Autumn 2022 MFA 10-year Celebration & Alumni Reunion
September 23-25, 2022 | UW Bothell and Seattle
On the 10th anniversary of the founding of the MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics, we once again converge—to celebrate community and reconnect with the people whose presence has been central to our thinking and conversations in the last decade. This year’s Convergence comprises a special event to honor our alumni and a public Convergence to extend our community outward.
Our first ever alumni reunion will draw attention to the central interlocutors at the heart of the MFA: our students. Designed to bring us back together on campus and get us all writing, the alumni reunion will feature generative workshops, open mics, and celebrations of student publications. It will also highlight founding faculty member Rebecca Brown, who retired in Spring 2022.
Please contact email@example.com with any questions about the event.
All times listed in Pacific Standard Time
- 7:30 PM –9:30 PM: Alumni Mixer & Open Mic [North Creek Events Center, 18225 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011]
- Featuring: Woogee Bae, Atlanta Duncan, Tricia Fuentes, Amy Hirayama, Samuel Iniguez, Farron Knechtel, Alysa Levi D’Ancona, Corbin Louis, Reed Lowell, Sean Mosman, Ashley Noelle, Sky O’Brien, Penny Quinteros, and Raelynne Woo
- 9:30 AM–10:00 AM: Check-in and morning coffee [North Creek Events Center]
- 9:45 AM: Welcome [NCEC]
- 10:00 AM–11:30 AM: Morning workshop with founding faculty member Rebecca Brown [UW1-210]
- Style is Your Friend, In this workshop we will generate a number of short new works that look at how style (word choice, sentence/line shape and length, rhythm, repetition, etc.), and content live together. We may draw on the work of Raymond Queneau, Richard Wright, Lynn Emmanuel, Santoka Taneda and others to inspire our writing and conversation. Photocopied handouts provided at the workshop.
- 11:30 AM–1:00 PM: Lunch [NCEC]
- 1:00 PM–2:15 PM: Afternoon alumni-led workshop with Amy Hirayama and Emily J. Mundy [UW2-021]
- Somatic Spiraling: The Body as a Creative Resource, The body is a spiraling source of information—of memory, intuition, and instinct, of shifting energetic avenues. Often, writing is considered a disembodied act (even by writers themselves). But the physicality of writing exists on a much deeper level than simply excavating the mind for language, then allowing it to flow through fingers on a keyboard or from the wrist to the pen on a page. How might different areas of the body be conduits to the subconscious? How might exploring these spaces allow us to tap into uncharted areas of creativity we don’t normally access?
- In this workshop, Amy and Emily will combine movement, guided meditation, and sensory exploration with generative writing prompts to steer writers through the energetic channels of their own bodies, in hopes of accessing surprising information for their creative work.
- 2:30 PM–3:45 PM: Afternoon alumni-led workshop with dana middleton [UW1-210]
- No, not poems, instead: A segmented essay workshop, In this workshop we’ll be writing segmented essays! The segmented essay exercise is a great way to begin short prose or hybrid pieces that are composed of a number of sections that can stand alone and may also connect with each other in obvious or nuanced ways. Your segments may end up working in a piece together, and they could also continue off on their own towards a different project. Either way, this workshop is designed for finding the joy in moments of connection between different scraps of images, memories, and imaginings, while allowing room for divergence and departure.
- First we’ll read Bhanu Kapil’s “Verge Notes” aloud. I’ll also provide another short example of a segmented essay. We’ll generate individual & collective lists of keywords to choose from, and each chosen keyword will be the general entry point into a short segment. Depending on time, we’ll write ~3 segments, and your task will be to write into the world of these different keywords while also considering possible relationships to, echoes of, and leaps from the previous segments you’ve written. At the end, participants will have two opportunities to share their writing: with someone next to them as well as with the whole group.
- 4:00 PM–5:30 PM: Coffee Break, Book fair & Alumni book reading & celebration followed by open mic [NCEC]
- Featuring: Jessica Hagy, Denise Michaels, Korede Oseni, Aya Bonn, Peter Buller, Annika Rundberg Bunney, Harry Lee, Abigail Mandlin, dana middleton, Emily Mundy, Katherine Seidemann, Carol Anderson Shaw, Maria Stevens, Nicholas Sweeney, and Phoenix Kai Vaughan-Ende.
- 5:30 PM–6:00 PM: Break & Tech check
- 6:00 PM–7:30 PM: Rebecca Brown & MFA Faculty (Amaranth Borsuk, Naomi Bragin, Ching-In Chen, Jeanne Heuving)
- 8:30 PM–close: Alumni mixer at Lynnwood Bowl & Skate (no-host) [6210 200th St. SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036]
- 1:00 PM–3:00 PM: Alumni Reading [Two Kick Coffee, 3208 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109]
- Featuring: Eric Acosta, Emma Carson, Nicole McCarthy, Talena Lachelle Queen
Rebecca Brown is the author of 14 books published in the US and abroad, most recently You Tell The Stories You Need To Believe (Chatwin Books, 2022). Her other books (novels, short stories, essays, prose poems) include American Romances, The Haunted House, The Dogs:A Modern Bestiary, The Terrible Girls (all with City Lights), The Gifts Of The Body (HarperCollins) and Not Heaven, Somewhere Else (Tarpaulin Sky). She has also written a play, the libretto for a dance opera, a one-woman show, Monstrous, commissioned by Northwest Film Forum, and popular arts and book criticism. Her written work has been translated into Japanese, German, Dutch, Norwegian, Italian, etc. She has taught writing and literature for 40 years in venues as diverse as prisons, public schools, homeless encampments, senior citizens’ centers, at-risk youth centers, and universities. Her visual work has been displayed at the Frye Art Museum, Hedreen Gallery, Henry Art Gallery, Simon Fraser Gallery (Vancouver, BC) and the University of Arizona Poetry Center Gallery. She has taught and lectured in the US, UK, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Japan and Uganda. She was the designer, co-founder and first curator of the Jack Straw Writers program, first writer in Residence at Hugo House (1997-1999) and is a former Artistic Director of the Port Townsend Writers conference. She is currently putting together a book of essays for the Fellow Travelers Series. She lives in Seattle.
