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Events: A Literary Pandemic: Creative Writing Program Students and Faculty Take Part in National and International Readings and Talks

By Zachary Anderson and Christine Lasek-White


Air PosterThe Creative Writing Program usually hosts a number of events every fall, including the New Student Reading, the annual American Indian Returnings event, and an event to coincide with Spotlight on the Arts.  Because of the pandemic, the program significantly decreased our events this semester, only hosting the 6th annual American Indian Returnings event.

On September 24th, Jennifer Elise Foerster delivered the 6th annual American Indian Returnings (AIR) Talk, hosted by Eidson Distinguished Professor in American Literature LeAnne Howe

Foerster, a member of the Mvskoke (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, is the author of two poetry collections: Leaving Tulsa (2013) and Bright Raft in the Afterweather (2018). Foerster recently worked with U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and LeAnne Howe to coedit When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry (2020). She holds a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts, an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a PhD from the University of Denver. Foerster is co-director of For Girls Becoming, an arts mentorship program for Mvskoke youth in Oklahoma, and she teaches in the Institute of American Indian Arts low-residency MFA program. 

Foerster’s AIR Talk involved a blend of poems from Bright Raft in the Afterweather (which explores the intersection of myth and ecological collapse) with a discussion of the possibilities of the lyric and the importance of writing as a creative act that resists historical erasure.  

The American Indian Returningsseries is sponsored by Eidson Distinguished Professor LeAnne Howe, Associate Professor of English Channette Romero, the Creative Writing Program, and Professor Jace Weaver, Director of the UGA Institute of Native American Studies.

A recording of the event will be available on the English Department website: 

But the pandemic hasn’t stopped the Creative Writing Program students and faculty from taking part in events this semester!  A roundup of some of their literary activities are below.

Creative Writing Program Ph.D. students:

Paul Cunningham

  • University of Notre Dame’s Creative Writing Reading Series with UGA PhD alumni Johannes Göransson, Sept. 2nd on Zoom
  • Piedmont College Reading Series, Oct. 8th on Zoom
  • Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series (ALTA), Oct. 13th on Zoom
  • Slippery Rock College Reading Series, Oct. 28th on Zoom

Aviva Kasowski

  • [Pank] Magazine Jewish Diaspora Folio Launch Party, Sept. 22nd on Zoom

Christina Wood Martinez

  • STL WIP Echoverse Reading, Aug. 15th on Zoom

  • McSweeney's Instagram Reading Series, Sept. 30th on Zoom

Laura Theobald

  • STL WIP Echoverse Reading, Aug. 15th on Zoom


Creative Writing Program faculty

LeAnne Howe

  • Has been promoting her co-edited anthology, When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry, with a series of readings and events over Zoom, on Aug. 26th, Oct. 29th, Nov. 19th, and Dec. 4th
  • Panel Discussion for Milton Reads: Famine Pots: The Choctaw-Irish Gift Exchange, 1847-Present, Oct. 22nd on Zoom


Aruni Kashyap

  • Radix Reads Virtual Reading Series, Aug. 27th on Zoom
  • A Measure of Belonging (with The Bitter Southerner) Reading, Oct. 14th on Zoom
  • Singapore Unbound's Second Saturdays Reading Series, Nov. 14th on Zoom


Andrew Zawacki

  • Lyndon House Arts Center art installation Waterfall Plot, Sept. 8th to present at Lyndon House Arts Center
  • Studio One Reading Series, Nov. 6th on Zoom
  • Swivelmount Launch with Ken Babstock, Matthew Tierney, and Andrew Zawacki by Coach House Books, Nov. 10th on Zoom
  • 3Thurs Gallery Talk, Nov. 19th at Lyndon House Arts Center


Magdalena Zurawski

  • RECONFIGURATIONS: Readings & Conversation on Radical Learning with Ugly Duckling Presse Pamphlet Authors at the Poetry Project, Oct. 30 on Zoom


Zachary Anderson holds an MFA from the University of Notre Dame and is currently a PhD student in UGA's Creative Writing Program. Christen Lasek-White is Assistant Director of UGA's Creative Writing program.

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