BCC Shines A Light on: Francois Bereaud
Name of the piece published by BCC:
When/where was it originally published:
City Works Journal published by San Diego City College in 2011.
What is the background of the piece? What led you to write it? What’s your process?
I created an exchange program between high school students in my town of Ithaca, New York and Grey
Hills High School in Tuba City in the 90s. I took groups of kids to Tuba four times and twice Navajo kids
were able to come East. The first time we got to Tuba we arrived at night. I could tell the terrain was
unlike anything I’d seen but I wasn’t prepared for the magic I would feel when I woke up and went
outside at dawn the next morning. The story is fiction but I did run those mesas. Each trip (and I’ve been
back and maintained contact since) was magical in its own right. I loved the landscapes, the people I
met, and our time there. I had no process, it was the first story I wrote since a creative writing class in
How did you feel when it was first published and how have your thoughts or feelings on the piece
changed from then to now?
When it was first published, I was amazed someone would devote paper and ink to my words which
rendered me speechless. It was also the story which got me into my MFA program so that was a tad
important. Seeing it live again brought back that speechless feeling, it’s obviously very special to me.
Is there a specific message you'd like readers to take away from reading this piece?
Not really. I write so readers can think, or not – just escape. I hope a tiny bit of the magic I feel about
Tuba comes through to readers.
Where can readers find more of your work? (Website/social media, etc)