Writing Now Reading Series

Structured around the work of several visiting contemporary writers, the Writing Now Reading Series and Seminar is a required course for CalArts MFA creative writing graduate students that showcases vibrant new modalities for writing that refresh today’s interconnected creative fields. Writing Now offers inspiring points of contact and critical conversation about writing process and practice between visiting writers, students and local audiences, with an eye for fostering the collaborative, the future-forward, and the unexpected in literature.

This spring, the series features readings and workshops with writers whose work is connected to the Creative Writing Program’s concentrations: Image & Text, Documentary Strategies, Writing & Performativity, and Writing & Its Publics.

How to Attend the Writing Now Readings Series

Readings will take place in Generator 201/202. Any location changes will be announced to the RSVP list.

RSVP Here 

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Spring 2022

Writing Now Reading Series: Sam Cohen

Sam Cohen's fiction is published in Fence, Bomb, O Magazine, Electric Literature, and others. Her debut story collection Sarahland came out from Grand Central Publishing in 2021 and was a finalist for a Golden Poppy Award in Fiction and named Best Jewish Story Collection of 5781 by alma.com. She is a doctoral fellow in Creative Writing and Literature at USC.

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Writing Now: Javon Johnson

A salon-style reading and conversation concerning Writing and Performativity with poet, actor, and African American Studies professor Javon Johnson.

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Writing Now Reading Series: Ben Ehrenreich

A salon-style reading and conversation concerning Documentary Strategies with renowned non-fiction writer, journalist, and novelist Ben Ehrenreich.

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Writing Now Reading Series: Paolo Javier

Join us for an intimate Masterclass Workshop and a Public Reading with Paolo Javier. In relation to the MFA Creative Writing Program’s Text + Image concentration, Paolo will be reading from his new book O.B.B., just out from Nightboat. 

Reading(s) will be streamed via the Creative Writing Program's YouTube Channel.

Event Details


Fall 2021

Writing Now Reading Series: Christopher Soto

Christopher Soto is a poet based in Los Angeles. In 2016, he published the chapbook Sad Girl Poems (Sibling Rivalry Press) and co-founded the Undocupoets Campaign with Javier Zamora and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo.

Reading(s) will be streamed via the Creative Writing Program's YouTube Channel.

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Writing Now Reading Series: Sesshu Foster & Arturo Ernesto Romo

Sesshu Foster taught composition and literature in East L.A. for 35 years, and at the University of Iowa, Occidental College, Pomona College, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Arturo Ernesto Romo was born in Los Angeles in 1980. An artist, high school arts educator and political thinker, Romo’s artmaking practice challenges and stands apart from the highly individualistic and market based structures of the traditional art world. His work is mostly done in collaboration with dear artist colleagues, family, fellow community members and students.

Reading(s) will be streamed via the Creative Writing Program's YouTube Channel.

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Writing Now Reading Series: Dodie Bellamy

Dodie Bellamy is a novelist, poet, and essayist. She specializes in genre-bending work that focuses on feminism, sexuality, cultural artifacts both high and low, and all things queer.

Reading(s) will be streamed via the Creative Writing Program's YouTube Channel.

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Writing Now Reading Series: Douglas Kearney

Douglas Kearney has published seven collections, including the National Book Award-longlisted Sho (Wave Books, 2021), Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, and California Book Award silver medalist (Poetry). M. NourbeSe Philip calls Kearney’s collection of libretti, Someone Took They Tongues.

Reading(s) will be streamed via the Creative Writing Program's YouTube Channel.

Event Details

Writing Now Reading Series: Janice Lee

Janice Lee is a Korean-American writer, editor, teacher, and shamanic healer. She is the author of 7 books of fiction, creative nonfiction, & poetry, most recently: Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016), Imagine a Death (Texas Review Press, 2021), and Separation Anxiety (CLASH Books, 2022).

Reading(s) will be streamed via the Creative Writing Program's YouTube Channel.

Event Details


For more information on the Writing Now Reading Series or for accessibility questions, please contact the Visiting Artist Coordinator at csartistcoordinator@calarts.edu