Writing News

Posted on Thursday, September 1, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Photo credit: Rino Pizzi

About Melanie Westerberg

Melanie Westerberg (2004) is the author of City in the River, City in the Forest (Hag's Head Press, 2010). Her short stories have appeared in Mid-American Review, Third Coast, Torpedo, and the Best New American Voices 2006 anthology, and two were nominated for Pushcart Prizes.

Faculty Inspiration

Her collaboration with CCA MFA Writing faculty member Rebekah Bloyd was translated into Czech for RozRazil.

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Posted on Thursday, September 1, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Brent Foster Jones connects his writing to social and political life

About Brent Foster Jones (2008)

In 2008 Southern Exposure asked me to read new prose and poetry as part of guerrilla broadcaster Neighborhood Public Radio's upcoming programming for the Whitney Biennial. My disembodied voice, along with others, was played for digital, radio, and museum listeners.

The experience started me thinking about how to keep new literature knit into our fast-moving world. Readers might be distracted, but they still want stories, but maybe these stories are lean, urgent things, elegant and efficient.

Training in Multiple Genres

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Posted on Thursday, September 1, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Nikki Thompson lives and works in the Bay AreaView slideshow 

Nikki Thompson is a poet, book artist (aka Deconstructed Artichoke Press), and happily failed architect. She fled Southern California for UC Berkeley, where she earned a degree in architecture and edited Berkeley Fiction Review.

In 2001 she was awarded the All College Honors in Graduate Writing from CCA. She remained in the Bay Area and completed the MFA Program in Writing in 2002.

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Posted on Thursday, September 1, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Friedman resides in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and two children

Peach Friedman (2006) is the author of Diary of an Exercise Addict, a memoir recounting her rapid descent into and recovery from anorexia nervosa. The book received international acclaim from sources including the London Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, and Friedman was interviewed by Barbara Walters on The View, and on Oprah's Radio Network. People magazine gave the book three stars and named Friedman a "sexual adventuress," who inspires her readers.

Friedman resides in Auburn, Alabama, with her husband and two children.

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Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 by Chris Bliss

Renowned writer Ishmael Reed joins the MFA Program in Writing faculty

For additional information about CCA's 2011-12 faculty hiring, read the latest Academic Newsletter by Provost Mark Breitenberg.

New Full-Time Faculty

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Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 by Jim Norrena

CCA's MFA Program in Writing will celebrate its 10th anniversary this September. It seems the entire community of writers here at the college is looking backward as much as forward.

This is especially true for playwright and MFA Writing faculty member Claire Chafee, whose critically praised play Why We Have a Body (Bay Area premiere 1993) launched the Magic Theatre's 2011-12 season on Tuesday, September 6, at Fort Mason in San Francisco. The play, directed by Katie Pearl, and which runs through October 2, is part of a "revival effort" the theater is undertaking to include a previously produced hit play in each of its upcoming seasons.

Watch an interview of Chafee discussing Why We Have a Body with director Katie Pearl

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Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 by Jim Norrena

As the 10th Anniversary Reunion Weekend approaches, what better way to celebrate than to participate in a community book/CD swap?

Please arrive with a book/CD you’ve authored or illustrated (or both), a journal to which you’ve contributed, a zine you’ve edited—you get the picture.

When you arrive at the Writers' Studio on our celebration weekend (September 16-18), deliver the book/CD you are willing to swap to the "book swap" tables. We’ll have separate tables for faculty and alumni. Bid your book a fond farewell!

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Posted on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 by Jim Norrena

Author: Gloria Frym
Publisher: BlazeVOX Books Buy now!
Publication date: 5/3/2011
ISBN: 9781609640422
Price: $16

How does the present imprint itself on language, on poetry? Gloria Frym's Mind Over Matter shows us that: the outlines of the endless wars, the credit default swaps. But it also shows poetry resisting this. "No poem/would stand for such a line," Frym writes. "A poem is not a fool." This book makes me want to cheer.

— Rae Armantrout

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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 Monday, May 9, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Technically it's not a dump, it's a transfer station: the 44-acre Recology site where most of San Francisco's garbage and recyclables pass through on their way to either a landfill or a recycling plant. To those who work there, know it, and love it, it's the dump. And for many local artists, including an impressive array of CCA alumni and faculty, it has been the site of a four-month-long scavenger hunt. Recology hosts a one-of-a-kind, intensely competitive residency program where for four months, 40 hours a week, a few lucky artists find inspiration, a literally endless stream of raw materials, a wide array of tools, and 2,000 square feet of studio space, leading up to a culminating exhibition event. The program just celebrated its 20th year. Not all of the artists make work that is specifically about reuse, but no one leaves without having been profoundly affected by the experience, without thinking about life and culture (and trash) in entirely new ways.

On May 20-21 Recology will host the final exhibition of current residents Alex Nichols (soon-to-be alumna from CCA's MFA Program in Writing), Scott Kildall, and Niki Ulehla. That such an obviously object-oriented residency welcomed Nichols, a writer, is an indication of how it continues to evolve and push the envelope of what "art" and "scavenging" mean. Some of the best-known works to come out of the residency have included Nathaniel Stookey's Junkestra (2007), which subsequently performed to a sold-out audience at Herbst Theater in San Francisco and released a recording, and the Styrofoam Hummer made by Andrew Junge (MFA 2002), which has gone on to tour numerous exhibition venues all over the country and has achieved legendary, mythical status among the dump workers.

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