John Keene in Residence at CalArts and REDCAT

Katie M. Jacobson Writer in Residence John Keene | Photo credit Nina Subin

The 2020 Katie Jacobson Writer in Residence John Keene will present public readings of his work on Thursday, Jan. 23 at CalArts and Friday, Jan. 24 at REDCAT.

While on campus, Keene will conduct individual sessions with students in the MFA Creative Writing Program and present a lecture, followed by a Q&A session. At REDCAT, Keene will present public readings from his current and forthcoming works.

Tisa Bryant, director of the MFA in Creative Writing at CalArts, said the selection of Keene as the 2020 writer in residence “resonates strongly with the kinds of writing and research our students are most engaged with now”: 

As a translator (of Brazilian writer Hilda Hilst’s notorious erotic novel, Letters from a Seducer), as well as collaborator with visual artists, and as a poet, John Keene exemplifies the interdisciplinarity emblematic only of the current literary field, and also the genre fluidity prescient of its future. His creative practice is emblematic of our Program’s vision and ethos, and we’re thrilled to have him visit our campus.

Keene is a novelist, poet essayist, translator and educator. He received critical acclaim for his first novel Annotations, an experimental semi-autobiographical work about a black, queer, middle-class child coming into age in 1970s and 1980s in St. Louis. Publisher’s Weekly lauded it as “an experimental work that pinpoints a new direction for literary fiction in the 21st century.” Counternarratives, Keene’s collection of short stories, was pieced together from memoirs, newspaper accounts, detective stories and interrogation transcripts and praised by The Kenyon Review for its ability “to disrupt and disorient our settled notions about the agency of the enslaved and exploited, and about the intelligibility of history itself.”

Keene is the recipient of a 2018 MacArthur Fellowship, a 2017 Windham-Campbell Prize for Fiction, a 2017 Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses, a 2016 American Book Award, a 2016 Lannan Literary Award and a 2005 Whiting Writers Award in Fiction and Poetry. He is an Associate Professor of English and African American and African Studies, and a core faculty member in the MFA in Creative Writing Program, at Rutgers University-Newark.

Event Details

Katie M. Jacobson Writer in Residence John Keene

Lecture and Individual Sessions with Creative Writing Students
Thursday, Jan. 23, 7 pm
Bijou Theater
24700 McBean Pkwy., Valencia

Readings at REDCAT
Friday, Jan. 24, 8:30 pm
631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles

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