Connections

The Master of Professional Writing Program actively nurtures relationships with literary organizations throughout the Los Angeles area and often collaborates with these groups to organize events and participate in initiatives for the benefit of current, past, and future MPW students, as well as for the community at large. Some of these organizations include:

ALOUD - Library Foundation of Los Angeles - This award-winning series of lectures, readings, performances, and conversations have featured key figures in the arts, humanities, business, politics, and science. MPW faculty members regularly facilitate stimulating discussions with notable writers. Past events include:

  • "Yet Do I Marvel: Black Iconic Poets of the 20th Century" - A reading and conversation with Wanda Coleman, Major Jackson, and MPW Director Brighde Mullins [audio podcast]
  • "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank" - Nathan Englander in conversation with David L. Ulin, MPW Faculty Member [audio podcast]
  • "Writing and the Art of Not Knowing" - A reading and conversation with George Saunders and Bernard Cooper, MPW Faculty Member [video]
  • Sapphire (The Kid: A Novel) in conversation with Brighde Mullins, MPW Director [audio podcast]
  • Dana Spiotta (Stone Arabia) and MPW Faculty Member Janet Fitch (Paint it Black) in conversation with Carolyn Kellogg of the L.A. Times [audio podcast]
  • "From the Outside Looking In: Writers Finding Their Place in Los Angeles" - Panel discussion with Bernard Cooper (MPW Faculty Member), Joyce Farmer, Lynell George, Marisela Norte, and Michael Tolkin - moderated by David L. Ulin, L.A. Times book critic and MPW Faculty Member [audio podcast/video]
  • Percival Everett (Assumption) and Steve Erickson (These Dreams of You) in conversation with Brighde Mullins, MPW Director [audio podcast/video]

  • Lawrence Weschler (Uncanny Valley: Adventures in the Narrative) in conversation with David L. Ulin (MPW Faculty Member) [audio podcast/video]
  • "The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick" - panel discussion moderated by David L. Ulin, L.A. Times book critic and MPW Faculty Member [audio podcast/video]
  • Joan Didion (Blue Nights) in conversation with David L. Ulin, L.A. Times book critic and MPW Faculty Member [video]
  • Anne Enright (The Gathering) in conversation with Brighde Mullins, MPW Director [audio podcast]
  • Annie Jacobsen ("The Road to Area 51") in conversation with M.G. Lord, MPW Faculty Member [more info]
  • Jamaica Kincaid (A Small Place) in conversation with Brighde Mullins, MPW Director [audio podcast]
  • Sapphire (Push) in conversation with Brighde Mullins, MPW Director [audio podcast]
  • John D’Agata (About a Mountain), Michael Govan (CEO, Los Angeles County Museum of Art), and Verlyn Klinkenborg (The Rural Life) in conversation with Brighde Mullins, MPW Director [more info]
  • Henry Alford (Big Kiss: One Actor's Desperate Attempt to Claw His Way to the Middle) in conversation with Sandra Tsing Loh, MPW Faculty Member [audio podcast]
  • Lisa See (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan) and Nina Revoyr (Southland) in conversation with Dinah Lenney, MPW Faculty Member [audio podcast]

Association of Writers & Writing Programs - While the MPW booth is the centerpiece of the annual AWP Conference & Bookfair (held in a different city every year), many MPW faculty members moderate and speak on panels that cover a number of literary topics—and some MPW students attend the conference as well. Panels at the 2012 and 2011 Conferences included:

