Saunders will read from his work at CalArts on February 25 at 7 pm and at REDCATon February 26 at 8:30 pm.
“An astoundingly tuned voice—graceful, dark, authentic, and funny—telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times.”—Thomas Pynchon
Valencia, CA, January 21—George Saunders, one of the foremost innovators of the contemporary American short story, has been selected as California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) 2016 Katie Jacobson Writer-in-Residence.
During Saunders’ two day residency, he will work with students in CalArts’ MFA Creative Writing Program. The public component of Saunders’ residency includes readings by the author at CalArts on February 25 at 7 pm and REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) in downtown Los Angeles on February 26 at 8:30 pm. See calendar listing below for more information.
The recipient of a 2006 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award,” Saunders is the author of four unorthodox and daring short story collections: CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, In Persuasion Nation and, most recently, Tenth of December—a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Folio Prize.
"We've been hoping to lure George Saunders out to our program for some time now, as his sensibility and accomplishments speak so well to our MFA program's ethos,” said Maggie Nelson, director of CalArts MFA Creative Writing Program. “His work is experimental, trenchant, dark, philosophical, satirical, and kaleidoscopic. He is most acclaimed for his short fiction, but he is also renowned as an essayist and writer of children's books; he's also a beloved teacher at Syracuse. A Lannan Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow, Saunders was also named one of Time magazine’s "Top 100 Influential People of the year" in 2013—an impressive feat for a writer of intellectually serious, often far-out fiction."
Established in 2013, the Katie Jacobson Writer-in-Residence Program was named in memory of Creative Writing Program MFA student Katie Jacobson and was created by the generous support of her parents Leslie Jacobson and Jeanine Caltagirone. The residency is designed to bring a prestigious writer to CalArts for public readings, classroom visits, and one-to-one meetings with students. The program launched with the residency of short fiction writer and translator Lydia Davis. Critic and novelist Samuel R. Delany was CalArts 2014 Writer-in-Residence. Click here to learn more about the residency program.
CalArts School of Critical Studies brings together internationally recognized writers, poets, scholars and thinkers working in both new and traditional forms across a wide variety of disciplines, extending from narrative fiction, performance and multimedia to cultural criticism and political theory. The school offers two graduate programs: the Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing Program and the Master of Arts Aesthetics and Politics Program. In both programs, the expertise of Institute faculty is complemented with an extensive series of readings, lectures, workshops and longer-term residencies by a diverse range of visiting writers, theorists and artists.
Ranked as America’s top college for students in the arts by Newsweek/The Daily Beast, California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater—CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institute first envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.