Cuesta College’s popular Book of the Year program is gearing up with a variety of events throughout the coming months. This year’s book selection is bestselling memoir Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison” by author Piper Kerman. Kerman, currently a justice reform advocate, will culminate the program events with a lecture on Cuesta College’s San Luis Obispo Campus in April.

The upcoming events include:

  • A series of three interviews on local FM radio station KCBX 90.1 discussing issues related to Kerman’s memoir. Podcasts of the interviews will be archived at

Wednesday, January 29, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Cal Poly Professor Kathleen Cairns will discuss her book Proof of Guilt: Barbara Graham and the Politics of Executing Women in America.

Wednesday, February  26, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Marci Powers, a retired Ventura County probation officer now leading SLO County’s Anti-Gang Coordinating Commission, will talk about issues involving gang activity, incarceration and re-entry into the community.

Wednesday, March 26, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Brian Reynolds and local librarians Roz Pierini, Jackie Kinsey and Denise Fourie will share insights into the featured memoir Orange is the New Black and the importance of shared community reading experiences.

  • Kerman’s lecture will take place on Thursday, April 3, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Cuesta College’s Cultural and Performing Arts Center. The lecture will be followed by a reception and book signing, with copies of her book available for purchase. All seating is ticketed for this free event with a limit of four tickets per order. Beginning February 16, tickets will be available for order at Parking will be free for the event in Lot 2.

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.

More events are being planned for the spring, including a film screening. For more information please call (805) 546-3190 or visit

Lauren Milbourne / (805) 546-3108 / / Posted: 1/24/14