10 Years of Convergence - the MFA Celebrates
October 1-3, 2022 [Zoom]
Saturday, October 1, 10:45am - 6:30 pm PT (via Zoom).
Register to attend Saturday's events
Events are free: registration is required. Participants agree to abide by the event Code of Conduct.
On the 10th anniversary of the founding of the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics, we once again converge—to celebrate community and reconnect with the people whose presence has been central to our thinking and conversations in the last decade. The Fall Convergence and From the Convergence Zone reading series this year invite a return from speakers whose visits have left an indelible mark on our community, including our publication collaboration with Essay Press, with whom the MFA sponsors an annual book contest for a work of innovative prose. The Convergence will be held on zoom to draw widely on the literary and artistic communities with which we seek to be in dialogue, extending the possibility of broad participation from within and beyond our region. In the spirit of community, we invited three returning artists to speak about their recent work and concerns, and we asked each to invite a co-panelist from our list of more than 200 artists who have come to our campus since 2012. These pairings of returning visitors will give each panelist the opportunity for communion with another thinker and maker with whom they feel a kinship and will provide a sense of the many networks and interconnections that shape contemporary poetics.
We are also celebrating our 10th anniversary with a reunion of our students, bringing our community together to connect and create during the weekend of September 23-25. We are deeply grateful to the students who have been so instrumental in building our community and are excited to see what we can build together in the next decade!
Our 2022 Convergence culminates on Monday October 3rd with a virtual panel featuring MFA alumni and faculty at the fifth annual Paterson Poetry Festival, a three-day celebration of words, writers, and poetry lovers that takes place in downtown Paterson New Jersey and online October 1st–3rd, 2022. The festival was founded by MFA alum Talena Lachelle Queen’s Word Seed Inc., a 501(c) 3 located in Paterson, New Jersey with a mission to give voice and support to writers of every age and skill level within our diverse communities.
Affirming our commitment to experimental writing, poetics, and interdisciplinarity, these events are most of all a celebration of the community-building that is central to all we do and to the work of the MFA in the years to come. We hope you will join us!
Amaranth Borsuk and Ching-In Chen
Questions? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
All events are in Pacific Time.
Saturday, October 1, 2022
- 10:45am–11:00am: Welcome / Opening Remarks
- 11:00am–12:30pm: Jen Hofer & Cecilia Vicuña
- 1:00pm–2:30pm: Essay Press Authors: Yanara Friedland & Valerie Hsiung
- 3:00pm–4:30pm: Andrea Abi-Karam & Philip Metres
- 5:00pm–6:30pm: Tracie Morris & Kazim Ali
Monday, October 3, 2022
3:00pm–4:00pm: Virtual session with MFA faculty and alumni at the Paterson Poetry Festival including Amaranth Borsuk, Ching-In Chen, Aimee Wright Clow, Jeanne Heuving, Stephanie Segura, and Ashley Skartvedt. Please click here to register for this event.
Andrea Abi-Karam is a trans, arab-american punk poet-performer cyborg. They are the author of EXTRATRANSMISSION (Kelsey Street Press, 2019) and with Kay Gabriel, they co-edited We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2020). Their second book, Villainy (Nightboat Books, Sept 2021) reimagines militant collectivity in the wake of the Ghost Ship Fire and the Muslim Ban. They are currently working on a poet's novel.
Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom and has lived transnationally in the United States, Canada, India, France, and the Middle East. His books encompass multiple genres, including six books of poetry and the cross-genre texts Bright Felon (Wesleyan University Press, 2009) and Wind Instrument (Spork Press, 2014). His most recent book is Northern Light: Power, Land and the Memory of Water (Milkweed Editions, 2021), which Literary Hub called “A balm for the soul." His novels include The Secret Room: A String Quartet (Kaya Press, 2017) and among his books of essays are the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies (Tupelo Press, 2018) and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice (Tupelo Press, 2011). He is also an accomplished translator of Marguerite Duras, Sohrab Sepehri, Ananda Devi, Mahmoud Chokrollahi and others, and an editor of several anthologies and books of criticism. He is currently a Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego.
