2020-2021 Academic Year

Chaun Webster Reading and Conversation recorded April 27, 2021

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Minneapolis-based poet and graphic designer Chaun Webster draws from an interest in the work of sign in graffiti, the layering of collage, and the visuality of text.  These methods are used in Webster’s work to investigate race – specifically the instability of blackness and black subjectivities, geography, memory, and the body.  Correspondingly, much of these investigations engage the question of absence, how to archive what is missing from the landscape particularly as a number of communities watch in real time, neighborhoods once populated with familiar presences, dissolve in the vernacular of redevelopment and its attendant colonial logic. Webster's first book of poetry, GeNtry!fication, or the Scene of the Crime (Noemi Press 2018) won the 2018 Minnesota Book Award prize for poetry.ㅤㅤㅤ

Maria Dahvana Headley Craft Talk recorded on March 2, 2021

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Maria Dahvana Headley is the New York Times-bestselling and World Fantasy Award-winning author of eight books, including Beowulf: A New Translation (FSG, 2020), which has recently been named by Kirkus, NPR, and The New Statesman as a Book of the Year, and The Mere Wife (MCD x FSG, 2018), named by the Washington Post as one of its Notable Works of Fiction. In addition to her books for adults, she's written two YA novels (Magonia and Aerie, HarperCollins, 2015 and 2016), and an internationally bestselling memoir about dating, The Year of Yes. Headley’s genre-bending short fiction has been shortlisted for the Nebula, Shirley Jackson, and Tiptree Awards, as well as for the 2020 Joyce Carol Oates Prize, and has been anthologized in many year’s bests including Best American Fantasy & Science Fiction, Best American Experimental Writing, and Best American Erotica. A collection will be published in 2021 by FSG. Her essays on gender, chronic illness, politics, propaganda, and mythology have been published and covered in The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Harvard’s Nieman Storyboard, and elsewhere. Her work has been supported by The MacDowell Colony, Arte Studio Ginestrelle, and the Sundance Institute’s Theatre Lab, among other organizations. She's taught writing in the master's program at Sarah Lawrence, and has delivered or will soon deliver masterclasses and lectures at Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Northwestern, UCSD, and the University of Pennsylvania, among others. She grew up in the high desert of Idaho on a survivalist sled dog ranch, where she spent summers plucking the winter coat from her father’s wolf. 

Marie Mutsuki Mockett reading recorded on October 21, 2020

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Marie Mutsuki Mockett is the winner of the 2020 Sister Mariella Gable Prize for American Harvest: God, Country, and Farming in the Heartland (Graywolf Press 2020). She is the author of a previous novel, Picking Bones from Ash, and Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye, which was a finalist for the PEN Open Book Award.