New York Book Expo and the San Diego Open Air Book Fair to try to sell out all 1,500 copies. Sunbuilt is distributing the book so look for it at local bookstores in June. Every penny goes right back into the fund for the next project.

The release party and tour opener will be June 11 at the Ice Gallery on 30th Street in North Park at 7 p.m. Ice is owned by Perry Vasquez, who also painted the Dali-esque cover for S/N.













Copyright © 2005 City Works Press. All rights reserved.