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 2024

Writing Now Symposium: Becoming the Archive

The "Becoming the Archive" symposium centers around the preservational and conservational efforts Southern Californian artists are making alongside local organizations to celebrate artistic voices, both individually and communally. Through a creative showcase and moderated panel, "Beyond the Archive" invites four individuals at the intersection of creativity and sustainability to discuss how past and present come together to inform their visions for the future. Guests include Chiwan Choi of Writ Large Projects, Carribean Fragoza of Huizache and the South El Monte Art Posse, Hailey Loman of the Los Angeles Contemporary Archives, and Jimmy Vega of Beyond Baroque.

Reception to follow. 

Event Details

Writing Now Reading Series: Deborah Taffa, Raquel Gutiérrez, and Layli Long Soldier

Please join the Creative Writing MFA program in welcoming our special guests from our partners in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts! 

READING Thursday, March 21 at 6 pm - Butler Building #4 - Deborah Taffa and Raquel Gutiérrez | Reception to follow. More info.

TALK Friday, March 22 at 10 am - Zoom - Layli Long Soldier | Email amccann@calarts.edu or csartistcoordinator@calarts.edu for link. More info.

SALON riday, March 22 at 1 pm - Langley - Deborah Taffa and Raquel Gutiérrez | Discussion of the week's events and IAIA/CalArts Partnership

Event Details

Writing Now Reading Series: Anna Martine Whitehead

Anna Martine Whitehead is an artist, writer, choreographer, and curator. They make solos and collaborative work interrogating race, gender, time, and loss at the limits of performance and have shown work throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Whitehead has worked collaboratively or made significant contributions to the work of Keith Hennessy, Jesse Hewit, Jefferson Pinder, taisha paggett, Julien Previeux, and Spiral Q Puppet Theater. Since the recent death of Pope.L, they have been recirculating ‘Endurance Tests,’ a recurring column in Art Practical exploring Black creative practice, in their Substack. Recognized with many awards and fellowships, Whitehead has written about Blackness, queerness, and bodies in action for Art21 Magazine, C Magazine, frieze, Art Practical, Queer Dance: Meanings and Makings, and more. Whitehead is the author of TREASURE | My Black Rupture and the creator of FORCE!, an opera in three acts showing at REDCAT in LA this spring.

photo: Shireen Marisol Meraji

Event Details

Fall 2023

Writing Now Reading Series: Ariana Reines

Writing Now Reading Series: Ariana Reines

Event DateEvent Date

Event LocationLocation

CalArts Campus


Ariana Reines is an award-winning poet, Obie-winning playwright, performing artist, and translator from Salem, Massachusetts. Her books include A Sand Book (2019), winner of the 2020 Kingsley Tufts Prize; longlisted for the National Book Award, The Cow (Alberta Prize, 2006), Coeur de Lion (2007), and Mercury (2011), and a chapbook The Origin of the World (2014) created for Semiotext(e)’s contribution to the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Her play Telephone (2009) was commissioned by The Foundry Theatre, winning two Obies, and has been performed in Norwegian translation (2017) and at KW Berlin (2018) among others. Current commissions include Possession (2023), a major sculpture and performance collaboration with Liz Magic Laser, at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, NY, and Divine Justice (2022), a 24-hour theatrical environment based on Euripedes’ Medea at Performance Space New York. 

Reines is the translator of Baudelaire’s My Heart Laid Bare (Mal-O-Mar, 2009); Jean-Luc Hennig’s The Little Black Book of Grisélidis Réal: Days and Nights of an Anarchist Whore (Semiotext(e) 2009); and Tiqqun’s Preliminary Materials Toward a Theory of the Young Girl (Semiotext(e) 2012). She has previously taught at Columbia University, the European Graduate School, NYU, Tufts, Naropa, The New School, Yale and many others. In 2009 she was Roberta C. Holloway Lecturer in Poetry at the University of California-Berkeley and in 2022 is Distinguished Poet in Residence at Wichita State University, and the Mary Routt Endowed Chair in Writing at Scripps College. 

In 2012 she created Ancient Evenings, an innovative platform generating creative writing through ancient texts, as well as Lazy Eye Haver, an astrology practice through which she practices new forms of arts and consciousness pedagogy. In March 2020, while a Divinity student at Harvard, she created Invisible College, a hub for poetry, art, and sacred study online.

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

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