Writers in Residence join our community for a month of Tahoe's beauty and creative involvement.

MFA Writers in Residence

The MFA in Creative Writing program at Sierra Nevada College has partnered with Kundiman and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) to offer annual Writer-in-Residence opportunities.

Fellows spend a month at SNC, where they present a public reading, participate in the MFA Residency, and are available to the English department. At the same time, the college’s intellectual resources and the beauty of the Tahoe area create ample time and space for the writer’s own creative process.


Our Partners

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Kundiman

Residency: January

Kundiman is dedicated to the creation and cultivation of Asian American literature.

Kundiman offers a comprehensive spectrum of arts programming that gives writers opportunities to inscribe their own stories, transforming and enriching the American literary landscape. Kundiman sees literature not only as vehicle for cultural expression but also as an instrument for political dialogue and self-empowerment.

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Institute of American Indian Arts

Residency: August

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) is the only four-year degree fine arts institution in the nation devoted to contemporary Native American arts, including the Native peoples of the U.S., the Caribbean islands, and the First Nations people of Canada. Both Native and non-Native students are welcomed into its vibrant cultural campus mix, for undergraduate degrees in a variety of creative fields and graduate degrees in Creative Writing.

IAIA also operates the Center for Lifelong Education and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts.


Upcoming

Previous

Jamie Figueroa

IAIA, Summer 2016

Story — the act of telling story and listening to story — is the most powerful tool we have as human beings to enact compassion and change.

Jamie Figueroa's work explores identity, familial relationships, place, culture, and ancestry. Taíno Puerto Rican by way of Ohio, she writes across genres including fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry.

Figueroa received her MFA and BFA in Creative Writing from The Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. She has presented at the Native American Literary Symposium, the Indigenous Book Festival, SWAIA’s literary series, the Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival, and most recently at the Santa Fe Arts Institute. Jamie has also performed her poetry in collaboration with other artists of social justice, at events hosted by the National Hispanic Cultural Center including SALVE: Women in War, Women Warriors, and Mujeres y Mujeres. Her poetry and prose have been published in various literary journals including Hinchas de Poesia, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Yellow Medicine Review, Flash: International, Eleven Eleven, Sin Fronteras, and EPOCH. She is a recipient of the Truman Capote Scholarship and the Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Arts Award.

Jamie has been active with the nonprofits Littleglobe, El Otro Lado, and The Cut+Paste Society, organizations where art and creative practice merge with social activism. Her students have included middle school, high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, and a diverse cross-section of adults from the greater Santa Fe community. Currently, she runs a writing and editing business called NEXT Page Consultancy, providing customized support for creative writers.


Lo Kwa Mei-en

Kundiman, Winter 2016

"I am interested in the huge range of experience that can be accessed or created with the craft and play of language . . . I think this is because singing and saying offer up different thresholds and challenges and revelations to the reader."

author website: lokwameien.com
twitter: @loekwa
interview on Guernica: "Red Poems"

"Yearling is about adolescence and the transformative stuff that shapes it, so the book is obsessed with initiations, ordeals, and homecomings, or lacks thereof. The links between humanity and animality are a recurring theme, as is the question of how certain forces may grant or deny someone their personhood.

The greatest goal I have for Yearling is for it to sing, rather than to say."

Lo Kwa Mei-en is the author of Yearling (Alice James Books, 2015) and The Bees Make Money in the Lion (2016), and winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize and the Cleveland State University Poetry Center open competition. She is from Singapore and Ohio, where she lives and works in Cincinnati.

"I cannot emphasize enough how grateful I am for the time given to me by the Kundiman Residency at Sierra Nevada College. The opportunity to focus on my work in the natural beauty near Lake Tahoe was a gift, and having access to Prim Library made such a positive impact on my time there. In addition, the time spent with the SNC faculty and students during the MFA residency was meaningful to me; the community acts as a family, and extended such a welcome to me that it was hard to see them go."

-- Lo Kwa Mei-en, February 2016


Cathy Linh Che

Kundiman, Winter 2015

"My family's story and my story is a part of this larger patterning: 'This is what trauma looks like;' 'This is what suffering looks like;' 'This is metamorphosis looks like;' and 'This is how one endures.'"

author website: cathylinhche.com

Cathy Linh Che is the author of Split (Alice James, 2014), winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize, the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the Best Poetry Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies.

A Vietnamese American poet from Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA, she received her BA from Reed College and her MFA from New York University. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from Poets & Writers, The Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, Kundiman, Hedgebrook, Poets House, The Asian American Literary Review, The Center for Book Arts, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Residency, and a Jerome Foundation Travel Grant.

She is founding editor of the online journal Paperbag, Publicity & Events Associate at Kaya Press, and Executive Director at Kundiman.


Brynn Saito

Kundiman, Winter 2014

"I was raised within the Japanese Buddhist and Christian communities—a strange and dynamic spiritual brew!—and those cultural contexts imprinted my orientation to The Word and The World in powerful and unnamable ways."

author website: www.brynnsaito.com

Brynn Saito is the author of The Palace of Contemplating Departure, winner of the Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award from Red Hen Press (2013). She also co-authored, with Traci Brimhall, Bright Power, Dark Peace, a chapbook of poetry from Diode Editions (2013). Her work has been anthologized by Helen Vendler and Ishmael Reed, and has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, Ninth Letter, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Pleiades.

Brynn was born in California's Central Valley to a Korean American mother and a Japanese American father. She is the recipient of a Kundiman Asian American Poetry Fellowship, the Poets 11 award from the San Francisco Public Library, and the Key West Literary Seminar’s Scotti Merrill Memorial Award. Brynn lives in the Bay Area and teaches at the California Institute of Integral Studies and Sofia University.


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