Creative Writing Reading Series with Susan Griffin

Date & Time 
Wed, 04/17/2013 - 19:00

SUSAN GRIFFIN'S most recent work is an anthology she co-edited, Transforming Terror: Remember the Soul of the World. Among her 19 books, A Chorus of Stones, the Private Life of War was a New York Times Notable Book, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Northern California Book Award. Celebrated for her elegant prose as well as her innovations in literary form, she has been the recipient of an NEA Grant, a MacArthur Grant for Peace and International Cooperation, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Creative Writing Reading Series with Lou Berney

Date & Time 
Wed, 03/20/2013 - 19:00

Lou BerneyLOU BERNEY is the author of the novels Gutshot Straight and Whiplash River. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The New England Review, the Pushcart Prize Anthology and elsewhere.

Writers & Words: videos from past MFA Program events

The Creative Writing Reading Series and Afternoon Craft Conversations bring the literary world's most exciting writers to campus. Now you can hear them to read their work and discuss their craft online at Writers & Words.


Watch videos from last semester's Afternoon Craft Conversation and Readings from Shane Book, Wesley Gibson, Judith Claire Mitchell, and Tina Parsons.


Here's a sample!


MFA Program Professor Lysley Tenorio's Book Tour

Lysley Tenorio's book-tour for story collection, /Monstress/

“MONSTRESS announces the debut of an electric literary talent.

Brilliantly quirky, often moving, always gorgeously told,
these are tales of bighearted misfits who yearn for their authentic selves
with extraordinary passion and grace.”

New York Times Bestselling Author of The Surrendered

Afternoon Craft Conversations

diane forlov and andrew schneider

Wednesday, September 17th, 2:35pm, Hagerty Lounge

"TV WRITING: THE INNER WORKINGS" by Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider

Diane and Andrew will discuss the unique, collective writing process of television: how a staff is assembled (what we look for in a writer); how the writers’ room functions; how a story develops from idea to outline to script (including the difference between adaptation and original material); and finally, how a script is impacted by the constraints of production.

Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider started writing and producing television together on the Fox series “AlienNation.”  They won Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody awards for their work on CBS’ “Northern Exposure”; they won Emmy and Writers Guild awards for producing HBO’s “The Sopranos.”  Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider co-created and produced Showtime’s “The Chris Isaak Show” and WB’s “Easy Money.”  They recently served as co-executive producers of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”.

hoa nguyen  rachel zucker

Wednesday, October 1st, 2:35pm, Hagerty Lounge

"EDITORS AND AUTHORS" by Hoa Nguyen and Rachel Zucker with Matthew Zapruder

What is it like to be an author whose manuscript has been accepted, and is now being edited? What are best (and worst) practices in that situation? What is the relationship between the creative process, and editing and publication? What should an author consider when looking for an editor, and a publishing house? Wave Books Editor at Large and St. Mary's English Professor Matthew Zapruder will discuss these and other questions related to editing and publication with two Wave Books authors, poets Hoa Nguyen and Rachel Zucker.

Hoa Nguyen is the author of eight books and chapbooks including As Long As Trees Last (Wave, 2012). Wave Books will release Red Juice, a gathering of her early, uncollected poems, in September 2014. 

Rachel Zucker is the author of nine books, most recently, a memoir, MOTHERs, and a double collection of prose and poetry, The Pedestrians. Her book Museum of Accidents was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.  Zucker teaches poetry at New York University and lives in New York City.

Matthew Zapruder teaches in the MFA Program at Saint Mary’s College of CA and is an Editor for Wave Books. 

aviya kushner

Wednesday, November 19th, 2:35pm, Hagerty Lounge

"IN THE BEGINNING: Openings and Why They Matter" by Aviya Kushner

Figuring out where to begin is often the most difficult task of all. But an opening that is exactly right can transform a piece and make it unforgettable. In this talk, we’ll look at several remarkable beginnings, ranging from The Book of Genesis to James Baldwin’s essay “Notes of a Native Son” to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.  We’ll consider quiet openers, informative and straightforward openers, and bang-bang-bang beginnings. We’ll talk about opening sequences in music and in film. Together, we’ll think about why beginnings matter, how to try and uncover the true beginning in a work-in-progress, and how to be open to an untraditional start. 

Aviya Kushner’s first book, The Grammar of God, about the experience of reading the Bible in English after a lifetime of reading it in Hebrew, is forthcoming from Spiegel & Grau / Random House in 2015. She teaches in the MFA program in nonfiction at Columbia College Chicago and is a contributing editor at A Public Space.

Creative Writing Reading Series

FALL 2011


Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing and came to the United States in 1996. Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker and Best American Short Stories, among others.    Her debut collection, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, won the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the California Book Award for first fiction. Li’s novel, The Vagrants, also won the California Book Award’s gold medal for fiction. Her latest book, Gold Boy, Emerald Girl is a collection of short stories. Li has received fellowships from Lannan Foundation and Whiting Foundation, and MacArthur Foundation named her a 2010 Fellow. She is a contributing editor for the Brooklyn-based literary magazine, A Public Space and teaches at University of California, Davis.


Ryan Van Meter’s essay collection If You Knew Then What I Know Now was published in 2011 by Sarabande Books. His essays have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, Gulf Coast and Arts & Letters, and have been selected for anthologies including Best American Essays 2009 and Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction. He is an assistant editor at Fourth Genre magazine and currently teaches creative writing at The University of San Francisco.


Clayton Eshleman’s publications include Jupiter Fuse: Upper Paleolithic Imagination & the Construction of the Underworld; The Complete Poetry of Cesar Vallejo; and The Grindstone of Rapport/ A Clayton Eshleman Reader. He recently published co-translation of Aime Cesaire’s Solar Throat Slashed and Bei Dao’s Endure, and a translation of Bernard Bador’s Curdled Skulls. He has received the National Book Award in Translation, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, and multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He founded and edited the two seminal poetry magazines, Caterpillar and Sulfer. He is Professor Emeritus at Eastern Michigan University and lives in Ypsilanti.


For More information on The Creative Writing Reading Series please contact Administrative Assistant Sara Mumolo, (925)631-8556 or
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