Sierra Nevada College

Summer 2017 MFA Residency Events

Come share the artistry of the gifted faculty and students of Sierra Nevada College’s MFA programs in Creative Writing and Interdisciplinary Arts.

All events listed are free and open to the public.

Creative Writing Faculty   Interdisciplinary Arts Faculty


Monday July 31

Interdisciplinary Arts

Peter Rostovsky + Gabie Strong [Faculty Lecture]
7 pm | Holman Arts and Media Center, 2nd fl.

Peter Rostovsky's work in disciplines including painting, sculpture and installation attempts to bridge the gap between painting and conceptual art while remaining attentive to painting’s traditions and disruptions. His work has been shown widely both in the United States and abroad. He currently teaches at NYU, The New School, Lesley University's College of Art and Design, and SNC.

Gabie Strong is a California artist and musician exploring spatial constructions of degeneration, drone, and decay, experimenting with sound performance, radio broadcasting, environmental installation, photography and video. Her current work uses ritual acts and fetish collecting to expose constructions of feminity.


Tuesday August 1

Interdisciplinary Arts

Mary Donnelly + Sameer Farooq [Faculty Lecture]
7:30 pm | Holman Arts and Media Center, 2nd fl.

Mary Donnelly is a poet who has published in Boog City, The Brooklyn Rail, DMQ Review, Hunger Mountain, Indiana Review, and Iowa Review. She is former co-director of the "Reading Between A and B" poetry series in New York City and is now senior editor of failbetter.

The interdisciplinary practice of Sameer Farooq aims to re-imagine a material record of the present from community participation, incorporating photography, documentary filmmaking, writing and anthropology. He is currently working as a visual artist, educator, and designer, and directs documentaries as a member of the film collective Smoke Signal Projects.


Wednesday August 2

Interdisciplinary Arts

Blair Saxon-Hill [Guest Artist Lecture]
5 pm | Holman Arts and Media Center, 2nd fl.

Saxon-Hill, who began her career as an oil painter, brings together painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and borrowed modalities in her assemblages and collages. She is also the co-owner of Monograph Bookwerks in Portland OR, which specializes in rare art exhibition ephemera and modern and contemporary art books.


Thursday August 3

Creative Writing

Editing Panel
4:15 – 4:45 pm | Prim Library
with Anitra Budd, Benjamin Busch, and Pablo Cartaya. MC: Brian Turner

Anitra Budd is a freelance copywriter and editor for a variety of clients, including independent authors, the Loft Literary Center, FedEx, Thrivent Financial, Wise Ink, Red Line Editorial, and 3M. In her past job as editor at Coffee House Press she worked with authors including Kristen Kaschock, T. Geronimo Johnson, Kate Bernheimer, and many others.

Benjamin Busch is an actor, writer, director, producer, and photographer. He served 16 years as an infantry and light armored reconnaissance officer in the United States Marine Corps, deploying to Iraq in 2003 and 2005. He is the author of the acclaimed memoir Dust to Dust, and his essays have appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, The Daily Beast and NPR.

Pablo Cartaya is the author of the forthcoming middle-grade books, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora and Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish, and the co-author of the picture book, Tina Cocolina: Queen of the Cupcakes. He has lectured in Florida International University’s Exile Studies Program, and visited schools and hosted literary events throughout the northeast and South Florida.


Evening Reading
8 – 10 pm | Prim Library
MFA Faculty Sampler

Come join us for an evening with a little bit of everything – perhaps even music!


Interdisciplinary Arts

echo locator - the ritual [Performance]
7 pm | Garage Door Gallery
Echo locator is a ritual iteration of resonator, a collaborative and experimental piece that traveled through the United States from March to July 2017. Join multidisciplinary artist Aaron Czerny in activating his installation.


Friday August 4

Creative Writing

Performance: The Art of Reading
time | Prim Library
with Pablo Cartaya

Pablo has always been a hopeless romantic. In middle school he secretly loved reading Shakespeare’s sonnets (don’t tell anyone). He once spent his allowance on roses for a girl he liked, and wrote her eight poems. Bad ones. He’s been writing and performing ever since.


