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

Writing Now Symposium: Becoming the Archive

Event DateEvent Date

Event LocationLocation

CalArts Campus

Bijou Theater (reception in D206)

Part of Creative Writing ‘Writing Now’ Series Spring 24, A symposium organised by members of the 2024 CW MFA cohort, followed by reception.

As part of the Writing Now Reading Series, 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.

The School of Critical Studies is honored to host a discussion of their work and efforts within the contemporary artistic landscape.

Afterwards, please join us for a reception and celebration of CalArt's newest art and literary magazine, Strip Mall! Refreshments and light fare provided. All are welcome.

Chiwan Choi is a poet, writer and publisher, author of four full length books of poetry—The Flood (Tia Chucha Press, 2010), and the Daughter Trilogy: Abductions (Writ Large Press, 2012), and The Yellow House(CCM, 2017) & my name is wolf (2022) – and multiple poetry chapbooks, including Time Out of Space and lo/fidelity lovesongs. Chan wrote, presented, and destroyed the novel Ghostmaker throughout the course of 2015, as part of an ongoing examination on the meaning of a book, with the audience tasked with remembering and recreating a work that has disappeared and in turn creating a new version of a book that never really existed. Chan is a partner at Writ Large Press and the Editor at Cultural Daily.

Carribean Fragoza is a writer and poet from South El Monte, LA County. As a graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), she pushes the boundaries of Chicanx literature using experimental approaches and devices, borrowing from international queer and feminist literary movements. She has published fiction and poetry as well as arts/culture reviews and essays. She is also the founder and co-director of the South El Monte Art Posse (SEMAP), a multi-disciplinary arts collective.

Hailey Loman runs the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA), a public archive and library dedicated to contemporary art-making. LACA collaborates with artists to build archival collections, which include studio leases, contracts, paystubs, performance apparel, set pieces, police reports, text messages, class syllabi, and materials from formally running art spaces. These collections enable us to learn from each other’s experiences and create new works that privilege the desires and needs of our communities. LACA also includes the Oral History Center, OHC, a street-level storytelling project in Chinatown, LA.

jimmy vega is the child of Mexican immigrants, a Chicanx Los Angeles born and raised poet, writer, educator, artist, and curator. His debut poetry collection will be published by What Books Press in 2025. He holds an MFA from the School of Critical Studies, Creative Writing Program at CalArts, where they co-created the MFA in Creative Writing’s HYPERLINK reading series and a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from UCLA. In 2023 their work was on view at The Reef Los Angeles as part of the group exhibit, Spell/ingHe is a former 2023 ELL Faculty Fellow at CalArts and is the Associate Director of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts/Center. He lives in Los Angeles, on unceded Tongva land, with his partner Gladys, and schnauzer, Olive. Find more at jimmy-vega.com @jimmyyvega 

Fall 2023

Writing Now Reading Series: Myriam Gurba

Myriam Gurba is the author of Creep: Accusations and Confessions, an essay collection described by the Los Angeles Review of Books as “one of the best books of the decade.” Her memoir Mean was a New York Times Editor's Choice. Gurba’s writing has been published by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Believer, and many other publications. Along with Roberto Lovato and David Bowles, she is a co-founder of Dignidad Literaria, a grassroots organization that opposes white supremacy in the publishing industry. She lives in California and loves it. 

"Myriam Gurba is the most fearless writer in America. And is most generous and kind to those who have no champion, while setting fire to the towers of the villainous. Creep is another beautifully daring book. Long may she reign."

—Luis Alberto Urrea, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Good Night, Irene

Event Details

Writing Now Reading Series: Henry Hoke

Henry Hoke reading and reception. Hoke is the author of five books, most recently the novel Open Throat (MCD/FSG) and the memoir Sticker (Bloomsbury). He co-created the performance series Enter>text in Los Angeles, and edits humor at The Offing. He is also an alum of the MFA Creative Writing program at CalArts. "An indictment of human culture, narrated by a mountain lion Henry Hoke's novel follows an observant—and starving—cougar living in the Los Angeles hills surrounding the Hollywood sign ... Though many readers will label Open Throat unconventional, this act of ravishing and outlandish imagination should be the norm, not the exception. At its best, fiction can make the familiar strange in order to bring readers and our world into scintillating focus. Open Throat is what fiction should be." Marie Helene Bertino, The New York Times

Event Details

Writing Now Reading Series: Ronaldo Wilson

Ronaldo V. Wilson, PhD, is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh, 2008), winner of the 2007 Cave Canem Prize, and Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books, 2009), winner of the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry and the Asian American Literary Award in Poetry in 2010. His latest books are Farther Traveler: Poetry, Prose, Other (Counterpath Press, 2015), finalist for a Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, and Lucy 72 (1913 Press, 2018). Co-founder of the Black Took Collective, Wilson is also a mixed media artist, dancer, and performer.

With poets Dawn Lundy Martin and Duriel E. Harris, Wilson cofounded the performance-based Black Took Collective. Wilson is currently an associate professor of creative writing and literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and splits his time between Santa Cruz and Long Island, New York.

Event Details

Writing Now Reading Series: Jos Charles

Jos Charles is author of the poetry collections a Year & other poems (Milkweed Editions, 2022), feeld, a Pulitzer-finalist and winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series selected by Fady Joudah (Milkweed Editions, 2018), and Safe Space (Ahsahta Press, 2016). She is visiting faculty for UC RIverside’s Creative Writing Department and teaches as a part of Randolph College's low-residency MFA program. She resides in Long Beach, CA.

All readings take place on campus, followed by reception. Livestream available on CalArts' Creative Writing YouTube.

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