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2023 MFACW July Evening Reading Series: Tommy Orange, Brandon Hobson, and Raquel Gutiérrez
Thu, July 20, 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.
Tommy Orange (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma) ’16, MFACW Mentor
Tommy Orange was born and raised in Oakland, California. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and a graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts (2016). His first novel, There There (Alfred A. Knopf 2018), received the 2019 Pen-Hemingway Award for “Distinguished” new novel, the John Leonard Prize-National Book Critics Circle Award, and was also recognized as one of the 10 Best Books of 2018 by The New York Times.
Raquel Gutiérrez, MFACW Mentor
Raquel Gutiérrez is an arts critic, writer, poet, and educator. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Gutiérrez credits the queer and feminist DIY post-punk ‘zine culture of the 1990s plus Los Angeles County and Getty paid arts internships with introducing her/them to the various vibrant art and music scenes and communities throughout Southern California. Gutiérrez is a 2021 recipient of the Rabkin Prize in Arts Journalism and a 2017 recipient of the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. Gutiérrez’s first book Brown Neon (Coffee House Press) was named one of the best books of 2022 by The New Yorker.
Brandon Hobson (Cherokee Nation), MFACW Mentor
Brandon Hobson is the author of Where the Dead Sit Talking, a winner of the Reading the West Book Award, and a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award. His other books include Deep Ellum and Desolation of Avenues Untold. He has won a Pushcart Prize, and his stories and essays have appeared in such places as Conjunctions, The Believer, The Paris Review Daily, NOON, Publisher’s Weekly, and elsewhere. In addition to mentoring in the MFA program, Brandon is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at New Mexico State University. He holds a PhD from Oklahoma State University and is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
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.