Interdisciplinary Arts

MFA IA Graduation Ceremony
6 - 7 pm | Garage Door Gallery


FIRST [Opening Reception, MFA Thesis Exhibition]
7 - 9 pm | Garage Door Gallery

artists: Susan Bass, Aaron Czerny, Nicole Harper, Richard Petrucci, Mary Grace Tate, and Kelly Wallis.


Saturday August 5

Creative Writing

Evening Reading
7 – 8 pm | Prim Library
with Isabel Quintero, Natalie Baszile, Sunil Yapa

Isabel Quintero writes fiction for children, young adults, adults, older adults, and ghosts. She also writes poetry. She is the author of Gabi, A Girl in Pieces (2014), and coauthor of Ugly Cat & Pablo (2017). Isabel enjoys carne asada tacos, pepperoni pizza (thin crust), dark chocolate, poetry, folk music, and cute animal pictures. Oh, and long walks on the beach.

Natalie Baszile is the author of Queen Sugar, which is being adapted for television by writer/director Ava DuVernay of “Selma” and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey. Queen Sugar was named one of the San Francisco Chronicles’ Best Books of 2014, was long-listed for the Crooks Corner Southern Book Prize, and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

Sunil Yapa is a Sri Lankan American fiction writer and novelist. Yapa won the 2010 Hyphen Asian American Short Story Contest for his short story, "Pilgrims (What is Lost and You Cannot Regain)," His debut novel, Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist was a 2016 Time Magazine Best Books of the Year, Amazon Best Books of the year, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick, and an Indies Next Pick.


Sunday August 6

Creative Writing

Afternoon Reading and Conversation
2 – 2:45 pm | Prim Library
with Benjamin Busch

Busch is writer/director of the award winning films Sympathetic Details and BRIGHT, and was an actor and military consultant on the HBO min-series Generation Kill. He also portrayed Officer Colicchio in HBO’s series, The Wire. He is the author of the acclaimed memoir Dust to Dust and his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s and on NPR.


Interdisciplinary Arts

Piney Wood Atlas + Scott Oliver [Guest Artist Lectures]
7:30 pm | Sagehen Field Research Station

Piney Wood Atlas is a collaboration between Alicia Toldi and Carolina Porras to visit and catalog small and emerging artist residencies across the country. We are making an ongoing multimedia tour log of our travels and findings, to help connect artists with residencies.

Scott Oliver explores our tangled relationship with materiality through “poetic repurposing.” He has made in-home sculptural interventions, a symbiotic restaurant, a collection of discarded LPs, an elaborate parlor game, and a multi-faceted public project with an audio walking tour, interpretive signs and souvenirs, often incorporating social exchange into his process.


Monday August 7

Creative Writing

Generative Workshop: Writing for Children and Young Adults
2 – 5 pm | Prim 320
with Pablo Cartaya

Pablo has worked in Cuban restaurants and the entertainment industry, and he also has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. All of these experiences have helped him write stories that reflect his family, culture, and love of words. Pablo lives in Miami with his wife and two kids, surrounded by tías, tíos, cousins, and people who he calls cousins but aren’t really.


Generative Workshop
2 – 5 pm | Prim Library
with Gailmarie Pahmeier

Gailmarie Pahmeier's work has been widely published and anthologized. She is the author of the poetry collections The House on Breakaheart Road,
The Rural Lives of Nice Girls, and three chapbooks. Her poems have appeared recently in journals and magazines including Booth, Spillway, descant (this poem earned the 2012 Publisher's Award), Passager, and the Pedestal Magazine; her anthologized work appears in such publications as Literary Nevada, New Poets of the American West (this poem earned the Editor's Choice Award), the Autumn House Press Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, and Line Drives: 100 Contemporary Baseball Poems.


Evening Reading: Two Pines Redux
time | Prim Library
MFA alumni return to read. MC: Brian Turner


Tuesday August 8

Creative Writing
MFA in Creative Writing Graduation Ceremony
4 – 5 pm | Patterson Lawn

Two Pines Reading
6 – 7 pm | Prim Library
Our new graduates present their work.


Interdisciplinary Arts

Midway Exhibition
4 - 8 pm | Sagehen Creek Field Station
Site-specific projects by Sierra Nevada College's MFA - IA candidates throughout the Sagehen Creek Field Station, located at 11616 Sagehen Rd, Truckee, California 96160.
There will be a reception followed by an outdoor group dinner.
Directions and RSVP: https://attending.io/events/midway