#ArtLitPhx: Indigenous Binaries with Eric Gansworth

Eric Gansworth

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is proud to present Eric Gansworth in his talk, “Indigenous Binaries: Cultural Survival in Contrast.” The event, which will feature a talk, a Q&A, and a signing, will take place on Thursday, November 9 from 7pm to 9pm at the Heard Museum (2301 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004). The talk is presented as part of the Distinguished Visiting Writer Series. It is open to the public and free.

Gansworth’s work spans across novels, poetry, and memoir and includes If I Ever Get Out of Here, Extra Indians (American Book Award), Mending Skins (PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award), and the forthcoming Give Me Some Truth. Gansworth is also an accomplished visual artist, with current exhibitions at Canisius College and the Iroquois Indian Museum.

More information on the talk (and an RSVP) can be found at the Virginia G. Piper Center website, but here is a bit more information about Gansworth’s topic:

Drawing from the tradition of Haudenosaunee belts, which use sequences of purple and white wampum beads to narrate histories, ceremonies, governance, and treaties, Native American writer and visual artist Eric Gansworth (enrolled Onondaga) will discuss the ways his work uses high contrast imagery and storytelling to engage with cultural binaries and explore the complexities of the contemporary indigenous experience. What is the relationship between the painted image and the written word? What are the tensions between Native traditions and popular culture? How do we reconcile America’s past with the present? What does it mean to be a meaningful participant in 21st century indigenous life?

You can also find more information on the event’s Facebook page.

#ArtLitPhx: Legacies – A Conversation with Rita Dove, Sandra Cisneros, and Joy Harjo


The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is excited to announce “LEGACIES: A Conversation with Sandra Cisneros, Rita Dove, and Joy Harjo (Hosted by Natalie Diaz).” The event will take place Saturday, December 2 from 1:30pm to 3:00pm in the Great Hall, Beus Center for Law and Society, Rm. 141, Arizona State University, Downtown Phoenix (111 E Taylor St, Phoenix, AZ 85004).

Although the event itself is December 2, make sure to put this on your radar now! This is a ticketed event, and tickets will become available on Saturday, November 4, at 12pm with a limited waitlist. All tickets are free, and there will be no walk-ins for the event. You can see more details about ticketing on the Eventbrite page, and you can see more details on the event as a whole on the Piper website or the Facebook event page.

This event will be December 2, the day after the trio’s event at the Phoenix Art Museum, which is already sold out. So if you can’t make it to the Phoenix Art Museum event on Friday, December 1, the “Legacies” event is the perfect opportunity to see Joy Harjo, Rita Dove, and Sandra Cisneros in action – just make sure to get your tickets on November 4!

The Piper Center teases, “Three legends come together for the first time to discuss their paths through the American literary landscape.”

Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and essayist whose work explores the lives of the working-class. She has received many awards, including (most recently) Chicago’s Fifth Star Award, the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the National Medal of the Arts, awarded to her by President Obama in 2016. The House on Mango Street has sold over five million copies, been translated into over twenty languages, and is required reading in elementary, high school, and universities across the nation.

Rita Dove is a former U.S. poet laureate, and she received her MFA in 1977 from the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop, where she and her classmates Sandra Cisneros and Joy Harjo were the only non-white students at the time. From 1981 to 1989 she taught creative writing at Arizona State University – the final two years as the first and only African-American full professor in ASU’s English Department. Thomas and Beulah, a book she wrote while teaching at ASU, received the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. She was also the sole editor of The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry (2011). Her most recent book, Collected Poems 1974-2004, received the 2017 NAACP Image Award and was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award. Among her many other honors are the 2011 National Medal of Arts from President Obama, the 1996 National Humanities Medal from President Clinton (making her the only poet with both national medals), and 25 honorary degrees.

Joy Harjo’s eight books of poetry include Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems, and She Had Some Horses. Harjo’s memoir Crazy Brave won the PEN USA Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the American Book Award. She is the recipient of the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets for proven mastery in the art of poetry, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the United States Artist Fellowship. In 2014 she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. A renowned musician, Harjo performs with her saxophone nationally and internationally, solo and with her band, the Arrow Dynamics. She has five award-winning CDs of music, and won a Native American Music Award for Best Female Artist of the Year in 2009.

Legacies is presented by archiTEXTS and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing with support from the Labriola National American Indian Data Center and the University of Arizona Poetry Center.

#ArtLitPhx: Layli Long Soldier and Timothy Yu at the Phoenix Art Museum

Layli Long Soldier and Timothy YuThe University of Arizona Poetry Center is proud to present poets Layli Long Soldier and Timothy Yu at the Phoenix Art Museum (1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004) on Friday, November 3 at 7pm. Both poets will read from their works, and then there will be a short Q&A and a book signing.

The local opener is Bojan Louis, who is a member of the Navajo Nation. His first collection of poems, Currents, published in 2017 from BkMk Press. He is also the author of a nonfiction chapbook, Troubleshooting Silence in Arizona, released by Guillotine Series in 2012. Louis is currently Poetry Editor at RED INK: An International Journal of Indigenous Literature, Arts, and Humanities.

