Writing and Literature News

Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Saint Erasure
Talisman House, 2010
Paperback, 71 pages, $13.95

Laura Mullen says, "Anyone who still wants to view experimentation as a purely intellectual exercise will be convinced otherwise by Donna de la Perrière's exquisite second collection. Under the threat or promise of erasure and at the edge of silence, the poet deftly leads us through a shifting, minimalist landscape. Wrestling with change and stasis, with the resistance and sudden give of the real, she delicately monitors each stage of what feels like a pilgrimage, while defamiliarization pressures vision and makes each breath at once artful and endlessly brave. Saint Erasure saves us by exposing the beauty of our vulnerability: 'Welcome to the new body / tonight we lose everything.'" Donna de la Perrière is a faculty member in the MFA Program in Writing and the undergraduate Writing and Literature Program.

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Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2011 by Jim Norrena

High praise for Joseph Lease's "Testify"

Visit today's SFGate.com and you'll read a familiar name in Evan Karp's Special to The Chronicle: Joseph Lease, much admired chair of CCA's MFA Program in Writing. The praiseworthy call-out highlights Lease's latest book release, Testify, for which he was recently invited to do a book reading at City Lights, the nation's first all-paperback bookstore and one of the truly great remaining independent bookstores.

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Posted on Monday, March 28, 2011 by Samantha Braman

(This is the fourth of four installments describing highlights of the spring 2010 ENGAGE at CCA courses. You can also download the whole story as it appeared in Glance, CCA's college magazine.)

Community Partner Organization: 826 Valencia, San Francisco

CCA Faculty Leader: Aimee Phan, Writing and Literature

Outside Expert: Judith Tannenbaum, teaching artist and writer

Goal: Mentor John O'Connell High School students through the process of producing an anthology of personal essays

Dave Eggers is one of San Francisco's precious few hometown celebrities, famous for his books and his literary journal McSweeney's. And then there's his awesome pirate store at 826 Valencia, where just behind the peg legs, eye patches, and bottles of Scurvy-Be-Gone is a space devoted to helping students ages 6 to 18 develop their writing skills.

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Posted on Monday, March 21, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Join us at the many events scheduled to celebrate CCA's 2011 graduating class

Note: This page showcases the wide selection of end-of-year events CCA hosted in 2011. Events listed here are for illustrative purposes only; all events have passed.

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Posted on Friday, March 11, 2011 by Jim Norrena

McSweeney's managing editor Eli Horowitz (left) and editor Jordan Bass

CCA's Writers Series Attracts High-Caliber Writers

The popular weekly Writers Series is required for first-year ink slingers (okay, pixel pushers) enrolled in CCA's MFA Program in Writing, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, thanks in large part to the leadership of chair Joseph Lease. The series is offered each fall and spring and is masterfully curated by associate professor Tom Barbash.

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Posted on Tuesday, March 1, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Last month the humanities and sciences division at California College of the Arts presented Water Works, an exhibition on the Oakland campus that showcased collaborative and independent student projects that featured water as the running theme.

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Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Testify
Coffee House Press, 2011
Paperback, 63 pages, $16

Testify is the latest collection of poems by Joseph Lease, MFA Program in Writing chair and associate professor in the Writing and Literature Program. Lease is the critically acclaimed author of Broken World (Coffee House Press, 2007), Human Rights (Zoland Books, 2000), and The Room (Alef Series of Poetry and Verse Translation: 2, Alef Books, 1994). (See a complete list of Lease's published works.)

Lease, who was raised in Chicago, has been featured on NPR and published in The AGNI 30th Anniversary Poetry Anthology, VQR, Bay Poetics, Paris Review, and The Best American Poetry 2002.

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Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 by Jim Norrena

MFA Writing program manager Teresa Walsh (left) and adjunct professor and playwright Claire Chafee

MFA Program in Writing adjunct professor Claire Chafee knows theater. And San Francisco–based Magic Theatre knows Claire Chafee—after all, it was the Magic Theatre that gave her award-winning, surreal comedy, Why We Have a Body, its world premiere in 1993.

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Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Where a road had been
BlazeVOX, 2010
Paperback, 68 pages, $16

This is the first book by Writing and Literature faculty member Matt Shears. Cal Bedient says: "Matt Shears enters American poetry already far to the fore, just perceptible at the limit of a strenuous, refined thinking about the dirt and destructions of new beginnings.

At once super-sophisticated and an American original, Shears comes out of Gertrude Stein via the great late-20th century French thought about the constant coverings-up of language ('they were always covering up. / what they were saying, and so baroque'), and about the torsions and wipings-away, the fear and the featherings, in any attempt to arrive at (to be) the new, there 'where dis-covery [is] becoming. / in a fledgling sky, with a destructible wing.' Once or twice he tantalizes the reader with the possibility that the new might actually be, despite history, a pure 'yes / hosanna / hello'; but in the main, he's a tough-minded realist."

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Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

The Really Funny Thing About Apathy
Sunnyoutside, 2011
Paperback, 68 pages, $13

Four easily digestible shorts fixate on fleeting incidents in the life of the young and fearful. Says Kevin Sampsell, author of A Common Pornography: "These stories are awesome little jigsaw puzzles that turn into a whole miraculous universe. And in this universe, Chelsea Martin (Individualized Major 2008) is yearning for the answers to life's biggest questions in the most entertaining way possible. This contemplative little book is both funny ha ha and funny peculiar." A knock on the door precipitates the nonaction of "At the End of This Story the Door Will Open and Under Eight Seconds Will Have Passed," in which the narrator mulls over who might be calling. She runs through a series of insignificant scenarios, testing out irony and earnestness, before concluding, "I half believed that the world made sense and I just didn't get it."

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