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.

Event Details

Writing Now: Javon Johnson

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

Event Details

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.

Event Details

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: Douglas Kearney

Writing Now Reading Series: Douglas Kearney

Event DateEvent Date

Event LocationLocation

CalArts Campus

Generator Building 201/202

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. (Subito, 2016), “a seismic, polyphonic mash-up.” Kearney’s Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” WIRE magazine calls Fodder (Fonograf Editions, 2021), a live album featuring Kearney and frequent collaborator, Val-Inc., “Brilliant.” Kearney is the 2021 recipient of OPERA America’s Campbell Opera Librettist Prize, created and generously funded by librettist/lyricist Mark Campbell. His operas include Sucktion, Mordake, Crescent City, Sweet Land (the Music Critics of North America’s Best Opera of 2021), and Comet / Poppea commissioned by AMOC (American Modern Opera Company). He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly Award for Poetry, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Altadena, CA, Kearney teaches Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities and lives in St. Paul with his family.

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