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2023 MFACW July Evening Reading Series: Sherwin Bitsui, Pam Houston, and Marcela Fuentes

Mon, July 17, 2023, 6:00 pm7:30 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.

Sherwin Bitsui (Diné), MFACW Mentor
Sherwin Bitsui is originally from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He is Diné of the Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tl’izilani (Many Goats Clan). He is the author of Shapeshift (University of Arizona Press, 2003), Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press, 2009), and Dissolve (Copper Canyon Press, 2018). His honors include a Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship and a Native Arts & Culture Foundation Arts Fellowship. He is also the recipient of a 2010 PEN Open Book Award, an American Book Award, and a Whiting Writers Award. In addition to teaching at the Institute of American Indian Arts, he joins the faculty at Northern Arizona University in the fall of 2019.

Pam Houston, MFACW Mentor
Pam Houston is the author of the memoir Deep Creek: Finding Hope In The High Country, as well as two novels, Contents May Have Shifted and Sight Hound, two collections of short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, and a collection of essays, A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton. Her stories have been selected for volumes of The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Short Stories of the Century, among other anthologies. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA Award for contemporary fiction, the Evil Companions Literary Award, and several teaching awards. In addition to teaching in the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Houston is a Professor of English at UC Davis and co-founder and creative director of the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers, which puts on between seven and ten writers’ gatherings per year in places as diverse as Boulder, Colorado, Tomales Bay, California and Chamonix, France. She lives at 9,000 feet above sea level on a 120-acre homestead near the headwaters of the Rio Grande. A book of letters between Pam and environmental activist Amy Irvine will be published by Torrey House Press in October 2020.

Marcela Fuentes
Marcela Fuentes is a Pushcart Prize-winning fiction writer and essayist. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was the 2016–2017 James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Indiana Review, The Rumpus, Texas Highways Magazine, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and other journals. Her work has been anthologized in New Stories from the Southwest, Best of the Web, and Flash Fiction International. Her story, “The Observable World” will appear in the Pushcart Prizes XLVII : Best of the Small Presses 2023 Edition. She was born and raised in Del Rio, Texas. Her debut novel MALAS (spring 2024) and linked story collection MY HEART HAS MORE ROOMS THAN A WHOREHOUSE are under contract with Viking Books.

Evening Reading Series Events

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.


Mon, July 17, 2023
6:00 pm–7:30 pm
Event Category:


Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) CLE Commons
83 Avan Nu Po Road
Santa Fe, NM 87508 United States


Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)