Upcoming: Temporal Arts Collective Reading 10/18

Friday, October 18 at 8:00pm.
128 W Michigan Ave, apt 5

Performances by TAC & friends. All are welcome! Come out and enjoy what this Ypsi community has to offer.

TAC presents guest reader Cynthia Spencer:



Upcoming: BATHHOUSE EVENTS 11/5 & 11/6

Join us on November 5th and 6th as BathHouse Events and the Creative Writing Department welcomes Douglas Kearney and Tisa Bryant!

The details…

Readings by Douglas Kearney and Tisa Bryant
Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
EMU Student Center Auditorium

“Textual Orality: African Diasporic Aesthetic Practices” 
A Discussion with Douglas Kearney and Tisa Bryant
Wednesday, Nov. 6th 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
EMU Student Center Auditorium

Texual Orality: African Diasporic Aesthetic Practices
The aesthetic and formal roots of African diasporic cultural production are often determined in relation to oral tradition, from poetic expression and practical education, to transmission of cosmologies and the genealogical storytelling of village griots. Celebrating and analyzing solely the oral can come at the expense of the written word, from signs and pictographs of ancient Egypt or Haiti, to the ‘spirit writing’ of African American mediums and healers. In response to this enduring but insufficient binary thinking, Tisa Bryant and Douglas Kearney devised the concept Textual Orality. Textual Orality is a way of naming this site of generative tension within African diasporic literature. Using this concept as a critical frame, Bryant and Kearney will explore the ways in which both the (il)legible and aural, the stylized mark and the spoken word, experiments in writing and traditions in performance (or vice-versa), are distinct and interdependent features of their individual writing practices and pedagogies.
Tisa Bryant:
            Though she hails from Boston, received an MFA from Brown University, and lives in Los Angeles, Tisa Bryant grew into her writing within San Francisco’s vibrant literary/arts communities, serving in various capacities with ATA, CineLatino, Frameline, New Langton Arts, the San Francisco International Film Festival, Small Press Traffic, and Intersection for the Arts, among others. She is the author of Unexplained Presence (Leon Works, 2007), a collection of hybrid essays on myth-making and black presences in film, literature and visual art; co-editor/founder of the ongoing cross-referenced journal of narrative and storytelling, The Encyclopedia Project, and co-editor of War Diaries, an anthology of black gay men’s desire and survival, nominated for a 2010 LAMBDA Literary Award. Bryant is currently on a reunion tour with the poets and writers of The Dark Room Collective, celebrating the 25th anniversary of their nationally-renown African diasporic arts exhibition and reading series and she teaches fiction and experimental writing in the MFA Creative Writing Program at the California Institute of the Arts.
Douglas Kearney:
           Poet/performer/librettist DouglasKearney’s second, full-length collection of poetry, The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), was Catherine Wagner’s selection for the National Poetry Series. It was also a finalist for the Pen Center USA Award in 2010. His newest chapbook, SkinMag (A5/Deadly Chaps) is available. Red Hen Press will publish Kearney’s third collection, Patter, in 2014. He has received a Whiting Writers Award, a Coat Hanger award and fellowships at Idyllwild, Cave Canem, and others. Two of his operas, Sucktionand Crescent City, have received grants from the MAPFund. Sucktion has been produced internationally. Crescent Citypremiered in Los Angeles in 2012. He has been commissioned to write and/or teach ekphrastic poetry for the Weisman Museum (Minneapolis), Studio Museum in Harlem, MOCA, SFMOMA, the Getty and the Poetry Foundation. Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in California’s Santa Clarita Valley. He teaches at CalArts.

Friday, October 4 – Site/Nonsite Detroit: Poetry @ASAP

Site/Nonsite Detroit: Poetry @ASAP


Brian Ang (Oakland, CA; editor of Armed Cell); Sara Larsen; (Oakland, CA; organizer of The Public School); David Lau (Santa Cruz, CA; editor of Lana Turner); Rob Halpern (Ypsilanti, MI; author of Music for Porn); Jonathan Stalling (Norman, OK; author of Yingelishi); UIjana Wolf (Berlin/Brooklyn; author of falsche freunde). Hosted by Tyrone Williams (Xavier University). Organized by Barrett Watten (Wayne State University).

Friday, October 4, 7:30–9:00 PM TheWelcome Center @ Wayne State University Woodward and Warren, Detroit Free and open to the public!

Upcoming: An Evening of Poetry and Conversation (9/27)

Please join us for  an evening of poetry and conversation with:





Friday September 27


@ Rob Halpern and Lee Azus’s home:

319 Garland Street in Ypislanti


Gathering begins 7:00. Readings begin at 7:30.

Beer & Wine & Partners, all welcome!


Bios and Links:

Catherine Wagner’s collections of poems include Nervous Device (City Lights, 2012) and three previous books from Fence. Her work appears in the recent edition of the Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry and other anthologies. She teaches in the MA program in creative writing at Miami University and lives in Oxford, Ohio with her son.

Recent work by Catherine can be found here:



Brenna York resides within the Peabody Manor in Oxford, Ohio. She released Mr. Ivy, a chapbook with Plumberries Press, this past June at the Midwest Press Festival in Milwaukee. Brenna is a graduate of EMU’s Creative Writing Program.

