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 fall, 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 Butler Building BB#4-G. Any location changes will be announced to the RSVP list and on the event pages.

RSVP Here 

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Spring 2023

Writing Now Reading Series: Aisha Sabatini Sloan

Writing Now Reading Series: Aisha Sabatini Sloan

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CalArts Campus


Aisha was born and raised in Los Angeles. She earned a BA in English from Carleton College, an MA in Cultural Studies and Studio Art from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU, and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Arizona. She is the author of The Fluency of Light, Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit, Borealis, and Captioning the Archives. She is the winner of the CLMP Firecracker Award, the 1913 Open Prose Contest, the National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary, the Jean Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction, the Lambda Literary Awards for Bisexual Nonfiction, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Her essays can be found in Ecotone, Ninth Letter, Callaloo, Autostraddle, Guernica, The Paris Review, The New York Times, Gulf Coast, The Yale Review, among other places. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Michigan. 

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

Fall 2022

Writing Now Reading Series: Raquel Gutiérrez

Raquel Gutiérrez is an arts critic/writer, poet, and educator. Her/their new book Brown Neown (Coffee House Press, 2022) is an ekphrastic memoir that considers what it means to be a Latinx artist during the Trump era.

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Writing Now Reading Series: Brontez Purnell [Canceled]

Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children's book, and the novel Since I Laid My Burden Down.

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Writing Now Reading Series: Carribean Fragoza

A graduate of CalArts MFA writing program, Carribean Fragoza’s first book is the story collection, Eat the Mouth that Feeds You, and her arts/culture reviews and essays have been published in online national and international magazines such as Aperture, Los Angeles Review of Books, LA Weekly, KCET, Culture Strike, and Tropics of Meta. She is also the founder and co-director of the South El Monte Art Posse (SEMAP), a multi-disciplinary arts collective.

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Writing Now Reading Series: Aida Salazar

Aida Salazar is an award-winning author, arts activist, and translator whose writings explore issues of identity and social justice. She is the author of middle grade verse novels The Moon Sithin and Land of the Cranes and the picture book, In the Spirit of a Dream. Her forthcoming books include the historical fiction novel, A Seed in the Sun; the bio picture book, Jovita Wore Pants: The Story of a Mexican Freedom Fighter; and the anthology Calling the Moon.

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Writing Now Reading Series: Ariana Reines

Ariana Reines is a poet and Obie-winning playwright from Salem Massachusetts. Her most recent book, A Sand Book, won the 2020 Kingsley Tufts Prize and was longlisted for the National Book Award. She is currently Mary Routt Endowed Chair in Writing at Scripps College & founding director of Invisible College, an evolving experiment in the study of poetry & sacred texts.

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Writing Now Reading Series: Lidia Yuknavitch

Lidia Yuknavitch is the bestselling author of the novels Thrust, The Book of Joan, and The Small Backs of Children, the short story collection Verge, the anti-memoir The Chronology of Water, and The Misfit's Manifesto, based on her TED Talk "On the Beauty of Being a Misfit," now with well over four million views. She founded Corporeal Writing in Portland, OR. She now lives in the woods next to the ocean.

This is a virtual event that will be screened in Generator 201/202 with a reception to follow. Reading(s) will be streamed via the Creative Writing Program's YouTube Channel.

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