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New Writing Series Spring 2013

Michael Davidson and Rae Armantrout  - April 10, 2013 - SME Performance Space Room 149 at 4:30 pm
New Writing Series Images of Michael and Rae

Michael Davidson is University of California, San Diego Distinguished Professor. He is the author of The San Francisco Renaissance: Poetics and Community at Mid-Century (Cambridge U Press, 1989), Ghostlier Demarcations: Modern Poetry and the Material Word (U of California Press, 1997), Guys Like Us: Citing Masculinity in Cold War Poetics (U of Chicago, 2003). and Concerto for the Left Hand: Disability and the Defamiliar Body (U of Michigan, 2008). His most recent book, Outskirts of Form: Practicing Cultural Poetics was published in 2011 by Wesleyan University Press. He is the editor of The New Collected Poems of George Oppen (New Directions, 2002). He is the author of five books of poetry, the most recent of which is The Arcades (O Books, 1998). He is the co-auathor, with Lyn Hejinian, Barrett Watten, and Ron Silliman, of Leningrad (Mercury House Press, 1991). He has written extensively on disability issues, most recently “Hearing Things: The Scandal of Speech in Deaf Performance,” in Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities, Ed. Sharon Snyder, et al (Modern Language Association, 2002), “Phantom Limbs: Film Noir and the Disabled Body,” GLQ 9:1-2 (2003), Universal Design: The Work of Disability in an Age of Globalization, The Disability Studies Reader, ed. Lennard Davis (Routledge, 2010), and “Pregnant Men: Modernism, Disability, and Biofuturity in Djuna Barnes,” Novel 54.3 (Summer, 2010). His new and selected poems is forthcoming from Coffee House Press.

Just Saying, Rae Armantrout’s most recent book of poems, was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2013. Versed (Wesleyan, 2009), received the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was also a finalist for the National Book Award.  Next Life (Wesleyan, 2007), was chosen as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2007 by The New York Times. Other recent books include Money Shot (Wesleyan, 2011,) Collected Prose (Singing Horse, 2007), Up to Speed (Wesleyan, 2004), The Pretext (Green Integer, 2001), and Veil: New and Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2001). Her poems have been included in anthologies such as The Open Door: 100 Poems, 100 Years of Poetry Magazine, (Chicago, 2012), American Hybrid (Norton, 2009),  Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology (1993 and 2013), American Women Poets in the 21st Century: Where Language Meets the Lyric Tradition, (Wesleyan, 2002),  The Oxford Book of American Poetry (Oxford, 2006) and  The Best American Poetry of 1988, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012.  Armantrout  received an award in poetry from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts in 2007 and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008. She is Professor of Poetry and Poetics at the University of California, San Diego. Writing in Poetry magazine, Ange Mlinko has said, “I would trade the bulk of contemporary anecdotal free verse for more incisive, chilling poetry like Armantrout’s.”

Kerry Shawn Keys - April 17, 2013 - Literature Building Room 155 de Certeau at 5:00 pm

NWS Kerry Keys Picture

Kerry Shan Keys American and Lithuanian poet, playwright, and wonder script writer, Kerry Shawn Keys, lives in Vilnius but his roots go deep into Appalachian hill country, and his poetry ranges the world from flamenco to the Tao to free-jazz pieces to India and Brazil. Winner of many awards including an NEA, and author and translator of dozens of books, he authors the Letter from Vilnius, Eastern/Central Europe and excursions elsewhere for Poetry International San Diego, and is poet in residence for SLS Lithuania. Much terror and much beauty, and, to quote Robert Bringhurst, "the sort of poet people dream about when they dream about poets".

Pura López-Colomé and Forrest Gander - April 23, 2013 - SME Performance Space Room 149 at 7:00 pm

New Writing Series Image of Pura and Forrest 

Pura López-Colomé was born in Mexico City in 1952, spent part of her childhood in Mérida, Yucatan, and attended high school in the US. She studied literature at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, publishing literary criticism, poems, and translations in a regular column for the newspaper Unomásuno. English translations of her work include No Shelter: Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2002), and Aurora (Shearsman Books, 2008), and Watchword (Wesleyan University Press, 2012). 

Forrest Gander was born in the Mojave Desert and grew up in Virginia. He is a writer and translator with degrees in geology and English literature. His most recent book, in collaboration with John Kinsella, is Redstart: an Ecological Poetics. Gander’s book Core Samples from the World, an investigation into the way we are revised and translated in encounteres with the foreign, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His recent translations include Watchword by Pura López Colomé and, with Kyoko Yoshida, Spectacle & Pigsty: Selected Poems of Kiwao Nomura, winner of the Best Translated Book Award in 2012.

Evan Lavender-Smith and Carmen Giménez Smith - May 1, 2013 - Visual Arts Performance Space Black Box at 4:30 pm

New Writing Serires Image of Evan and Carmen

Evan Lavender-Smith was born in Iowa in 1977. He atended the University of California at Berkeley and New Mexico State University. He is the author of From Old Notebooks (Blazevox, 2010) and Avatar (Six Gallery Press, 2011), Editor-In-Chief of Noemi Press, and Prose and Drama Editor of Puerto Del Sol. His writing has recently appeared in Fence, No Colony, Post Road, and Evergreen Review. He is Visiting Assistant Professor of English at New Mexico State University. He Lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of a memoir, Bring Down the Little Birds, four poetry collections— Milk and FilthGoodbye, FlickerThe City She Was, and Odalisque in Pieces. She is the recipient of a 2011 American Book Award, the 2011 Juniper Prize for Poetry, and a 2011-2012 fellowship in creative nonfiction from the Howard Foundation. Formerly a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she now teaches in the creative writing programs at New Mexico State University, while serving as the editor-in-chief of the literary journal Puerto del Sol and the publisher of Noemi Press. 