Photo credit: Phil Bevis, Chatwin Press.
Eric M Acosta is a poet noise collagist living and working in Seattle. He hosts a monthly poetry reading at Bulldog News and Underbelly. Debut poetry collection forthcoming from Really Serious Literature in February. Find more at www.printcopiesvailable.com and insta @bottle_meat.
Emma Carson (she/they) is a poet and Seattle resident whose work has been recognized in recent years as “essential.” Her first poetry collection, The Divide Itself (Really Serious Literature) comes out in 2023. You can find her on Instagram at poemma.emma ceding the camera to her cat Lily.
Jessica Hagy is an artist and writer best known for her Webby award-winning webcomic, Indexed (www.thisisindexed.com) and is the author of books, AETUI: Pentagram Poems, How to Be Fearless, The Humanist’s Devotional, One Morning, The Art of War Visualized, How to Be Interesting, and Indexed. She has illustrated dozens of additional titles. She mixes data (both quantitative and qualitative) with humor, insight, and simple visuals to make even the most complex concepts immediately accessible and relevant. Jessica has been prolifically illustrating, consulting, and speaking internationally since 2006. Her work has been described as “deceptively simple,” “undeniably brilliant,” and “our favorite reason for the Internet to exist.” Her work has been flatteringly featured in Wired, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, and Forbes, among many others. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Jessica lives in Seattle, Washington.
Amy Hirayama is an educator who uses writing to explore her mixed-race Hapa identity. Born in the Pacific Northwest, she finds inspiration in this region, her family, and food. As a former massage practitioner she is fascinated by the way the body informs our creative lives and the way creativity impacts the body. Amy works as a writer-in-residence for Writers in the Schools and as workshop administrator for the Clarion West Writers Workshop.
Nicole McCarthy is an experimental writer and artist based outside of Tacoma. Her work has appeared in PANK, Hobart, The Offing, Redivider, Glass: a Journal of Poetry, a Best American Experimental Writing Anthology, and others. Her work has also been performed and encountered as projection installation pieces throughout the Puget Sound. A SUMMONING is her first nonfiction collection, published by Heavy Feather Review. Find her at nicolemccarthypoet.com.
Denise Calvetti Michaels
Denise Calvetti Michaels completed the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics from University of Washington, Bothell.
Recent published poetry includes: Breathing is Only Dangerous When You Forget the Memory, Metro Madison Arts Commission, 2022; The Colors of Reeds, Clamor, 2021; Love Letter #1, Ovunque Siamo, 2021; Love Letter #2, Paterson Literary Review, 2020.
Creative writing based on her MFA thesis, The Things Downriver, published in Dec. 2020 by Cave Moon Press, pays homage to the Salinas, CA farm of her paternal grandparents, immigrants from Italy. Rustling Wrens, Michaels' first poetry collection published by Cave Moon in 2012 was awarded a King County 4 Culture Artist Grant. Michaels' newer work, Lamentations on the Technologies of Transformation and Loss, published by Clamor in 2021, interrogates her mother's hearing aid as site of emotion and memory.
Denise teaches psychology courses for Cascadia College and earned an MA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College.
Emily J. Mundy
Emily J. Mundy is a Seattle-based poet who believes in writing as a force that heals, illuminates, and connects. Her work reveres the mystical nature of language and often explores spirituality. She is proud to have made her home in the Pacific Northwest, and hints of this landscape reverberate throughout her poems. Emily is the creator of The Poetry Séance—a quarterly reading and workshop series curated to enliven poetry shows and embolden local writers, each season at a time. She holds an MFA in Poetics from the University of Washington Bothell, and shares a realm with her two cats and one beloved typewriter.
Korede Oseni is a Legal Practitioner, Poet, and color enthusiast. She holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Lagos State University and has been called to the Nigeria Bar. Korede is passionate about putting a spotlight on African stories, experiences and literature and in her writing converges advocacy and creative writing. Korede is a first-year graduate student at UWB pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics. ‘Thoughts of a Wandering Mind’ is her first collection of Poems.
Talena Lachelle Queen
Talena Lachelle Queen (she, her) in addition to being Poet Laureate of Paterson, New Jersey, since 2018, is founder and Executive Director of the Paterson Poetry Festival now in its fifth year. She is also founder and president of Word Seed, Inc. a team of literary artists who organize community outreach programs. Her publications include a forthcoming poetry collection How Do I Tell Them (Poets Wear Prada), Soup Can Magazine, the LitFuse Anthology, and When Women Speak (editor Ameerah Shabazz-Bilal). A sought after artist, Queen has performed at many places including the New Jersey Governor’s Mansion, Hoboken Historical Museum, and NYCMT presents Hip Hop Cypher.