Campus Literary Events

January 31: Kevin Kwan in Conversation

Last summer, Crazy Rich Asians made headlines by featuring the first all-Asian cast in a major Hollywood film in more than 20 years. Kevin Kwan is the literary sensation whose vivid storytelling was the inspiration for the box office smash- hit. The Singapore-born and Texas-raised author drew on his experiences to create a compulsively readable trilogy that includes Crazy Rich AsiansChina Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems. He visits to talk about the immigrant experience, literature, and his forthcoming foray into television.

Thursday, January 31 @ 7:00pm, Garrison Theater, Scripps College. RSVP required.

February 2: Publishing Against the Grain (Opening Reception)

Publishing Against the Grain highlights the current state of publishing and art criticism as it exists in small journals, experimental publications, websites, and radio, as well as other innovative forms. It is organized around projects that connect theoretical, social, political, and aesthetic questions with a focus on community, whether understood in relation to a particular place, or defined in identitarian or diasporic terms. In bringing these projects together from around the world, Publishing Against the Grain reveals how their material and discursive activities respond to intersecting subjects such as contemporary aesthetics, diaspora, sex and gender, gentrification, race, language, and art history.

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 2, 2 – 4 pm, Pitzer College Art Galleries. Show runs through March 28.

February 5: Sesshu Foster and Arturo Romo

Winner of two American Book Awards, Sesshu Foster is the author of City of the Future, Atomik AztexWorld Ball Notebook, and City Terrace: Field Manual. He is currently collaborating on a novel, The East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines, a History, with the artist Arturo Romo, whose collaborative mixed-media works and drawings explore fluency, agency, and folly.

Tuesday, February 5 @ 4:15 pm, Benson Auditorium, Pitzer College

February 11: Myriam Gurba

Myriam Gurba’s most recent book, Mean, a work that is part true-crime, part ghost story, and part personal history, was a finalist for the 2018 Judy Grahn Award as well as a New York Times editors’ choice. Her first book, Dahlia Season, won the 2008 Edmund White Award. Her personal essays have been published in TIME and The Paris Review and she has written art criticism and historical mini-monographs for KCET. She is too superstitious to share what she is currently working on.

Monday, February 11 @ 4:30pm, Broad Performance Space, Pitzer College

February 12: Sally Wen Mao

Sally Wen Mao’s poetry collection Oculus is an eerie, yet powerful, exploration of technology. The 2017 Pushcart Prize winner deploys sharp wit and a speculative imagination to confront the spectacle of the internet, artificial intelligence, the past and the future, and the roles and representations that women of color endure in order to survive a culture that seeks to consume them.

Tuesday, February 12 @ 12:15pm, Hampton Room, Scripps College

February 15: Mark Arax

Join us for a talk with author Mark Arax who will discuss his forthcoming book, The Dreamt Land: Dust and Water Across California. In the world of journalism, Arax stands out as a rarity. On one hand, he is a skilled investigative reporter who unearths secrets from the depths of shadow governments. On the other hand, he is a gifted writer whose feature stories and books are distinguished by the “poetry of his prose.” A top graduate of Fresno State and Columbia University, Arax left the Los Angeles Times in 2007 after a public fight over censorship of his story on the Armenian Genocide. He has taught literary nonfiction at Claremont McKenna College and Fresno State University and served as a senior policy director for the California Senate Majority Leader.

Friday, February 15 @ 3:00pm, Benson Auditorium, Pitzer College

February 19: Ted Chiang

Ted Chiang is an award-winning writer of science fiction. Over the course of 25 years and 15 stories, he has won numerous awards including four Nebulas, four Hugos, four Locuses, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. The title story from his collection, Stories of Your Life and Others, was adapted into the Oscar-winning movie Arrival, starring Amy Adams and directed by Denis Villeneuve. He freelances as a technical writer and currently resides in Bellevue, Washington. He is a graduate of the Clarion Writers Workshop.

Tuesday, February 19 @ 4:15pm, Benson Auditorium, Pitzer College

February 19: Kathy Jetñil-Kijinir

Kathy Jetñil-Kijinir is a spoken-word artist and climate change activist from the Marshall Islands. This event is part of the “Decolonizing the Pacific” series.

Tuesday, February 19 @ 5:00pm, Studio Art Lecture Hall, Pomona College

February 25: Joyce Carol Oates : Dinner / Reading

One of the most prolific American writers of the 20th century, Joyce Carol Oates counts historical biographies, depictions of working class families, and magical realist Gothic fiction among her oeuvre. She often depicts hardships and violence in American towns, and has received both critical and popular acclaim in her 50-year career. Oates is the winner of the O. Henry Award, the National Humanities Medal, the Pivano Award, the Norman Mailer Prize for Lifetime Achievement, the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, the Rae Award for the Short Story, and the Stone Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement. She has taught at the University of Detroit, the University of Windsor, and Princeton University, and has edited The Ontario Review. She is currently a visiting distinguished writer-in-residence in the graduate program at New York University.

Monday, February 25 @ 6:00 p.m., Athenaeum, Claremont McKenna College. Registration required.

February 26: Morgan Parker and Nicole Sealey

Morgan Parker and Nicole Sealey mine the personal and political in their poetry, both reveling in and revealing the issues at the heart of contemporary life. Parker’s most recent collection, There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, was hailed by The New Yorker as “exquisite poems [that] defy categorization,” while Essence magazine called Sealey “one of today’s most interesting poets…she steers us on a fantastic voyage through her infinitely brilliant mind.” The two read from their latest works, including Parker’s Magical Negro and Sealey’s Ordinary Beast.

