Writers & Words

Click here for all readings and afternoon craft conversation video gallery

Creative Writing Reading Series with Christopher Sindt & Brett Fletcher Lauer, May 8, 2013

Christopher Sindt & Brett Fletcher Lauer from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.

Christopher Sindt is the author of the poetry collection, The Bodies. He has received the James D. Phelan Award and residences at the MacDowll Colony, Mesa Refuge and the Blue Mountain Center. His poetry has appeared in Pool, nocturnes and Xantippe. Formerly the Program Coordinator of the Art of the Wild Writing Conference, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. He is Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies at Saint Mary's College of California.

Brett Fletcher Lauer is the managing director of the Poetry Society of America and the poetry editor at A Public Space. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Harper's, jubilat, Tin House and elsewhere. His first book of poems, A Hotel in Belgium, is forthcoming from Four Way Books in 2014. He graduated from Saint Mary's MFA program in 2007.


Creative Writing Reading Series with Susan Griffin, April 17th, 2013

Susan Griffin Reading from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.

Susan Griffin's most recent work is an anthology she co-edited, Transforming Terror: Remembering 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.


Afternoon Craft Conversation with Lou Berney, April 17, 2013

Lou Berney Craft Talk from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.

Creative Writing Reading Series with Lou Berney, March 20, 2013

Lou Berney Reading from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.


Afternoon Craft Conversation with Kazim Ali, March 20, 2013

Kazim Ali Craft Talk from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.

Creative Writing Reading Series with Kazim Ali, February 20, 2013

Kazim Ali Reading 3:1:13 from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.

KAZIM ALI is the author of nine books of poetry, fiction, essay and translation. His most recent book is Bright Felon: Autobiography and Cities. Sky Ward: New Poems will be published this spring. Other books include Orange Alert: Essays on Poetry, Art and the Architecture of Silence and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. He teaches Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College and in the Stonecoast MFA program.

Afternoon Craft Conversation with Susan Griffin, February 20, 2013

Susan Griffin Craft Conversation from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.

Creative Writing Reading Series with Michael Palmer, December 5, 2013

Michael Palmer 4:19:13 from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.

Poet and translator MICHAEL PALMER has lived in San Francisco since 1969. He has worked with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company for close to forty years and has collaborated with many composers and visual artists. His most recent collections are Active Boundaries (Selected Essays and Talks) and Thread, a book of poetry. He has taught at various universities in the United States, Europe and Asia, and in May of 2012 received the Arts and Letters Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His work has been translated into over thirty languages.

Creative Writing Reading Series with Linda Spalding, December 4, 2012

Linda Spalding Reading from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.

Afternoon Craft Conversation with Jimmye Hillman, November 28, 2012

Jimmye Hillman (2:12:13) from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.

Afternoon Craft Conversation with Lisa Alvarez, October 17, 2012

Lisa Alvarez  from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.

"What can prose writers learn from poetry?"

What can prose writers learn from poetry? Often, too often, students focus primarily on their chosen genre whether through individual choice and/or institutional pressure. This talk will examine how developing a close relationship to poetry can teach prose writers about line, imagery, form and content in ways that invigorate and inspire. As Edward Hirsch has suggested, "fiction goes to poetry for the intensity of its use of language," as part of the making literature, "something that lasts in language."

Lisa Alvarez's stories and essays have most recently appeared in American Book Review, Faultline, Green Mountains Review and in the anthology Sudden Fiction Latino: Short-Short Stories from the United States and Latin America (Norton).  Together with Alan Cheuse, she co-edited Writers Workshop in a Book: The Squaw Valley Community of Writers on the Art of Fiction (Chronicle Books). She is a professor of English at Irvine Valley College and for over ten years has co-directed the Writers Workshops at the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.

Afternoon Craft Conversation with giovanni singleton, September 12, 2012

Afternoon Craft Conversations with Giovanni Singleton from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.

“AMERICAN LETTERS: works on paper”
Sound, as in improvisation, acts upon images and text giving rise to harmonious constructions of silence. It comes down to the desire for liberation through exploring what words, in their essence, can do. The behearer and the beholder approach the world with an attitude of longing. The page is a canvas, a field, a mediation between human nature and the natural world. Writing occurs on and with trees. Knock on wood. What is spoken from the depths of a whisper or said in a scream?

giovanni singleton is a poet, teacher, and founding editor of nocturnes (re)view of the literary arts, a journal dedicated to the work of artists and writers of the African Diaspora. She is the author of Ascension, winner of the eighty-first annual California Book Award for Poetry. She has been a fellow at Squaw Valley Writers Conference, Cave Canem, and the Napa Valley Writers Conference. Her work has appeared in VOLT, Callaloo, Angles of Ascent: a Norton anthology, and What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Writers in America. singleton has taught at Saint Mary¹s College and Naropa University.

Gaelebration MFA Alumni and English Undergraduate Reading

Saturday, October 6, 1:00 pm, Cassin Student Union Patio and Fountain

Tapas Reading @ Gaelabration from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.

Watch snippets from Gabi Reyes-Acosta, Holden Altaffer, Candace Eros Diaz, Robert Andrew Pere, Casey McAlduff, Brenna McNa, Delia Neyr, Christine O'Brien, Mick Sherer, and Juan Alvarado Valdivia

First Year Experience Reading with Lysley Tenorio

Wednesday, October 10, 7:30 p.m., Soda Center,  Moraga Room

Creative Writing Reading Series with Lysley Tenorio from MFA Program in Creative Writing on Vimeo.

LYSLEY TENORIO’s debut collection of stories, Monstress, was published by Ecco/HarperCollins. A Whiting Writer’s Award winner and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he has received fellowships from the University of Wisconsin, Phillips Exeter Academy, Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His stories have appeared in The Best New American Voices, The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, and Pushcart Prize anthologies, among others. Born in the Philippines, Lysley currently lives in San Francisco, and is an Asssociate Professor of English at Saint Mary’s College of CA.

More Writers & Words Videos Coming Soon:

MFA Sesquicentennial Reading with Tom Meschery and Robert Hass

Afternoon Craft Conversation with Jimmye Hillman

Creative Writing Reading Series with Michael Palmer and Linda Spalding

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!


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