October 2, 2006
Living Writers Series to include several alumni authors/poets
By Scott Rappaport
The Humanities Division’s Living Writers Series kicks off this fall quarter on October 4 with a presentation by poet Joshua Clover, a widely published critic and journalist, a frequent contributor to the New York Times, and the poetry editor for the Village Voice Literary Supplement.
Award-winning poet and UCSC literature alumna Cole Swensen and prolific writer/performer Mahsea are two of the many authors and poets coming to campus this year as part of the Living Writers Series.
Clover is one of many authors and poets who will appear at UCSC this academic year as part of the annual series coordinated by associate professors of literature Micah Perks and Karen Yamashita--codirectors of the UCSC Creative Writing Program. The presentations are sponsored by the campus’s Institute for Humanities Research, Porter College Hitchcock Poetry Fund, and the Literature Department.
“The series this fall is particularly exciting because we have several alumni reading--Cole Swensen, winner of a Guggenheim; Heather Nagami, a just-published poet; and Noria Jablonski, who recently published her first book of short stories,” said Perks. “Another writer I'm really excited about is Kate Moses, who wrote the prize-winning, beautiful, and disturbing book, Wintering, about Sylvia Plath. We have a great mix of both established and young writers.”
All of the readings will take place on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Kresge College Town Hall, Room 466. Admission is free and open to the public.
“As always, UCSC’s Bay Tree Bookstore will be selling the authors’ books at a discount at the readings,” Perks added. “They have been wonderful partners in this series.”
Clover’s work has been anthologized in American Poets in the 21st Century and American Poetry: Next Generation, and his poems have been chosen three times for inclusion in the annual Best American Poetry series. The author of two poetry books, The Totality for Kids, and Madonna anno domini—which earned him the 1996 Walt Whitman Award—Clover is also the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Other writers scheduled to appear in this fall’s series include:
October 11: Cole Swensen
Swensen is the author of 10 books of poetry. Her volume Try won the 1998 Iowa Poetry Prize and the 2000 San Francisco State Poetry Center Book Award, and her 2004 volume Goest was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has also been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and two Pushcart Prizes. Swensen is a translator of contemporary French poetry and letters; her translation of Jean Frémon’s Island of the Dead won the 2004 PEN USA Award in translation. She is the founder and the editor of La Presse, which publishes contemporary French poetry in English translation. Swensen divides her time between Washington, D.C., and Iowa, where she teaches at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She received her Ph.D. in literature from UCSC.
October 18: Mahsea
Mahsea is a writer, poet, and spoken word artist from Hartford, Connecticut. He is a prolific author and dynamic performer who has shared his gift in many arenas--from the Apollo Theater in Harlem to Los Angeles, as well as in international venues, including Jamaica. His works include poetry, short stories, plays, and folk tales. Mahsea’s vocation is to enable the realization of a spiritually empowered world through the creative and transformative power of art.
October 25: Kate Moses
Kate Moses is the author of the critically acclaimed Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath, chosen by San Francisco Chronicle critic David Kipen as one of the top 10 books by California writers in 2003, and by the Los Angeles Times as one of the most memorable books of the year. Moses is the coeditor of Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race & Themselves and the national best-selling, American Book Award-winning Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood. She is also a former literary director of San Francisco's Intersection for the Arts and began her career as an editor of fiction and poetry at legendary North Point Press in Berkeley. Moses is a San Francisco native, where she lives with her husband, Salon executive editor Gary Kamiya.
November 1: Noria Jablonski
Noria Jablonski, author of the story collection Human Oddities, grew up in a commune in Petaluma, California. She received her M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her stories have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Faultline, Swink, KGB Bar Lit, and Crossing the Line: The KGB Bar Fiction Anthology. She currently lives in northern California, where she is at work on a novel. A UCSC alumna (Kresge ’91), Jablonski will be teaching this fall in the UCSC Writing Program.
November 8: Amra Brooks
Amra Brooks is a writer currently living in Los Angeles. She writes about art for Artforum, Artinfo.com, and the LA Weekly. She has also published articles about film, fashion, music, and visual art in Index Magazine, zingmagazine, SPIN Magazine, and several artists’ catalogs. Her fiction has been published in the LA Weekly, Fort Necessity, and The Rambler. Brooks has taught writing at UC San Diego, Wesleyan University, and National University. After growing up in Santa Cruz and Los Angeles, she moved to New York and received an M.F.A. from Bard College. Her novella California is forthcoming from Suspect Thoughts Press in spring 2008.
November 29: Heather Nagami
Heather Nagami's first book, Hostile, was published by Chax Press in 2005. She earned her B.A. in literature with a creative writing emphasis at UCSC and an M.F.A. in creative writing (poetry) at the University of Arizona. Nagami’s poetry and reviews have appeared in Antennae, Galatea Resurrects, Rattle, Shifter, and Xcp (Cross-Cultural Poetics). She lives near Boston with her husband, where they run Overhere Press, a small press that publishes chapbooks by people of color and other underrepresented individuals. Nagamai also teaches at Northeastern University.