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 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

Writing Now Reading Series: Deborah Taffa and dg nanouk okpik

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 3/21 at 6:00pm - Butler Building #4 - Deborah Taffa and dg nanouk okpik | Reception to follow

TALK Friday 3/22 at 10am - Zoom - Layla Long Soldier | email amccann@calarts.edu or csartistcoordinator@calarts.edu for link.

SALON Friday 3/22 at 1:00pm - Langley - Deborah Taffa & dg nanouk okpik | Discussion of the week's events and IAIA/CalArts Partnership

Event Details

Fall 2023

Writing Now Reading Series: Brontez Purnell [Canceled]

Writing Now Reading Series: Brontez Purnell [Canceled]

Event DateEvent Date

Event LocationLocation

CalArts Campus


Brontez Purnell is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children’s book, the novel Since I Laid My Burden Down, and, most recently, 100 Boyfriends, which won the 2022 Lambda Literary Award in Gay Fiction, was longlisted for the 2022 Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award and the 2021 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize, and was named an Editors’ Choice by The New York Times Book Review. The recipient of a 2018 Whiting Writers’ Award for Fiction and the 2022 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Robert Rauschenberg Award, he was named one of the "32 Black Male Writers of Our Time" by The New York Times Style Magazine in 2018. Born in Triana, Alabama, he’s lived in Oakland, California, for 20 years.

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