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New Writing Series Spring 2017

Daniel Borzutzky -- Wednesday, April 12, 2017 -- VIS 306 Performance Space at 4:30 pm

Daniel Borzutsky

Daniel Borzutzky is a poet and translator. His writing draws hemispheric connections between the US and Latin America, specifically touching upon issues relating to border and immigration policies, economic disparity, state and political violence, and the disturbing rhetoric of extreme capitalism and bureaucracies. He is interested in how poetry navigates and documents the realities of over- and under-development, and the economies of privatization, in which humans endure state-sanctioned and systemic abuses. His writing asks what it means to be both a unitedstatesian and a globalized subject whose body is “shared between the earth, the state, and the bank.”

Daniel Borzutzky is the author of The Performance of Becoming Human, winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Poetry. His other books and chapbooks include In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy (2015), Bedtime Stories for the End of the World! (2015), Data Bodies (2013), The Book of Interfering Bodies (2011), and The Ecstasy of Capitulation (2007). He has translated Raúl Zurita’s The Country of Planks (2015) and Song for his Disappeared Love (2010), and Jaime Luis Huenún’s Port Trakl (2008). His work has been supported by the Illinois Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pen/Heim Translation Fund. He lives in Chicago.

Wendy C. Ortiz -- Wednesday, April 19, 2017 -- Literature Building Room 155 (de Certeau) at 4:30 pm

     Wendy Ortiz

Wendy C. Ortiz is the author of three books: the critically acclaimed Excavation: A Memoir (2014); Hollywood Notebook (2015); and the dreamoir Bruja (2016). In 2016 Bustle named her one of “9 Women Writers Who Are Breaking New Nonfiction Territory.” Wendy’s work has been profiled or featured in the Los Angeles TimesPoets & Writers MagazineLos Angeles MagazineThe RumpusLos Angeles Review of Books, and the National Book Critics Circle Small Press Spotlight blog. Individual pieces have appeared in The New York TimesHazlittStoryQuarterlyJoyland, and a year-long series on medical marijuana pharmacy cultures of Southern California was featured at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Wendy lives in Los Angeles, where she is a parent and a psychotherapist in private practice.

Short aesthetic/personal statement:

To describe my aesthetic is to describe only the aesthetic I claim today (these things change, I’m in favor of the ever-changing). At the moment my aesthetic feels tethered to the troubling of narratives, identifying best ways of enclosing the most emotional information in the fewest lines possible, the exploration of parallel lives in narratives, finding what scares me most and pushing in that direction for the benefit of the writing, finding comfort in the uncomfortable, addressing and attempting to write toward the liminal, gravitation toward work that remembers the body, work that forces me to be in my body to read it, and always, always, in my own work, a return to the body, the body, the body.

Ani Fox -- Wednesday, May 3, 2017 -- Literature Building Room 155 (de Certeau) at 4:30 pm

Ani Fox

Born at Scripps Hospital La Jolla, Ani Fox now lives in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg - the heart of ancient Europe. He’s published short fiction in Jim Baen’s Universe and the anthology Corrupts Absolutely? The Autumn War is his first published novel with two more on the way. In his spare time he holds down a day job, serves as Editor in Chief for the European Review of Speculative Fiction and does what his cat tells him. Before the money ran out, he attended the inaugural year of Eleanor Roosevelt College (when it was 5th), wrote for the Guardian and the Koala, and paid bills as a professional vegetable murderer for the Ché Café. Ani holds a BA in History from the Rutgers University, a PhD (ABD) in World History from the Australian National University and a PhD in Indigenous Theology from ULC Seminary; none of which make him more fun at parties.

Personal Aesthetic Statement: 

“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” Albert Camus

The average American spends just under 11 hours a day consuming tv and online media, leaving thirteen for sleep, work, eating and reading books. Boring books don’t sell; unsold books don’t provoke critical thought and dissent. Hiding behind all my car chases, explosions and cyberpunk mayhem lies a dark secret: in college, I snuck into a modern theatre appreciation class where I wrote an experimental play to avoid my final exam. I failed the Bechdel test. For the last 27 years the distinction between literature where women have agency and voice and where they don’t has been a quiet obsession. My work plays with the notion of gender and sexuality, of the female voice and presence, the effects of sexism and latent fear of women. Then I add more explosions and mayhem to lure my readers into giving up some of those precious thirteen hours.

Thi Bui -- Friday, May 5, 2017 -- Dolores Huerta Room at 12:00 pm

Thi Bui

Thi Bui was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States as a child. She studied art and law and thought about becoming a civil rights lawyer, but became a public school teacher instead. Bui lives in Berkeley, California, with her son, her husband, and her mother. The Best We Could Do is her debut graphic novel. 

Raquel Gutierrez -- Wednesday, May 17, 2017 -- Literature Building Room 155 (de Certeau) at 4:30 pm

Raquel Gutierrez

Raquel Gutiérrez is a poet and essayist pursuing her MFA degree in poetry at the University of Arizona. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she writes about space and institutionality and publishes chapbooks by queers of color with the tiny press Econo Textual Objects, established in 2014. Her work has found homes in Huizache, The Portland Review, Los Angeles Weekly, GLQ: Gay and Lesbian Quarterly and Entropy and upcoming in Fence. 

Poetic Statement:

Mother and mothering is the metaphoric fundament in Arid Madrecita—how to care for yourself against matrilineal narratives of colonized territories in the Southwest; the northern matronly of Mexico.To be a mother one must be f***** and left with seed to produce life. These generative congresses also climax with their unfair share of relational angst and injury often exacerbated by agents of the state and their attending policies of racialized, sexual and reproductive control. How do these material sites of inquiry implicate the desert away from a pastoral site of contemplative potentiality when read against histories of colonization and state-making? How do state-making apparatuses produce a spectrum of erasures and hyper-visibilities that play out in interpersonal relationships with people of this violated territory? Poet and performer Raquel Gutiérrez is finding out how the desert is a pastoral possibility rife with elixer for grief and mourning found in the bedeviled porousness of washes and caliche, the lymphatic bodies hidden throughout a seemingly barren landscape. Ancestral gestures and the haunting of material subjects crossing crumbling borders contour the difficult terrain explored through poly-sensual modalities in Arid Madrecita.

MFA Readings- 1st Year Students- Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - Literature Building Room 155 (de Certeau) at 4:30 pm


MFA Readings-Graduating Students- Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - Literature Building Room 155 (de Certeau) at 4:30 pm

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.