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Stetson University MFA of the Americas: January 2022 Readings

January 1, 2022, 8:00 PM - January 8, 2022, 9:00 PM

January 1 – 8, 2022

Take a peek into Stetson’s MFA of the Americas low-res creative writing program and join us for a series of guest and faculty readings as part of the program’s January residency at Atlantic Center for the Arts.

Registration is required for these recurring Zoom events. You only need to register once, then use the same link to join each evening, January 1 – 8, from 8pm to 9pm.

Note: this series will be broadcast-only. Attendees can only watch/listen in.


Schedule of Readings:

Saturday 1/1: Urayoán Noel and Ryan Rivas
Sunday 1/2: Terri Witek & Cyriaco Lopes, Rachel Cleveland, and Shelby Smotherman
Monday 1/3: Edwin Torres
Tuesday 1/4: Raquel Salas Rivera
Wednesday 1/5: Chesya Burke
Thursday: 1/6: LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs and Jennine Capó Crucet
Friday: 1/7: Teresa Carmody, Veronica Gonzalez Peña, and Stephanie Sauer
Saturday: 1/8: Lucy Corin

About the Readers (in order of appearance)

Urayoán Noel is the author of In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam (University of Iowa Press) and eight books of poetry, including Buzzing Hemisphere / Rumor Hemisférico and Transversal, both with the University of Arizona Press. His translations include Wingston González’s No Budu Please (Ugly Duckling Presse) and Pablo de Rokha’s Architecture of Dispersed Life: Selected Poetry (Shearsman Books), which was a finalist for the National Translation Award. He also translated the concrete poems in Amanda Berenguer’s Materia Prima (Ugly Duckling Presse), which was a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award, and he is a translator for The Puerto Rican Literature Project, a contributing editor of NACLA Report on the Americas, and a former editor of Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas. His writings on translation have been published in Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism and Avenues of Translation: The City in Iberian and Latin American Writing, and other work has recently appeared in the New York Times and World Literature Today. His international performances include Poesiefestival Berlin, Barcelona Poesia, and the Toronto Biennial of Art. Originally from Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, Urayoán Noel lives in the Bronx and teaches at New York University.

Ryan Rivas is the publisher of Burrow Press. His writing has appeared in The Believer, The Rumpus, Literary Hub, Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012, and elsewhere. His image/text book Nextdoor in Colonialtown is forthcoming from Autofocus Books in fall 2022.

Terri Witek’s poetry is featured in the new international anthology JUDITH:  Women Making Visual Poetry, and her 7th book, The Rattle Egg, is forthcoming. Her work with Brazilian visual artist Cyriaco Lopes (cyriacolopes.com) includes works on paper, video and site-specific installation and is represented by The Liminal in Valencia, Spain.  She holds the Sullivan Chair in Creative Writing at Stetson University, where she has won the McInery and the John Hague Awards for teaching.

Cyriaco Lopes is a visual artist interested in systems of representation, language, and politics. Lopes has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro, the Museum of Art of São Paulo (MASP), El Museo del Barrio in NYC, the Centre Wallonie Bruxelles in Paris, Casa Degli Artisti in Milan, among many other international venues. He is the winner of the NYC World Studio Foundation Award, the Contemporary Art Museum Saint Louis Project Award, and the São Paulo Phillips Prize. His collaborations with poet Terri Witek have been seen around the world, including at the National Academy in Lisbon, Portugal, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, the Salford Museum, in Manchester, England, and Oi Futuro Center for Art & Technology in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lopes is an associate professor of photography and deputy chair of the Art & Music department at John Jay College/the City University of New York.

Rachel Cleveland is a nonfiction writer currently working on a memoir about faith, mental illness, and Orlando, which is her hometown. Her work has been published in Atticus Review, Beacon, and Savannah Magazine, among others. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Washington University in St. Louis.

