Congratulations to Mills alum Jose Vadi, whose program Off/Page is featured on PBS News Hour!

Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics 40th Anniversary Party

From City Lights, featuring Mills professor Juliana Spahr:

Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics 40th Anniversary Party

Sunday, April 20, 2014, 5:00 p.m., City Lights Bookstore. 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco

City Lights celebrates Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics 40th anniversary

Hosted by Andrea Rexillus. With readings by Robert Gluck, Juliana Spahr, Cedar Sigo, Eric Baus, Michelle Naka Pierce, and Chris Pusateri

Founded in 1974 by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, as part of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s 100-year experiment, the Jack Kerouac School continues to honor its historical roots while bringing forward new questions that both invigorate and challenge the current dialogue in writing today. This event will celebrate Naropa’s 40th year and will feature readings by JKS faculty and renowned guests who have taught in our Summer Writing Program.”

Immigrant Voices, edited by Megan Bayles and Mills Distinguished Visiting Writer Achy Obejas, reviewed by Chicago Tribune

Summer Courses: Creative Writing Bootcamp

From David Buuck:


I’m excited to be offering the following class this summer, for UG and grad students (as well as Mills alums and non-Mills students to audit or take for credit). Go to for information on how to register (ignore the April 1 deadline, as the registration date has been extended).
ENG 180, Section 2-CRN 10003-ST: Creative Writing Bootcamp
Instructor: David Buuck 
Class Meetings:  Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00 pm–6:30 pm, June 2-July 13

One of the hardest — and hardest to teach — challenges for the creative writer, especially in a time of multiple other obligations and distractions, is simply to find and commit the time to focused, productive work. Classroom deadlines can be helpful, but strangely, during breaks from school one’s increased free time doesn’t always translate into more writing. This class is thus designed to help writers to produce new work, with collective feedback and support, not just to privilege productivity for its own sake but to push ourselves and our writing in new directions. We’ll thus organize our work around regular workshops as well as experiments designed to produce new perspectives on what we do and how we write. There will also be regular readings, some of which tailored individually to your specific projects and interests, as we reaffirm the relationship between critical reading, shared reflection on process, and our own writing practices, regardless of genre or form.

Whether you are working on your thesis, beginning a new work, writing poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or young adult fiction, we’ll design a game plan for the course, with the goal of producing at least 50 pages of new writing in our time together. This will be a challenging, writing-intense workshop, but also structured to provide mutual support, feedback, and encouragement in each of our unique practices, so that writing can be the rewarding, enjoyable, and focused work we all want it to be! 

Additionally, the instructor pledges to do all of the assignments with you, including the minimum pages of writing. After all, we’re in this together as writers, and we all can learn from each other’s struggles and breakthroughs! 

The primary work for the course will include: 

1. Goals and game plans. We all have different approaches to writing and productivity, from the self-disciplined daily writer to the once-in-a-blue-moon burst of inspiration-ist. Whether it’s an outline, a weekly schedule, a map, deadlines, reward/punishment schemes, collaboration, anxiety, caffeine or other drugs, we all have methods and tricks to get the words flowing. So, to begin our work together, we’ll discuss our goals and working habits and challenge ourselves to try new methods this summer as we commit to being focused and productive creators. 

2. Weekly writing assignments: one brief writing assignment (either a reading response or a specific writing experiment) as well as a packet of your own work in progress, as laid out in your timeline.By the end of the course, we will all have produced at least 50 pages of new work (more if you wish to set your goal higher).

3. Group workshops on each other’s work in progress, designed not only to give feedback but also to discuss and support each other’s process. Some of these will be smaller peer-editing sessions, depending on genre and interests. Each student will have their writing workshopped at least once every two weeks .

4. In-class writing sessions, either on our own work or as part of collectively-designed experiments. These could include library or computer lab sessions, field trips (to try out various writing environments), collaboration, reading each other’s work aloud, etc.

5. One-on-one conferences with the instructor, tailored to your own needs, focused on the progress of your work, specific issues around process and method, and to create a reading/research plan to help facilitate your work.

6. A final portfolio of at least 50 pages, including a reflection on your goals, game plan, process, and assessment of the writing you produced. “

First Annual 580 Split Writing Contest for Mills Students

From 580 Split:

Submit 1,000-1,200 word piece of Fiction or Non Fiction, OR 1-3 Poems by April 25

We want your work! Graduating students, give us a piece of your thesis! Not graduating? Give us what you got!

