MFA Creative Writing Program

News & Events

Maggie Nelson named MacArthur "Genius"

We're thrilled to announce that program director Maggie Nelson has been named one of 2016's MacArthur Fellows! For more information on Maggie, her work and this incredible honor, check out the story at 24700.

Nextwords continues 4/23/16

Join us, 7pm, 4/23/16 at Elephant Art Space: 3325 Division St., Los Angeles CA 90065 for the fourth installment of the 2016 CalArts Creative Writing Program's Graduate reading series



Lauren Schmidt
Jasmine Stein
Benjamin Sneyd
& Jonathan Goodnick


Nextwords 2016 Continues 4/16 at Skylight Books!

Join us for the third installment of the CalArts Creative Writing Program's Graduate reading series, OTHERS IN THE VEIN 4/16/16, 5pm (Skylight Books, 1818 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027) featuring  Rebecca Ann Jordan, Matthew Seidman, and Andrew James Stone


NEXTWORDS 2016 Continues 3/12

NEXTWORDS 2016 continues this Saturday, March 12 at Pieter Performance Space in Lincoln Heights (420 W. Avenue 33, Unit 10, 90031).

Featuring Readers: Rocket Caleshu, Quinn Gancedo, Matt Polzin, Tim Reid, plus a bonus performance by Free Bleed.

The show starts at 7pm. Admission is free, and copies of this year's Next Words Anthology At Both Ends will be available to purchase for $10.

Junot Diaz named 2017 Katie Jacobson Writer in Residence

We are thrilled to announce that the 2017 Katie Jacobson Writer in Residence will be world renowned novelist and short-story writer, Junot Díaz.

Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A new feature of the CalArts MFA Creative Writing Program, the Katie Jacobson Writer in Residence program is designed to bring a prestigious writer to campus for a public reading, a classroom visit, and to meet with our students in one-to-one meetings. The Writer in Residence Program offers a unique opportunity for students to gain hitherto unprecedented access to leaders in their field, to discuss professional working methods, and to get feedback on their own work.




CalArts' MFA Creative Writing Program Class of 2016 will kick off the annual graduate reading series "NEXTWORDS" Saturday, February 27 with a reading at Nue Studio and Cafe, 5156 Melrose Ave, East Hollywood, CA 90038 from 7 - 9pm.

Entitled "Congratulations We Didn't Die" the reading will feature poets, Leah Clancy, Natalie Raymond and Jacqueline Young.

Copies of this year's anthology of graduate writing AT BOTH ENDS will also be available for purchase.


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.

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