Shelby Smotherman is a writer, artist, and theatrical technician working in the Tampa Bay Area. Most often, she works with paint and lighting and uses language from her technical background to fill her poetry, as well as taking heavy influence from pop culture.

Edwin Torres is editor of The Body In Language: An Anthology (Counterpath Press) and the author of twelve poetry collections including: Quanundrum: i will be your many angled thing (Roof Books), The Animal’s Perception of Earth (DoubleCross Press), Xoeteox: the infinite word object (Wave) and Ameriscopia (University of Arizona Press). He has received fellowships from The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts, The DIA Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, among others. He has collaborated with a multitude of artists and performed his bodylingo improvisations worldwide, incorporating homemade sound objects with digital and concrete poetics. His visual text and audio works have been exhibited widely and he’s taught his workshops, Brainlingo and Feel Recordings at Naropa University, UPenn, Poets House, The Poetry Project and Liminal Lab. Anthologies include, Fractured Ecologies, Post Modern American Poetry Vol 2, Angels of The Americlypse: New Latin@ Writing, American Poets In The 21st Century: Poetics of Social Engagement, and Aloud: Voices From The Nuyorican Poets Café. A native New Yorker emanating from the Lower East Side, he is currently living in Beacon, NY.

Raquel Salas Rivera (Mayagüez, 1985) is a Puerto Rican poet, translator, and editor. His honors include being named the 2018-19 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia and receiving the New Voices Award from Puerto Rico’s Festival de la Palabra. He is the author of five full-length poetry books. His third book, lo terciario/ the tertiary won the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry and was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award. His fourth book, while they sleep (under the bed is another country), was longlisted for the 2020 Pen America Open Book Award and was a finalist for CLMP’s 2020 Firecracker Award. His fifth book, x/ex/exis: poemas para la nación/ poems for the nation, won the inaugural Ambroggio Prize. antes que isla es volcán/before island is volcano, his sixth book, is an imaginative leap into Puerto Rico’s decolonial future and is forthcoming from Beacon Press in 2022. Thanks to a 2021 NEA Translation Fellowship, he is translating the poetry of his grandfather, Sotero Rivera Avilés. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania and writes and teaches in Puerto Rico. Alongside the Colectivo and the University of Houston’s USLDH team, and with a three-year grant from the Mellon Foundation, he serves as investigator and head translator for El proyecto de la literatura puertorriqueña/ The Puerto Rican Literature Project, a free, bilingual, user-friendly and open access digital portal that users within and outside academia can use to learn about and teach Puerto Rican poetry.

Dr. Chesya Burke is an Asst. Professor of English and U.S. Literatures. Having written and published over a hundred fiction pieces and articles within the genres of science fiction, fantasy, comics and horror, her academic research focuses primarily on the intersections of race, gender and genre. Her primary areas of study are in African American literature, race and gender studies, comics and speculative fiction. Chesya received her Master’s degree in African American Studies from Georgia State University and her PhD from University of Florida. In addition, she wrote several articles for the African American National Biography published by Harvard and Oxford University Press and she is currently working on her standalone comic. Burke is the Chair of Wiscon’s Anti-Abuse Team, which is a national science fiction, feminist conference, and is the President of Stetson’s chapter of the AAUW. Her story collection, Let’s Play White, is being taught in universities around the world. Poet Nikki Giovanni compared her writing to that of Octavia Butler and Toni Morrison, and Samuel Delany called her “a formidable new master of the macabre.” Chesya’s novel, The Strange Crimes of Little Africa has garnered critical acclaim by writers such as Tananarive Due and Kiese Laymon.

A writer, vocalist and sound artist, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs is the author of TwERK (Belladonna, 2013). Her interdisciplinary work has been featured at the Brooklyn Museum, the Poesiefestival in Berlin, Museum of Modern Art, the QOW conference in Slovakia, the International Poetry Festival in Bucharest, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, the 56th Venice Biennale, Beijing and more recently, Leeuwarden. As a curator and director, she has staged events at BAM Café, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The David Rubenstein Atrium, The Highline, Poets House and El Museo del Barrio. LaTasha is the recipient of numerous awards; of them include New York Foundation for the Arts, Barbara Deming Memorial Grant, the National Endowment for the Arts, LMCC Workspace AIR, the Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, the Japan-US Friendship Commission, Creative Capital and the Whiting Foundation Literary Award. She lives in Harlem.

Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of three books, including the novel Make Your Home Among Strangers, which won the International Latino Book Award and was named a best book of the year by NBC Latino, the Guardian, and the Miami Herald; it has been adopted as an all-campus read at over thirty-five American universities. Her other books include the Iowa Short Fiction Award-winning story collection How to Leave Hialeah and the essay collection My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education, which was long listed for the PEN Open Book Award. A contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, she’s the recipient of the John Gardner Book Prize, the Hillsdale Award for the Short Story, the Picador Fellowship, and a PEN/O. Henry Prize. Her fourth book, a novel titled Say Hello To My Little Friend, is forthcoming from Little, Brown. Born in Miami to Cuban parents, she currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Teresa Carmody’s writing includes fiction, creative nonfiction, inter-arts collaborations, and hybrid forms. She is the author of three books and four chapbooks, including, most recently, The Reconception of Marie. A co-coordinator of the first Ladyfest Olympia, WA in 2000 and co-founder of Les Figues Press in Los Angeles, she has two decades of experience organizing and curating events that create community in the arts. Her collaborations range from artist books to site-specific installations, and her co-edited anthologies include I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women and TrenchArt: Monographs. Carmody currently lives in Central Florida, where she teaches fiction and prose workshops, and directs Stetson University’s low-residency program, the MFA of the Americas. You can also find her in the Echo Theater’s zoomsphere, co-hosting Mrs. Porter’s feminist art salon, and on Four Queens, where she hosts Second Sundays: conversations about writing, art, spirituality, divination, feminism, and magic.

Veronica Gonzalez Peña is a Mexican-born writer and filmmaker. In 2006 she founded rockypoint Press, a series of artist/writer collaborative prints, books, and films. Veronica is an award-winning author of two novels, twin time: or how death befell me, and The Sad Passions, both published by semiotext(e). In July 2013 The Sad Passions was chosen as book of the week in Oprah and subsequently named one of 10 books to read if you need a good cry. Veronica’s book on the Mexican Drug War, So Far From God, was part of the semiotext(e) exhibition in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.  Her films include On Becoming, with Michael Silverblatt, Chris Kraus, and Hedi El Kholti, Cordelia, with Michel Auder, Pat Steir, and Douglas Gordon, and Pat Steir: Artist, an intimate, poetic documentary about the great woman painter, which was named one of the 10 best art documentaries of 2020 by Artnet. It is currently available on Apple itunes and Amazon. Veronica is currently working on a documentary about Lawrence Weiner and a new Mexico-US co-produced feature film, Grace in the Desert.

Stephanie Sauer is the author of Almonds Are Members of the Peach Family (Noemi Press) and The Accidental Archives of the Royal Chicano Air Force (University of Texas Press). Her writings have appeared in Drunken Boat, Pleiades, Asymptote, Gulf Coast, Grain, and Lavender Review, and her visual-verbal works have been exhibited at the De Young Museum, the Center for Book Arts, and the National Library of Baghdad. She has earned the Barbara Deming Memorial Award for Nonfiction, So to Speak’s Hybrid Book Award, and fellowships from Yaddo and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Living between California and Brazil, Sauer also develops publications with the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians and co-manages A Bolha Editora, the in-translation press that first brought the work of Hilda Hilst into English.

Lucy Corin is the author of The Swank Hotel, One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses, and two other books of fiction. She is the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Rome Prize and an NEA Literature Fellowship. She lives in Berkeley, California.


January 1, 2022, 8:00 PM
January 8, 2022, 9:00 PM