Ronaldo V. Wilson and Janice Lee- May 15, 2013 - SME Performance Space Room 149 at 4:30pm

new writing series picture of ronaldo and janice 

Ronaldo V. Wilson is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (University of Pittsburgh, 2008), winner of the 2007 Cave Canem Poetry Prize andPoems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books, 2009), winner of the Thom Gunn Award and the Asian American Literary Award in Poetry in 2010. His latest book, Farther Traveler: Poetry, Prose, Other, is forthcoming from Counterpath Press in 2013.   Co-founder of the Black Took Collective, Wilson teaches in the Literature Department of the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Janice Lee is a writer, artist, editor, designer, curator, and scholar. Interested especially in the relationships between metaphors of consciousness, theoretical neuroscience, and experimental narrative, her creative work draws upon a wide variety of sources. Her obsessive research patterns lead her to making connections between the realms of technology, consciousness studies, design theory, the paranormal & occult, biological anthropology, psychology, and literary theory. She is the author of two highly acclaimed novels: KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010) and Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011). She also has several chapbooks Red Trees, Fried Chicken Dinner (Parrot/Insert Press, September 2012), and The Other Worlds (Eohippus Labs, June 2012). Her newest project, Damnation, is forthcoming from Penny-Ante Editions in Summer 2013. She currently lives in Los Angeles where she is Co-Editor of the online journal [out of nothing], Co-Founder of the interdisciplinary arts organization Strophe, Reviews Editor at HTMLGIANT, and Founder/CEO of POTG Design. She can be found online at http://janicel.com.

MFA Readings- May 29, 2013 - SME Performance Space Room 149 at 4:30 pm

UCSD's New Writing Series is excited to announce an upcoming reading from our graduating MFA students Amanda Martin Sandino, Cathiana Sylne and Franciszka Voeltz.  The reading will take place at the SME building presentation space at 4:30 PM on Wednesday the 29th of May.

Mandy is an experimental poet/artist currently engaging with the San Diego literary scene. She is working on her MFA in Writing at UC San Diego, where projects include a lengthy prosetry noir, an impossible play, and a chapbook composed of materials found at ComiCon. Her poetry is available for viewing at the Clamor Literary Arts Journal, the 3:15 Experiment, the Northwest Comedy Network, and her personal blog.


Cathiana Sylne was born in Roche-A-Bateau, Haiti, to farmers and fishermen by the sea. Her voice as a writer draws from her cross-cultural experience as a Haitian woman living away from home. Family, love, political strife, and cultural identity are common topics woven throughout her work. She has a background in filmmaking, a deep love of banana trees, and enjoys listening to the sea.

Franciszka Voeltz
The question, is it possible that poems can do things? For instance, can they undo the racist capitalist heteropatriachy we live under? As a community writing workshop facilitator, Voeltz has witnessed poems affecting subtler change. As a poet who believes in writing as social practice, she is invested in writing that disrupts and agitates and language that connects and heals. Franciszka has been reading and writing a lot about water and is currently curating a collective poem to the entire planet at dearbelovedsproject.wordpress.com. Voeltz maintains a daily writing practice (the detail collector) on the world wide web and her poems have appeared in various publications including Flaneur Foundry, Ocho, and Analecta Literary Journal.

MFA Readings- June 5, 2013 - SME Performance Space Room 149 at 4:30 pm

The New Writing Series presents first-year graduate students of the UCSD MFA Program in Writing. Please join us this Wednesday, June 5th, at 4:30pm in the SME presentation space for poetry, prose, and genre-bending by Kendall Grady, Gabriel Kalmuss-Katz, Ethan Sparks, Jose Antonio Villaran, and Brett Zehner. Come get awesome.

Kendall Grady writes poems. Chopped and screwed.

Kendall Grady Picture

Gabriel Kalmuss-Katz wants to know where you're from and what you think about that place. He considers himself to be from New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, Chicago, New York City, and San Diego, and is trying to figure out what to do with all of those spaces as they swell and erode in his memory. Because he has such a spotty memory, he writes poems about places to keep them straight- how they get to be, why we love and hate them, why we can not leave them.  His work has been published or is forthcoming in Bayou, After Hours, Curbside Splendor and Juncture, among a few others. He blogs about music at http://www.songssavelives.com and runs Na Zdravi Na Shledanou Press with the poet Naomi Schub.

Gabriel Kalmuss-Katz Picture

Ethan Sparks is a writer, musician, and artist, living in San Diego, California.  He is a father to three humans and two cats, a renovator of old homes, a community gardener, a devotee of the Pacific Ocean, a world traveler, and a bit of a wino.  His writing has been shaped largely by the experience of growing up homeless in he 1980s in Los Angeles and the path that got him out of the trials of his upbringing – from community engagement in a dilapidated, urban, Cleveland neighborhood to busking on the cobblestone streets of Rennes, France and Mirabella, Sicily. He is currently working on a smattering of diverse projects, from a science fiction novel to a retelling of the Pinocchio tale, as well as a variety of poetry works and songs and a play based on his own childhood. He is a current MFA Creative Writing student at the University of California, San Diego.

 Ethan Sparks Picture
Jose Antonio Villaran was born and raised in Lima, Peru. He's currently working on his third book of poetry, a docu-poetic study into extractive industries. His son Miqel just turned 2 months old yesterday.

Jose Antonio Villaran Picture

 Brett Zehner is interested in anarcho poetics, depression as politics, celebration and vitalism. He was trained as a geographer and his work explores the possibility of poetry as an intervention into dominant modes of cultural production.  

Brett Zehner Picture

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