Creative Writing & Literature

Contemporary Writers Series 2012-13 « Return to Creative Writing & Literature Resources


Rubén Martínez

Rubén Martínez
September 11, 2012 | 7:00 pm | Student Union
Note special time and location.
Part of Latina Heritage Month 2012, co-sponsored with the Ethnic Studies Department and Mujeres Unidas

A native of Los Angeles and the son and grandson of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador, Rubén Martínez’s books include The New Americans and The Other Side:Notes from the New L.A., Mexico City, and Beyond, and Desert America: Boom and Bust in the New Old West. Martínez hosted and co-wrote the feature-length documentary film When Worlds Collide, and, as a musician, he has collaborated with the Roches, Los Illegals, and Concrete Blonde. Martínez has been active for over two decades in the spoken word and performance art scenes, and hosts the VARIEDADES “performance salon” in Los Angeles. He holds the Fletcher Jones chair in literature and writing at Loyola Marymount University, and is an artist in residence at Stanford University’s Institute for Diversity in the Arts.


Rikki Ducornet
October 16, 2012 | 5:30 pm

In a New York Times review of Rikki Ducornet’s most recent novel Netsuke, Michael Cunningham writes, “Ducornet is a novelist of ambition and scope. One is grateful for what she's accomplished here.” The author of eight novels, three collections of short fiction, a book of essays, and five books of poetry, Ducornet’s accomplishments are many. She has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, honored twice by the Lannan Foundation, and the recipient of an Academy Award in Literature. Ducornet is also a visual artist who exhibits internationally. She has illustrated books by Jorge Luis Borges, Forrest Gander, Kate Bernheimer, and Anne Waldman among others.

James Thomas Stevens
October 30, 2012 | 5:30 pm

The author of eight books of poetry including Combing the Snakes from His Hair, Mohawk/Samoa: Transmigrations, Bulle/Chimere, (dis)Orient, and A Bridge Dead in the Water, James Thomas Stevens was born in Niagara Falls, New York, and is a member of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation. In a 2007 Believer magazine review of A Bridge Dead in the Water, Alan Gilbert writes: “Stevens probes the borders of language and memory—as what’s shared not only between individuals but also between cultures.” Stevens is the recipient of many awards, including a 2000 Whiting Writers’ Award. He has taught at Haskell Indian Nations University and SUNY Fredonia, where he developed its first American Indian studies program. He currently teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Erin Mouré
November 13, 2012 | 5:30 pm

Montreal poet Erin Mouré has published 17 books of poetry and a volume of essays, My Beloved Wager. She is a translator from French, Spanish, Galician (galego), and Portuguese, and has translated 11 books by poets as diverse as Nicole Brossard, Andrés Ajens, Louise Dupré, Rosalía de Castro, Chus Pato, and Fernando Pessoa. Her work has received the Governor General’s Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the A. M. Klein Prize (twice), and was a three-time finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Her latest works are The Unmemntioable, an investigation into subjectivity and wartime experience in western Ukraine and the South Peace region of Alberta, and Secession, her fourth translation of internationally acclaimed Galician poet Chus Pato.


Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates
February 12, 2013 | 5:30 pm | Bender Room, Carnegie Hall
Note special location.

One of the world’s most eminent writers—versatile, serious, and prolific—Joyce Carol Oates is the author of distinguished books in multiple genres, most recently the novel Mudwoman and a story collection, Black Dahlia & White Rose. Nominated for the Nobel Prize three times, her numerous awards include the National Book Award for the novel Them, the 2005 Prix Femina, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in short fiction, the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and many others. In 2010 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University.

Victor LaValle

Victor LaValle
CANCELLED Please watch for more information.
Part of Black History Month 2012, co-sponsored with the Ethnic Studies Department

Victor LaValle is the author of four books, most recently the novel The Devil in Silver. Of his third novel, Mos Def writes "Big Machine is like nothing I've ever read, incredibly human and alien at the same time. LaValle writes like Gabriel García Márquez mixed with Edgar Allen Poe, but this is even more than that. He's written the first great book of the next America." LaValle’s many awards include the American Book Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He's an assistant professor at Columbia University's writing program, and lives in New York with his wife and son.

MARCH 2013

Nina LaCour

Nina LaCour
March 5, 2012 | 5:30pm

We are honored to welcome back Mills alumna Nina LaCour, MFA ’06, whose first novel Hold Still, released in 2009, is a William C. Morris YA Debut Award finalist, a Junior Library Guild selection, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and a Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books of 2009. LaCour also won the 2009 Northern California Book Award for Children’s Literature and was featured in Publishers Weekly as a Flying Starts Author. Her second novel, The Disenchantments, was published in 2012 and received five starred reviews. Born and raised in the Bay Area, LaCour has tutored and taught in various places, including Alameda County's juvenile hall, Berkeley City College, and Maybeck High School.

Erica Hunt
March 19, 2013 | 5:30 pm

Erica Hunt is a poet and essayist. Her books of poetry include Local History, Arcade (with artist Alison Saar) and the chapbooks Piece Logic and Time Slips Right Before Your Eyes. Her seminal essay “Notes for an Oppositional Poetics” appeared in The Politics of Poetic Form (edited by Charles Bernstein), and her work has been published widely in journals and anthologies including Boundary 2, Conjunctions, Poetics Journal, Tripwire, Recluse, In the American Tree, and Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing by Women. Hunt’s awards include those from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Fund for Poetry, and the Djerassi Foundation.She is currently president of the Twenty-First Century Foundation, which supports organizations addressing root causes of social injustice impacting the Black community.

APRIL 2013

Anne Carson
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 | 7:00 pm | Lokey Graduate School of Business, Gathering Hall
Note special day, time, and location.

Poet, essayist, translator, and professor of classics, Anne Carson’s writing moves between and across disciplines, from novel in verse Autobiography of Red to Eros the Bittersweet, described by one reader as “a philosophical prose poem disguised as a work of literary criticism—and vice versa.” Carson’s latest works investigate the book as object: Antigonick, a collaboration with artist Bianca Stone, presents a comic book translation of Antigone; and Nox is an accordion-fold book housed in a clamshell box, an elegy structured around a Catullus poem, written through fragments, letters, and etymology. Carson’s many awards and honors include the Lannan Literary Award, the Griffin Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

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The literary events at Mills College are funded in part by the English Department and The Place for Writers. Poets & Writers, Inc. also supports the events through a grant it has received from the James Irvine Foundation.

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