UC San Diego SearchMenu

New Writing Series Fall 2015

Ben Doller – Wednesday, October 21, 2015 – Visual Arts Presentation Lab (SME 149) at 4:30 pm

Ben Doller

Poetry makes the private public. Poetry makes the public private. Poetry makes the universal personal. Poetry makes the personal universal. Poetry makes the political apolitical. Poetry makes the apolitical political. Poetry makes control out of chaos. Poetry makes chaos out of control. Poetry makes the word a word. Poetry makes a word the word. Poetry makes nothing happen. Nothing makes poetry happen.

Ben Doller is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Fauxhawk, from Wesleyan University Press in September 2015. His previous books include Radio, Radio, which won the 2000 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets selected by Susan Howe (published under his former name, Doyle); FAQ:, published by Ahsahta Press in 2009, and Dead Ahead, published by Fence Books in 2010. Sonneteers, a collaborative book of visual anti-sonnets with Sandra Doller, was published on Éditions Eclipse in 2014. An experimental-collaborative memoir, The Yesterday Project, also written with Sandra Doller, is forthcoming in 2015 from Sidebrow Books. A Sony Scholar and Hellman Fellow, Ben completed his MFA at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2000, where he was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. Since 2005, he has served as vice-editor and designer of 1913 Press, and from 2006-2011 he co-edited the Kuhl House Contemporary Poetry Series from the University of Iowa Press. He lives in North Park, San Diego, with Sandra and Wild Alphabet Doller. He is Associate Professor of Creative Writing in the MFA program at University of California-San Diego.

Meliza Bañales – Wednesday, November 4, 2015 – Visual Arts Presentation Lab (SME 149) at 4:30 pm

Meliza Banales

Ive often been described as the girl with the sense of humor of a jackknife. I appreciate the art of telling a story. While it can be expensive, I enjoy the truth so I often write from a place of urgency and what some have called raw honesty, but I like to use humor as a way to illuminate these truths. Gloria Anzaldúa once said, I writebecause the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. I relate. Im also reminded of Charles Bukowski, Some people never go mad. What truly horrible lives they must lead. Again, I relate. My work is drawn from these sentiments I think. Add punk rock, feminism, Queer identity, Xicanisma, sex work, class struggle, abuse, survivorhood, LA, Mexico, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and lovethat is where the rest of the work is drawn from.  

Meliza Bañales aka Missy Fuego was the first Chicana to win a poetry slam championship in 2002 and was a fixture in the underground spoken-word and slam communities in San Francisco from 1996-2010. She has toured with Sister Spit and Body Heat and her short film with J Aguilar, Getting Off, won the Jury Award at TG Fest: The Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival in 2011. She is the author of Say It With Your Whole Mouth (poems, Monkey Press) and the new novel Life Is Wonderful, People Are Terrific on Ladybox Books. She lives in LA.

Lara Glenum – Wednesday, November 18, 2015 – Visual Arts Presentation Lab (SME 149) at 4:30 pm

Lara Glenum

My work explores strategies of the grotesque as a portal to deconstructing normalizing discourses about the human body. My pop-saturated poems enact signs, bodies, and psyches in crisis with a rabid species of dark, hyperbolic humor. A visual riot of pastiched textual elements, my books include theatrical dialogue, internet detritus, abject burlesque floor shows, and other far-fetched spectacles. Writing in Tarpaulin Sky, David B. Applegate describes my work as a splattered fairy tale for today, a new flavor of poetic candy, and, ultimately, a pleasure to read.

Lara Glenum is the author of four books of poetry: The Hounds of No, Maximum Gaga, and Pop Corpse!—all from Action Books—and All Hopped Up On Fleshy Dumdums (Spork Press). She is also the co-editor of Gurlesque: the new grrly, grotesque, burlesque poetics (Saturnalia Books), an anthology of contemporary women’s poetry and visual art. The vastly expanded second edition, Electric Gurlesque, is due out in the spring of 2016. Glenum has been the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and an NEA Translation fellowship. She teaches in the MFA Program at Louisiana State University.


Amarnath Ravva – Wednesday, December 2, 2015 – Visual Arts Presentation Lab (SME 149) at 4:30 pm

Amarnath Ravva

Blending myth with interviews and first-person narrative, American Canyon uses prose, documentary footage, and still photos to recount the fragmented and ever evolving story of one persons apprehension of the ghosts of history. This narrative of a sons love for his mother and the ritual he performs for her takes us from California to Rameswaram, the southern tip of the Indian peninsula. It is a meditation on the moments in history that placed him in front of a small bright fire, a lament for the continual loss of those who, by remembering, let us know who we are.

California-based writer Amarnath Ravva has performed at LACMA, Machine Project, the MAK Center at the Schindler House, the Hammer Museum, USC, Pomona, CalArts, and the Sorbonne. In addition to his writing practice, he is a member of the site specific ambient music supergroup Ambient Force 3000 and for the past eight years he has helped run and curate events at Betalevel, a venue for social experimentation and hands-on culture located in Los Angeles’ Chinatown. His first book, American Canyon, was published by Kaya Press in 2014 and was a finalist for the Pen Center USA literary award in Creative NonFiction.



The New Writing Series is brought to you by the Literature Department and the Division of Arts and Humanities

The New Writing Series thanks the Department of Visual Arts for providing us with the SME Presentation Space

For more information contact Professor Anna Joy Springer