  • "30th Anniversary McKnight Fellowship Reading" - Jocelyn Hale, Bernard Cooper (MPW Faculty Member), John Reimringer, Ping Wang
  • "Fallout & Facts: Creative Nonfiction in the Nuclear Age" - Anna Leahy, Tom Zoellner, Kristen Iversen, M.G. Lord (MPW Faculty Member), Jeff Porter
  • "Low Res, Full Res, No Res: The Poet and the Terminal Degree" - Christopher Salerno, Amy Gerstler (MPW Faculty Member), Bob Hicock, Timothy Liu, Robin Reagler
  • "The Rankings Game: MFA Programs Respond to the Poets & Writers Creative Writing Program Rankings" - Elise Blackwell, Allison Joseph, Nan Cohen (MPW Faculty Member), Frederick Reiken, Josh Russell
  • "What the Narrator Doesn't Know: The Importance of Speculation in Narrative" - David Huddle, Dinah Lenney (MPW Faculty Member), Lee Martin, and Lia Purpura in conversation with Jill McCabe Johnson
  • "The Role of Alumni in Graduate Writing Programs" - Jessica Handler, Jeffery Hess, Andrew Levy, Brighde Mullins (MPW Director), and Robert Polito in conversation with Fred Leebron
  • "Adaptation: The Thrown Gauntlet" - Anne Garcia-Romero, Prince Gomolvilas (MPW Faculty Member), M.G. Lord (MPW Faculty Member), Blake Robison, and Karen Zacarias in conversation with Brighde Mullins (MPW Director)
  • "Faith and the Writer: Inspiration and Practice" - David Biespiel, M.G. Lord (MPW Faculty Member), Askold Melnyczuk, and Brenda Miller in conversation with Dinah Lenney (MPW Faculty Member)

Kaya Press - An independent publisher of Asian and Pacific Islander diasporic literature. Kaya and its authors have won numerous national awards. Kaya is funded in-part by the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences and is located on the USC campus. MPW and Kaya’s collaborations include:

  • Smokin’ Hot Lit Lounge – A booth co-sponsored by MPW and Kaya at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books with readings, workshops, book publishers, and other interactive events.
  • Lament in the Night Celebration – Actors Tamlyn Tomita and Gedde Watanabe read excerpts from Lament in the Night, followed by a discussion and Q&A with translator Andrew Leong and Los Angeles Times book critic/MPW Faculty Member David Ulin. [related article: "Lament in the Night"]

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books - One of the biggest literary events in the nation, the Festival of Books is a weekend-long celebration of literature that features panels, readings, signings, performances, and seminars. Now held on the University of Southern California campus, the Festival has recruited many Master of Professional Writing faculty, students, and alumni to participate in various activities. (Click the play button for a video recap.) Events at the 2013, 2012 and 2011 Festivals included:

  • "Telling Hollywood Tales" - Leo Braudy, MG Lord (MPW Faculty), Margaret Talbot, David Thomson, and Barbara Isenberg
  • "The Culture of Culture" - Tom Bissell, Pico Iyer, D.T. Max, and David L. Ulin (MPW Faculty)
  • "Living and Writing in Los Angeles" - William Deverell, Dana Johnson, Laura Pulido, Richard Rayner (MPW Faculty), and Brighde Mullins (MPW Director)
  • "Why Did the Writer Cross the Genre?" - Luis Alfaro, Bernard Cooper (MPW Faculty), Sandra Tsing Loh (MPW Faculty), and Dinah Lenney (MPW Faculty)
  • "Does Race Matter? Publishing as a Writer of Color" - Oliver Mayer, David Treuer, Gabrielle Pina (MPW Faculty), and Prince Gomolvilas (MPW Faculty)
  • "Biography: That's Entertainment" - James Curtis, Emily Leider, and M.G. Lord (MPW Faculty) in conversation with Cari Beauchamp
  • "Fairy Tales" - Aimee Bender, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, and Trinie Dalton in conversation with Nan Cohen (MPW Faculty)