Winners will be announced May 2 at the 580 Split launch party at Diesel books. Winners will receive:
 1. an invitation to submit to next year’s journal
 2. a reading slot at this year’s release party
 3. free copy of this year’s journal

 And best of all…CV bragging rights!

Looking forward to reading your work,
The 580 Editors”

An excellent opportunity! 

Workshops taught by Mills alum

From Lizette Wanzer (MFA Poetry ‘08):

"Good morning.  I am offering two classes in the San Francisco Bay Area: one for writers who are interested in beginning a genealogy writing project, and one for writers who want to learn how to strengthen the “statement” portion of grant applications, particularly for the San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grant, and the Center for Cultural Innovation’s Investing in Artists Literary grants. 

Writing the Ancestor is a half-day workshop that helps participants clarify, and craft a start to, a writing project based on an ancestor.  Participants leave with a solid start to an essay, one that they can use to jump-start their long-term projects.  Enrollment is open to all levels—beginners welcome—and is geared towards:

o  Family historians seeking writing advice

o  Writers who want to create a jumping-off point for their family history project

o  Writers who have already begun their project, but need help getting the writing aspect off the ground

o  People who seek a wider audience for their project

o  Participants must be 18 years or over

o  Enrollment limited to 12

o  This class can be offered more than once.

The expectation is that participants will already be well underway in their history research.  They have been collecting photographs, letters, census records, oral histories, and genealogy charts (either online or offline).  They should arrive in class with sufficient information to begin telling an ancestor’s story. Tuition for this four-hour class is $150, and will culminate in a separate public reading at a local San Francisco venue, or, if you wish, on your own premises.  Participants will get to showcase their work before an audience, and invite supporters!

Get the Grant!, a more advanced setting, is open to writersable to present a literary track record of publications, contest awards, or presentations. We will cover:

  • applicant qualifications
  •  defining a clear, feasible goal that costs a specific amount of money
  • how to demonstrate a rising trajectory (remembering that most people who are awarded grants are on their way up, not already there)
  • tips for writing clear, concise statements that do not ramble
  •  using headings and “buckets” to make your statement navigable
  •  Participants must be 21 or over
  • Enrollment limited to 16
  •  This class can be offered more than once


This two-and-a-half hour workshop is open to:

  • Local writers, who plan to apply to the Literature Cultural Equity Grant, the Literature Investing in Artists grant, or for a writers’ residency program.  Those applying for other writers’ grants are welcome, though the focus will be on these specific grant opportunities.
  • Writers who have written grant proposals in the past but feel a bit rusty and want to enhance their capacity
  •  Writers who have applied for prior grants and residencies, but without success
  •  Writers struggling with the dreaded “Project Statement,” “Work Plan,” or “Goal and Objectives” portions of their applications

Tuition for this workshop is $100, and is enrolled by application only.  This workshop is not intended for beginners.

Space and equipment requirements for both workshops are the same:

  •   classroom or seminar space accommodating 12 (Ancestor) or 16 (Get the Grant!) enrollees
  •  easy access to public transit
  •  wifi available for instructor and enrollees
  •  participants may bring their laptops, or use writing pads. They do NOT need to have a laptop to take either class.
  •  If you choose to host the separate, later reading event connected with the Ancestor workshop, a suitable performance area with podium, microphone, and audience seating for 50 or more.

For your reference, I have attached my CV and a flyer for the Writing the Ancestors class that I am teaching at the SF Writers’ Grotto.  You are welcome to visit my Linked In page as well.

Please let me know whether your organization would be interested in hosting either or both of these workshops.  If you would like to have further discussion about the possibilities, you may reach me at the e-mail address above, or at (415) 420-3886.”

Everybody! Everybody!

From the Place for Writers:

"It’s Venus Jones here, Open Mic Manager for Place for Writers! 

mark your calendar for the last open mic of the semester.

The Everybody! Everybody!  
Day: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Time: 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Location: Cafe Suzie (next to the book store)

Hosted by Venus Jones and Olivia Mertz
Featuring Mills Poetry Slam Champion: Julia McCotter

All mediums of artistic expression are welcome, in all stages of completion. Need inspiration share a story, song, or poem about your spring break.Given it’s only an hour we ask that it be 5 minutes or less.  If you plan to participate, have questions, suggestions or concerns, please e-mail


Mills professor Kim Magowan’s short story “Nothing in My Mouth” is featured in the Gettyburg Review