Writing News

Posted on Monday, July 14, 2014 by Laura Braun

Shebooks' sweet spot is short memoir, balanced with fiction and journalism. Oakland travel writer and author Faith Adiele, who teaches writing at California College of the Arts and the Grotto, where she's a member, published her funny, biting cross-cultural take on dealing with her fibroids, "The Nigerian-Nordic Girl's Guide to Lady Problems," in December.

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Posted on Friday, June 20, 2014 by Jim Norrena

Scott Griffin presents the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize to Brenda Hillman (l) and Anne Carson

Esteemed poets Anne Carson and Brenda Hillman have two things in common: Each has been a guest lecturer at California College of the Arts (Carson visited last April as part of the college's Graduate Studies Lecture Series; Hillman presented in 2007 as part of the

Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook

Star 82 Review 2.1 and 2.2
CreateSpace, 2014
Paperback and online, $11.95
Issue 2.1 print / online
Issue 2.2 print
/ online

Star 82 Review is an art and literature magazine founded and edited by Printmaking faculty member Alisa Golden. Out now: issues 2.1 and 2.2!

“We’ve got color in the spring for issue 2.1, featuring a new poem by the wonderful Joanne Kyger,  photos by Mary Daniel Hobson that look like tattoos, but aren’t, and graffiti photos and stories and poems that revolve around individuality. Layered and worthy of multiple readings, these pieces deal with contradictions and alternate identities.”

Issue 2.1 features CCA alumnus Jønathan Lyons (MFA Writing 2005), who has created an erasure text from two pages of Frankenstein. 

Of issue 2.2, Golden says: “Like rivers, rocks, and beaches, the pieces in the summer issue 2.2 are about surviving, but also show how we take care of one another, how we often judge too quickly, how we discover compassion and hope: this is an eclectic, colorful mix of writing and art, from poems assembled from gravestones to portraits on toast.”

Issue 2.2 features CCA alumna Bonnie S. Kaplan (MFA 1991).

Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook

Lady Problems
SheBooks, 2014
E-book, free to members

Writing faculty member Faith Adiele wrote this book based on her personal experience as a Nigerian-Nordic-American woman who develops fibroids while in rural Iowa at the Iowa Writers’ W

Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 by Lindsey Westbrook

Lost Children of the Far Islands
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2014
Hardcover, 288 pages, $16.99

This book by alumna Emily Raabe (MFA Writing 2003) tells the story of twins Gustavia and Leomaris, who are utterly surprised one day when their mother becomes mysteriously ill . . . because she's not really human. She's a Folk, one of a group of people who can turn into animals. Gus and Leo are about to turn 11, the age at which the Folk begin to Turn, and they start to notice peculiar things happening to them, like being able to hold their breath under water for long periods of time. Soon they learn they are the last of the Folk, and the only ones who can stop the Dobhar-Chu, the villainous King of the Black Lakes, from escaping his cave prison.

Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 by Matthew Harrison Tedford

Janey Smith reads in front of San Francisco's Federal Building

To commemorate the 100th birthday of William S. Burroughs in February 2014, the poet and CCA alumnus Janey Smith (MFA Writing 2012) was invited to read at San Francisco’s City Lights bookstore alongside Dead Kennedys front man Jello Biafra, the renowned poets Daphne Gottlieb and Kevin Killian, and other writers and musicians.

When Smith was introduced, his friend Dorothy NotRobot took to the podium instead. “Mistakenly” thinking the gathering was in honor of Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, she proceeded to read selections from the other Burroughs’s work.

Some minutes in, Smith yelled from across the room, “Dorothy, it’s time to do our William Tell trick!” Notrobot placed an apple on her head and Smith pelted it with marshmallows from a slingshot, referencing William S. Burroughs’s accidental killing of his wife in 1951, in a William Tell trick gone wrong.

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.

Posted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 by Laura Braun

I have been accusing words of being stingy, but now I must admit I have been afraid of words, of what saying them might mean, the implications, because it is the proper thing to praise a great poet, to profess great admiration. Otherwise you might be accused of being disingenuous or as we say in Jamaica, "bad-minded" and a writer so charged, especially when leveling remarks against a great icon such as Amiri Baraka, might not be able to withstand the wrath of the closing of the circle that excludes you, put a blight on your writing career.

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.

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.”