Tuesday, February 26 @ 6:00pm, Balch Auditorium, Scripps College. RSVP Encouraged.

March 4: Carl Phillips: Colloquium / Reading / Dinner

Carl Phillips is the author of numerous books of poetry, including Wild Is the Wind, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018) ; Reconnaisance (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015), Silverchest (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), Double Shadow (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012), Quiver of Arrows: Selected Poems 1986-2006 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007) and Riding Westward (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006). His collection The Rest of Love (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004) won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Foundation Poetry Prize and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Male Poetry, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He is Professor of English and of African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also teaches in the creative writing program.

Monday, March 4: Colloquium 3:30pm, Dinner/Reading 6:00pm. Athenaeum, Claremont McKenna College. Registration required.

March 27: Felicia Luna Lemus

Felicia Luna Lemus is the author of the novels Trace Elements of Random Tea Parties (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) and Like Son (Akashic Books). Her short fiction and essays have been anthologized in numerous collections, and have appeared in publications including BOMB, The Believer, ZYZZYVA, and The California Sunday Magazine. She is the 2018-2019 Visiting Writer at Pitzer College.

Wednesday, March 27 @ 4:30pm, Broad Center Performance Space, Pitzer College.

April 1: Jessica Rae Bergamino and Rae Gouirand

Jessica Rae Bergamino is the author of UNMANNED, winner of Noemi Press’ 2017 Poetry Prize, as well as the chapbooks The Desiring Object or Voyager Two Explains to the Gathering of the Stars How She Came to Glow Among Them (Sundress Publications), The Mermaid, Singing (dancing girl press), and Blue in All Things: a Ghost Story (dancing girl publications). Individual poems have appeared in publications such as Third Coast, Black Warrior Review, The Journal, and Gulf Coast. She is a doctoral candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Utah, and lives in Seattle, WA.

Rae Gouirand’s first collection of poetry, Open Winter, was selected by Elaine Equi for the 2011 Bellday Prize, won an Independent Publisher Book Award for Poetry and the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry, and was a finalist for the Montaigne Medal, the Audre Lorde Award for Poetry, and the California Book Award for Poetry. Her second collection, Glass is Glass Water is Water, and chapbook Must Apple (selected by TC Tolbert for the Oro Fino Award) were both published in 2018, by Educe Press and Spork Press respectively. She leads several long-running workshops in poetry and prose in northern California and online, and lectures in the Department of English at UC-Davis.

Monday, April 1 @ 4:30pm, Broad Performance Space, Pitzer College

April 10: Khadijah Queen and Luis J. Rodriguez

Khadijah Queen is the author of five books, most recently I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On; she is a poet, playwright, and Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Luis J. Rodriguez is a poet, writer, activist, and founding editor of Tia Chucha Press.

Wednesday, April 10 @ 4:00pm, Harper Hall Board of Trustees Room, Claremont Graduate University

April 10: Vivian Gornick

Wednesday, April 10 @ 4:15pm, Ena Thompson Reading Room, Crookshank 108, Pomona College

April 11: 2019: Dawn Lundy Martin & Diana Khoi Nguyen

Join us for a celebratory reading and reception honoring the winners of Claremont Graduate University’s 2019 Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards, Dawn Lundy Martin & Diana Khoi Nguyen. Door open at 7pm, reading begins at 7:30. Reception to follow.

Dawn Lundy Martin is a poet, essayist, and conceptual-video artist. She is the author of four books of poems including Good Stock Strange Blood (Coffee House, 2017), winner of the 2019 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and three limited edition chapbooks. Most recently, she co-edited with Erica Hunt an anthology, Letters to the Future: BLACK WOMEN / Radical WRITING (Kore Press, 2018). Martin is a Professor of English in the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh and Director of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics.

Diana Khoi Nguyen’s debut collection, Ghost Of (Omnidawn, 2018), received the 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. A multimedia artist as well as a poet, her work has appeared widely in literary journals such as Poetry, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, PEN America, and The Iowa Review.

Thursday, April 11 @ 7:00pm, The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens. Reserve your free ticket via Eventbrite.

April 24: Open Mic Reading + Poetry Giveaway

Hosted by CGU’s Foothill Journal and the Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards, we invite everyone to participate. Bring a poem–or two–to share and a bag to carry your new poetry books home!

Wednesday, April 24 @ 4:15pm. School of Arts & Humanities backyard, CGU (831 N. Dartmouth Ave.)

May 1: Kay Ryan: Colloquium / Dinner / Reading

Kay Ryan has published several collections of poetry, including The Best of It: New and Selected Poems(Grove Press, 2010), for which she won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2011; The Niagara River (2005); Say Uncle (2000); Elephant Rocks (1996); Flamingo Watching (1994), which was a finalist for both the Lamont Poetry Selection and the Lenore Marshall PrizeStrangely Marked Metal (1985); and Dragon Acts to Dragon Ends (1983).

Monday, May 1: Colloquium 3:30pm, Dinner/Reading 6:00pm. Athenaeum, Claremont McKenna College. Registration required.

May 13: Tess Taylor

Tess Taylor is the author The Forage House, a finalist for the Believer poetry prize, as well as Work & Days, which was names one of the best books of poetry of 2016 by The New York Times. Her forthcoming book Rift Zone will be out next April from Red Hen Press, and in the spring of 2020 her poems will be featured in Last West as part of the Dorothea Lange: Words and Pictures exhibition at MoMA.

Monday, May 13 @ 3:00pm. School of Arts & Humanities library, Claremont Graduate University



Other campus events can be found by following Pitzer Literary Series on Facebook, Scripps Presents and joining the 5C Wordsmiths Facebook group