Writing News

Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 by Laura Braun

Aimee Phan, author of the novel The Reeducation of Cherry Truong, says without hesitation that her husband is her Vera. Phan and the poet Matt Shears, both professors at California College of the Arts, have two young children (ages two and five, respectively). Shears prepares 90 percent of the family’s meals these days—a duty he took up after they welcomed their first child.

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Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook

Celluloid Salutations
BlazeVOX, 2014
Paperback, 142 pages, $16

Celluloid Salutations is the second book by alumna Elizabeth Block (MFA Writing 2002, MFA 2003).

Juliana Spahr says: “It’s all here: love, work, child. And the writing. Mainly the writing. It takes over all these other things and yet it is built out of all these things. This is how Elizabeth Block erases Elizabeth Block, as one poem claims. She does this automatically, animalistically, while wailing forward, gracefully and with improvisation.

Bill Berkson says: “Elizabeth Block’s poetry moves through those ‘layers of noise’ we all contend with and goes a long way toward conquering by absorbing them. Page by page, the intervals, apparent blanks and interruptions between word clusters, vibrate tellingly with each tabulation of event, the actuality in and of the words as Block arranges them. Here is urgency and nuance. The matter never gets figured out we want it to we think all day long on. Take time to read this magnetic book.

The cover artwork is by noted CCA alumna Amanda Hughen (Graphic Design 1999).

Block won the Christopher Isherwood Foundation Fiction Fellowship for her first novel, A Gesture Through Time, which was fiscally sponsored by Intersection for the Arts. She was a Poets & Writers grantee for the presentation of new work at the Lab in San Francisco.

Block has won many other awards and residencies, including an award from Poets & Writers and another from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program Tread of Angels Fellowship. Her writing has appeared on stage, in film, in public art, in books, on audio CD and podcasts.

She is also a filmmaker whose film poems have traveled extensively throughout the United States and elsewhere. She has published work in many genres and in many journals, and her work has also appeared on the public radio stations KQED and KSFR. She often collaborates with musicians and visual artists.

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Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook

Eleven Eleven is a graduate Writing course; a journal of prose, poetry, and art; and a force to be reckoned with on the national -- even international -- literary scene. It’s the reason Candace Hoes (MFA Writing 2014) decided to attend CCA, and she’s taken the Eleven Eleven course every semester she’s been here: “I’ve been the managing editor, webmaster, Ad/Swap coordinator, fiction editing team member, and Koi Pond* coordinator.”

Eleven Eleven is also a network, as faculty editor Hugh Behm-Steinberg explains. “It’s a web of connections and relationships among writers, translators, visual artists, publishers, and galleries. And us: the faculty and staff and students.”

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Posted on Monday, November 25, 2013 by Allison Byers

Goodwin did not get her butt of sack, and she hasn't been given an honorarium, either. Nobody has mentioned gas money. She has two daughters, Naomi and Izzy. Her husband, Nick, is a plumber, and she scratches out a living teaching night classes at Stanford and day classes at California College of the Arts, in San Francisco and Oakland.

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Posted on Monday, November 11, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

4-Headed Woman
Tia Chucha, 2013
Paperback, 80 pages, $14.95

4-Headed Woman by Writing faculty member Opal Palmer Adisa is a journey into and through womanhood, from preadolescence through menopause, and an exploration of women’s relations with one another. The poems employ female domestic imagery to name different types of breads found throughout the world, from coconut to pita. The poems in the second section focus specifically on menses, weaving together biological, folk, and cultural aspects in a humorous tone. The third section, "Graffiti Poem," comprises poems centered around college restrooms, which Adisa sees as a site of communication for students on a wide variety of social-sexual issues.

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Posted on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 by David Morini

Writing and Literature and MFA Program in Writing faculty member Caroline Goodwin was recently named San Mateo County’s first poet laureate.

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Once approved, her position will take a two-year term, from January 2014 to December 2015. A committee of San Mateo County supervisors chose Goodwin out of a pool of 15 nominations.

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Posted on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 by Jim Norrena

Tom Barbash at Mrs. Dalloway's Books in Berkeley for a reading from "Stay Up With Me"

MFA Program in Writing faculty member and critically acclaimed author, educator, and critic Tom Barbash has many notable literary successes under his belt.

His recent effort, however, a recently published collection of short stories, titled Stay Up With Me (Ecco/HarperCollins), puts him among some of the most celebrated writers of the day.

Barbash, who wrote the novel The Last Good Chance and the bestselling nonfiction work On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick & 9/11: A Story of Loss & Renewal, has also had his fiction appear in Tin House magazine, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Indiana Review, among other publications.

He is no stranger to seeing his words in print.

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Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Minnows: A Shattered Novel
Journal of Experimental Fiction Press / Depth Charge Publishing, 2013
Paperback, 320 pages, $17

Jønathan Lyons (MFA Writing 2005) wrote this book about a child and his younger brother, who get out of school for the summer and have their world come crashing down around them, shards raining across the text. Creating this work of experimental fiction involved cutting up and rearranging blocks and columns of text, hanging them on walls throughout Lyons's basement, and then striving to bring this exploded narrative into a coherent whole.

Lyons lives and writes in Central Pennsylvania. He teaches writing and literature at Bucknell University. His writing has appeared in the Journal of Experimental Fiction, Hotel Amerika, Exquisite Corpse, and elsewhere.

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Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 by Lindsey Westbrook

Star 82 Review issues 2 and 3
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013
Paperback, 44 pages, $9.95

In the spirit of summer travel, the second issue of Star 82 Review, an online and print art and literature magazine edited by Printmaking faculty member Alisa Golden, features personal essays, poems, and stories that revolve around planes, trains, and automobiles. Layered and worthy of multiple readings, these pieces deal with parents and children, dreams and daydreams, life-cycle events and life in general. A special feature is a page from Tom Phillips's A Humument app.

Contributors with CCA connection this issue: Zack Rogow, former MFA Program in Writing faculty.

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Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 by Allison Byers

Barbash has published two books previously: the award-winning novel The Last Good Chance, based on the years he spent reporting in upstate New York, and the New York Times bestseller On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11, a nonfiction account of the revival of the financial services firm after it lost nearly seven hundred employees in the Twin Towers. He teaches in the MFA program at California College of the Arts and lives in Marin County, Calif.

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