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Meet John Brantingham of Mt. San Antonio College in San Gabriel Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Brantingham.

John, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I teach in the English department at Mt. San Antonio College where I specialize in creative writing. When I first started, I and some of the other department members went to creative writing conferences. They were great, but they would often cost $1000 or more. We realized that many of our students would never be able to afford such an experience, so we pooled resources and created a professional weekend conference that would give the students the same experience but cost $5. It’s free if the student asks for a waiver. This conference is open to everyone in the community. Anyone can come and work with professional literary agents, editors, writers, poets and artists. This happens the weekend of April 20-22 and people should email me if they would like an application. My address is

My wife and I went on to develop a program outside of Mt. San Antonio College with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks where I am the poet laureate. In these programs, we teach week-long classes for poetry, fiction, and art as we camp under the giant trees. The classes, camping and park entrance is completely free for this program as well. If people contact me, I can send them more information.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s been smooth, but I should define what that means.

I have had plenty of people tell me “no” over the years. My reaction to this is to think to myself, “Well that’s an interesting response.” “No” only has the power that I give it. If I am told “no” in one place, it’s time to move to the next place. I have been able to accomplish what I want in the way that I want because I don’t place value anyone’s negativity.

Other than that, it has just been hard work. That’s the key to so much. If you simply keep going, you will end up somewhere, probably beyond what you imagined possible.

Please tell us about Mt. San Antonio College.
I am an employee of Mt. San Antonio College. It’s one of the largest community colleges in the country and a place where I have been excited to devote my professional life. It’s an extraordinary place filled with values that I respect. I can say without doubt or hesitation, that everyone I work with is dedicated to helping students achieve their dreams. That’s an amazing place to work.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 1100 N. Grand Ave., Walnut, CA 91789
  • Website:
  • Phone: 909-594-5611
  • Email:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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