Creative Writing at The New School


Poetry Forum: Natalie Diaz

Poetry Forum: Natalie Diaz

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Klein Conference Room, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall

Room 510, 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011

Natalie Diaz, author of When My Brother Was an Aztec, is a member of the Mojave and Pima Indian tribes and attended Old Dominion University on a full athletic scholarship. After playing professional basketball in Austria, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey she returned to ODU for an MFA in writing. Her publications include Prairie SchoonerIowa ReviewCrab Orchard Review, among others. Her work was selected by Natasha Trethewey for Best New Poets and she has received the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry.

Moderated by Mark Bibbins, faculty, the Creative Writing Program.

Sponsored by The Creative Writing Department.

Cost: Free

Tribute to James Tate

Tribute to James Tate

Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm

The Auditorium, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall

66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011

An event to honor the acclaimed poet, featuring poets John Ashbery, Gillian Conoley, Michael Earl Craig, Jorie Graham, Matthea Harvey, Yusef Komunyakaa, Dorothea Lasky, Emily Pettit, Guy Pettit, Srikanth Reddy, Charles Simic, Arisa White, Charles Wright, Dean Young, and Matthew Zapruder. The event will be introduced by David Lehman, Associate Professor of Writing, and feature music by Eve Beglarian and Charles Wuorinen and vocals by Maya Sharpe.Co-sponsored by The New School Creative Writing Program; the Academy of American PoetsEcco, an imprint of HarperCollins; the Poetry Foundation; the Poetry Society of AmericaPoets House; the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA for Poets and Writers; the Unterberg Poetry Center, and 92nd Street Y.

Cost: Free to all. First come, first serve.


Fiction Forum: Alexander Chee

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Klein Conference Room, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall

Room 510, 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011

Alexander Chee’s first novel, Edinburgh (Picador, 2002), is a winner of the Michener Copernicus Prize, the AAWW Lit Award and the Lambda Editor’s Choice Prize, and was a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year and a Booksense 76 selection. His second novel, The Queen of the Night, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is a recipient of the 2003 Whiting Writers’ Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in Fiction and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Ledig House, the Hermitage and Civitella Ranieri. In 2003, Out Magazine honored him as one of their 100 Most Influential People of the Year. His essays and stories have appeared in, Out, The Man I Might Become, Loss Within Loss, Men On Men 2000, His 3 and Boys Like Us. He has taught fiction and nonfiction writing at the New School, Wesleyan, Amherst College, and at the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Moderated by Luis Jaramillo, director, the Creative Writing Program

Sponsored by The Creative Writing Program.

Cost: Free

An Evening with Luc Sante

An Evening with Luc Sante

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Klein Conference Room, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall

Room 510, 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011

Author Luc Sante’s books include Low Life, Evidence, The Factory of Facts, Kill All your Darlings, and The Other Paris. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Grammy (for album notes), an Infinity Award in Writing from the International Center of Photography, and Guggenheim and Cullman Fellowships. He has written for the New York Review of Books since 1981, has written for many other periodicals, and since 1999 has been Visiting Professor of Writing and the History of Photography at Bard College.

Moderated by Robert Polito, professor, the Creative Writing Program

Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program.

Cost: Free



Martín Espada's Vivas to Those Who Have Failed: Book Launch & Reading

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Cave Canem Foundation, 20 Jay Street, Suite 310-A, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Celebrate the launch of a powerful new collection of poems that gives voice to the spirit of endurance in the face of loss and articulates the transcendent vision of another, possible world. Espada invokes the words of Whitman in “Vivas to Those Who Have Failed,” a cycle of sonnets about the Paterson Silk Strike and the immigrant laborers who envisioned an eight-hour day. The heart of the book is a series of 10 poems about the death of the poet’s father, one of Whitman’s “numberless unknown heroes.” “El Moriviví” uses the metaphor of a plant that grows in Puerto Rico and the meaning of its name—“I died/I lived”—to celebrate the many lives of Frank Espada, community organizer, civil rights activist and documentary photographer, from a jailhouse in Mississippi to the streets of Brooklyn. Other poems confront collective grief, in the wake of the killings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School and police violence against people of color. Yet the poet also revels in the absurd, recalling his dubious “career” as a Shakespearean actor in a brawling company, finding madness and tenderness in the crowd at Fenway Park.  In the words of Junot Díaz, this is “Espada at his brilliant best, the poet laureate of our New America, with a voice that breaks heart, gives courage and burns all illusions.”

Free and open to the public.


John Wray with Will Sheff — Launch Party

Saturday, February 6th, 2016, 7:00 pm

Book Court, 163 Court St, Brooklyn, New York 11201

Join bestselling author John Wray with Will Sheff, lead singer of Okkervil River for music, libations courtesy of Kings County Distillery, and the launch of John Wray's new novel The Lost Time Accidents.

About The Lost Time Accidents:

In his ambitious and fiercely inventive new novel, The Lost Time Accidents, John Wray takes us from turn-of-the-century Viennese salons buzzing with rumors about Einstein's radical new theory to the death camps of World War Two, from the golden age of postwar pulp science fiction to a startling discovery in a Manhattan apartment packed to the ceiling with artifacts of modern life.

Part madcap adventure, part harrowing family drama, part scientific mystery—and never less than wildly entertaining—The Lost Time Accidents is a bold and epic saga set against the greatest upheavals of the twentieth century.


Joint Book Launch: The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee and Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa 

Monday, February 8th, 2016, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

powerHouse Arena 37 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Sophomore novelist Alexander Chee and debut writer Sunil Yapa team up to launch two electric new works of fiction.

