Readings and Master Classes

Unless marked with an asterisk (*), all events are eligible for credit and attendance will be registered. 
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Fall 2017


Week 3

• Wednesday Sept. 6, First Year MFA Reading, Sella-Granata Gallery / Woods Hall, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Readers:  Jeremy Burke, Sarah Barnes, Bekah Morton, Matthew Brinkley, and Kira Frank


• Thursday Sept. 7, Pure Products Art Night, Monarch Espresso Bar Patio / 714 22nd Ave., 7 p.m.

Readers: Director of the UA Undergraduate Creative Writing Program, John Estes; English instructor Shanti Weiland; MFA Candidate Pete Beatty; and UA Undergraduate Creative Writing student Jordan Williams


Week 4

• Wednesday Sept. 13, First Year MFA Reading, Gorgas 205, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Readers:  Reilly Cox, Meredith Ramella, Marissa Bennett, Lily Davenport, and Emily Montgomery

• Thursday Sept. 14, Douglas KearneyThe Bey.K.TrĂ© Pop Media Criticism and the Poetic Page MR 301, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. 

Using the performative typography, mess poetics, and socio-cultural criticism, Douglas Kearney has experimented in new ways of viewing and writing about music videos, film tropes, and pop songs. In this craft talk, Kearney will discuss some techniques, challenges, and opportunities of writing and performing poetry engaged with popular media, drawing especially from his commissioned responses to BeyoncĂ© and Kendrick Lamar videos. 

• Thursday Sept. 14, An Evening with Douglas Kearney

Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, 620 Greensboro Ave, 7 p.m. 


Week 5

• Thursday Sept. 21 Pure Products Open Mic, Monarch Espresso Bar / 714 22nd Ave., 7 p.m.


Week 6

• Tuesday Sept. 26, Christina Baker Kline Master Class, Morgan 301, 9:30 a.m.

• Tuesday Sept. 26, Christina Baker Kline Lecture, Moody Concert Hall / 810 2nd Ave., 7 p.m.

• Thursday Sept. 28, Charles Yu Master Class, Assorted Thoughts on Tone, Voice, and Pitching (Skype), Morgan 301, 2:00 p.m.-3:15 p.m.

Charles Yu is the author of three books, including the novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. His fiction and non-fiction has been published in a number of publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, Slate and Wired.

Week 7

• Tuesday Oct. 3, Gregory Donovan Master ClassBattling Extinctions: Petry, Levis, Blackbird, & Me, Morgan 301, 9:30 a.m.-10:15am

Poet, editor, and fiml producer Gregory Donovan will demonstrate his various roles in keeping alive the memory of the life and work of his friend and colleague Larry Levis in his teaching as well as in running a literary prize and a literary journal. He'll introduce the Blackbird online journal along with presenting the unimagined twists a poet's career may take.  

• Tuesday Oct. 3, Documentary Film: A Late Style of Fire (on the poet Larry Levis,) Ferg Cinema, 7:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. 

Followed by Talkback/Q&A with filmmaker Michele Poulos, Ferguson Theater (TCF co-sponsor)

• Thursday Oct. 5, Pure Products Art Night, Monarch Espresso Bar / 714 22nd Ave., 7 p.m.

• Friday Oct. 6, MFA Reading, Gorgas 205, 4:30 p.m.

Readers: Wyatt McMurray and Keith Wiley


Week 8

• Wednesday Oct. 11, 4:30 p.m., Ian Bogost Lecture, Play anything Morgan 301, 4:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m.  (New College co-sponsor )

Life is not a game. It's demanding, boring, and rarely fun. But what if we've got games wrong? Playing anything--whether an instrument, a sport or a video game--takes hard work and makes absurd demands: struggling to keep hands off the soccer ball, restricting the length of a tweet, practicing piano scales endlessly. Play isn't a mindless escape from boring reality: instead play is what happens when we accept limitations, narrow our focus, and--consequently--have fun. Which is also how to live a good life. Manipulating cards to make a poker hand is no different than treating chores and obligations as tools by which we can open worlds of fun. 