Layli Long Soldier is Oglala Lakota; her family is from Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and northwestern Idaho. Her first chapbook of poetry, Chromosomory, released in 2009 from Q Ave Press. She received a BFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts, and she is a two-time recipient of the Truman Capote Creative Writing Fellowship. She is also a recipient of the 2009 Naropa University Poetry Scholarship. She has served as editor-in-chief for “Native Language Network” and other publications for the Indigenous Language Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Timothy Yu’s debut poetry collection, 100 Chinese Silences (2016), was the Editor’s Selection in the NOS Book Contest from Les Figues Press. He is also the author of three chapbooks: 15 Chinese Silences (Tinfish); Journey to the West (Barrow Street), winner of the Vincent Chin Memorial Chapbook Prize from Kundiman; and, with Kristy Odelius, Kiss the Stranger (Corollary). He is also the author of Race and the Avant-Garde: Experimental and Asian American Literature since 1965 (Stanford) and the editor of Nests and Strangers: On Asian American Women Poets (Kelsey Street).

For this event, the Poetry Center is proud to partner with the Phoenix Art Museum with support from the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing as a lead sponsor, as well as additional support from the ASU Creative Writing Program, the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry, the Literary & Prologue Society, and Superstition Review.

For more information, check out the event’s Facebook page.

#ArtLitPhx: A Talk with Marlon James


The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing presents award-winning writer Marlon James. He debuts a brand new talk, “When Books Come out of Books” on Thursday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the Marston Exploration Theater, ISTB4 at Arizona State University, Tempe Campus (781 S Terrace Rd, Tempe, AZ 85250). This event is free and open to the public. For more information or to register, please visit the event page or the Facebook event.

Marlon James is an award-winning author and novelist whose short fiction and essays have appeared in Esquire, Granta, Harper’s, The Caribbean Review of Books, Bronx Noir, and the New York Times Magazine. His accolades include the Man Booker Prize, the American Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Prize. James was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1970. He graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1991 with a degree in Language and Literature, and from Wilkes University in Pennsylvania in 2006 with a Masters in creative writing. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and teaches English and creative writing at Macalester College. He is currently at work adapting A Brief History of Seven Killings into an HBO television series.

#ArtLitPhx: Piper Writers Studio Fall 2016 Courses

Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing - horizontal








The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU is proud to offer four creative writing classes through the Piper Writers Studio. Classes are taught by acclaimed and award-winning writers from the community, and cover topics such as first-draft novel writing, novel revisions, persona poetry, and creative non-fiction.

The faculty for the Fall 2016 session of the Piper Writers Studio are:

  • Michael A Stackpole, a New York Times best-selling author known for his extensive fantasy and science fiction work in the Stars Wars, Conan, and World of Warcraft universes. Stackpole will be teaching Winning NaNoWriMo Tuesdays, October 4 – 25, 2016 from 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Carol Test, an award-winning short-story writer and former editor in chief of the Sonora Review who has taught workshops for the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Phoenix College, and Mesa Community College. Test will be teaching Remodel Your Novel: Five Key Scenes for Fiction Writers Wednesdays, October 5 – 26, 2016 from 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Marshall Terrill, veteran film, sports, music, history and popular culture writer with over 20 books to his credit, including bestselling biographies of Steve McQueen, Elvis Presley, and Pete Maravich. Terrill will be teaching Beyond the Facts: Writing Compelling Non-fiction Wednesdays, October 5 – 26, 2016 from 6 – 8 p.m.
  • Lois Roma-Deeley, an author with three collections of poetry and numerous publications in anthologies in journals who founded the creative writing program at Paradise Valley Community College and received an Artist Research and Development Grant from the Arizona State Commission on the Arts in 2016. Roma-Deeley will be teaching Another Voice: Creating Memorable Poetic Personas Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Classes are open to individuals of all backgrounds, skill levels, and experiences, and are designed to fit around the schedules of working adults (taking place weekday evenings or weekend afternoons). Most classes are held at the Piper Writers House, the historic President’s Cottage on the ASU Tempe Campus. 
Class sizes range between 8 and 12 students in order to ensure an intimate, individualized educational experience, and start at $75 (with discounts for individuals who are members of the Piper Circle of Friends). Classes can also qualify for professional development credit with the Arizona Department of Education. Individuals can register for classes through the Piper Center’s website until Monday, October 3rd, 2016.

For more information, please visit the Piper Center’s website at http://piper.asu.edu/programs/piper-writers-studio/current-courses.

#ArtLitPhx: Changing Hands and the Piper Center Present Garth Risk Hallberg

Gary-Changing Hands

Garth Risk Hallberg will be visiting Changing Hands Phoenix with his debut novel, City on Fire. The event is co-presented by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU. The New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Vogue, Newsday, The Atlantic, and others named City on Fire the Best Book of the Year.

The event takes place on Wednesday, September 21st at 7 PM – 9 PM. For more information about the event, please visit the Facebook page or the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing page.

The author was born in Louisiana and grew up in North Carolina. His writing has appeared in Prairie SchoonerThe New York TimesBest New American Voices 2008, and The Millions; a novellaA Field Guide to the North American Family, was published in 2007. He lives in New York with his wife and children.

Reading Series a Success!

Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative WritingThe Superstition Review reading series this past Monday, February 25th was an amazing success. The faculty of ASU Polytechnic were gracious enough to read some of their work, which was received with great enthusiasm by the reading series audience.

To make sure that you don’t miss the next set of our reading series, mark your calendar for Monday, March 31st, when the talented writers from the will be sharing some of their work with the public. The reading will take place from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., in Cooley Ballroom B, at the ASU Polytechnic campus. For directions to the campus, please click here.

Also, we’re still looking for students who would like to read some of their work at the third installment of the reading series on Monday, April 28th; if you would be interested in this opportunity, please e-mail us for more information.