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Writing, MFA

Reading Series Archive

Our Reading Series presents free literary readings and discussions that are open to the public. Over the years the series has hosted well known authors as Jane Smiley, Diane DiPrima, Paul LaFarge, Wanda Coleman, Gail Tsukiyama, Aaron Shurin, Ron Padgett, and Robert Glück. 


Check out our YouTube channel to see the full appearance by many past participants in the Reading Series.

Aya de León, Spring 2021

Aya de Leon

Professor de León is a Cave Canem fellow, a VONA alumna, and the author of five books, including Side Chick Nation, the first novel published about Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Her latest novel is A Spy in the Struggle, about FBI infiltration of a Bay Area movement for climate justice and Black Lives.

A two-time winner of the International Latino Book Award, her novels have won multiple Independent Publisher awards. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Ebony, Essence, Guernica, Ploughshares, and on Def Poetry. In 2022, Candlewick will publish Aya’s first young adult novel in a Black/Latina spy girl series. She is the director of June Jordan's Poetry for the People at UC Berkeley, teaching poetry and spoken word.

watch Professor de León

Elissa Washuta, Spring 2021

Elissa Washuta

Elissa Washuta is the author of the nonfiction collections My Body Is a Book of Rules (2014), Starvation Mode (2018), and White Magic (forthcoming, Tin House Books). With Theresa Warburton, she is co-editor of the anthology Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers. She is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient, a Creative Capital awardee, and an assistant professor of creative writing at the Ohio State University. She is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe.

Watch Elissa Washuta

Amy Woolard, Spring 2021

Amy Woolard

Amy Woolard is a legal aid attorney working on civil rights policy and legislation in Virginia. Her debut poetry collection, Neck of the Woods, received the 2018 Alice James Books Award. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and elsewhere, while her essays and reporting have been featured in publications such as Slate, The Guardian, and Virginia Quarterly Review. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Watch Amy Woolard

Deborah A. Miranda, Spring 2021

Deborah A. Miranda

Deborah A. Miranda is the author of Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir (2013), recipient of the PEN-Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award, a Gold Medal from the Independent Publishers Association, and short-listed for the William Saroyan Literary Award; and four poetry collections: Altar for Broken Things (2020), Raised by Humans (2015), The Zen of La Llorona (2005), and Indian Cartography (1999). She is co-editor of Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature, and her work has appeared in When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: An Anthology of Native Nations Poetry (2020). She is an enrolled member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation of the Greater Monterey Bay Area in California.

Watch Deborah Miranda

Theresa Warburton, Spring 2021

Theresa Warburton

Theresa Warburton is the author of Other Worlds Here: Honoring Native Women’s Literatures in Contemporary Anarchist Movements (forthcoming, Northwestern University Press). With Elissa Washuta, she is co-editor of Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers. She is an Associate Professor of English at Western Washington University where she is also affiliate faculty in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Canadian-American Studies. She lives on Lummi, Nooksack, and Coast Salish Territories in Bellingham, WA.

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Eduardo C. Corral, Spring 2021

Eduardo C. Corral

Eduardo C. Corral is the son of Mexican immigrants. Guillotine, his second book, was published by Graywolf Press. He teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.

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Paul Beatty, Spring 2021

Paul Beatty

Paul Beatty is the author of the novels, Tuff, Slumberland, and The White Boy Shuffle, and the poetry collections Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He is the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African-American Humor. In 2016, he became the first American to win the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sellout. In 2017, he was the winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award. He lives in New York City.

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Saeed Jones, Fall 2020

Saaed Jones

Saeed Jones is the author of the memoir How We Fight for Our Lives, winner of the 2019 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction, the 2020 Stonewall Book Award/Israel Fishman Nonfiction Award, a 2020 Publishing Triangle Award, and a 2020 Lambda Literary Award. He is also the author of the poetry collection Prelude to Bruise, winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry, the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award, and finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives in Columbus, Ohio with his dog Caesar.

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The Liberation of Her: Reclaiming the Female Narrative, Fall 2020

Judy Granh

Bay Area legends Jewelle Gomez and Judy Grahn have between them written in almost every genre one might imagine: poems, stories, plays, teleplays, essays, libretti, criticism, memoir. Their work has been central to generations of LGBT readers and writers, and their lives in the Bay Area have been focused on art, spirituality, community and the voices of women.

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Jan Beatty, Fall 2020

Jan Beatty

Jan Beatty is the author of Red Sugar, Boneshaker, and Mad River, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, and The Body Wars. She directs creative writing at Carlow University where she runs the Mad women in the Attic writing workshops and is Distinguished Writer in Residence of the MFA program.

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Ayşegül Savaş, Fall 2020

Ayşegül Savaş

Ayşegül Savaş is the author of Walking on the Ceiling. Her second novel White on White is forthcoming from Riverhead Books. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, and The Guardian. She lives in Paris.

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A Feast of Words, Fall 2020

Rabih Alamaddine

Food writer Anissa Helou and novelist Rabih Alameddine discuss food, friendship, travel, and their beloved Beirut!

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Faculty Reading, Fall 2020: Laleh Khadivi

Laleh Khadivi

Author, Filmmaker, and USF MFA in Writing Assistant Professor, Laleh Khadivi, reads a new piece entitled "What Else Do You Like?"

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Faculty Reading, Fall 2020: Lauren Markham

Lauren Markham

USF MFA in Writing Professor, Lauren Markham, is author of "The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life", which won the Northern California Book Award and the California Book Award Silver Prize, was longlisted for the Pen America Literary Award, and was shortlisted for the LA Times Book Award.

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Faculty Reading, Fall 2020: Alan Chazaro

Alan Chazaro

Alan Chazaro '17, joined the MFA in Writing faculty in 2020 and is the the author of two books of poetry, "This is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album" and "Piñata Theory." He has also written "Mid 90s Kamakazi," a collection of poems with illustrations by Matt Mitchell.

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Faculty Reading, Fall 2020: Lewis Buzbee


Lewis Buzbee is the author of novels "Bridge of Time" and "The Haunting of Charles Dickens" which won the Northern California Book Award.

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Past Readers