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2023 MFACW July Evening Reading Series: Kerry Howley, Safia Elhillo, and Ramona Ausubel
Tue, July 18, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm
The MFA in Creative Writing Program (MFACW) at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is excited to announce its 2023 July Evening Reading Series to be held July 16–20 from 6:00–7:30 pm at the IAIA campus at 83 Avan Nu Po Road in the Center for Lifelong Education (CLE) Commons. The line-up for its tenth-anniversary summer celebration includes teaching mentors with the program—Abigail Chabitnoy (Tangirnaq Native Village member and Koniag descendant), Jamie Figueroa (Boricua), Chip Livingston (mixed Creek), Sherwin Bitsui (Diné), Pam Houston, Ramona Ausubel (attending virtually), Tommy Orange (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma) ’16, Brandon Hobson (Cherokee Nation), and Raquel Gutiérrez, as well as a group of four Lannan Visiting Writers—poet Safia Elhillo, recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University; IAIA alumn and Reservation Dogs writer Ryan RedCorn (Osage) ’20; Kerry Howley, a feature writer at New York magazine; and Marcela Fuentes, who has a two-book deal with Viking books set for release in 2024.
Except for the Wednesday, July 19 event with Ryan RedCorn, all speaker events will be livestreamed.
Kerry Howley is a feature writer at New York magazine and the author of Thrown, a New York Times Editors’ Choice and pick for best-of-the-year lists in Time, Salon, Slate, and many other venues. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, Best American Sportswriting, The New York Times Magazine, and Harper’s. A Lannan Foundation Fellow, she holds an MFA from the University of Iowa, where she was an assistant professor at the celebrated Nonfiction Writing Program until joining New York. She lives in Los Angeles.
Sudanese by way of D.C., Safia Elhillo is the author of Girls That Never Die, The January Children and Home Is Not a Country, and co-editor of the anthology Halal If You Hear Me. Winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, the Arab American Book Award, and the Brunel International African Poetry Prize, she is also the recipient of a Cave Canem Fellowship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from The Poetry Foundation. Her work has appeared in POETRY magazine, The Atlantic, and The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day series, among others.
Ramona Ausubel, MFACW Mentor (joining virtually)
Ramona Ausubel grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is the author of three novels and two story collections. Her new novel, The Last Animal, was published in the spring of 2023. A winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, she has also been a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, California Book Awards, and Colorado Book Awards, and has been longlisted for the Story Prize, Frank O’Connor International Story Award, the International Impac Dublin Literary Award, and New York Times Notable Book selections. She holds an MFA from the University of California, Irvine where she won the Glenn Schaeffer Award in Fiction.
Evening Reading Series Events
- Sunday, July 16, 6–7:30 pm (MDT): Readings by Abigail Chabitnoy (Tangirnaq Native Village Member and Koniag Descendant), Jamie Figueroa (Boricua), and Chip Livingston (Mixed-blood Creek)—CLE Commons and livestream
- Monday, July 17, 6–7:30 pm (MDT): Readings by Sherwin Bitsui (Diné), Pam Houston, and Marcela Fuentes—CLE Commons and livestream
- Tuesday, July 18, 6–7:30 pm (MDT): Readings by Kerry Howley, Safia Elhillo, and Ramona Ausubel—CLE Commons and livestream
- Wednesday, July 19, 6–7:30 pm (MDT): Reading by Ryan RedCorn (Osage) ’20—CLE Commons (no livestream)
- Thursday, July 20, 6–7:30 pm (MDT): Readings by Tommy Orange (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma) ’16, Raquel Gutiérrez, and Brandon Hobson (Cherokee Nation)—CLE Commons and livestream
MFA in Creative Writing
The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is designed as a two-year program with two intensive week-long residencies per year (summer and winter) at IAIA. Students and faculty mentors gather for a week of workshops, lectures, and readings. At the end of the residency week, each student is matched with a faculty mentor, who then works one-on-one with the student for the semester. IAIA’s program is unique in that we emphasize the importance of Indigenous writers speaking to the Indigenous experience. The literature we read carries a distinct Native American and First Nations emphasis. The MAFCW offers four areas of emphasis: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and screenwriting.