• Thursday Oct. 12, MFA Reading, Location Sella-Granata Gallery, 4:30 p.m.

Readers: Michael Lambert and David Lewis


Week 9

• Tuesday, Oct. 17, The Conversation: Craft Talks, Smith 205, 7 p.m. 

• Wednesday Oct. 18, The Conversation: Workshops with Luther Hughes and Justin Philip Reed, You Ain't Supposed to Say That: On Dissing, Defiance, and Blasphemy, MR 309, 4:30 p.m.

How can irreverence or gownishness be powerful and healing? And how can a poem earn it? This workshop will feature a discussion and exercise regarding the moment of diss, the blasphemous instance, that arrangement of words that catches our breaths in awe, disbelief, and triumph. 

• Wednesday Oct. 18, The Conversation: Workshops with Tafisha Edwards and Xandria Phillips, Work on the Body,  Morgan 301, 4:30 p.m.

• Wednesday Oct. 18, The Conversation: Readings, Smith 205, 7 p.m.


• Thursday Oct. 19, Pure Products Open Mic, Monarch Espresso Bar / 714 22nd Ave., 7 p.m.


Week 11

• Wednesday Nov. 1, Annie Hartnett Master Class, Big, Strong Bones: The Importance of Narrative Structure,  Morgan 301, 3 p.m.

The number one way to make a piece of writing stronger is to revisit its structure. In this class, we’ll learn how to build a solid structure for your story (or your novel or even your essay) so that the story delivers the emotional punch the reader deserves. In this seminar, we’ll talk about the narrative arc: inciting incident, the climax, the resolution. We'll discuss the importance of the first paragraph and of the last paragraph. We'll talk about what to do with backstory and with subplots, and how to know if they belong in your story/essay or if they should be chopped. We'll also learn a new trick about structure that involves a chicken, a mouse, and a snake—this trick will help your story or essay stay well-structured while remaining a living, breathing thing.

• Wednesday Nov. 1, Annie Hartnett and Kellie Wells Reading, Smith 205, 7 p.m.

• Thursday Nov. 2, Pure Products Art Night, Monarch Espresso Bar / 714 22nd Ave., 7 p.m.


Week 12

• Tuesday Nov. 7, T Cooper Craft Talk, Go Ahead Switch the Style Up, Morgan 301, 9:30 a.m. 

In today's creative landscape, many writers have had to adapt, often quickly, to the constantly shifting ways in which audiences find and interact with their stories. Sure, it's nice to perfect one's craft in a single genre and to make a cozy living doing just that one thing--but a number of today's creative writers, in order to sustain healthy careers, have increasingly been moving into ever widening circles and genres of writing (including film and television, for instance). T Cooper will explore this brave new world of publishing/broadcast through his career as a constantly-evolving, genre-bending storyteller.

• Tuesday Nov. 7, An Evening with T Cooper, Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, 620 Greensboro Ave, 7 p.m. 

• Thursday Nov. 9, MFA Reading, Gorgas 205, 4:30 p.m. 

Readers: Courtney Eason and Sam LaMura

Week 13

• Tuesday Nov. 14, Margaret Atwood Book Talk/Q&A, Morgan Auditorium, 3 p.m.

• Tuesday Nov.14, An Evening with Margaret Atwood, Bama Theater, 600 Greensboro Ave., 7 p.m.

• Wednesday Nov. 15, Tara Goedjen Master Class (YA Literature), Morgan 301, 4:30 p.m.

• Thursday Nov. 16, MFA Reading, Sella-Granata Gallery 4:30 p.m.

Readers: Mark Ramirez and Steven Ikeme

• Thursday Nov. 16, Pure Products Open Mic, Monarch Espresso Bar / 714 22nd Ave., 7 p.m.


Week 15

• Thursday Nov. 30, Pure Products Open Mic, Monarch Espresso Bar / 714 22nd Ave., 7 p.m.

(photo credit: Joel Brouwer)