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Events
  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • Otis Graduate Writing students will read from their works-in-progress.

  • Exquisite Beauty is the first retrospective and publication to document the eye-dazzling ceramics created by Ralph Bacerra (1938–2008), a Los Angeles–based artist known for his innovative approach to surface embellishment. Curated by Jo Lauria, the exhibition features more than ninety of the artist’s finest pieces—dramatic, highly decorated vessels and sculptures that have never before been the focus of a major exhibition or publication.

  • Opening Reception for Ralph Bacerra: Exquisite Beauty

  • David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and currently teaches at USC. He is the author of the novels Little, The Hiawatha, The Translation of Dr. Apelles, named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, as well as a critical work, Native American Fiction: A User's Manual. In 2012, he published another nonfiction work, Rez Life.

  • Angela Flournoy’s first novel The Turner House was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New Republic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.

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Academic Excellence: Rachel Kaminer

Something Unusual/idiosyncratic?
I lived in a wilderness setting for about two years facilitating experiential education and therapy. I can carve a bow-drill set and bust a coal.

 

Hometown?
I was born in San Luis Obispo [California] and grew up in the mountains around Asheville, N.C.
 

Why Otis?
I decided to pursue an MFA in L.A., and Paul Vangelisti conveyed to me that Graduate Writing is about reading and writing and making and translating, in what we might call the “Un-American Tradition.” I knew I wanted to be in the company of writers and artists who conducted themselves as colleagues, who brought diverse life experience to their practices. I remember reading the book list Jen Hofer posted online for one of her courses with such excitement. That’s when I knew I would apply. And the web page had such lovely design. I guessed that meant Otis was a good fit for students who pay attention both to form and content.


Your thesis project?
A book-length work of poetry—this means the poetry is talking to itself across the breadth of the whole work. The book is about listening. Or, put another way, it’s the joy and
responsibility that we have in language; that we make meaning; that it’s musical. Then again, it recently became apparent to me that I may complete an entire book of poetry with these philosophical ideas as an influence—and then it will turn out to be about heartbreak. The joke is on me for being the last one to get it.
 

Interesting things that you did outside of school?
I’ve done all sorts of interesting things through WriteGirl, a nonprofit based in my neighborhood. My favorite has been facilitating writing workshops for incarcerated young
women.


Most influential faculty member?
Impossible to say. I worked with and for Sarah Shun-lien Bynum and Dr. Carol Branch, and they are supremely influential role models, personally and professionally. I have to point out how influential my poet-colleagues have been, along with Jackie Young, the mastermind of two graduate departments and my supervisor, in shaping my time here.
 

Favorite place in L.A.?
Walking in my neighborhood is pretty great: the 6th Street Bridge, the channelized L.A. River, La Reyna taco stand at 7th and Mateo, and my neighbors at Factory Place, who have become hearth and home.
 

What’s next?
Writing, teaching, editing, choosing additional rent-paying professions. Publishing. Going to the desert when the Perseids fall.
 

Information/tips for future students?
The poetry alums have an ongoing conversation in poetry and in life, and that’s the best reason to attend. Choose your community of colleagues. And explore every neighborhood you can.