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.
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2011 by Jim Norrena
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.
Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2011 by Jim Norrena
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.
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 by Jim Norrena
MFA Writing program manager Teresa Walsh (left) and adjunct professor and playwright Claire Chafee
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook
Where a road had been
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."
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook
Pang, The Wandering Shaolin Monk Vol. 1
Iron Crotch University Press, 2010
Hardcover, 192 pages, $20 ($25 for the artist's edition)
Heralded by Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai as "a well-researched saga, with wonderfully exciting action sequences." Ben Costa (MFA Writing 2008) won a Xeric Grant for this web comic featuring the titular monk. Early on Costa details the attack and burning of the Shaolin Temple by the Kanxi Emperor's forces and the harrowing escape of Pang, who finds himself on a quest for the remnants of his brotherhood, in the care of a beautiful inn attendant, and confronting an army captain for the return of a sacred book. Pang himself is a charmingly human character often filled with doubt.
Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook
The Really Funny Thing About Apathy
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."
Posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 by Lindsey Westbrook
Litmus Press, 2010
Paperback, 120 pages, $15
This is the third published book by Kate Colby (MFA Writing 2003), who won the Norma Farber First Book Award in 2007 for Fruitlands. The poet and artist Norma Cole observes: "Beauport opens windows framing history framing natural and unnatural settings (traffic, waves, skylines, sky). The work presents a series of displacements, smoke and mirror memory experiments, stitching together with anachronism the physical and the metaphysical. This is a fascinating book, composing and collapsing (wing, telescope), foregrounding subject, object and sightlines in between. With its architecture of vignettes, lullabies, hymns and fragments, Colby's Beauport constructs resistances, ever confronting its considered grace and precision in ripples of savory humors."
Posted on Thursday, October 28, 2010 by Jim Norrena
As writers, we all turn to various sources of inspiration to lend our work; it's an inevitable part of the journey. Sometimes we seek interaction—engaging with others at readings and exhibitions. Other times we delve into our imaginations, relishing in our own personal sanctuaries.
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010 by Lindsey Westbrook
Michael McClure: Mysteriosos and Other Poems
New Directions, 2010
Paperback, 144 pages, $15.95
This newest book of poetry by Michael McClure (longtime CCA faculty member and 2005 recipient of CCA's honorary doctorate of fine arts) speaks of working toward freedom and beauty during a time of interminable war and the destruction of our natural surroundings. Included in this new collection is: a long travel poem to an Indian forest where an enraged elephant charges then recognizes an old human friend and turns back into the trees; "Double Moire," which "reads like a fulfillment of Goethe's prophesy and Shelley's: the whole universe seems to be in it, down to the smallest and up to the most vast. It is absolutely what the ultimate nature poem might be" (Jerome Rothenberg). "Dear Being," a garland of 37 stanzas, uses the freedoms of Buddhist hwa yen.