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New Writing Series Fall 2017

Danielle Pafunda – Wednesday, October 18, 2017 – Literature Building Room 155 (de Certeau) at 4:30 pm

Ben Doller

Danielle Pafunda is author of 8 books, including her most recent poetry collections The Dead Girls Speak in Unison (Bloof Books), Natural History Rape Museum (Bloof Books), and forthcoming Beshrew That Heart That Makes My Heart To Groan (Dusie Press Books). Her experimental memoir The Book of Scab is forthcoming from Richochet Editions. She holds an MFA from New School University and a PhD from University of Georgia. She sits on the Board of Directors of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, and has taught at Columbia College, University of Wyoming, and at the Education Center of the 29Palms Marine Corps Base in the Mojave Desert.

Short Personal and/or Aesthetic Statement:

As a neo-gothic feminist writer, I conduct the world’s violence on the page, respond to the violence that issues in the wake of unworlding, and build new worlds we might better inhabit. One project responds to strains of post-Freudian thought, evolutionary biology, and the medicalization of the body. In another, I combine Greek choruses with Spoon River Anthology-style monologues to amplify the gothic snitch and the binds of embodiment. One performs noir murder mystery ars poetica operetta, while another reimagines modernist Andre Breton’s Nadja and love poems deeply engaged in pain poetics. I write poems and I write experimental speculative prose letters and fables, memoirs, true stories, fairy tales, and thresher chronicles.

Aisha Sabitini Sloan – Wednesday, November 1, 2017 – Literature Building Room 155 (de Certeau) at 4:30 pm
Aisha Sabitini Sloan

Aisha Sabitini Sloan was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her essay collection, The Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White was published by the University of Iowa Press in 2013. Her most recent essay collection, Dreaming of Ramadi in Detroit, was just chosen by Maggie Nelson as the winner of the 1913 Open Prose Prize and will be published in 2017. A contributing editor for Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics, her writing can be found in The Offing, Ecotone , Ninth Letter, Identity Theory, Michigan Quarterly Review, Terrain.org, Callaloo, The Southern Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Essay Daily, Tarpaulin Sky, Drunken Boat, Catapult, Sublevel, Autostraddle and Guernica.

Aesthetic Statement:

Aisha Sabatini Sloan’s essays are inspired by museum installations and guided meditations. In reading her work, you can sense her background as a collage artist and photographer. Her writing, as Barbara Cully writes, “identifies the echo and images emanating from gesture, from drama.” Weaving together criticism, current events and personal narrative, “Sloan roves,” as Maggie Nelson puts it, “guided by a deliberate, intelligent, associative logic which feels somehow both loose and exact, at times exacting.” Kiese Laymon describes her prose as “otherworldly.” Margo Jefferson notes, “Dreaming, exploring, probing, confessing, Aisha Sabatini Sloan is always on the move. She crosses borders, turns fixed states of mind and heart into fresh sites of possibility and mystery. Those vast charged realities—race, class, gender, geography—become particular here, casting light and shadow on each other in startling ways.”

Eileen Myles – Thursday, November 9, 2017 – Geisel Library, Seuss Room at 6:30 pm

Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles is a poet, novelist, performer and art journalist. Their twenty books include Afterglow (a dog memoir), I Must Be Living Twice/new and selected poems, and re-issues of Cool for You and Chelsea Girls. Myles is a Guggenheim Fellow, has received four Lambda Book Awards, the Shelley Prize from the PSA, grants from the Warhol/Creative Capital Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Art and in 2016 they received the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. Myles is a Professor Emeritus of Literature & Writing at UCSD. They live in Marfa, Texas and New York City. 

Personal/Aesthetic Statement:

I imagine all my writing projects are linked, that the poems are quick novels and prose is where epic poetry has migrated today. My new book Afterglow (a dog memoir) is itself an act of homage, fantasy and prayer. Though I've been working in those realms for a long time. 

Chiwan Choi – Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – Literature Building Room 155 (de Certeau) at 4:30 pm

Chiwan Choi

Chiwan Choi  is the author of THE FLOOD (Tía Chucha Press, 2010), ABDUCTIONS (Writ Large Press, 2012), and THE YELLOW HOUSE (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2017). His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Entropy, Spiral Orb and in the anthologies Coiled Serpent, ATTN, and the upcoming Resist Much, Obey Little. He also wrote, presented, and destroyed the novel GHOSTMAKER throughout the course of 2015. Chiwan is a partner at Writ Large Press, a downtown Los Angeles based indie publisher, focused on using literary arts to resist, disrupt, and transgress, with projects such as the #90X90LA summer festival that took place from 7/5 to 10/2 of 2017.

Personal/Aesthetic Statement:

It occurred to me one night while I was on stage reading pages from GHOSTMAKER that none of my memories were real. In my mind, when I am remembering scenes with my parents, they are speaking English. This has never happened. I have rewritten every one of my memories. My past is fiction. So what does it mean for an immigrant to create when self erasure has already occurred? What does it mean to work in a language that was not meant for me when it has meant I never had a chance to understand my own? My work explores this life that has been constructed on the rubble of a life that was.                                                      

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 Brandon Som