  • "Memoir: Over the Edge" - Emma Forrest, Dinah Lenney (MPW Faculty), Charles Shaw, and Cheryl Strayed in conversation with Amy Wallen
  • "Fiction: Family Ties" - Janet Fitch (MPW Faculty), Julie Otsuka, and Christopher Tilghman in conversation with John Freeman
  • "Narrative in a Digital Age" - Mark Bryant, Jay Caspian Kang, Jacob Lewis, and Evan Ratliff in conversation with David L. Ulin (MPW Faculty)
  • "Kick-Ass Women" - Allison Engel (MPW '09), Karen Karbo, and M.G. Lord (MPW Faculty) in conversation with Dinah Lenney (MPW Faculty)
  • "Fiction: California Dreamin'" - Steve Erickson, Hari Kunzru, and Dana Spiotta in conversation with David L. Ulin (MPW Faculty)
  • "Robert Crais in Conversation with Kenneth Turan (MPW Faculty)"
  • "Fiction: The Literature of Obsession" - Matt Bondurant, Judith Freeman (MPW Faculty), and Ellen Ullman in conversation with Brighde Mullins (MPW Director)
  • "Food Writing: American Potluck" - Gustavo Arellano, Aaron Bobrow-Strain, and Jennifer 8. Lee in conversation with Jonathan Gold (MPW Faculty)
  • "Writings from the Asian Diaspora" - Prince Gomolvilas (MPW Faculty), Velina Hasu Houston, and Catherine Liu in conversation with Sunyoung Lee
  • “Fiction: L.A. Stories” - Janet Fitch (MPW Faculty), Seth Greenland, Meg Howrey, and Eric Puchner in conversation with Tod Goldberg
  • “The Poet’s Journey: Personal Reflection and Public Revelation” - Nick Flynn, Dana Goodyear (MPW Faculty), Yehoshua November, and Matthew Zapruder in conversation with David St. John
  • Ted Danson in conversation with M.G. Lord (MPW Faculty)
  • “Memoir: Lost & Found” - James Brown, Samantha Dunn, and Mark Richard (MPW Faculty) in conversation with Orli Low
  • “Living in a Shadow” - Jill Bialosky, Meghan O’Rourke, Linda Gray Sexton, and Alexandra Styron in conversation with Dinah Lenney (MPW Faculty)
  • “Teaching Kids Writing” – Amie Longmire (MPW ’11), Melinda MacInnis, Michelle Meyering, and Krishna Narayanamurti (MPW ’11) in conversation with Brighde Mullins (MPW Director)
  • “The Pale King: David Foster Wallace” - D.T. Max, Bonnie Nadell, and Michael Pietsch in conversation with David Ulin (MPW Faculty)
  • “The Brokeback Book: From Story to Cultural Phenomenon” - Chris Freeman, William Handley, Susan McCabe, James Morrison, and Kenneth Turan (MPW Faculty) in conversation
  • “The Many Paths of Publishing” - Betsy Amster, Brad Inman, Brighde Mullins (MPW Director), and Jack Shoemaker in conversation with Donna Wares
  • “Fiction of the Middle East” - Reza Aslan, Assaf Gavron, and Laila Lalami in conversation with Gina Nahai (MPW Faculty)
  • Book Signing by Syd Field (MPW Faculty)
  • “Writing the Ineffable: Memoir and Disability” - Tim Page and Mark Richard (MPW Faculty) in conversation with Dinah Lenney (MPW Faculty)
  • Patti Smith and David Eggars in conversation with David Ulin (MPW Faculty)
  • “Behind the Microscope” - Oren Harman, Terry McDermott, and Lauren Redniss in conversation with M.G. Lord (MPW Faculty)
  • “Writing Creative Lives” - Barbara Isenberg, Tom Nolan, Laura Skandera Trombley, and Kenneth Turan (MPW Faculty) in conversation with Jon Thurber
  • “The Poet’s Responsibility: Poetic Tradition, Social Values, and Contemporary Culture” - Henri Cole, Amy Gerstler (MPW Faculty), Craig Santos Perez, and Ed Roberson in conversation with Carol Muske-Dukes
  • “Funny but True” – Storytelling performances by Prince Gomolvilas (MPW Faculty), Josh Feldman (MPW ’12), Erin La Rosa (MPW ’11), Krishna Narayanamurti (MPW ’11), and Tesia Walker (MPW ’11) 
  • T.C. Boyle reading with an introduction by Janet Fitch (MPW Faculty)
  • Peter Guber and Peter Bart in conversation with David Ulin (MPW Faculty)

PEN Center USA - With a membership of more than 800 writers in all forms, PEN Center USA is known for its public literary events, mentorship project, literary awards, and international human rights campaigns. MPW has co-hosted events, recruited students to participate in the PEN in the Classroom program, and tapped faculty to present at the annual PEN Literary Awards Festival. Current and past MPW collaborations include:

 

 

  • Master of Professional Writing Program
  • University of Southern California
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Mark Taper Hall of Humanities, THH 355
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-0355