A performance of “Twat-lite”, a collaboration between Brenna York and Elizabeth Mikesch, can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/user14622738


Matvei Yankelevich is the author of the poetry collection Alpha Donut (United Artists Books) and the novella-in-fragments Boris by the Sea (Octopus Books), and the translator of Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms (Overlook/Ardis). He is one of the founding editors of Ugly Duckling Presse, where he curates the Eastern European Poets Series. He is a member of the Writing Faculty at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College; in Fall 2013 he is Visiting Writer at Long Island University’s MFA in Creative Writing.

Recent work by Matvei can be found here: http://bombsite.com/issues/119/articles/6447

[excerpts from the long poem “Some Worlds for Dr. Vogt” and a film based on the same poem made in collaboration with Jeanne Liotta]


Kaplan Harris is an editor & scholar. He has forthcoming essays in the Cambridge Companion to American Modernist Poetry & an exhibition catalog on the clairvoyant conceptualist Hannah Weiner. He lives with his daughter in Buffalo, NY.

Recent work by Kaplan can be found at:.

“The 2013 Buffalo Small Press Fair,” Harriet Open Door Series (May 2013).

“Avant-Garde Interrupted: A New Narrative after AIDS.” Contemporary Literature 52.4 (winter 2011).

“A Zine Ecology of Charles Bernstein’s Selected Poems,” Postmodern Culture 20.3 (May 2010).

Interview for “Into the Field #5” (podcast series), hosted by Steve McLaughlin, Jacket2 (June 2011)

The Selected Letters of Robert Creeley. Edited by Kaplan Harris, Rod Smith and Peter Baker. University of California Press.



Orientation for New Graduate Students

Orientation for new graduate students in the Creative Writing program is happening Friday, Sept. 20 at 5:30 pm. in rm. 202 Pray-Harrold. Session runs from 5:30 pm. – 7 pm. If you’re new, attendance is required.

This will be an opportunity to receive information to help you get oriented, answer your questions, and introduce you to your grad program advisor (if you haven’t already had that chance).

Questions? Email Christine Neufeld (cneufeld@emich.edu).

Newly Appointed Blog Steward

Hello, my name is Arthur Challenger Oemke and I am the new steward of the EMU Creative Writing Blog. This is my second year in the Creative Writing MA program. I will endeavour to maintain the blog’s up to date community news as well as introduce some new elements. My vision is that this blog communicates, not just speaks. I encourage feedback; inform me of your wants, needs, quandaries- share your anxieties. This is a safe space.

As the end of the world hastens toward us, our community, creative writers and those who enjoy the work of creative writers, must collaborate, comingling ideas and events, a reciprocal sharing of what we each have to offer. During this period of administration, it is my aim to deface and contort the current blog into a shape that more closely resembles the aesthetic of EMU’s Creative Writing Program. If you have questions or submissions I encourage you to explore the submissions’ page here.

I look forward to my term as blog steward and honoring the community.

EMU English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) begins this Fall

Starting in the Fall, EMU Graduate English Students from all programs will have the opportunity to become involved with the English Graduate Student Association (EGSA). To find out more and get involved, like the “EGSA at EMU” facebook group or contact Melissa or Chelsea directly through the email members function on the Grad Students in English group site on my.emich.edu.

Here is more information as articulated by Melissa Pompili and Chelsea Bromley, the graduate students who are responsible for taking this initiative:

The English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) at EMU is a social and professional organization formed specifically to serve the interests of the Eastern English graduate community and alumni. We are envisioning a facebook page as a contact point for graduate students where they can post invitations to events, share ideas, and where alumni can keep in touch with each other and offer advice to current students in the M.A. English specializations. The EGSA will hold monthly meetings, theory study circles, and also aims to bring a selected speaker to Eastern Michigan University each fall! The EGSA also promotes and values interaction between members of the various M.A. degree specializations within the English department. Graduate students across these specializations can learn much from each other, and EGSA aims to facilitate interaction between our diverse membership in order to further our common goals.

We need help from anyone who is interested as this summer draws to a close with writing a constitution which is a major step on the road to securing student organization status at Eastern. Official student organization status will enable us to have access to grant money from the university, provide a pathway to host on-campus events, and will also enable us to raise funds on campus for our organization. Through a generous start-up donation from the Journal of Narrative Theory we are able to invite a speaker to campus this fall, as well! We need help deciding on a speaker that would benefit M.A. students of all disciplines who is preferably already in the region. Please feel free to post possible speaker ideas in the comment section of the note titled “Fall 2012 Speaker.” Also, please feel free to start notes of your own if you have any ideas for the organization! We are currently also attempting to secure a large donation and put in place a fund-raising mechanism that (hopefully!) will be enough to either host a graduate student conference at Eastern or secure a half-time department assistantship position for future leaders. In either case, we hope that this organization can serve as a gateway to opportunity for English graduate students.

We are envisioning a communal space where current students can participate actively in the department—a space where alumni can stay in touch and offer advice to current students that are looking for jobs or applying to Ph.D. programs.

Take the “100 Words” challenge

100words.com is a web site that challenges writers to write 100 words a day for a month.  Writers can then upload their batches to the web site to share with others.  Site creator Jeff Koyen explains:

This is an exercise in disciplined creativity. Writing exactly 100 words at a time — not a single word more, not a single word less — isn’t as easy as it sounds. The word count may be arbitrary, but the motive is not. To borrow from Proust, the tyranny of rhyme often brings out the poet’s best work. By working within a standardized form, the writer can concentrate on other matters.

Flash/micro fiction fans might consider taking Koyen up on his challenge or just visiting the site to explore some of the uploaded works.