Creative Writing & Literature

Contemporary Writers Series 2006-07 « Return to Creative Writing & Literature Resources

Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket)
Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 5:30-7:00 pm

Daniel Handler Daniel Handler, author of the novels The Basic Eight (Thomas Dunne, 2000), Watch Your Mouth (Harper Perennial, 2002), and Adverbs (Ecco, 2006), also serves as the legal, literary and social representative of Lemony Snicket, whose sequence of books for children, known collectively as A Series Of Unfortunate Events (HarperCollins) have allegedly sold more than 48 million copies and was turned into
a minor motion picture. Born and raised in San Francisco, Handler attended Weslyan University, lived in New York, and now lives in San Francisco again with his wife, illustrator Lisa Brown, and their child. He continues to work intermittently and inexplicably in film, including a revamp of the Verdi opera Rigoletto entitled Rick, and an adapation of Joel Rose's novel Kill The Poor. This October brings the thirteenth and final volume in A Series Of Unfortunate Events, much to the relief of the world's leading experts in melancholy.

Bhanu Kapil
Tuesday, October 10, 2006, 5:30-7:00 pm

Bhanu KapilBhanu Kapil was born in England in 1968, to Indian parents, and grew up in a working-class, South-Asian community in Greater London. She came to the U.S. in 1990 and currently lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she teaches at Naropa University. A writer forged by this history of migration, and who has come to understand the border as a site of both transformation and loss, her work crosses genre and subject borders in the prose chapbook Autobiography of a Cyborg (Leroy Press, 2000) and a full-length collection of prose/poetry, The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers (Kelsey Street Press, 2001). She has recently completed a long prose work, Humanimal: a project for future children, a creative non-fiction account of the Wolfgirls of Midnapure, two children found living with wolves in 1920s Bengal. Other forthcoming prose works include Incubation: a space for monsters (Leon Works) and Water-Damage: A Map of Three Black Days (Corollary Press).

Joan Retallack
Tuesday, October 24 2006, 5:30-7:00 pm

Joan Retallack Writing about her book of essays, The Poethical Wager (University of California Press, 2004), Charles Bernstein says: "Joan Retallack shows not why but how poetry matters." Her books of poetry include Memnoir (Post-Apollo, 2004), How To Do Things with Words (Sun & Moon, 1998), Afterimages (Weslyan, 1995) and Errata 5uite (Edge, 1993), which won the Columbia Book Award chosen by Robert Creeley. She is currently at work on an investigative poetic project titled The Reinvention of Truth and Gertrude Stein: Selections is forthcoming from the University of California. Retallack is John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Humanities at Bard College.

Chris Abani
Tuesday,November 7, 2006, 5:30-7:00 pm

Chris Abani Chris Abani is a poet, novelist and native of Nigeria. His novels are GraceLand (FSG, 2004/Picador 2005), winner of the 2005 Hemingway Book Prize, and Masters of the Board (Delta, 1985). His poetry collections include Dog Woman (Red Hen, 2004), Daphne's Lot (Red Hen, 2003), and Kalakuta Republic (Saqi, 2001), which
details the harrowing experiences endured by Abani
and others at the hands of Nigeria's military regime in
the late 1980s. Kalakuta Republic won both the 2001 PEN USA Freedom-To-Write Award and the 2001 Prince Claus Award. Abani teaches in the MFA Program at Antioch University, Los Angeles and is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of California, Riverside. A Middleton Fellow at the University of Southern California, he is also the recipient of a 2003 Lannan Literary Fellowship.

Tayari Jones
Tuesday, January 30, 2007, 5:30-7:00 pm

Tayari JonesTayari Jones was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a writer whose imagination remains deeply rooted in the urban south. Her first novel, Leaving Atlanta (Warner Books, 2002), a coming of age story set during the Atlanta's infamous child murders of 1979-81, received many awards and accolades, including the Hurston/Wright Award for Debut Fiction. Upon the publication of her second novel, The Untelling (Warner Books, 2005), Essence magazine called Jones, "a writer to watch." The recipient of fellowships nationally and abroad, including the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, The Corporation of Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony the Le Chateau de Lavigny, Jones is currently the Jenny McKean Moore Writer in Residence at George Washington University, and beginning in the fall of 2007, will be an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University, Newark campus.

Michelle Herman
Thursday, February 8, 2007, 5:30-7:00 pm

Michelle Herman Michelle Herman's most recent ooks are the novella Dog (MacAdam/Cage, 2005), which Entertainment Weekly calls a haiku of loneliness and human redemption"
and a collection of personal essays,
"The Middle of Everything: Memoirs of
Motherhood" (University of Nebraska,
2005). A New Yorker who has lived in Columbus, Ohio since 1988, she was educated in the New York City public schools, Brooklyn College and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She currently teaches at Ohio State, where she also edits the literary magazine The Journal with poet Kathy Fagan. Her many awards and honors include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Copernicus Foundation, the Harold U. Ribalow Prize for "best Jewish fiction," the James Michener Fellowship, and Ohio State's university-wide Distinguished Teaching Award.

The Chana Bloch Reading of Writers in Translation:
Clayton Eshleman

Thursday,February 15, 2007, 5:30-7:00 pm

Clayton EshlemanClayton Eshleman is a poet, translator, essayist, and editor. He has published 14 collections of poetry with Black Sparrow Press and is the main American translator of Cesar Vallejo, Antonin Artaud, and Aime Cesaire. He founded and edited Caterpillar magazine (1967-1973) and Sulfur magazine (1981-2000). He has received the National Book Award in Translation, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, and several grants from both the NEA and the NEH. His translation of The Complete Poetry of Cesar Vallejo (forthcoming in December 2006 from the University of California) represents the culmination of a 48 year saga, and is the first time ever that all the poetry of a great Hispanic figure has been collected in one volume translated by a sole translator.

Tracie Morris
Tuesday, March 13, 2007, 5:30-7:00 pm

Tracie MorrisTracie Morris is a multidisciplinary poet, performing artist and the author of Intermission (Soft Skull, 1998). A writer, educator, scholar and actor, Morris has worked in theater, dance, music and several genres in the visual arts. She has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia, and her poetry and critical essays have been extensively anthologized. Tracie has also participated in over a dozen recording projects. Her sound poetry installations have been presented at the Whitney Museum and the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning. Tracie holds multiple degrees from Hunter College and New York University.

The literary events at Mills College are funded in part by the Department of English, The Place for Writers, and Poets and Writers, through a grant from The James Irvine Foundation.

For more information, please call The Place for Writers, 510.430.2236 or Stephanie Young, 510.430.3130.