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 

All visitors to campus are asked to be vaccinated. Visitors are also asked to check in when arriving on campus, obtain and wear a visitor badge, and wear a mask at all times. Click here to understand our visitor policies.


Spring 2022

Writing Now Reading Series: Paolo Javier

Writing Now Reading Series: Paolo Javier

Event DateEvent Date

Event LocationLocation

CalArts Campus

Butler Building 4-G

Workshop: 4:30pm in Generator 201/202

The former Queens Borough Poet Laureate (2010-2014), Paolo Javier was born in the Philippines and grew up in Las Piñas, Metro Manila; Katonah, Westchester County; El-Ma’adi, Cairo; Burnaby and North Delta, Metro Vancouver. He’s produced three albums of sound poetry with Listening Center (David Mason), including the limited edition pamphlet/cassette Ur’lyeh/ Aklopolis and the booklet/cassette Maybe the Sweet Honey Pours. The recipient of a 2021 Rauschenberg Foundation Artist Grant, Paolo Javier was a featured artist in Greater NY 2015 and Queens International 2018: Volumes. His fifth full-length book of poetry, O.B.B., a (weird postcolonial techno dream-pop) comics poem that also includes illustrations by Alex Tarampi and Ernest Concepcion, will be published by Nightboat Books in the fall of 2021. 

Masterclass Workshop is limited to 15 students. Email csartistcoordinator@calarts.edu to sign up.    

This event is sponsored by the Nick England Intercultural Arts Project and by the CalArts School of Critical Studies MFA in Creative Writing Program.

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

Paolo Javier - Writing Now Reading Series

Poster design by Amal Amer


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