Photo credit: Jesse Sutton-Hough
Yanara Friedland is a writer and translator born in Berlin. She is the author of two books, Uncountry: A Mythology (Noemi Press 2016) and Groundswell (Essay Press 2021) as well as the chapbook Abraq ad Habra: I will Create as I Speak (Essay Press 2016). Matthes & Seitz published Maria Meinel’s translation of Uncountry in 2021 and Groundwell is forthcoming. She is currently Associate Professor at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Washington University and writing a book on sleeplessness.
Jen/Eleana Hofer is a poet, translator, social justice interpreter, teacher, facilitator, and urban cyclist. They live on unceded Tongva land in Los Angeles, where they teach writing, work as Sins Invalid’s Language Justice Coordinator, and do language justice advocacy and organizing. They have received support from many entities, including CantoMundo, the Academy of American Poets, the City of Los Angeles, the NEA, and PEN American Center. Jen/Eleana publishes with numerous small independent presses and in various DIY/DIT incarnations. Excerpts from their most recent project, unremembering are at Map Magazine.
More information: https://www.channeltransmitrepeat.com/.
Valerie Hsiung is a poet, interdisciplinary artist, and the author of several poetry and hybrid writing collections, including The only name we can call it now is not its only name (Counterpath, forthcoming 2023), To love an artist (Essay Press, 2022), selected by Renee Gladman for the 2021 Essay Press Book Prize, outside voices, please (CSU), selected for the 2019 CSU Open Book Prize, Name Date of Birth Emergency Contact (The Gleaners), YOU & ME FOREVER (Action Books), and e f g (Action Books). Her writing has appeared in print (The Believer, Chicago Review, The Nation, New Delta Review, Black Sun Lit), in flesh (Treefort Music Festival, Common Area Maintenance, The Poetry Project), in sound waves (Montez Press Radio, Hyle Greece), and other forms of particulate matter. Her work has been supported by Foundation for Contemporary Arts, PEN America, Lighthouse Works, and public streets and trails she has walked on and hummed along for years. Born in the Year of the Earth Snake and raised by Chinese-Taiwanese immigrants in Cincinnati, Ohio, she now lives in the mountains of Colorado where she teaches as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing & Poetics at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa.
Philip Metres has written numerous books, including Shrapnel Maps (Copper Canyon 2020). Winner of Guggenheim, Lannan, and NEA fellowships, he is professor of English and director of the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights program at John Carroll University, and core faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA.
Tracie Morris (MFA, Poetry, Hunter College, CUNY, PhD, Performance Studies, NYU). Dr. Morris was the inaugural Distinguished Visiting Professor of Poetry at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop before joining the Workshop as its first African-American tenured Professor of Poetry. Tracie has presented innovative poetry, performance art and theory in over 30 countries and is the author/editor of 10 books (three forthcoming, 2022-2023). University creative fellowships include the Woodberry Poetry Room (Creative Fellow, Harvard University), Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing (Writing Fellow, University of Pennsylvania). She is a 2021 Guggenheim Poetry Fellow. Tracie is a Cave Canem alumna and designated a Master Artist of the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Her installations and performances have been presented by the Whitney Biennial, Dia:Chelsea, The New Museum, The Kitchen Performance Space, Albertine, Furious Flower, Victoria and Albert Museum, Centre Pompidou, among others. Her debut poetic short film, Black Spring, was commissioned by the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and the Department of Cinematic Arts of the University of Iowa. Dr. Morris is a 2023 Visiting Professor of Practice of the Arts of Brown Arts Institute (Brown University).
Cecilia Vicuña [ceciliavicuna.com] is a poet, artist, activist and filmmaker whose work addresses pressing concerns of the modern world, including ecological destruction, human rights, and cultural homogenization. She coined the term “ArtePrecario” in the mid-1960s in Chile, for her precarious works and quipus, that bridge art and poetry as a way of “hearing an ancient silence waiting to be heard.” Her most recent books are: Sudor de Futuro, Altazor, Chile 2021; Minga del Cielo Oscuro, CCE, Chile, 2020, and New & Selected Poems of Cecilia Vicuña, edited and translated by Rosa Alcalá, Kelsey Street Press, 2018.
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This event will take advantage of auto-generated live captioning in Zoom. CART and ASL interpretation are available by request at least ten days in advance.
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