MFA Creative Writing Program

News & Events


Join the CalArts MFA Creative Writing Program Thursday, May 14, at 8:30pm for our annual NEXTWORDS Showcase at REDCAT!

The graduating MFAs will present brief excerpts from their work—a selection of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and hybrid genres. Copies of Ephemera, an anthology of new student writing will also be on hand for purchase. Followed by a reception, the Showcase offers an opportunity to experience the exciting new writing coming out of CalArts and to raise a glass to a group of talented and dedicated young writers.

Reservations  for this free event can be made by calling the REDCAT box office at 213-237-2800.

Brian Evenson to join CalArts MFA Creative Writing Program Faculty

It is with great pleasure that we announce Brian Evenson will be joining the CalArts MFA Creative Writing Program faculty in January 2016.  Brian is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection Windeye (Coffee House Press 2012) and the novel Immobility (Tor 2012), both of which were finalists for the Shirley Jackson Award. His novel Last Days won the American Library Association's award for Best Horror Novel of 2009, and his novel The Open Curtain (Coffee House Press) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an International Horror Guild Award. Other books include The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection), Dark Property, and Altmann's Tongue.
Brian's literary explorations of what he describes as “the types of human interaction that strike one as unreal or as appalling or as incomprehensible,” has resulted in a remarkable body of innovative, boundary-pushing, genre-busting fiction. Samuel Delaney, whom we had the honor of hosting this fall as our Katie Jacobson Writer in Residence, describes him as “a modern Poe,” whose stories, novellas and novels “occur under an immense pressure of language, insight, and observation."
Brian has also authored ten book-length translations, and is the recipient of three O. Henry Prizes as well as an NEA fellowship. He joins us from his position as Royce Professor of Teaching Excellence in the Department of Literary Arts at Brown University.

Brian will add a vital and internationally renowned new voice to the MFA Creative Writing Program and the School of Critical Studies as a whole, and we look forward to welcoming him to campus in the new year.

REEF Residency

The School of Critical Studies and the School of Art are pleased to
offer recent graduates of the MA Aesthetics and Politics Program, MFA  
Creative Writing Program, MFA Programs in Art, Art and Technology,
Graphic Design and Photo/ Media the opportunity to apply for the first
CalArts REEF Residencies. Four artists and writers (2 from each School)
will receive cost-free space in a large shared open studio from April
1st September 30th, 2015. Recipients will also receive a small award to
support their work over this time. For more details on eligibility
requirements and how to apply, download an informational PDF, here: Reef residency call- 2015-Final-1.pdf

&NOW @ CalArts

We're pleased to announce that next spring, CalArts' MFA Creative Writing Program will be playing host to the 2015 &NOW Festival of New Writing!

Titled Blast Radius: Writing & The Other Arts, the 2015 festival will be a celebration of writing that explodes the boundaries of visual art, music, filmmaking, and performance to create entirely new artistic forms. The festival will be held on the CalArts campus beginning March 25 and concludes March 28 with a keynote address by M. NourbeSe Philip.

More detais on the conference, including how to submit proposals for panels are available at the official conference site.

NEXTWORDS final Showcase @ REDCAT!

Join the CalArts MFA Creative Writing Program this Thursday, May 15, at 8:30 for our annual NEXTWORDS Showcase at REDCAT!

The graduating MFAs will present brief excerpts from their work—a selection of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and hybrid genres. Copies of NEXTWORDS, the publication representing their work, will also be on hand. Followed by a reception, the Showcase offers an opportunity to experience the exciting new writing coming out of CalArts and to raise a glass to a group of talented and dedicated young writers.

This year's readers are:

Ani Bakhchadzyan

K. Bradford

KT Browne

Joey Cannizzaro

Jade Hudson

Djinji Jimenez

Emma E. Kemp

Clay Kerrigan

Shishonia Livingston

Shana Mirambeau

James Pianka

Riley Raubacher

Diego Robles

Chrysanthe Tan

Vesta Vaingloria

Robert Villalobos

Emerson Whitney

Adriana Widdoes

The Pitch of Poetry: A Reading and Discussion with Charles Bernstein

February 6, 6pm, Butler Building #4

Join CalArts' MFA Creative Writing Program for a reading and discussion with acclaimed poet, Charles Bernstein.

Charles Bernstein is author of Recalculating (University of Chicago Press, 2013), Attack of the Difficult Poems: Essays and Inventions (Chicago, 2011), and All the Whiskey in Heaven: Selected Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010). He has written librettos for Anne LeBaron, Dean Drummond, and Brian Ferneyhough and collaborated with visual artists Richard Tuttle, Amy Sillman, Mimi Gross, and Susan Bee. Bernstein is Donald T. Reagan Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. He is co-founder of PennSound and the Electronic Poetry Center. More information

Interventions Lecture Series Continues with Bruce Robbins

January 28th, 6pm, CalArts, Butler Building #4

Join CalArts’ school of Critical Studies for a lecture and screening by Bruce Robbins, who will be showing his film Some of My Best Friends are Zionists, followed by a Q&A with Thomas Altheimer.

Robbins is the Old Dominion Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. He works mainly in the areas of nineteenth and twentieth century fiction, literary and cultural theory, and postcolonial studies. He is the author of Perpetual War: Cosmopolitanism from the Viewpoint of Violence (2012), Upward Mobility and the Common Good: Toward a Literary History of the Welfare State (2007), Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress (1999), The Servant’s Hand: English Fiction from Below (1986) and Secular Vocations: Intellectuals, Professionalism, Culture (1993). He has edited Intellectuals: Aesthetics, Politics, Academics (1990) and The Phantom Public Sphere (1993) and co-edited Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling beyond the Nation (1998). He was co-editor of the journal Social Text from 1991 to 2000.

CalArts Creative Writing Program Alums Receive Arts Writers Grants

We are pleased to announce that CalArts Creative Writing Program alums Travis Diehl and Andrew Berardini, have both been awarded grants by The Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program! Diehl and Berardini are two of only seven writers who were awarded in the category of Short-Form Writing for 2013.

For additional info. on the Arts Writers Grant Program and a full list of honorees, check out!

Interventions World Three: Lydia Davis

Please join us for two upcoming events around World Three of the "Interventions" Series, where our guest will be the internationally acclaimed writer, translator and this year's Katie Jacobson Writer-in-Residence at CalArts, Lydia Davis.

Tuesday, Nov 12, 7-9 pm.
Langley Hall

Wednesday, Nov 13, 8:30 pm
631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles

Lydia Davis is the author of one novel and seven story collections. Her collection Varieties of Disturbance was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. She is the recipient of a MacArthur fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Award of Merit Medal, and was named a Chevalier of the Order of the Arts and Letters by the French government for her fiction and her translations of modern writers, including Maurice Blanchot, Michel Leiris, and Marcel Proust. She is the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize.

Lydia Davis. | Photo: Theo Cote

Interventions World Two: Renee Gladman

"Is there anyone here?" I was asking about the city.

Please join us for World Two of the "Interventions" Series, as acclaimed literary innovator Renee Gladman reads from and discusses her ongoing series about the invented city-state of Ravicka.  Reception to follow.

Tuesday, October 22nd, 7-9 pm.
Butler Building #4

Renee Gladman is assistant professor of Literary Arts at Brown University. She received a B.A. in philosophy from Vassar College, and a Master’s degree in poetics from New College of California. She is the author of six works of prose, and one collection of poetry. Since 2005, she has operated Leon Works, an independent press for experimental prose and other thought-projects based in the sentence, making occasional forays into poetry.

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