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: Ben Ehrenreich

Event DateEvent Date

Event LocationLocation

Off Campus

Virtual (Zoom)

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

Ben Ehrenreich is a widely celebrated non-fiction writer, journalist and novelist. His most recent book, Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time, published by Counterpoint Press, was the winner of a 2021 American Book Award. His previous book of nonfiction, The Way to the Spring: Life and Death and Palestine, was released to wide acclaim in 2016 by Penguin Press. Based on years of reporting from the West Bank, it was dubbed “haunting,” by The New York Times Book Review, “riveting and powerful” by Haaretz, and “elegant and moving” by The Economist. Ehrenreich is also the author of two novels. Ether was published by City Lights in 2011 and was called “brilliant and unforgettable” by Chris Kraus and “real art” by Percival Everett. The Suitors, a much praised re-telling of the Odyssey noted for its “linguistic acrobatics” (Publisher’s Weekly), was published in 2006 by Counterpoint Press.

In 2018 and 2019 Ehrenreich wrote a regular column on the climate crisis for The Nation and in recent years worked extensively in the West Bank, where he began reporting in 2011 and lived from 2013 to 2014. He has also reported from Somalia, Kenya, Afghanistan, Haiti, Cuba, Cambodia, France, El Salvador, Mexico and the US-Mexican border, as well as all over the United States. His articles and essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, the London Review of Books, The New Republic, Harper’s, The Baffler, and theGuardian. He has published short fiction in BOMB, McSweeney’s, Black Clock, and other journals. In 2011 Ehrenreich was honored with a National Magazine Award for feature writing and in 2012 with a PEN Center USA literary award. His work has been translated into Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Turkish.

RSVP: https://forms.gle/AAvjmvXoukgcVpbW9 

This spring, Writing Now 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. 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.


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.

Event Details

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.

Event Details

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.

Event Details

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