Join us as professors and students from UC Riverside’s Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts MFA read from their work. Readers include: Allison Benis White, Steve Erickson, Nora Woolley, Aleksandra Krzywicka, Kate Burns, Carissa Atallah, Carley Besl.
Allison Benis White is the author of Please Bury Me in This, winner of the 2018 Rilke Prize, and Small Porcelain Head, selected by Claudia Rankine for the Levis Prize in Poetry. Her first book, Self-Portrait with Crayon, received the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Book Prize. Her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, 2017 Pushcart Prize XLI: Best of the Small Presses, and elsewhere. She teaches at the University of California, Riverside.
Steve Erickson is the author of ten novels, including the recent Shadowbahn, and is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, the Lannan Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature.
As an actress and playwright, Nora Woolley has performed in and created theater work off and off-off Broadway in New York City and regionally for twenty years. The New York Times has called her "hilariously eviscerating" and "compelling" and has acknowledged her for "having a gift for writing her own material". She is a 2016 New York Innovative Theater Award winner and her recent one act, co-written with Kim Katzberg was included in The Best American Short Plays of 2016-17. www.norawoolley.com
Aleksandra Krzywicka (Creative Nonfiction) was born in Poland behind the Iron Curtain. In 1993, her mother won a golden ticket and moved the family to Chicago, IL. Aleksandra attended DePauw University, graduated as an Honor Scholar, and majored in English Writing. After working for a bakery, for an online university, and for a private investigator, she returned to school to get her Masters in Teaching. Fate’s paths led her to teach in San Francisco, to substitute teach in Illinois, and to teach English abroad in Taiwan where she finally decided to pursue her dream in earnest. Aleksandra is excited to write stories about ordinary people whose family, cultural background, and choices shaped their destiny. Also, dragons. She is mildly obsessed with dragons.
Carley Besl (Poetry) wrote her first poem when she was nine and trying to produce some goodness in a confusing world. Since then, she has written a lot and published a few poems. In 2012, she received her B.A. in English/Creative Writing with a minor in Anthropology from Indiana University, Bloomington. She worked as a carpenter to support herself through college, and since receiving her undergraduate degree, has had a variety of jobs, but her passions outside of poetry lie in education, specifically working with immigrant and refugee students, and with social activism. Carley was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she has been involved with the local Black Lives Matter organization, and with local solidarity efforts to support indigenous rights, including the NoDAPL movement. She is interested in the subversive nature of poetry and in the power it has to create community and promote understanding across vast difference.
Carissa Atallah is an emerging writer and spoken word artist from Southern California. She's currently obtaining her Masters of the Fine Arts in playwriting from the University of California Riverside. Fun Fact: Carissa is a Gilman International Scholar recently return from England, Argentina, and Chile; her studies abroad have inspired her current writing project, a travel narrative about travel narratives.
Kate Burns is a writer who lives in Los Angeles.