Writing News

Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 by Jim Norrena

Production stills from CCA's newest "drama queens": Candacy Taylor, Greacian Goeke, Susan Sobeloff, and Jennifer Roberts

"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being." -- Oscar Wilde

In the last year a growing number of CCA graduates -- each representing a unique program of study -- has tapped into the Bay Area's richly diverse and proliferating performing arts scene to have a full-scale world premiere of their work brought to fruition. Among these impressive alumnae are:

Candacy Taylor (MFA Visual Criticism 2002)

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

10,000 Wallpapers
Brooklyn Arts Press, 2011
Paperback, 40 pages, $8

This is a new chapbook of poems by Matt Shears, a faculty member in Writing and Literature, Writing, and Critical Studies. Cathy Park Hong, author of Dance Dance Revolution, says, "This long lyric is full of brute terror and bucolic beauty, exploring individual consciousness unmoored by our present 'thundering interconnectivity'; 10,000 Wallpapers chronicles 'the everyman meandering through this digitized countryside,' questioning how we can truly inhabit the world when reality has become denatured by the image. The speaker in this poem sings like Prufrock, in a lyric that is searing and true, as he searches for the possibilities of pure utterance and perception amidst what is manufactured."

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

One More for the People
Perfect Day Publishing, 2011
Paperback, 224 pages, $16

Eight years in the making, One More for the People is the first collection from Martha Grover's (MFA Writing 2010) Somnambulist zine. Playful, wry, and conversational, it chronicles three generations in the life of the Grover family. As the idiosyncratic characters reluctantly confront adulthood, one Grover is always there to take notes. But after she’s diagnosed with a rare, potentially fatal disease (the 81 side effects of which include dramatic changes in her appearance, not to mention the dreaded possibility of having to move back home), the book becomes something unexpected: a survival guide.

Named one of the Best of 2011 by the Portland Mercury!

Read the reviews in the Portland Mercury and the SF Weekly.

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Of Indigo and Saffron: New and Selected Poems
University of California Press, 2011
Hardcover, 344 pages, $34.95

An essential collection of poems by Michael McClure, longtime CCA faculty member and 2005 recipient of CCA's honorary doctorate of fine arts. It contains the most original, radical, and visionary work of a major poet who has been garnering acclaim and generating controversy for more than 50 years. Ranging from "A Fist Full," published in 1957, through "Swirls in Asphalt," a new poem sequence, Of Indigo and Saffron is both an excellent introduction to this unique American voice and an impressive selection from McClure's landmark volumes for those already familiar with his work. One of the five poets who heralded the Beat movement in the 1955 Six Gallery reading in San Francisco, McClure reveals in his poetry a close kinship to Romanticism, Modernism, Surrealism, and Japanese haiku.

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Create
Berkeley Art Museum, 2011
Paperback, 179 pages, $27.50

Writing and Visual and Critical Studies faculty member Kevin Killian contributes to this book, published on the occasion of a groundbreaking museum exhibition curated by Lawrence Rinder (former CCA Wattis Institute director) with Matthew Higgs (former CCA Wattis Institute curator). Create showcases work made at the three Bay Area centers for artists with developmental disabilities: Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, Creativity Explored in San Francisco, and the National Institute of Art and Disabilities in Richmond. Florence Ludins-Katz and Elias Katz, who today are recognized as pioneers of the art and disabilities movement, founded these centers between 1972 and 1982. This richly illustrated catalogue offers an overview of the work being made there today, including works on paper, paintings, and sculpture.

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Any Time Soon
Little Red Leaves, 2010
Paperback, 36 pages, $8

"In the case of Vietnam, what is a reference" wrote Michael Palmer more than 20 years ago in the context of a different war and different time. In Any Time Soon, Gloria Frym (faculty in Writing and Writing and Literature) writes from the reality that "there is no post war" or external context from which to view our current saturation. Language occurs in the thick of it, taking a "swipe at friendly fire," watching "the poles and their birdhouses." Yet, as in this line, where political obsession twists towards avian respite, Frym's lines torque from exasperation, and critique, to tenderness. Or, to put it another way, she writes "I would like to find money / you didn't know I had / Under my pillow in an unmarked envelope / on a rose marked High Octane Stocks / Can you handle this?"

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Kota Ezawa: Upstairs, Downstairs
University of Idaho, 2010
Paperback, 36 pages

This is the catalogue for Film faculty member Kota Ezawa's exhibition Upstairs, downstairs at the University of Idaho, Prichard Art Gallery in 2010. The catalogue was cowritten by Ezawa, CCA Writing and Visual and Critical Studies faculty member Kevin Killian, and Roger Rowley. It presents work in a number of different forms using older technologies as well as new media. The artist selects from sources such as news stories, lectures by prominent figures, fiction and nonfiction film, and even the history of photography for particular elements that comment on our media overloaded environment.

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Simon Hodgson

Todd Shalom on Niegel Smith's "Monumental Walk," New York, 2010 [photo by Kate Glicksberg]

In a New York borough, a group of walkers meanders through the city. They stop and look around. They close their eyes. They listen. They are participants on a walk with artists from Elastic City, a conceptual walk organization founded by CCA alumnus Todd Shalom (MFA Writing 2004). Lauded by the New York Times, the Economist, and even illustrated in the New Yorker (that's how you know you've really arrived!), Elastic City has organized walks from Brooklyn to Brazil.

Shalom's title at Elastic City is producer and director. He designs and leads some walks, and also commissions other artists to create walks. The walks focus less on providing factual information and more on heightening the senses, uncovering the poetry of everyday places, and creating new group rituals in dialogue with public space. Each walk is an artwork. Lucky Walk, by Shalom in collaboration with Juan Betancurth, revealed lucky and unlucky traits within New York architecture. It encouraged participants to engage in rituals to eliminate bad luck and bring forth good luck. Homesickness by the urbanist Einat Manoff examined the group's physical surroundings as a mirror into its collective homesickness, testing possible interventions in space and discussing the theoretical perspectives offered by urban theory and environmental psychology. Other 2011 walks included City Island Hop by Andrea Polli, Love Spells by Emily Tepper, and Total Detroit by Niegel Smith. In this last, participants started out walking in LaGuardia Airport in New York and then took a plane to the Motor City, where they continued the 56-hour performance.

Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012 by Jim Norrena

"This is Not a Trojan Horse," but it was inspired by one . . .

When is a Trojan horse not a Trojan horse?

The exhibition This is Not a Trojan Horse by Fine Arts visiting faculty member (and founder of the artists’ collective Futurefarmers) Amy Franceschini and writer Michael Taussig, a professor of anthropology at the European Graduate School, earned them the first Artists | Writers | Environments award (the A|W|E Grant) as well as a $10,000 award.

Posted on Monday, January 23, 2012 by Jim Norrena

ENGAGE: Queer Comics Project students curated a show of original comic artwork at San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum

CCA is no stranger to branching out in various genres when it comes to the arts. The college's undergraduate Writing and Literature curriculum is no exception. In spring, the ENGAGE: Queer Comics Project course provided graphic novel enthusiasts the unique opportunity to not only study writing and graphic design but also to do so within a queer perspective!

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