About The Queen of the Night:

When Junot Diaz was asked by Flavorwire to name his favorite emerging writer, he didn’t hesitate. “Alexander Chee. He’s the fire, in my opinion. And the light. Edinburgh, his first novel, is unstoppable. And I hear he’s got a second one on the way.”  The Queen of the Night is that second novel, and worth the wait.

Lilliet Berne, famous soprano in the Second Empire French opera, is offered an original role (the desire of every singer) in a new opera that she immediately understands could only be based on a part of her life that she had hoped to keep secret. Only four people could be responsible, she thinks: Of them, one is dead, one loves her, one desires her, and the last, she believes, never thinks of her at all. In the process of searching for the source she must face parts of her past she had hoped to forget and sets in motion events that jeopardize her career and happiness, even as they also bring her within reach of realizing a dream she’d abandoned long ago.

Lilliet isn’t even her real name. In addition to opera star, we come to know her as a bareback performer in a circus, maid to the Empress Eugenie of France, German war hero, lover to a Prussian tenor, and always, always, the little orphan from the American frontier who left for Europe and was swept up into the glitzy, gritty world of Second Empire Paris.

Lilliet’s character was inspired by Jenny Lind, the hugely successful singer, and Chee has peopled her story with real characters from the era, including Verdi, Napoleon III and his glamorous Spanish wife Eugénie, Napoleon’s mistress and Italian spy the Countess di Casligione, and many more. He uses the real to create the literary in the vein of Song of Achilles, The Buddha in the Attic, and Memoirs of a Geisha.

About Your Muscle is the Size of a Fist:

“The world is large and I am small.” A phrase repeated by the disillusioned Victor, the first character we meet in Sunil Yapa’s electric debut, Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist.

The story is told by seven distinct and unforgettable characters—nineteen-year-old Victor, who hopes to sell antiglobalization demonstrators enough marijuana to buy a plane ticket elsewhere; his estranged father, the police chief; two police officers trying to control the crowd; the finance minister of Sri Lanka, who needs one final signature in order for his country to join the WTO; and two of the well-intentioned nonviolent protesters whose mission it is to ensure that doesn’t happen. What follows is the convergence of those seven narratives on one cold and explosive November day.

Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist takes on the world. The ideas of right and wrong, winning and losing, are challenged and blurred through the tumult of perspectives. As the fog of the morning burns off into chaos, each character struggles to retain his or her humanity. They are forced to come to terms with their fear and their power (or lack thereof), but it is their compassion that is tested most of all. This is a shattering meditation on the ways in which our lives overlap with lives lived halfway across the globe, one that builds to a heartbreaking finale. As Tiphanie Yanique writes, “This is an open armed love letter to humanity. A glorious novel.”



Franklin Park Reading Series Feb. 8: Robert Lopez, Mira Ptacin, Tony Tulathimutte, Robin Beth Schaer & Tommy Pico

Monday, February 8th, 2016 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Franklin Park, 618 St. Johns Place, between Classon and Franklin Avenues

As Valentine's Day approaches, we're turning to five of our favorite writers for insight into surviving love's highs and lows. Hear prose and poetry addressing why "Love Will Make or Break You" from fiction writers Robert Lopez and Tony Tulathimutte, memoirist Mira Ptacin, and poets Robin Beth Schaer and Tommy Pico.

We'll celebrate romance with $4 drafts, sweet treats, and a free-to-enter raffle for the authors' books. As always, admission is FREE!

ROBERT LOPEZ is the author of two novels, Part of the World and Kamby Bolongo Mean River, and two story collections, Asunder and Good People. Among other places, his fiction has appeared in the American Reader, BOMB, Brooklyn Rail, Hobart, Indiana Review, Literarian, Nerve, New York Tyrant, Vice, and the Norton anthology Sudden Fiction Latino. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches fiction writing at The New School, Pratt Institute, and Columbia University.

MIRA PTACIN is the author of the memoir Poor Your Soul. She is a creative nonfiction and children’s book author whose work has appeared in Guernica, NPR, New York Magazine, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Tin House, The Rumpus, and more. She teaches memoir writing to women at the Maine Correctional Facility and lives on Peaks Island, Maine with her husband and children.

TONY TULATHIMUTTE is the author of the novel Private Citizens, which was named one of the most exciting books of 2016 by Buzzfeed. He has written for VICE, N+1, AGNI, Salon, The New Yorker online, Threepenny Review, and other publications. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Stanford University and has received an O. Henry Award, a Truman Capote fellowship, a MacDowell Colony fellowship, and the Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award.

ROBIN BETH SCHAER is the author of the poetry collection Shipbreaking, which Buzzfeed named one of the 16 Best Poetry Books of 2015 and one of the year's 24 Best Literary Debuts. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, Paris Review, and Guernica, among others. She teaches writing in New York City, and worked as a deckhand aboard the Tall Ship Bounty, a 180-foot full-rigged ship lost in Hurricane Sandy.

TOMMY "TEEBS" PICO is the founder and editor-in-chief of birdsong, an antiracist/queer-positive collective, small press, and zine that publishes art and writing. He’s the author of absentMINDR (VERBALVISUAL, 2014), the first chapbook app published for iOS mobile/tablet devices, and he was a Queer/Art/Mentors inaugural fellow and 2013 Lambda Literary fellow in poetry. His poems have appeared in BOMB, Guernica, PANK, the Best American Poetry blog, and elsewhere. He also co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn.

About The Author

Founded in Greenwich Village in 1931, Creative Writing at The New School continues to promote, engender, and shape innovative literature.